Pawnshops and pawnbrokers have been present in America since the 1800s.  They started in urban cities where there are a lot of families who worked in minimum-wage jobs.  Through the years, pawnshops have helped low-income families with their immediate cash needs.  Pawnshops serve families who will otherwise be rejected by traditional financial institutions.

pawn shopWith the tradition of serving American families, many pawnshops have established themselves in major cities.  In New York City, Metropolitan Pawnbrokers have been serving clients for a quarter of a century.  According to their website, their two convenient locations in the Queens area have served satisfied customers throughout the years.  Their website is called cash4 jewelry now because they accept all types of jewelry items as collateral for loans.  They accept watches, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and other types of jewelry.

Traditionally serving families, there is a growing trend of pawnshop clientele according to the latest survey which measures and evaluates how the economy and social factors affect the pawnshop industry. The results show the changing demographics of pawnshop customers.  The Millennials are fast getting a significant slice of the percentage of pawnshop customers.

Millennials comprise of individuals born from 1980 to 1990.

They have surpassed the Baby Boomers in terms of being the largest segment in the population of America. And they are steadily going to pawn shops for various reasons. About 40% of the average customer base of pawnshops across the US is between the ages of 27 to 35 years old. Experts foresee that this percentage is expected to go up in the next couple of years.

Another financial literacy survey found out that 42% of Millennials are frequent users of Alternative Financial Services (AFS) such as pawnshops. Other AFS products are auto title loans and rent-to-own schemes.

There are varied reasons for this trend.

Although the US economy has been on the upswing and has stabilized, many Millennials were affected by the last couple of years’ economic downturn.  With changes in the political landscape in the next few months, there is growing economic uncertainty and fewer opportunities compared to previous generations.  Because of this, Millennials look to pawnshops for a no-commitment, immediate collateral lending.

Another reason is Millennials are now at a significant point in their lives when they are making serious decisions on finances, careers, and investments.  They are armed with knowledge and access to knowledge through mobile devices and social media. However, many Millennials are still paying off student loan debts or have accumulated massive debts due to easy access to loans and their tendency to get the latest gadgets. More than 50% of them are still paying off loans accumulated as college students. On the other hand, those who are not college-educated have more than one outstanding long-term debt.

A recently conducted survey found out that a significant percentage of Millennials aspires to have the same material things as their peers. Because of this, their financial struggles are real.  About 34% of them voiced their dissatisfaction over their current financial situation. Almost 50% of them say that if there is an unexpected need, they will not be able to come up with $2,000.

For pawnshop owners, it is a good opportunity to redirect business goals towards this growing clientele.  For Millennials, it is good for them to know that amidst their financial woes, there are alternative financial services such as pawnshops to help them out in their time of need.

Although many pawn shops are from traditional, family-owned backgrounds, they are starting to notice their growing clientele of Millennials.  In order to understand their needs and to reach out to them in a significant manner, many pawnshops have beefed up their marketing efforts in social media and search engine optimization techniques.

PawnThe fact is, Millennials will not fall into traditional customer patterns so pawnshops should consider changing some of their traditional techniques in order to reach a significant percentage of their client base.  Because Millennials are massive smartphone users, mobile marketing should be a priority for pawnshops.  Social media sites should also be optimized since it is one place to reach target pawnshop customers.  Millennials do not respond to outbound marketing, but they do respond to shared personal stories, engagement, and sharing of industry experts.

At Metropolitan Pawnbrokers, they understand the needs of their growing clientele. They serve clients who are unable to physically go to their brick and mortar locations.  According to their website cash4 jewelry now, they offer an online request kit form that enables the client to send the valuable item to be pawned through mail.  This service is fully insured and they offer a free gold kit that will be sent to your home. According to the cash4 jewelry now website, there are manageable payment terms for collateral loans.  Metropolitan Pawnbrokers have 4-month terms, at 3% interest per month.