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Pawnshops re-emerge with friendlier look (5)

(China Daily)

08:32, December 10, 2012

Pawnshops' current image is very different from in the past, Yang says. They used to be a place of shame. Entering one was a sign of absolute poverty, and people pawned goods only as an act of desperation.

"Many customers (today) are wealthy people who just want a quick loan," Yang says.

Pawnshops' staff, too, are different. Many employees are professional jewelry appraisers, bank clerks or secondhand car salespeople, Yang says, adding that they can tell whether an object is genuine or fake.

"The most difficult part is choosing a reasonable price to offer. If the price is too low, it won't satisfy the customer. But if the price is higher than it should be, there will be risks," Yang says.

"It's quite hard to control, and it is based on the examiners' observations and judgments of the market."

When the redemption period passes, goods are called "dead pawns", meaning the pawnshop has the right to sell them. At this stage, a whole new set of customers looking for bargain luxury deals comes in.

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