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Pawn shops offer an alternative way to buy gifts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 1:02am

If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet, you had better hurry. We're now less just a little over 24 hours away from Christmas.

If you're looking to avoid the big box stores this Christmas Eve there is an alternative you might want to consider.

Last minute shoppers aren’t only looking for the perfect gift, but a bargain too.

Pawn shops are an outside-the-box way to avoid big-box stores, and possibly even a way to take home some cash, too.

Monday wasn’t the first time brothers David and James Usevitch have bought something from a pawn shop.

"You never know exactly what you are going to end up with," said David.”

They are home from college in Utah. Monday’s purchase was a microphone.

"If you can find what you are looking for, for a discounted price, then you save money and get what you want," said James.

This is just one reason people come into pawn shops.

At Benny's Pawn Shop, owner Saul Frank said he has seen an increase in customers during the holiday season.

"At Christmas time, you do have people that are coming in because they need money to buy gifts maybe,” he said. “And then we have people that are buying, people that are buying Christmas gifts. And you know, you can get a great deal in a pawn shop."

When you pawn an item, you are taking a loan from the shop and leaving your item as collateral. You have 60 days to pick up your item, after that it can be sold.

That is how pawn shops can sell quality items for much less.

The deals bring in people from all walks of life.

Like Don and Rhonda Newbury, who have a ministry in Anthony New Mexico.

"I think that most people bring their stuff in here, not because it doesn't work anymore, but because they need the money," said Don.

What about stolen items? Saul says it isn't as common as you might think.

"That's kind of a fallacy,” he said. “There is like one half of 1% of merchandise that comes through that maybe could be stolen."

You have to bring an ID, and sign papers saying you own what you are selling.

But if you are still unsure, Benny's Pawn works closely with the police to ensure the items you buy or pawning are legal.

"Everything we take in at benny's pawn shop, we send a copy to the police department," said Saul.

Pawn shops typically accept just about everything, except something you have to feed.


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