King’s Jewelry and Loan in Los Angeles, CA

February 09, 2020 - Pawn Resources

Sam Shocket is the owner of the successful King’s Jewelry and Pawn in Los Angeles, CA.

He also owns Ace Jewelry and Loan and Lawndale Jewelry and Loan. Later this year he will be opening a fourth shop in the Beverley Hills area.

“We have the largest volume in the country. My three stores make over a thousand loans a day,” Shocket proudly stated.

His early experience working at his father’s pawn shop gained him a real-world education in small business management, sales, and entrepreneurship.

“After I had gone to The Gemological Institute of America, I took my bar-mitzvah money and opened another store in a nicer area – I wanted to specialize in jewelry,” Shocket said.

King’s Jewelry has a greeter at the front door and private booths for customers, but if you prefer a private room they can provide that as well. When Shocket first opened a shop of his own, he decided to specialize in jewelry in an upscale neighborhood. He’s seen a variety of unique valuables such as collectible watches worth a quarter of million dollars. Their average loan is around $300.

“The largest diamond I’ve taken in was a 22-carat yellow diamond worth about half a million dollars,” Shocket said.

At the time, he began King’s Jewelry pawn shops specializing in jewelry was not common, but Shocket looked at jewelry as an opportunity.
“We focused on a specific collateral that not only had a good intrinsic value, but if and when it became obsolete, broken, or no longer in style I could still melt it and sell it for the sum of its parts,” Shocket explained.

By focusing exclusively on jewelry, he was able to stand out from local competitors. Promotions, deals, and flexible loan options also attributed to his success and customers’ loyalty. Today, King’s Jewelry services upper-class clients and people from all backgrounds. They have nearly 100 employees, half of which are graduate gemologists. It’s no wonder King’s Jewelry ranks as a Top Shop.

Kings Jewelry and Loan in California
Kings Jewelry and Loan in California

Shocket’s father, a professor of economics, took an interest in collateral lending in 1948 and decided to invest in a local pawn shop. Then his father became the owner and this is where Shocket had his start.
“When I was growing up, I started working in the shop as a gofer,” Shocket said. “Eventually, I made my way to sales, then the loan counter, and by high school I was running the store.”

As a college student, he continued to manage the shop and developed an appreciation for the industry and local community. By age 20, he decided to pursue pawnbroking as a career and set out to expand the business beyond his father’s shop.

“After I had gone to The Gemological Institute of America, I took my bar-mitzvah money and opened another store in a nicer area – I wanted to specialize in jewelry,” Shocket said.

If you never visited a pawn shop before Shocket suggests you shop around to know your options. He says you should, “make sure that you become informed because there are alternatives.”

“In the state of California we can negotiate interest rates – and we do,” Shocket says. “We’ll lend money as cheaply as 1% per month and the highest we go is 3% per month. Negotiate fees and charges so you can get the best deal you can.”

Shocket feels that pawnbroking is a great industry but requires innovation and the ability to evolve inorder to become successful today.

“It’s important to keep up with the times,” Shocket says. “I think PawnGuru will be an important avenue for reaching potential clients and giving the client the ability to shop many types of businesses without leaving their home.”

Jordan Birnholtz
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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