Pawn shops see many repeat customers

Our Pawnbroker software PawnMaster helps stores everyday like Cash for Gold with integrations such as our Quick Quote module that makes buying precious metals a breeze. Because repeat business is key to have a successful business, PawnMaster has features that can give your good customers points that they can redeem or trade in like cash on products for sale in your store. Below is a great story about how repeat customers keep coming back generation after generation.

By John Toole [email protected]

Alice had just sold jewelry at Cash for Gold in Salem, N.H..

“I needed the cash,” she said. “My daughter is graduating from law school. I wanted to get her something nice.”

The mother, who refused to give her last name, is typical of customers who do business with Cash for Gold.

“This goes on all day long,” owner Archie DeFlorio said from his second-floor offices on South Broadway in Salem. “We see generations. We did business with the mothers and fathers. Now, the sons and daughters are coming here.”

His company, which operates eight stores in Southern New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley, is more than 30 years old.

DeFlorio has no use for those who would try to sell him stolen goods. Complying with state and local law is not a burden for him.

“There’s enough profit in this business to operate legally,” DeFlorio said.

Cash for Gold regularly turns over paperwork on transactions within the 48 hours preferred by the Salem Police Department, he said.

In Plaistow, owner Jason Kimball of Plaistow Trading & Pawn also strives for a good relationship with police.

He also asks questions of his own, to keep from becoming a victim of thieves.

“When something doesn’t smell right, I’m not going to throw money out the window,” Kimball said.

His is a traditional pawn business. He takes in merchandise ranging from tools to guitars in exchange for loans, which are based on the value he assigns an item.

The state lets him charge up to 20 percent interest per month.

Merchandise is stored, not displayed for sale, during the duration of the loan. If the borrower doesn’t repay the loan or keep up the interest, then Plaistow Trading puts it up for sale.

Loans are for 30 days, but can be extended by the borrower — if interest payments are kept up.

Don’t call Cash for Gold a pawn shop, though the business abides by similar regulations.

There’s no retail floor space loaded with electronics or musical instruments. Cash for Gold looks more like a customer service office at the bank or grocery store.

DeFlorio also distances his company from the used car dealers and piercing parlors he said are trying to cash in on the gold rush.

“All of a sudden, they’re gold experts,” DeFlorio said.

His business evaluates merchandise against the daily price of gold.

DeFlorio said Cash for Gold typically pays 90 percent to the customer, retaining a 10 percent profit margin.

In Salem, the company is required to hold purchased goods for 30 days before selling them. But DeFlorio said the waiting period can vary town to town.

Deputy police chief Shawn Patten said Salem has resisted efforts by pawn shops to reduce the period to seven days out of concern for crime victims.

“If somebody was on vacation and came home to find their home burglarized, there wouldn’t have been enough time to report and investigate it,” Patten said.

Once the waiting period is completed, Cash for Gold will sell the purchased items.

“After that, it’s disposable,” DeFlorio said. “Everything goes to a refinery, where it is melted down and resold to manufacturers.”

He sees no secret to why businesses are flourishing that deal in second-hand merchandise.

“The price of gold has risen from $400 an ounce to more than $1,500 an ounce,” he said. “This started about three years ago.”

Couple attractive pricing for gold with a troubled economy and there you go, he said.

Sellers include those who want to cash in unwanted jewelry, buy something else or make a mortgage payment, he said.

“They have more important priorities,” DeFlorio said.

Kimball said sellers often provide repeat business.

“People live week to week, month to month,” Kimball said.

Buyers tend to be those looking for a bargain.

“Everybody still wants a deal on buying something,” Kimball said.

If you are interested in finding out more about how PawnMaster the industry leading Pawnbroker software can turn your store around call now for a free demonstration 888-949-7296.