Since the recent recession, many families have had to turn to short term lending companies to quell financial fears, particularly when emergency expenses arise. When times are tough, the possibility of losing jobs and pay cuts can make life difficult, prompting those affected to seek out alternative means of finance to make ends meet.


Pawn shops are often helpful in these situations. Customers can choose to either sell their goods or take out a loan using them as collateral, which offers a low risk.

Many lending experts are recommending that pawn brokers gear up for the upcoming winter season, predicting that they will see an influx of parents looking to fund holiday gift-giving, which will prove beneficial for families and companies alike.

Christmas comes early this year for brokers
According to the Charlotte, North Carolina, local CBS affiliate WBTV, many pawn shops are becoming more attractive as places to go for gift ideas this holiday season. The source said many stores are optimizing their offerings for the holidays, like offering layaway, more variety and good deals.

The news team asked staff member Yvonne Simons to peruse the offerings at local pawn shops to see if she could get some good holiday deals. Though she'd never been to this sort of business before, she was able to end the day with presents for multiple members of her family. Simons went home with a digital camera for $20 and a topaz necklace for $43, among other cost-conscious items. 

Can be fun for the whole family
Though parents may want to leave the kids at home when they decide to look for gifts at pawn shops, the trip can nevertheless be a fun family adventure. The New York Times recently reported that a pawn shop can be much like a museum, as the unique items can often help show the history of the United States.

Evidenced by the multiple television shows that revolve around the workings of the industry, sellers or pawners like to head to the storefronts and pawn some of their most interesting possessions, many of which provide a glimpse into the country's past. As seen on the programs, pawn shops often have experts come in and explain the historical significance of certain items, then place a value on them - a fascinating experience for history buffs and a good learning tool for kids.