Good power tools are expensive, but at Blair Village Pawn in Atlanta, you can find brand name tools at bargain prices. Dennis Culberson has been a pawnbroker for over 20 years, and power tools are just one of his shop’s specialties. He also deals with a large inventory of jewelry. If you need a quick cash loan, jewelry repair or want to update your diamond setting, Blair Village Pawn’s is definitely worth checking out.
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“We’re right in the city of Atlanta, so we get a lot of middle-class customers that need short-term loans,” Culberson said. “A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck.”
Items that are interesting do not necessarily mean a pawnbroker will be interested. Culbertson once met a guy who wanted to pawn his arm!
Over the past several months, Blair Village Pawn has overwhelmingly received positive feedback from PawnGuru users. As a result, they’ve been promoted to Top Shop status on the PawnGuru network. Culberson actively uses PawnGuru and has noticed the variety of goods being submitted by local customers.
“PawnGuru covers a wide range of stuff, tools, jewelry, and electronics, you get just about everything,” he said.
Although, many people submit smartphones, laptops, and similar electronics, PawnGuru allows shops to send direct offers for specific items. This way customers save time without having to shlep their item to a shop that might not be interested. In Culberson’s case, he’s primarily interested in jewelry and brand name power tools.
Culberson says for every unique item there are just as many unique situations with customers. Blair Village Pawn has previously given loans to parents who needed to pay for their kids’ private school. And college students have come to pawn items for quick cash in order to pay for their classes. Then there are more desperate customers, for example, Culberson once helped a guy who wanted to pawn his arm!
“He needed a short term loan, I felt so bad I just gave him $20 out of my pocket,” Culberson remembers. “I didn’t have the heart to take his prosthetic arm.”
If you’ve ever had an “out-of-money experience” you know that getting cash fast is essential. This is partially why pawn shops are economically important.
Small Business Challenges
Around the country, pawn shops can attest to the challenge brought on by corporate owned pawn shops. “They try to win over customers, but a lot [of customers] don’t like dealing with corporate,” Culberson said. Despite this, the smaller, and mostly family owned shops compete against corporate-backed marketing and strategically placed corporate storefronts. That being the case, Culberson advises small business pawn shops, like his, to leverage their “personal touch” with their local each consumer.
PawnGuru: A Tool For Pawn Shops
“It’s a great tool, I’ve gotten some nice items off there,” Culberson said of PawnGuru.
Most of the time, a pawn shop will want to fill up with inventory that sells. A few weeks ago a customer on PawnGuru accepted an offer from Blair Village Pawn for his 40-inch TV and traveled over 30 minutes to get there.
“I knew I wasn’t going to make a lot of money off of it, but I still turned a profit because we needed the item,” Culberson said. “TVs we never get enough of, in a pawn shop you can sell them all the time.”
Also, a guy recently submitted an Omega watch and as soon as Culberson saw it he made a cash offer. “If he [the customer] didn’t use PawnGuru he would never have met us,” Culberson pointed out.
Tips From The Pros
Culberson’s advice for financially struggling individuals is to, “Keep something in the house that you could pawn, so you can borrow money.”