“For environmentally-conscious consumers, the pawnshop offers a unique opportunity. Donating or selling unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it finds a new home rather than depreciating in a drawer, on a shelf or worse, taking up landfill space.”
Despite widespread gloom and doom reports leading up to the holiday season, the news from retailers for Christmas 2017 sales is good–USA Today reports that U.S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to the same period last year, a welcome gift to U.S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence.
Online retail shopping similarly increased 18.1%, while overall consumer buying during the holiday period set a record for dollars spent, according to the sales report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Some of the biggest jumps, both online and in-store, were seen in electronics and appliances (7.5%), jewelry (5.9%), and home furnishings and home improvement (5.1%).
These results are consistent with what American Jewelry and Loan reports for their 2017 holiday season. In addition to engagement rings, which are always a staple of the season, owner Les Gold shared that “we’ve seen many customers this year who are looking for an upgrade to their existing bridal sets.”
In addition to fine jewelry, other luxury items are commonly upgraded during the holidays. Beth Anundi of Capital Pawn in Salem, Oregon, has seen so many customers bring their luxury handbags to her store that she recently launched a dedicated Instagram channel to highlight the couture.
Upgrades were even more popular in electronics and technology. “By now, most households have at least one personal computer, so today’s customer is often looking to upgrade with newer models of laptops, tablets, or other personal technology” added Seth Gold, who works alongside Les at their family’s fourth-generation pawnshop.
Martin Strasser of Premier Jewellery and Loans in Kelowna, British Columbia adds “Re-cycled retail is here to stay. Not all gifts are the perfect fit, so we encourage our customers to ‘recash’ instead of ‘regift’.”
Taylor Packwood of Top Cash Pawn in Plano, Texas notes that timing is key when considering the value of electronics “for previous years electronics and tech, values will be dropping drastically, so cashing in quick is key”.
This leads to the question–what becomes of the items that these gifts replaced? For environmentally-conscious consumers, the pawnshop offers a unique opportunity. Donating or selling unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it finds a new home rather than depreciating in a drawer, on a shelf or worse, taking up landfill space.
For customers who mark a milestone by upgrading a sentimental piece of jewelry, for instance, the pawnshop offers a unique way to recoup a portion of the investment of the upgrade when they sell the original.
Similarly, while hardcore geeks may want the latest technology and the fastest processors, their existing gear may work sufficiently for a student or someone whose needs are less sophisticated. Increasing an item’s lifespan by selling it to a pawnshop is great for the environment because it generates less waste and uses fewer resources. According to the EPA, more than 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in US landfills in 2000.
“We’re accustomed to seeing lots of people come to the shop on the first few days after Christmas with items that they either don’t want or no longer need because they’ve been given a replacement as a gift,” Seth said. “It makes a lot of sense because the customer gets cash in their hand fast whereas selling online can be a hassle, consignment can take weeks, and returns can be a nightmare.”
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Individuals who are interested in converting their gold, jewelry, watches, luxury items, game systems, or other technology into cash are invited to stop by one of American Jewelry and Loan’s three Metro Detroit locations and find out why they’re known as being ‘Where Detroit Cashes In‘ for 40 years. For questions about the pawning process or available inventory, email [email protected].