Inflation drives people to pawn shops and resale stores to get extra money

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:25 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - If you ever wonder how the economy is doing, go to a pawn shop. When times are good, they see a lot of buyers, but when times are tight, it’s sellers.

As we wait to see whether increased interest rates will help curve spending and bring down prices, the higher costs are taking a large bite out of budgets, prompting many around the area to explore a variety of ways to make ends meet.

At Valley Pawn, manager Matt Ludlow says he’s hearing more about the need for collateral loans because of gas prices.

“Right around when it (gas prices) hit above five. We’ve gotten anything from just getting to work or getting on a trip,” said Ludlow.

Ironically, the opposite happened during the peak of the COVID pandemic.

“It was weird, it was more sales than loans,” said Ludlow. “Everyone had, you know, the stimulus money, refund checks.”

Reno Gold Exchange on South Virginia Street is also seeing a similar trend.

“Pay the rent, increases in gas prices and food, it’s what I’ve been hearing from a lot of people, especially when it’s something hard to let go, that they didn’t want to sell,” said Jacob Peterson, owner of Reno Gold Exchange.

While many are pawning and selling for some extra cash, others are investing in precious metals like silver, in fear of a potential recession.

“In the last two years, we’ve sold more gold and silver bullion than we have in the previous ten years,” said Peterson.

“We cannot keep silver on the shelf,” said Ludlow. “It’s a good smaller investment than gold.”

Although the demand for silver is high, Peterson says not to sell unless you really need to.

“Hold on to it as long as you can, I don’t think we’ve seen the highest yet,” said Peterson.

If you decide to go this route, experts recommend seeking the help of a financial advisor before investing in silver.

To learn more about how to invest in metal, click here.

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