7 Techniques To Grow Your Pawn Shop Online

February 28, 2020 - Pawn Resources

Connecting with customers online is a new concept for many pawnbrokers.

PawnGuru is the first tool the Pawn Shop industry that really works for that purpose. So we’ve put together a short list of tips for getting the most out of PawnGuru.

These tips are based on real data and experiences from hundreds of pawn shops connecting with thousands of PawnGuru customers every month.

If you want to grow your pawn shop business with PawnGuru, these are the winning strategies.

#1 Respond quickly

Do you like waiting in line at the bank? Do you like waiting on hold for customer service on the phone? We don’t, you don’t, and neither do PawnGuru customers. They are looking for cash, and they need it now.

When you get notified of a new item listed on PawnGuru, go look at it and respond, quickly! Responding within 15 minutes increases your chance that the customer will choose to come into your store and close a deal.

The early bird gets the worm, and the fast-responding shop gets the customer.

#2 Respond often

It’s easy to skip the small-dollar listings on PawnGuru and only respond to the high-end, lucrative items you like, but the most successful shops try to respond to EVERY item. Yes, even the used vacuum cleaner and worn sneakers.

Why respond to every item? Because behind every item is a potential lifelong customer. If they come into your store today with that $10 item, there’s a good chance they’ll come again to pawn or sell a higher-end item in the future or buy some merchandise during their visit.

#3 Don’t ignore the items you don’t want

Instead of hitting ‘Ignore’ on an item that doesn’t tickle your fancy, send a friendly message to the customer, a sincere offer (if possible), and try winning them anyway! They might have another item to bring in.

#4 Don’t worry if the customer wants too much money

Customer wants $400 loan for their TV, but you can barely sell that model for $300 on a good day. Does this scenario sound familiar?

What to do? Make an offer anyway! But take the time to explain WHY your $ offer is so “low”. Here’s a great example:

“Hi Frank, I’d love to get you $400 on your TV, but I can barely sell those for $300 on a good day. They are hard to sell for more than that, AND I have to leave a profit for myseld, too. So that means I can only offer you $150 for a loan. Sorry that’s not what you are asking for, but if you are okay with $150, I’d love to help you out. Le t me know. -David”

Our data shows that shops that explain why their offer is “low” actually see a lot of success with the customers who asked for too much money up front.

So don’t skip over an item that you think is overpriced. Reach out to the customer and make your best sincere offer. You’ll be surprised at how positive it may turn out.

#5 Educate

40+% of PawnGuru users have never used pawn shop before, which means they might not be fully aware of how a pawn shop and pawn loans work.

    • They might say “pawn” when they mean “sell”
    • They might ask for retail price.
    • They might not understand local or state regulation about pawning
  • They might not realize what accessories or documentation they need to bring with them to the store

Make sure to explain things, or at least ask if they have any questions, before they come to your store. It makes for a much smoother experience for everyone in the store and can save them an extra trip to go back home to get the TV remote.

Most importantly, customers will think highly of your shop if you help them understand things better. That means better reviews and ratings, improved reputation, and more business for you.

#6 Personalize

We’re all human. We respond better to people, not computers.

When you send a comment or message to a customer, try to personalize it. Greet them by name, ask how they are doing, make the message positive and helpful, and sign it with your name.

Also, make sure they know they have a friend at the shop, if they choose to come in. Customers have the best experience when they know to “Ask for Chris” when they bring in their item.

#7 Actually make an offer

“I can’t make any offer until I see the item in person” – Every PawnBroker Ever

We’ve all said it to a customer, and it’s the way most pawn brokers have always done business. But PawnGuru data has shown that this approach doesn’t work with customers. It’s always better to make a cash offer, even a conservative one.

Even when critical item information is missing (like model number, screen size, or hard-drive size), you should still give an offer range to the customer, and explain what that range depends on.

Shops that make real offers on PawnGuru close THREE times more deals with customers than shops that send generic messages.

Jordan Birnholtz

Jordan Birnholtz is the cofounder of PawnGuru. An alumnus of the University of Michigan, Jordan started PawnGuru in 2015 with Jon Polter, David Stiebel, and Jessica Zahnd. When he's not working at PawnGuru, Jordan volunteers his time to support undergraduates in building socially-responsible businesses and organizations through Optimize, a program at the University of Michigan.

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