Why pawn shops are seeing an influx of customers

Customer sells gun at pawn shop.
Customer sells gun at pawn shop.(FOX Carolina)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Yet another affect of people facing economic hardship these days, pawn shops are seeing an influx of customers.

We called shops in Greenville County. A few are are holding steady, but others say more and more customers are looking for extra cash to get by.

Dewey Lemons with Dewey’s Pawn Shop, in Greenville, notices the recent influx. He has been in the business for over 40 years.

“People blaming it on... gas prices are too high. Everything is too high,” Lemons said, “And they just need cash.”

Lemons says customers tell them they are falling on hard times. He says this has been happening over the last six to eight months.

“Everybody is going broke faster than normal,” said Lemons, “I was kind of surprised that everybody, all of a sudden, went from buying, buying, buying, to now, they’re selling, and needing money, and buying stuff.”

Lemons explains that, around this time last year, customers were buying more often. Now, customers are making ends making ends meet any way they can.

The shop’s popular items to sell are guns and jewelry. Lemons tell us, usually, business picks up around the 4th of July, but they’re already picking up early.

Over one hour, we watched four gun sales and one ring sale. Customers were selling firearms that are worth over a grand.

Lemons says he’s doing his best to keep up with the demand, but, eventually, business will need to return profit.

“It’s good for right now but then, sooner or later, we’ve got to sell all of this stuff that we’re buying,” Lemons said, “So, it has got to turn around sometime for us. As long as we can hold onto it, and it turns around, we’re going to be alright.”