More Pawning Property To Make Ends Meet

SPOKANE — TV, laptops, diamond rings … as the cost of living keeps climbing higher local pawn shop owners continue to see an influx of people looking to sell their possessions for quick cash.

Larry Karlson, the owner of Axel’s Pawn Shop, has been in the pawn business for 11 years. He says people used to come in and pawn something to get some extra cash but now the majority of his customers are coming in over and over again because they need the money just to get by.

“I think more people are borrowing money not for recreational use but out of necessity to make ends meet,” Karlson said.

In June Axel’s was reporting a 10-percent increase in business over last year, and most of the customers that are pawning away things they can live without are taking the money and putting it right into their gas tanks.

“We are seeing a lot more people bringing in items more frequently because gas prices are high,” Karlson said.

Michelle Williams is one of those people who has been frequenting the pawn shop recently, selling hers and her husband’s belongings to try and make enough money to get around town. On Tuesday she pawned a drill that got her $15, which to her is worth about four gallons of gas.

“Several times I have been in here pawning pawning things to pay for gas,” Williams said.

While gas prices are high so is the price of gold, and Larry Karlson says he’s being seeing a rash of people trying to pawn gold jewelry.