DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When Damion Pugh needed money fast, his Breitling watch gave him a bright idea. Instead of going to a pawn shop, Pugh used Pawngo –– a web based pawn service.
“The price they gave me was a very solid price.” Pugh said.
Alexis Ferguson wanted a solid price for her ring.
“I tried Craigslist and it was a little scary, I didn’t want to meet with strangers. I tried a brick and mortar pawn shop, and they offered me an insultingly low amount for it and then I tried Pawngo and they gave me a fair offer.” Ferguson said.
Online pawning is the idea of Denver resident Todd Hill.
“They’re banking online, they’re buying things from Amazon online, the world is all online – why not the pawn shop online?” Hill asked.
Customers use prepaid FedEx boxes to send their items to Pawngo where the item is evaluated and a cash loan offer made using the product as collateral.
Typically, the interest is three to six percent over three to six months, and if the loan is paid off, the individual gets his item back.
“About 85 percent of the people that get a loan from us actually return to get those assets,” Hill said.
Hill says online customers have higher end items to pawn from jewelry, special watches, even Louis Vuitton handbags. And with the economy and the credit crunch, the need for quick cash has never been greater.
Hill says that all property is kept in secure vaults and gets returned once loans are paid off.
The average loan is around $2,000, and since June, more than $3 million has been loaned out.