A pawn shop opens up, and the knee-jerk reaction from residents is often “there goes the neighborhood!” Most people who have this reaction have never been in a pawn shop, and have been negatively influenced by the low life portrayal of pawn shops in the movies.
The reality is much different. Most pawnbrokers are well educated, and active in their communities. People from all walks of life use the services that we offer. If a loved one has passed away, you may have items that you would like to sell. Or perhaps you have items that you no longer need, and would like to raise money to go on vacation? Or maybe you need a short term loan, but do not want to use a credit card or go to your bank? Pawn shops can help you with all of these transactions.
The question people always ask is: “what about stolen merchandise?” The truth is that less that 1/10th of 1% of merchandise purchased at pawnshops nationwide ends up being stolen. Pawn Shops are highly regulated, in Illinois by the Dept of Banks and Financial Regulation. We require identification from each customer, and every transaction we do is reported daily to city and county law enforcement.
So, in the rare case when a thief does sell something to a pawn shop, he usually ends up getting caught, and the victim ends up getting their items back.
There is also a big economic benefit to the community. We put thousands of dollars into the hands of local residents on a daily basis. This money is usually spent right in the neighborhood at other local businesses, and that is what makes the world go round.