Cashing in On Luxury: Pawnbrokers Develop New Market

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Rings and Diamonds; handbags and accessories, and high-end watches are among the top-three categories most frequently taken to luxury pawnbrokers by consumers seeking quick cash.

Often thought of as a place where those desperate for cash can receive low payouts and high interest rates, pawn shops haven’t always had the best reputation. But following the 2008 economic crash and credit crunch, the industry has begun to attract a new, higher-end clientele. And many of them are moving online, using their luxury handbags and designer watches as collateral.

That’s because “even the wealthy can run into situations where liquidity is an issue,” said Dewy Burke, the president and chief executive officer of Luxury Asset Capital, which runs the site Lux Exchange. He left the world of brick-and-mortar pawning after “seeing the need for easy access to capital…on a different scale for a different kind of client.”

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