We’re excited about this relatively new platform to help both pawn shops and their customers.
Here’s how it works:
A customer lists an item on the site for free, selecting whether they wish to pawn or sell—similar to putting a product on Craigslist or Letgo. Pawn shops in the area can then bid on the item.
As of Q1 2018, the numbers on the homepage show that over 2,000 pawn shops and 260,000 customers use the system. In 2012, there were over 10,000 pawn establishments in the U.S according to the census, and now that number has topped 11,000.
So based on available data, we estimate that somewhere around 18% of pawnbrokers are already using PawnGuru.
How PawnGuru Works
You as the pawnbroker do not post anything; PawnGuru simply serves as a way to purchase inventory that you can then sell in your store and online.
Our favorite part? PawnGuru doesn’t actually process payments online. You and the customer agree to the price online, and then the customer physically comes to your store to sell—which means two awesome things:
- They might browse your other products while they’re there
- You’ll be top-of-mind the next time they need a pawnbroker because you gave them the best price last time!
We like PawnGuru because it exists to help both pawnbrokers and their customers. Your customers are able to get quick cash or a loan, and you get great exposure and more inventory for your store.
In the header bar, they even have a link to help people in need find a food pantry near them—just one less thing to worry about when customers are living paycheck to paycheck!
How PawnGuru Can Help Your Pawn Shop
PawnGuru’s helpfulness all depends on your needs as a pawnbroker. Unlike the other websites we’ve discussed, it is a buying rather than a selling channel for pawnbrokers. If you’re overrun with inventory, it may not be helpful.
Here’s how PawnGuru can benefit pawnbrokers:
- You have a lot of one kind of product in your store but are trying to diversify
- You’re trying to specialize in one type of loan collateral but currently don’t have enough of it
- You’re trying to increase revenues through boosting your retail sales
- You’ve just started investing in big digital platforms like Amazon and eBay but don’t have enough inventory to make the investment worthwhile
- You want to draw more customers in to your shop!
If you’re going through a time of low inventory, PawnGuru can be a great benefit. However, it’s less helpful if the primary issue you’re dealing with is how to get rid of inventory.
How Much PawnGuru Costs
PawnGuru is free (for now) for both sellers and buyers. In the future, the company plans on keeping a small percentage of the sale price as a service charge, just like Amazon and eBay currently do. But that should mainly affect your buyer, not you.
Should You Use PawnGuru?
It doesn’t hurt pawnbrokers to create a free account and at least see what’s out there. You can be alerted when someone in your area posts an item.
If you’re not interested or have too much inventory already, just ignore it. But there’s always the chance someone could post something you don’t want to pass up!
Have you tried PawnGuru yet? Share your experience with us in the comments; we’d love to learn more!