A prime example of pawn businesses altering the public perception of the industry is Platinum Pawn and Jewelry in Cleveland, Georgia. All too aware of the bad rap given to pawn stores over the past decade, owners Ricky and Susan Ferguson, have proven they can operate a professional facility and still offer empathy. Imagine that; a pawn shop with a heart. Conducting business with the belief that everyone has a run of bad luck some time (especially in this economy), the team at Platinum Pawn treats everyone like family, with discretion and maintains a light-hearted atmosphere while shooting straight with their customers. Stated best by Ferguson, “That’s why we’ve flourished. We’ve treated people like people.” The integrity and customer service upheld by the Fergusons has not gone unnoticed within the community and has proven to be an effective catalyst to their thriving business. In the words of one customer, “That’s how they roll, southern-style.”
Patrons of Platinum Pawn frequent the shop for its diverse inventory and ever-expanding merchandise. Ladies return for designer purses and the men have discovered a great destination for firearms and accessories. With toys, apparel, DVDs, instruments, ATVs and appliances, Platinum Pawn is viewed more as a local general store than an actual pawn shop. According to Ferguson, Platinum Pawn has become a hotspot for finding the unusual as well. “One of the things we’ve become known for are our magnetic reading glasses, which pull apart and hang around your neck [as] seen on Wild Hogs…and CSI.”
No holds barred, Platinum Pawn is diving into preparations for an online warehouse of goods. Once this site is up and running, the public will be able to purchase listed inventory online. It is progressive thinking such as this which will continue to lead the pawn industry into a new era. The date for online sales has not yet been released.
The pawn trade has evolved from a word whispered behind closed doors into a respectable collateral lending institution with affluent individuals becoming patrons and borrowers alike. It is because of establishments like Platinum Pawn and owners like the Fergusons which will continue to change the perception of the pawn industry. Who needs Vegas or Hollywood; we’ve got our very own ragtag band of pawn stars…southern style.
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