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PAWNLEADERS T H E E S S E N T I A L PAW N I N D U ST RY G U I D E

STAR CHILD The Millennial Who Saved the Pawnshop POWERUP PAWN ONLINE EVENT HOT TOPICS: INVENTORY TURNOVER

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POST-PANDEMIC PAWNSHOP ROCKSTAR SERVICE W/ DAVID BROWNLEE

ISSUE #2 | JUN/JUL 2020

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INTRODUCTION B Y Y I G A L A DATO

HIT THE THE PAWN RESET BUTTON HAS BEEN HIT. Those with large loan balances have seen a big drop, so the playing field has been evened out. As everyone talks about loans coming back, what you need to consider is that the pawn business isn’t the same anymore. In the past, we were able to open our doors and the community would flood in. For most of our customers, pawnshops were the only option. Now, with consumer financing more readily available and so many online options to sell merchandise, pawnshops may no longer be the community’s top-of-mind choice. So how do we make this change? How do we make sure that the pawns come back? The first thing you need to realize is that you need to cut through the noise. People are watching the news. They’re on social media to connect with their network and the pawn will be the last thing they think about. It’s time for you to communicate that you are open for business. The Mastermind members have been going live on social media every day and making changes to their marketing tactics to keep up with the times. The pawn industry is ten years behind in leadership, marketing and strategy, and if you continue to now invest in learning, then you might just be sitting there waiting for those loans to come in as they go somewhere else. It’s time to build a better culture to attract better teams. It’s time to learn how to market your business so that you can connect with the younger generations and break through the noise, and it’s time to learn how to strategize so you can finally grow and scale your business without the overwhelm. The Pawn reset button has been pressed. Will you sit there, hoping for change? Or take action and make change happen.

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Natalee Fitch helps run Central Texas Gun and Pawn. Story on page 18. P HOTO BY LILIA NNA S TORY P HOTOGRA P H Y

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EDITOR’S NOTE

8 NOTES 10 MARKETING: Rockstar Customer Service 16 HOT TOPICS: What is Inventory Turnover? 18 THE MILLENNIAL WHO SAVED A PAWNSHOP 28 PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS 2020 RESULTS 36 STRATEGY: Live and Direct 38 QUOTABLE: Woody Allen Cracks a Joke


We are family.

The term ‘Pawn Family’ is a familiar phrase within our community. As brothers and sisters in a unique and challenging industry, we need one another. That’s never been more true than right now. As this magazine goes to print, pawnbrokers are facing unprecedented challenges all over the country. On behalf of all of the members of the Pawn Leaders and particularly the businesses who make the publication of this magazine possible, we want you to know that you are not alone. We are family.


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PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

2020 We congratulate our 2020 Top Shops with gratitude for all who entered, voted, and helped us spread the word about this first annual recognition!

We appreciate this month’s various contributors. If you’d like to learn more about being a part of Pawn Leaders Magazine, please visit www.pawnleadersmagazine.com!

VOLUME 1 | ISSUE 2 | MAY/JUNE 2020 Pawn Leaders Magazine is proud to offer free subscriptions to any member of the pawn industry. Please help us grow our audience by encouraging your peers to sign up to receive a copy at their shop when they visit www.pawnleadersmagazine. com or hover over the QR Code to access the link!

@pawnleaders

Pawn Leaders Magazine wishes to thank those who contributed to this issue. We invite you to become a part of our Contributor’s Council by emailing mag@pawnleaders.com Be sure that you join our private Facebook Group to connect with the Pawn Leaders Community. facebook.com/groups/pawnleaderspodcast/ Listen to episodes of the Pawn Leaders Podcast: pawnleaders.com/podcast/ Call for photos: if you have high resolution photography (pawnshop related) that you’d like to see in Pawn Leaders magazine, please email our editor at mag@pawnleaders.com

ADVERTISE WITH US! Pawn Leaders Magazine’s readership is the largest and most highly-engaged in the industry. Follow the link to learn more about advertising opportunities.

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ON THE COVER: NATALEE FITCH OF CENTRAL TEXAS GUN AND PAWN. PHOTO BY LILIANNA STORY PHOTOGRAPHY WWW.LILIANNASTORY.COM


EDITOR’S NOTE BY CYNDEE HARRISON

AS THIS SECOND ISSUE OF PAWN LEADERS MAGAZINE goes to print, the industry that all of us love is under siege. Whether it was a fight for designation as an essential business to remain open during the pandemic, or falling victim to looting, pawnbrokers have, quite literally, been in the fight of their lives these past several weeks.  It’s just all so much.  It has been heartbreaking to see so many members of this community facing so many difficulties. At the same time, however, it has been inspiring to see how you have come together, sharing insights and offering support to one another.  Thanks to your industry peers’ contributions and wisdom, this issue offers content that is actionable and adds value to your bottom line. I’m excited to hear about ways that you implement the lessons shared here to help improve your approach to leadership, marketing, and strategy.  For our cover story, we travel to the hill country of Texas and hear the story of a dynamic mother and daughter who pivoted at the beginning of the pandemic and ended up realizing an entirely new income stream. Theirs is a grit and passion story, and I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.  Finally, I want to remind you that you are never alone. You work in an industry that is thousands of years old and filled with some of the most fascinating stories on earth. I hope you’ll keep sharing them and draw strength from your collective wisdom. In the meantime, I wish you peace and safety as you find your way through this difficult time.  Cyndee Harrison Editor in Chief mag@pawnleaders.com

Join the contributor’s council and learn more about the magazine at pawnleaders.com

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ROCKSTAR CUSTOMER SERVICE WE’VE ALL HEARD THE TERM ‘Rockstar Customer Service’, but what does it really mean, especially in today’s shifting marketplace? For the answer to that question, we went to David Brownlee, who wrote the book on the matter. Brownlee, who was a speaker at January’s PL100 event in San Diego, is the founder and CEO of Pure Customer Service and author of the book Rockstar Service, Rockstar Profits. Through his online training, live events, and coaching programs, he has trained over a million businesses and individuals from around the world.

Data shows that 80% of business managers say that they provide excellent customer service while only 8% of their customers agree. Now, with so many factors negatively impacting pawnshops and their customers all over the country as a result of COVID-19, customer service is more important than ever. “We all know how bad customer service already was. Now, the expectation is even lower, so it presents a fantastic opportunity!”

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MARKETING

David Brownlee, author of Rockstar Service Rockstar Profits.

Brownlee says that Rockstar Customer Services begins with one’s mindset. He recommends focusing on the things that are within your control as well as those that you can be thankful for. “In a state of gratitude, you cannot be fearful,” he notes. Having a positive mindset and an attitude of gratitude towards customers can be a challenge, particularly as pawnbrokers face increasing external challenges. Luke Hicks, who manages Tiger Pawn in Mexico, Missouri, is known for his positivity. “Working on our side of the counter, we encounter a lot of bad attitudes during an average day. Some days a lot more than others. Those bad attitudes are contagious, and without us even realizing it, they can affect our mood for the rest of the day, sometimes for even longer. It’s easy enough for someone to come in angry and stressed out, which in turn, stresses us and puts us in a sour mood. Interact with three or four of those individuals, and we are most likely carrying around that energy with us even after they leave 12

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the store,” he observes. He recommends mindfulness, “having a positive attitude and choosing useful attitudes or mindsets will help you to stress less. Others around you will unconsciously pick up your attitude and be inspired to be more positive and handle stressful situations with more ease. Your personal energy and your productivity will increase as well.” Research shows that we are affected by those around us. And while you can’t change the world, you can change how you think about it, perception, and how you react to it. And that can change the way you feel about yourself and others, which will have a rather large and immediate impact on your well being and those around you—in turn, changing your world. One of the biggest tips I could share with you is implementing a morning routine. Focusing your thought and your actions early and without interruption will streamline your day and put you in the best mood from the very beginning.

Meditation, writing, exercise, a good podcast, and some great tunes will boost your attitude tremendously. Start by finding out what you fill your time with each morning and creating a routine out of it. Add in some movement and exercise and some mental focus in your day. It may require waking up an extra 30 minutes early to accomplish what you want to. The second biggest tip is to start practicing being aware of your attitudes and your mindsets. Don’t try to change them in the beginning. Just notice them more often throughout the day. Start asking yourself if the attitude you are using in that moment is the best attitude that you could be using for that situation. If it isn’t, that’s okay. Just noticing your attitudes and mindsets will help you change them, but we need to start noticing them first. Start paying attention to your attitude. We can control our mindset and our attitudes when we are aware of them, but often, we just aren’t conscious of them. A positive attitude can positively impact your life. Begin by noticing the attitudes, and then we can shift to changing the attitudes to beneficial attitudes for every situation we find ourselves in.” He notes that focusing on positive quotes helps him and offers this one of his own: “Be You, Be Cool, And Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!!!”


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Kendra Heltne, who manages Fresno Coin Gallery in Fresno, California shares a similar passion for awesomeness. “I have spent the past 15 years learning and loving the pawn industry! I never stop learning and growing!” she says.   “I am the general manager of our family-owned pawnshop (with 5 locations). My aunt and uncle opened our original location in 1982 where it was said that my aunt made every person that walked through the door feel like family. I am often compared to her, which is an honor and a tradition that I am proud to carry on!” Heltne shares. “To me, the term ‘Rockstar Customer Service’ means to strive to provide next-

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level customer service and treatment. I am not the Rockstar; my CUSTOMER is! I make certain EVERY customer feels important because they are, no matter the size or type of transaction. My goal is to show them they are important and make them feel like they are my ONLY customer, and their needs are my only concern. I create connections with my customer, show them compassion when needed, and share in their excitement when they find the item they have been hunting for!  I have always trained my team to create relationships with their customer and emphasize the importance of listening to them. For example, if a

customer tells you that their daughter is getting married next week, the next time they return, ask them how the wedding went. It shows the customer that you listen, and you care about them, and most importantly, it makes them feel special that you remember them,” she adds, noting that, “It is important because we would not have a business if it weren’t for our customers!”   Another basic day-one training I have always reminded them of is answering the phone with a smile, because the customer can hear your smile! Customer service begins with their very first call to your establishment. The first impression they ever get of your business is their call to your store. How you come off is what determines whether they will become a customer in the future. There are many options out there, but what makes us stand out is that we answer the phone warmly and joyfully and that makes them choose us!” she adds.  For Heltne, a positive first impression is only the beginning, “I also train my team to follow through. It is so important to do exactly what you say you are going to do. Do not make promises you can’t keep! The customer needs to be able to rely on you and trust you, once you establish that, they will keep coming back to you and will even start referring friends and family!”  When asked how the current state of the world will change customer service in the future, she replies, “I personally will encourage my team to continue to provide personalized and caring customer service no matter what happens. Customer service should always be about heart, passion and creating a true connection!”  Malinda Sue Stanley runs her family’s business, Stan’s Corner Plaza which includes Stan’s Goldmine Jewelry Store, Wheeler Dealer Pawnshop, and Bay City Games & More. She’s known for reminding her staff that customers can shop anywhere, so she encourages them to


Malinda Sue Stanley

“treat your customers fairly and how you’d want to be treated, and always to thank them for their business.” “Customers like to be greeted with a smile and acknowledged when they walk in,” she notes, adding “It’s important to ask investigation

questions: Is there anything that you are hoping to find & go out from behind the counter, onto the floor to help them from start to car/truck.” David Brownlee’s approach teaches the importance of making every customer feel heard, understood, and cared for by a business. During business shutdowns, he notes, we were reminded of the importance of using online tools to help us stay connected with our customers. He points out the importance of making sure that our online customer touchpoints, including our website and social media channels, convey empathy and appreciation that help build rapport, customize the experience, and follow up with the customer. One of his favorite training tools for employees is simple and easy to remember. “It only takes a sec (second), so remember S-E-C: Smile, Eye contact, and Comment.”  Like Heltne, Brownlee teaches that

Jewelry sells faster when it comes with a certificate.

customer interactions should begin with a smile. When it does, a couple of things happen. First, your whole demeanor changes and it sets a tone for a positive conversation “Smiling is contagious,” he adds. Next, establishing eye contact helps the customer feel that they are being heard—that you’re truly listening to them. “Sometimes, all that a customer needs is to vent. When you allow them to speak and get their concerns off of their chest and show them that you’re empathetic, it can go a long way.”  Next, offering a comment or greeting that’s specific to that individual can help the customer see that you’re paying attention specifically to them. “Be aware of what the customer wants—to be heard understood, and cared for.”  “This is what customers want all the time,” he adds, “but especially when they have a concern.” 

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HOT TOPICS

WHAT IS INVENTORY TURNOVER? INVENTORY TURNOVER IS A TOPIC THAT’S FREQUENTLY DISCUSSED but often poorly understood by pawnshops. The definition of Inventory Turn originates in a traditional retail store setting. It is a ratio that is calculated to show how many times a company has sold and replaced inventory during a given period. Properly calculating inventory turnover can help pawnbrokers make better decisions on pricing and marketing the items that they have for sale, as well as the amounts and mix of items that they will purchase or allow as collateral for a pawn loan.  

Martin Strasser, owner of Premier Jewellery and Loan in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, explains that for pawnshops, correctly calculating inventory turn and managing the retail side of the business is a crucial component of pawn operations. “Not only can it be 16

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a moneymaker, but it’s also the primary method of recovering capital from defaulted pawns. Well run retail builds your ability to loan more aggressively,” he says. “To understand retail, it’s important to look at two things: sales margin and inventory turn. Margin is how much money a sale generates. Turn is how many times (on average) inventory sells. To retail effectively, you need to optimize both sides of the equation. High margin doesn’t work if people won’t buy because items are overpriced. Likewise, bargain pricing with high volume brings the risks of inventory depletion and ‘selling through’ your client pool.

Beth Annundi, who, alongside her husband Adam, owns Capital Pawn in Oregon, describes their approach to managing inventory. “Having just opened three additional stores within three months, we learned the fast way that you can never stop buying! Always buy as much as you are able and then


price it to move.” “We determine whether the item is something that sells quickly, takes a bit of time to sell, or is something that will sit forever. Once we have categorized it, we price it accordingly. If it is something we don’t want on our showroom floor, it is priced to move because if it sits there for any length of time, people will think we want to purchase those items from them on a regular basis. Items that we frequently see and items people search for regularly will sell quickly. They’re priced a little higher as they demand a premium,” Annundi explains. Their four stores in Salem, Beaverton, McMinnville, and Albany use this system that she says they learned from Kevin Prochaska of Lombard Financial Services which operates Insta Cash Pawn Shops of Texas.   “I explain turn and margin as a return on investment,” says Kevin Prochaska, offering the following example:    • Say your inventory averages $100,000, • You get a 30% margin 2 times per year (you sell your average inventory in 6 months) That means your annual cost of goods is $200,000 ($100,000 x 2 turns), and since you made a 30% margin, you must have sold $285,715. ($285,715 x 30% margin = $85,715 in profit, which is the same as saying $285,715 x .70 Cost = $200,000.  If you were to sell your average inventory of $100,000 three times per year (or in 4 months) and you were able to sell quicker because of a lower price, lets say now that you make 25% profit instead of the 30% you were making by selling every six months.  Now by selling at three times per year with a 25% margin, you are selling $400,000. 25% of $400,000 = $100,000 in profit, with the other 75% being your cost of goods sold of $300,000 (3 x your average $100,000 inventory).  So by selling cheaper and faster, in this example, you made $14,285 more annual profit.  Old way: selling slow for more gross margin = $85,715 annual profit / $100,000 average inventory = 86% return on your investment in inventory.  Best way: selling quick for less gross margin - $100,000 annual profit / $100,000 average inventory = 100% return on your investment in inventory.  “An old saying I have is that I would rather make 5 cents every month, than 50 cents per year. I know which one I would choose,” Prochaska adds.  Jerry Whitehead, Founder of Pawnshop Consulting Group (PCG) finds that most pawnbrokers miss one of the most important

aspects of properly navigating good inventory management. “Unfortunately, most traditional pawnbrokers are still fixated on their margins and as a result, place little to no emphasis on what we commonly refer to as their burn rates of the inventory,” he explains. He uses the term ‘burn rate’ to describe the inventory’s overall turn ratios for any specific period of time being measured. When looking at the measurement per annum, for most pawnshops dealing in general merchandise in high yield markets, “we establish a burn or turn rate of 4 times per year as a minimum threshold,” he says.

UNFORTUNATELY, MOST TRADITIONAL PAWNBROKERS ARE STILL FIXATED ON THEIR MARGINS AND AS A RESULT, PLACE LITTLE TO NO EMPHASIS ON WHAT WE COMMONLY REFER TO AS THEIR BURN RATES OF THE INVENTORY. “The operator would effectively be turning their entire investment in the inventory 4 X per year. The average shelf life of the inventory, in general, would be 90 days. This rate, Whitehead explains, is an optimal production level for most medium-sized stores in higher yield markets dealing in general merchandise.  He offers the following example for calculating inventory turns in a one-year period: Average Cost of Goods Sold Level $400,000 divided by (/) AVG InventoryLevel ($100,000) in this example = 4 Turns. The effective use of data is one of the most important benefits of your pawn software. Len Summa, CEO of DataAge, makers of Pawnmaster Software, says that one of the most commonly run reports that their customers run is the Aged Inventory Report, which is useful for knowing what inventory isn’t moving. “Pawnbrokers want to know what they’re sitting on in their warehouse so that they can convert it into cash to loan and get onto the street,” he explains.    But pawnbrokers must take a deeper dive. “It’s important to know how hard your inventory dollars are working for you or how often each inventory dollar is used, per year, to create profit. As a general rule, an efficient pawnshop will have a total average of 3 to 5 turns a year. If your turns are one or less, it is time to take a good hard look at what isn’t moving and why,” he adds.  The bottom line, according to Summa, “Is in the name— pawn. Pawnbrokers’ number one differentiator as a business is their ability to lend. Today’s customer has a lot of options for buying and selling items, but pawnshops have a unique opportunity to serve by focusing on their core business. PAWNLEADERS.COM

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Millennial WHO

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SAVED A PAWNSHOP

Rachel (left) and Natalee Fitch along with Rachel’s husband run Central Texas Gun and Pawn. PAWNLEADERS.COM

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PHOTOS BY LILIANNA STORY PHOTOGRAPHY

“Every person has a story. The pawn industry puts us in a place of seeing people in the most vulnerable spaces. I believe it’s my duty to handle them with tenderness, because it may be the first space of kindness that person has seen in a very long time.” That’s the philosophy of Rachel Fitch, a longtime business owner in Kerrville, Texas. Kerrville is a city in the Hill Country of Central Texas that’s best known for its beautiful parks lining the Guadalupe River, which runs directly through the town. The home of the Museum of Western Art, it is a small town with a big appreciation for art. Recently, Fitch commissioned a local artist, Aurora Joleen, to complete a mural for her store, Central Texas Gun and Pawn.  The mural is a nod to local wildlife and the area’s natural beauty. It features rolling hills, local flora, as well as the armadillo and chaparral—or roadrunner. Fitch describes the piece as a love letter to the town that she loves.  She and her husband moved to Kerrville in 1992. She launched Fitch Estate Sales in the summer of 1993. “I was willing to outwork anybody,” she says, remembering days when she would care for their children during the day until her husband returned home from work in the evening when she would go out to stage and price a household for the weekend’s sales. Fitch did things differently than most estate sale companies. “In 2004, I was one of the first estate sale companies to get a website and had about 6,000 people in the local area sign up for my email list,” she recalls.  She went on to become a founding member of the National Estate Sale Association.  Humble beginnings inspire Fitch’s commitment to her growing business empire. Born and raised in Forth Worth, she recalls knowing hunger as a child. “I’m building a legacy for my children. They will never know hunger or want. My husband and I made sure of it.”  A pawn ticket hanging on the wall of her pawn shop, in fact, has a very significant story behind it. “Before I owned it, I pawned my wedding rings in this pawnshop. So I get it,” she explains. 

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Tips FOR SUCCESS

IN LIVE VIDEO EVENTS

That second shop, Gold Cup Jewelry and Pawn, is where her daughter Natalee, 25, has launched something of a phenomenon in the form of Facebook Live events. Her timing couldn’t have been better. “It was the last week of March, and the world was changing rapidly due to the COVID-19 crisis. Like all pawnbrokers, we were looking for new ways to connect with our customers. We had developed a curbside pawn, but there were just so many challenges. We knew that we needed a new approach. One of the things that we’re known for is our inventory of James Avery,” Natalee explained.  James Avery Artisan Jewelry is an immensely popular jewelry line in the region, founded in Kerrville from humble beginnings. To Texans, this jewelry is more than just popular; it is a profoundly important marker of big and small milestones.   Knowing that their customers relish the James Avery inventory that their store is known for, Natalee planned a live video event that she called a virtual tour of their collection. They instantly knew that they were on to something and set about to improve on their model.  “One of our early mistakes was in filming from a laptop,” Natalee remembers, noting that it kept her from something that would become an essential secret to their success over time—creating personal connections with viewers.   Rachel describes Natalee’s approach to this new endeavor, “She spends time with merchandising and presenting the inventory beforehand. Natalee is purposeful in the cadence of the conversation and the way she dresses, looks, and acts. Her approach conveys that she knows what she is doing and establishes trust.”

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Stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, with movie theaters closed and no restaurants to dine in, Americans have been spending more of their lives online. Total internet hits have surged by between 50% and 70%, according to preliminary statistics. Add to this the fact that Facebook live video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a photo post, and it’s plain to see that there is a clear case for jumping in.  Doug Vaughan To launch a Live video, simply go to your Facebook business page. When using the Pages app on your phone, you’ll see a button at the top, which says, “Live.” Add your title for your Live event and a hook for why people should watch. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can play around with filters, or flip the camera back and forth between ‘selfie’ mode or forward-facing to add interest. You’ll get a 3…2…1…countdown to prepare your beautiful smile welcoming your fans to watch.  Going live on Facebook is easy. Growing your sales and engagement, however, takes a lot of preparation and strategy.  Doug Vaughan of Bypass Pawn in Morehead, Kentucky, has used his technical expertise and knack for marketing to develop an approach to selling via live video that is so successful he actually consults with other shops to help them set up their own studios. He recommends focusing on what he calls the trifecta—technology, presentation, and product.  “When people are scrolling through their newsfeed, and they see what looks like a professional production, they’re more likely to want to click on it and use that volume button to listen in and find out what’s going on,” Vaughan says. “Our videos are engaging, whether it’s a graphic that is overlaid on the video or something else that builds curiosity.”  He describes Facebook Live videos as a pandora’s box “People have now been forced to adapt, and there’s no going back. Live video will forever change the face of advertising and content presentation.”  After 2.5 years and tens of thousands of views, he has his video productions down to a science, but he still enjoys raising the bar of his videos. “It helps me feel good when I can connect a person to the thing that they’re looking for.” 


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This fresh perspective doesn’t end when the live video events stop filming, “Natalee reminds me that we are a people-loving, stuff-selling, and fun-having company. I think that’s why people are falling in love with her every day.” Watching their videos make it easy to see the care that is taken in the preparations beforehand. “We work hard to convey the authenticity,” Natalee says, “I make a point to regularly remind the viewers that it will be me who is processing their transaction. I greet them, and I say their names. I work hard to engage with them. And they really take note.”  The outcomes are notable as well. In six weeks, this dynamic duo made over $70,000 from sales made via Facebook Live events. They also grew their Facebook page following by 1,100 and established a private group that gained more than 600 members in its first three weeks. They’ve gained customers from across the nation with many in states like California, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and more. Natalee credits the success of their launch to a following that she developed by being an active member of several online groups focused on selling items, including fine jewelry and luxury handbags. She interacted with members there and established relationships all over the country. By the time they were ready to launch their first event, she posted an announcement on her personal profile and got over 500 likes.  “The millennials that work with me, including Natalee, churn out epic work. It’s strange to me when I hear other pawnbrokers complain about millennials and makes me question why they can’t see that millennials simply do things differently, and usually better,” Rachel notes.  When it comes to daughter Natalee, she says, “I’m really proud of her. She has no idea how powerful she is. She’s just sailing along using her gifts and saving the pawnshop. She’s a superhero.”  

Millennials

“THE THAT WORK WITH ME, INCLUDING NATALEE, CHURN OUT EPIC WORK. IT’S STRANGE TO ME WHEN I HEAR OTHER PAWNBROKERS COMPLAIN ABOUT

Millennials

AND MAKES ME QUESTION WHY THEY CAN’T SEE THAT SIMPLY DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY, AND USUALLY BETTER.”

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PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

2020 In our inaugural issue, we invited readers to participate in our first-ever Top Shops contest where customers could choose the best pawnshops in North America by their votes.

A. Max Pawn, Las Vegas, Nevada; B. Lowell Jewelry and Loan, Lowell, MA; C. Big Dog Pawn, West Jordan, UT; D. Tri State Pawn, Ashland, Kentucky, & Kentucky; E. 51 Pawn, Atoka, TN; F. Huntington Super Pawn, Huntington Beach, CA; G. Golden Circle, Framingham, MA; H. Posh Pawn, San Diego, CA; I. Magnolia Pawn, Magnolia, TX; J. Elite Buyers NW, Salem, Oregon.

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LEFT PAGE: A. Dannys Pawn, Christianburg, VA; B. USA Pawn, Jackson, Mississippi; C. Parlets Jewelry and Loan, Banning, CA; D. Diamond Jewellery and Loan, Toronto, ONT; E. Brunswick Pawn Oak Island, NC; F. Tiger Pawn, Mexico, Missouri; G. Mills Jewelers and Loan, Camarillo, CA; H. Jewelers Cut Pawn, Cullman, Alabama; I. Wheeler Dealer Super Pawnshop, Bay City, Michigan; J. Axels Pawn, Spokane, WA; K. National Jewelry and Pawn, Raleigh, NC; L. Ponders Pawnbrokers, Lakewood, WA; M. Capital Pawn, Naples, Florida; N. Cash co Pawn, City Heights, Ca; O. Twin Cities Pawn, North St Paul, MN; P. KHarrisburg Pawn, Houston, Texas; Q. Kamaaina Loan, Wailuku, Hawaii; R. US Pawn and Loan, Austin, Arkansas.

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RIGHT PAGE: A. All American Pawn and Gun, Carrollton, GA; B. RI Jewelry and Loan, Warwick, RI; C. Parker Pawn and Jewelry, Fayetteville, NC; D. Premier Jewellery and Loans, Kelowna BC, Canada; E. Toms Pawn, Brazoria County Texas; F. Pawn World, Ashland, KY; G. Pawn Plus, Macomb, Illinois; H. Oasis Pawn, Barslow, CO; I. Big Daddys Pawn and Furniture Sales, Canton, MS; J. Oxford Pawn Shop, Oxford, Mississippi; K. Just Pawn It, Riverside, CA; L. Pistol Annies Jewelry and Pawn, Bonney Lake, WA; M. Penrose Pawnshop, Broken Arrow, OK; N. Pack Rats Pawn Shop of Findlay, Findlay, Ohio; O. North Pleasantburg Gun and Pawn, Greenville, SC; P. Sams Pawn, Nicholsville, KY; Q. National Pawn, Raleigh, NC; R. Hesperia Pawn Shop, Hesperia, CA.

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PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

2020


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A. Tiger Pawn, Mexico, MO; B. World Pawn Exchange, North Bend, OR; C. Fieldstone Jewelry and Pawn, Conyers, GA; D. Sams Gold and Pawn, Nicholasville, KY; E. Capital Pawn and Couture, 3 locations, OR; F. EZ Pawn, Austin, TX; G. River Pawn, Blythe, CA; H. Liberty Pawn and Gold, Fredericksburg, VA; I. Dicks Pawn Superstore, Myrtle Beach, SC; J. Parlets Pawn, Banning, CA; K. Loyalty Pawn, Sacramento, CA; L. Bradley Pawn and Gun, Savannah, TN; M. Bayou Pawn and Jewelry, 4 locations, LA; N. Palace Jewelry and Loan; O. Dans Discount Jewelry and Pawn, Nicholsville, KY; P. Sterling and Knight, Il; Q. Pawn USA, Woodbridge, VA; R. Boll Weevil Pawn Superstore, Little Rock, AR; S. Idaho Pawn and Gold, Boise, ID.

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Congratulations to the 2020 Top Shops! We thank you for positively reflecting on the pawnbroking industry! PAWN LEADERS

TOP

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1. Max Pawn, Las Vegas, NV 2. Tri-State Pawn & Jewelry, INC, Ashland, KY 3. 51Pawn Shop, Atoka, TN 4. Tiger Pawn Mexico, Mexico, MI 5. Sams Pawn, Nicholasville, KY 6. Oxford Pawn Shop, Oxford, MS 7. Bayou Pawn & Jewelry, Hammond, Slidell, Baton Rouge, & Zachary, LA 8. Capital Pawn & Couture, Salem, Albany, Beaverton, McMinnville, OR 9. Fieldstone Jewelry & Pawn Shop, Conyers, GA 10. Toms Pawn, Brazoria County, TX 11. Pack Rats Pawn Shop, Defiance, OH 12. Axels Pawn, Spokane, WA 13. USA Pawn & Jewelry, Jackson, MS 14. National Jewelry & Pawn, Raleigh, NC 15. Jeweler’s Cut Pawn, Cullman, Al 16. CashCo Pawn, City Heights, CA 17. Danny’s Pawn, Christiansburg, VA 18. Wheeler Dealer Super Pawnshop, Bay City, MI 19. All American Pawn & Gun Inc, Carrollton, GA 20. Pawn Plus, Macomb, IL

21. Parker Pawn & Jewelry, Fayetteville, NC 22, Elite Buyers, NW, Salem, OR 23. Ponders Pawnbrokers, Lakewood, WA 24. Big Dog Pawn, West Jordan, UT 25. Pistol Annie’s Jewelry & Pawn, Bonney Lake, WA 26. Parlets Jewelry & Loan, Banning, CA 27. Idaho Pawn & Gold, Boise, ID 28. Diamond Jewellery & Loan, Toronto, Ontario 29. Harrisburg Pawn, Houston, TX 30. Pack Rats Pawn Shop of Findlay, Findlay, OH 31. Boll Weevil Pawn Superstore, Little Rock, AR 32. Hesperia Pawn Shop Inc., Hesperia, CA 33. Premier Jewellery & Loans, Kelowna, B.C. Canada 34. Tiger Pawn, Mexico, MO 35. Penrose Pawnshop, Broken Arrow, OK 36. Just Pawn It, Riverside, CA 37. Big Daddy’s Pawn & Furniture Sales, Canton, MS 38. Pawn World, Ashland, KY 39. US Pawn & Loan, Austin, AK 40. Dan’s Discount Jewelry & Pawn, Nicholasville, KY 41. Sterling & Knight Jewelry & Pawn, Bolingbrook, IL 42. Tri-State Pawn & Jewelry, Inc, Catlettsburg, KY 43. River Pawn, Blythe, CA 44. Capital Pawn, Naples, FL 45. Liberty Pawn and Gold, Fredericksburg, VA 46. Kamaaina Loan, Wailuku, HI 47. Mills Jewelers & Loan, Camarillo, CA 48. Twin Cities Pawn, North St. Paul, MN 49. Lowell Jewelry & Loan, Lowell, MA 50. Dick’s Pawn Superstore, Myrtle Beach, SC 51. Palace Jewelry and Loan, Reno, NV 52. National Pawn, Raleigh, NC 53. Sam’s Gold And Pawn, Nicholasville, KY 54. RI Jewelry and Loan, Warwick, RI 55. Golden Circle, Framingham, MA 56. Loyalty Pawn, Sacramento CA 57. Oasis Pawn, Barstow, CA 58. Liberty Pawn and Gold, Fredericksburg, VA 59. Pawn USA, Woodbridge, VA 60. World Pawn Exchange, North Bend, OR 61. EZpawn, Austin, TX 62. Magnolia Pawn, Magnolia, TX 63. Huntington Super Pawn, Huntington Beach, CA 64. Parlets Pawn, Banning, CA 65. North Pleasantburg Gun and Pawn, Greenville, SC 66. Brunswick Pawn, Oak Island, NC 67. Posh Pawn, San Diego, CA 68. Bradley’s Pawn & Gun, Savannah, TN

PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

2020


T H E

V I R T U A L

LEVEL UP YOUR LEADERSHIP, MARKETING AND STRATEGY

E V E N T


F O R

P A W N

B R O K E R S

ONLINE EVENT J U N E

1 5 T H - 2 6 T H

7 DAYS 21+ SPEAKERS W A T C H

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D E M A N D

M O R E I N F O AT P O W E R U P P A W N . C O M


STRATEGY

It’s all about staging and preparation. Natalee Fitch from Central Texas Gun and Pawn has her act wired. P H O TO B Y LI LI ANNA STORY PHOTOG RA P HY

LIVE & DIRECT Ready to create epic LIVE video selling events on your social media channels? Follow these tips:

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ISSUE 2 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE


Make the first few seconds count: Start your video with a greeting or a question that will hook viewers to keep watching and lets them know what’s coming in the video event such as “Do you, or someone you know, need to level-up your fine jewelry game? I’ve got you covered! Today we’re going to be showing you some of our most popular and trending items.” Use the header to hook: Don’t just type “Going Live” but instead, make it interesting and exciting for someone to click and turn the volume up (not just watch it on silent) There›s a role for anyone—even the camera-shy:  Having another person who can work in tandem with you and work off-camera can be very helpful. This partner can type answers to questions in real-time, drop links in the comments section. They will keep the conversation flowing and add to the quality of the live shopping event. If no one is available or you›re not comfortable having your face on the camera, consider getting a tripod to hold the camera and show your hands only while you build confidence.   Well begun is half done: Take your time beforehand to establish technology for a smooth and visually pleasing delivery. Carefully display your merchandise as well as the surrounding area. Take note of your personal appearance as well and make sure that you look and sound knowledgeable about the items you’re sharing, and plan how the conversation will flow. Invest in technology that will enhance the experience. There are countless apps for improving your video delivery, and It’s as easy as ABC: When it comes to selling via live video, follow the ABCs: Always Be Connecting. Connect yourself to the viewers by saying their name, ask and answer questions, and otherwise personalize the experience for them. Then, connect them to the item and let them see that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy.  Make it a celebration: Make your live video event meaningful and memorable. Build interest by announcing it beforehand and encourage followers to help spread the word and celebrate them when they do. Be aware of your body language: When you hear that 3..2….1.. countdown put on your biggest smile and remind yourself to smile throughout the event regularly. Even the friendliest people can forget to smile while speaking on camera, so be sure that you practice it and remind yourself to engage and present yourself in a warm and welcoming manner.  

Share the love: Once you’ve established a rhythm to the conversation, ask viewers to hit that ‘like’ button or tag a friend who would love the item you’re showing. Ask people what they’d like to see in future live video events and thank them for their input. Check the comments after the conclusion of the video because people who view it later will want to weigh in on the conversation.   Make it easy for people to buy: Create a Facebook shop (it’s free), and then you’ll have the ability to link your products in your posts. Other apps like CommentSold help customers claim their items in real time, simplify the process of collecting payments, and match the correct item to each customer.  Repurpose the content: If you’re going to the trouble of hosting a live video event, be sure that you’re maximizing the video content on other channels. You can use a streaming app like Streamyard to broadcast it to more than one channel or to download the live as an HD video and upload it to your blog, website, email list, youtube, etc. Build exclusivity: By its very nature, interacting with Facebook Live broadcasts is a pretty exclusive experience. Only those who are watching live can interact in real-time. You can make this feel even more exclusive by holding a giveaway, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at your business, unboxing a shipment of new arrivals, or giving a limited time offer during the broadcast. You should also consider creating a Private Group that they can join where you can keep the interest going between video events. Exclusivity is irresistible to viewers.  Stay at the front of their minds: Once your live video shopping events take off, you can use Facebook ads manager to create audiences and deliver ads to people who have watched them. From your ads manager, click ‘create an audience.’ Next, click ‘custom audience’ and then ‘engagement’. Choose ‘video’ as your type of engagement. Once you’ve picked your content type, you can then pick your videos by clicking on the browse button.  Audiences prefer authenticity over perfection: It’s easy to get nervous at the thought of something unexpected happening on a live broadcast. But these things demonstrate that you’re only human, just like the audience. If the unexpected happens, point out the humor in it and move on. The benefits of broadcasting live will more than outweigh the butterflies.  PAWNLEADERS.COM

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QUOTABLE

R&B artist, 10-time grammy winner George Benson. Living proof that pawnshops matter.

“When the academy called, I panicked. I thought they might want their oscars back and the pawn shop has been out of business for a while.” —Woody Allen - Actor/Director 38

ISSUE 2 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE


“We’re seeing more newer clients that visit our website, and with Webchat, they can ask questions if they felt too skeptical to come into the shop. It’s making them more comfortable before they even walk in the door.” “We’re seeing more —Javier Becerra, Loyaltynewer Pawn clients that visit our website, and with Webchat, they can ask questions if they felt too skeptical to come into the shop. It’s making them more comfortable before they even walk in the door.” “We’re seeing more newer clients that visit our website, and with Webchat, they can —Javier Becerra, if Loyalty ask questions they Pawn felt too skeptical to come into the shop. It’s making them more comfortable before they even walk in the door.” —Javier Becerra, Loyalty Pawn

Do you guys buy used TVs? Do you guys buy used TVs? Yes we do! If you want to by today Do you guysswing buy used TVs? we can take a look at it. Yes we do! If you want to swing by today we can take a look at it. Yes we do! If you want to Great, I will stop byby today we can take swing around 4:00.a Thanks! look at it. Great, I will stop by around 4:00. Thanks! Perfect, see you then! Great, I will stop by around 4:00. Thanks!

Perfect, see you then! Perfect, see you then!

Visit try.podium.com/pawn to learn more. Visit try.podium.com/pawn to learn more.

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Pawn Leaders Issue 2  

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