And here we are with a question that some people would almost consider offensive, but that’s what makes it so important to answer.
Are pawn shops safe?
It’s a provocative question because the immediate answer is that yes, of course pawn shops are safe.
Pawn shops are just like any other retail or financial services business and they provide safe environments where people can come in and shop or get a loan if that’s what they are there for.
Pawnbrokers pride themselves on their businesses and will go out of their way to help provide and excellent customer experience while people are in their stores.
In fact, guest or customer experience is something that is often discussed among pawnbrokers in meetings, conventions and other national or regional gatherings.
The mere suggestion that pawn shops are somehow unsafe or risky places to be would probably enrage your average pawnbroker whom has spent their entire lives building a business that provides a unique and some might argue irreplaceable service to it’s customers and the community that the pawn shop is in.
But with that in mind, I’ve got to take a step back and look at this from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know the pawn industry. Or maybe, more appropriately, would be to look at it from the perspective of someone whom isn’t familiar with today’s pawn industry.
Bad Guys Don’t Like Pawn Shops
When looking at the issue from a different perspective, one in which someone may look at pawn shops as if they are the place where bad guys go to sell their stolen goods, I can understand how someone might ask this question.
However, that reputation of being someplace where the bad guys go to sell things they stolen or got by illegal means, well, it’s just not true of today’s pawn shop.
Pawn shops these days work very closely with local law enforcement agencies to keep bad guys and their stolen merchandise out of their stores. In fact, bad guys don’t even like to be seen going into a pawn shop because of how closely some pawn brokers will work with local law enforcement.
Ask yourself, with every pawn shop across the country taking ID just to do a transaction, what bad guy would willing want to sell something they stole when it will be directly connected with their name and identity when the police department comes looking for it? They don’t. That’s why they use sites like eBay or Amazon to sell their stolen stuff – if not just selling it directly to a drug dealer or on craigslist.
But what if that’s not the question that was being asked to begin with. What if you were asking if pawn shops are a safe place to leave your items when making a loan…
Pawn Shop Loans Are Perfectly Safe
In the same line of thought as the pawn broker who takes pride in their operation and wants to make sure that they are operating a safe, legal business for their community to make use of when they need to – these same pawnbrokers aren’t going to violate the law or try to do something shady or slimy that would jeopardize their business just for a quick buck.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people ask if pawn shops switch stones (or replace one diamond with another) when something is in on loan and that just couldn’t be any less true.
No pawnbroker that I know of is going to go into any specific loan and mess with that one ring. They have thousands of loans in their store and it’s just not worth the consequences if they were to be caught doing something underhanded like that. They would lose their businesses and worse – end up in jail most likely.
When you are talking about pawn shops and the people who run them, you are talking about very hard working individuals who spend all day improving their business, working on the reputation of their business in the community and making friends with the customers that they serve. These aren’t people interested in doing something stupid to make a couple quick bucks, I assure you.
So, if you are worried about making a loan at a pawn shop and if it is safe, then I can only strongly advise you that yes – it is perfectly safe to make a loan in a pawn shop.
On top of it, most pawn shops are going to be very friendly and happy to work with you to help you get the money you need, or as close as they can get you to that based on what you bring in.