Note: This is a guest post by Todd Hills, founder and owner of Pawngo, an online pawn shop. Many business owners are looking for alternative ways to secure capital. Pawn shops might be an option. Todd explains why and how:
Many small business owners need large scale business loans in order keep their businesses afloat. One of the greatest impediments to any venture is accessing the capital to either get started or keep operations running.
Getting a bank loan has become more difficult in recent years, and business owners have been turning to alternative sources of finding capital. Pawn shops are becoming one of those alternative sources.
Pawngo has had an overwhelming response from entrepreneurs and small business owners. Since we offer large scale loans without credit checks, it’s not surprising that a large portion of our returning customer base is comprised of this demographic.
We’ve had many small business owners individually pawn high-value items to keep that “Open” sign up in their storefront windows. Interestingly enough, we’ve also had entrepreneurs reach out to their network of friends and family who want to invest in their brilliant idea but don’t have immediate access to funds. So, they instead decide to pawn a personal item to get the investment funds they need.
In other words, entrepreneurs are using pawning as an alternative method for getting that initial “Seed Round” of financing. By pooling together investment resources from family and friends that come in the form of collateral, Pawngo, the first full-service online pawn shop, helps these entrepreneurs get access to that five or six figure infusion they need to get started.
How it Works
Whether it’s a small business loan, personal loan, or borrowing money from a loved one, we always encourage our customers to explore all financial resources before using our services. At Pawngo, we are completely transparent in that we fully recognize that pawning is not the cheapest form of lending.
However, as an online pawn shop we also recognize that it’s incredibly difficult in this economy to get immediate financial security through large scale loans.
With that in mind, it’s important to implement the cost of a short-term loan into your monthly budget. Our loan periods usually last between 90-180 days with an option to extend. But, if a customer gets a pawn loan with us and is able to pay it off within a shorter amount of time, we encourage that person to do so. Whether it’s two weeks or three months, we love it when customers pay off their loans and get their pawned items back. It means that they have truly benefited from our services and are becoming more financially secure. Currently, 80% of our loans are repaid.
About the Author
Todd Hills got his first job at a pawn shop in 1985 before opening his own shop in 1990. Seven years later Pawn One was established. Pawn One was able to expand to 18 different locations by the year 2004 before he sold 15 of them to a public trading company. Todd’s goal was to take the pawn shop business to the next level, which was accomplished in 2009 when he launched Internet Pawn, the first online pawn shop in the US. Hills continued to grow the business and re-launched the company in 2011 as Pawngo with Lighthouse Bank as its main investor.
Pawngo is the first full-service online pawn shop in the US and allows individuals immediate access to the cash they need for life’s countless unexpected moments without leaving the comfort of their homes. Pawngo has recently been named by Inc. as a start up to watch in 2012. Pawngo allows individuals immediate access to the cash they need for life’s countless unexpected moments without leaving the comfort of their homes. As evidence of the market for this unique lending model, the company to-date has funded over $5 million in 48 states. Pawngo is venture-backed by Daylight Partners, Access Venture Partners and Lightbank, the $100 million fund started by the founders of Groupon.