Pawnshops have to be careful to manage how many new items they accept as pawns: either too little inventory or too much is bad. A pawnshop might have too little inventory if, for example, it mostly buys jewels and gold that it resells or smelts—or perhaps the pawnshop owner quickly sells most items through specialty shops (e.g., musical instruments to music stores, stereos to used hi-fi audio stores, etc.). In this case, the pawnshop is less interesting to customers, because it is mostly empty.On the other extreme, a pawnshop with a huge inventory has several disadvantages. If the store is crammed with used athletic gear, old stereos, and old tools, the store owner must spend time and money shelving and sorting items, displaying them on different stands or in glass cases, and monitoring customers to prevent shoplifting. If there are too many low-value, poor quality items, such as old toasters, scratched-up 20 year-old TVs, and worn-out sports gear piled into cardboard boxes, the store may begin to look more like a rummage sale or flea market. Small, high-value items such as iPod players or cell phones must be in locked glass display cases, which means the owner may need additional staff to unlock the cabinets for items customers want to examine. As a store fills with items, an owner must protect inventory theft by hiring staff to supervise the different areas or install security cameras and alarms. Too much unsold inventory means that the store has not been able to realize value from these items to provide cash to lend.The better option lies in the middle: a store with a moderate amount of good quality, brand-name items arranged neatly in the display windows attracts passersby, who are more likely to enter and shop. If items are attractively laid out in display cases and shelves, the pawnshop looks more professional and reputable. Once passersby start shopping in the store, they may be more inclined to pawn or sell their own items to the pawnshop. Some pawnshop owners prevent cluttered look by storing overstocked items, or less attractive items such as snow tires, in a back room or basement. Some pawnshop companies operate a chain of stores in a state or province. This way, they can balance inventory between stores. For example, they can move some of a rural store's surfeit of fishing gear to an urban store.Some stores also slim down inventory by selling items to specialty retailers. A pawnshop in a low-income neighborhood that pays a customer $300 for a power amplifier with a used value of $2000 may find the unit hard to sell alongside much less expensive merchandise. They may sell the amplifier to a used audio equipment store whose customers expect higher end equipment. Some pawnshops sell specialty items online, on eBay or other websites. A specialty item such as a high-end model railroad set may not sell in the store for its "blue book" value. On an online auction, it stands a good chance of bringing a good price.
Copyright © Roger Bernskoettter