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Pawn shop owners must remain calm when dealing with complaints

Sep 03, 2012 Quinn Thomas

When customers decide to pawn items in exchange for a short term lending venture, they must surrender their possession to employees. They, in return, receive a certain amount of money. However, these individuals can become irritable when they pay off their loan and see a flaw in their merchandise. It is important to know that it is not always the fault of the workers - sometimes there was an issue with the product that the owner simply hadn't noticed previously, or perhaps they are trying to run a scam. Pawn brokers need to remain calm when dealing with irritated individuals so everyone involved can walk away from the transaction satisfied. Advice from the stars According to Huliq, many pawn brokers, particularly those who star in reality television shows about their industry, run into angry clients with some frequency. It is up to the store employees to determine if they are at fault, if the borrower is simply mistaken or if they are trying to get their 15 minutes of fame in front of a camera. The source said the Gold family and their employees, the subjects of TruTV show "Hardcore Pawn," recommend their customers check the status of their item before they leave the store, which can go a long way to ensure that no scam is going on. Huliq suggested pawn brokers take a page out of the Gold's book and seal items in an envelope in front of the customer at the beginning of the transaction, and unseal it in front of them when they pay off their loan. "People bring in stuff that has flaws all the time. We're not going to pay for something that we didn't do," marketing manager for American Jewelry Seth Gold told Huliq. "That's the oldest trick in the book. Once it leaves the store, there's nothing I can do." Industry sees few complaints Business owners know that it is usually beneficial to remain calm and hear out a customer's complaints, even if he or she is wrong. Rather than going by a "the customer is always right" mantra, many pawnbrokers tend to try to find a solution that will benefit everyone involved. However, the pawn shop industry is not a sector that tends to see a large number of complaints. For example, according to the Sun Sentinel, using a Florida pawn shop as an example, claimed the percentage rate per transaction is unusually low. The source said that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates the sector in Florida, saw only 10 complaints against pawn shops out of approximately 40,000 issues with other businesses.