People turning to pawn shops for quick cash as pandemic continues

Updated: Aug. 25, 2020 at 8:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More people are turning to pawn shops as a way to get some fast cash and some are hoping to score a deal.

From video game consoles to luxury handbags, more people are now pawning these days to get that fast, extra cash they need.

Owners of USA Pawn says that is a big difference from when the pandemic started back in March when loan requests took more than a 40 percent dive.

"I would say our business has started to go up in the loan area in the last 30 days it will probably have to do with the end of the money, unemployment the extra $600 everyone was giving, we are starting to see more people trickle in. People are starting to go back to school," said, Nick Fulton; Managing partner for USA Pawns.

Nick Fulton is the managing partner for USA Pawn, which has six locations in Central Mississippi.

He says some of his cash-strapped customers prefer pawn shops where they loan against their assets over payday lenders or banks.

"They don't trust banks. We are essentially their bank and can come and here and get their money. Their ID is their credit, their merchandise is their credit."

While the loan side took a hit and is now seeing an increase, he says the retail side continues to thrive... When the pandemic started in March, Fulton says TV’s, gaming systems and laptops were flying off the shelves because people were forced to stay home more.

“Anything you need to entertain yourself at home, that was what we were selling out. We went from ordering from three or four different vendors to probably 50. That is what I did this whole pandemic is try to find merchandise to put on the shelves.”

Jackson resident Milton Bibbs was hoping to score a deal on a used generator today.

He supports pawn shops during these tough times.

“Because our money is slack with this Coronavirus, we are not working, so the little money I have saved I try to buy something I can use,” said Bibbs.

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