Many Turn to Pawn Shops for Fast Cash as Economy Slumps

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By Morgan Hightower

“$800.”

For Jeff Metcalf, finding extra cash isn’t easy. But neither was trading in one of his most prized possessions

“I’m attached to the bike, enormously. But I have to make this trip, so the decision was no... There is no second guessing.”

Metcalf is like hundreds of people who every day, are turning to places like the Quik Pawn for fast cash.

“You get people coming in really hurting.”

Some are making short-term loans like Metcalf, others are selling old jewelry, TVs, cameras… anything with value.

“It could be up to 100 people a day coming in here wanting to get a loan. That has increased over the past couple of years since the economy has gone down,” explains Josh Gantt, store manager.

One thing going up is gold prices and Gantt says that has more people coming in.

“A lot of people are bringing in their older stuff that they don’t wear anymore, that’s broken or their grandparents handed down or something like that,” said Gantt.

“Since March, a customer could come in to sell an average gold ring and get an increase of about $50 bucks, but the price of gold is fluctuating every day.”

Since just this morning, gold prices have shot up six dollars. The steady climb is keeping this store’s jewelry cabinets full.

As for Metcalf, he’s taking the money and heading to Boston.

“My daughter needs open heart surgery; I need to fly up there and back,” said Metcalf.
It’s a difficult situation during tough times.

But for Metcalf, the decision is easy - giving up something he loves, for someone he loves.

Reporter – “...and so this is just a bike and that’s OK.”

“It’s just a bike, yes. The bike, anything could happen to it but i only have one daughter. It’s more important,” said Metcalf.

A typical short-term loan this shop offers is 30 days.

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