Each year on December 6, National Pawnbroker Day pays tribute to a centuries-old profession that provides a valuable service to their clientele. Whether they’re in need of short-term lending or a great deal on an item to purchase, millions of customers visit pawnshops every year.
St. Nicholas, recognized in America as Santa Claus, is the Patron Saint of pawnbroking, and his three bags of gold have always been the international symbol of pawnbrokers. Saint Nicholas of Myra is famed for his generosity and for his penchant for secretly leaving gifts for people in need.
People often ask how St. Nicholas became associated with pawn shops. In the early 14th century montes pietatius, precursors to today’s pawnshops, were established by Franciscan friars. They gave low-interest loans to families so they could buy food. The Franciscans alone started 150 montes pietatius. In 1514 Pope Julius II gave an edict endorsing montes pietatius, as they provided necessary support to European peasants. Because St. Nicholas had generously provided help to the man who needed dowries for his daughters by providing three bags of gold, he was recognized for his generosity and concern for others and became the patron saint of the montes pietarius.
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This year, National Pawnbroker Day will kick off a week chock full of activities for recognizing the important work of pawnbrokers.
Here’s a look at the themes for each day:
- NATIONAL PAWNBROKER DAY—Sunday, December 6th: History of PawnbrokingPawnbrokers have provided cash loans in exchange for valuable items for thousands of years.Pawnshops first emerged in Ancient China over 3,000 years ago to grant short-term credit to peasants. Pawnbroking also thrived in ancient Greece and Rome, often giving merchants a way to fund their small shops. During the Middle Ages, restrictions were placed on charging interest by the Catholic Church, halting pawnshops’ growth. These rules were relaxed in the 14th and 15th centuries in Europe as short-term credit became an important way of financing business endeavors and granting temporary aid to the poor. Prominent families such as the Lombards of England and the Medicis of Italy became known as money-lending families. England’s King Edward III famously pawned his jewels to the Lombards in 1388 to help finance war against France, and Queen Isabella of Spain is said to have put up her jewelry as collateral to fund Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to the New World.The word “pawn” stems from the Latin word “patinum,” meaning cloth or clothing. For the working class, clothes were often the most valuable items they owned. Though most pawn shops have historically been privately operated, some public pawnshops were set up as charitable funds in Europe in the 18th century, offering low-interest loans to the poor to curb debt. The practice of pawning clothes on Monday and retrieving them on Friday–“payday”–was a common way for poor people to make it through the week during the 19th century. Since people in need of quick cash were more apt to be on society’s fringes during this era, protections were put in place to try to prevent the pawning of stolen items. The Pawnbrokers Act of 1872 in England established regulations protecting pawnbrokers who inadvertently sold stolen items. This act also stipulated the amount of interest charged on pawned items and set out general guidelines for the industry, establishing a regulation pattern that exists even today.
- Monday, December 7th: Pawn Today Nationwide, there are approximately 10,000 pawn stores, most of which are family-owned small businesses. They employ around 35,000 individuals and contribute about $3 Billion to the US economy. Pawnbroking is a highly-regulated industry and independent pawnbrokers comply with local, state, and federal regulations and laws. Pawn loans are non-recourse, meaning that a pawn loan does not require a credit check and never negatively affects a customer’s credit.
- Tuesday, December 8th: How pawnshops work A pawn is a collateral loan. Pawnbrokers lend money on items of value ranging from gold and diamond jewelry to musical instruments, televisions, electronics, tools and equipment, firearms, and more. The amount of the loan is based on the value of the collateral. Pawn loans are small-dollar safety net loans.Pawn customers tend to borrow only what they need, as evidenced by the relatively low national average amount of $150 for about 30 days. The interest charged as well as the term can vary from one state to the next.During the pawn transaction, customers receive a written explanation, called a pawn ticket, that explains the details, including the interest amount, how long the customer has to pay back the loan, and more. Most customers, about 85% on average nationally, redeem their loans and pick up the item from the pawnshop once they’ve repaid what they owe. Pawn loans are non-recourse.
If the customer does not redeem their loan, it has no impact on their credit score. Rather, the item is forfeited to the pawnbroker who sells it in their shop, usually at a deeply discounted price compared to retail value.
- Wednesday, December 9th: History of OUR shop Members, be sure that you use your own online channels to tell the story of YOUR shop, be sure to TAG NPA and use the hashtag #NationalPawnbrokerWeek!
- Thursday, December 10th: #PawnGives Our members have hosted ‘Gift Day’ events and donated instruments to local schools and youth organizations for many years. For 2020, we’ll be hosting a wide variety of charity events. Be sure to use the #pawngives hashtag in your social media posts!
- Friday-Saturday, December 11-12th: Nationwide Events Nationwide, members will be hosting sales, giveaways, and other events. Be sure to share YOUR plans with us so that we might help spread the word!
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WE APPRECIATE OUR VALUED INDUSTRY PARTNERS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS COMMEMORATIVE WEEK!
Does your company have an offer or incentive that you’d like to extend to NPA members in recognition of this commemorative week? Let us know! Here are a few examples:
FROM GUNS.COM: Guns.com is proud to be involved with and support the pawn industry – which has served consumers for multiple millenniums! In honor of you and your businesses, during National Pawnbroker Week we want to say thank you by offering a Guns.com SWAG Pack to each Pawnbroker that signs up with us and creates five firearms listings by December 13th.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about Guns.com and how we are helping Pawnbrokers like you sell more firearms online (by tapping into the most gunbelievably easy to use firearms marketplace on Earth) please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Cheers – and happy selling, The Guns.com Team
*Swag package includes all shown items excluding the ammo can. Items may be substituted subject to availability and inventory.
FROM PAWNSHOP CONSULTING GROUP AND PAWN TRAIN: Pawnshop Consulting Group, LLC., and PawnTrain are offering up our entry level Phase I training & certification program, all conducted on line with Alan Nelson & Jerry Whitehead for a one time discount of %15 off our Normal Rates in Celebration of National Pawn Week. Contact us directly and mention “National Pawn Week Discount” and we can get you started right away. These courses include: sales and loan standards, NEHA – qualifying next generation, Layaway promotional programs and training, along with Concierge Level Service as the 5 levels offered in our Phase I certification program. Contact @ email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-540-3697.
FROM PODIUM: Happy Holidays from all of us here at Podium. If you have been considering signing up, NOW would be the time. We are running a special Dec 6-12th to celebrate National Pawnbrokers Day. See why 867 pawn shops use Podium today to increase their placement in google search as well as optimize leads on their website, turning them into text conversations. Any new location sign up’s will get a $400 Visa gift card AND we will add Podium Team Chat to your package for FREE. Click here to request a demo and we will have a Podium Account Executive reach out to you.” https://try.podium.com/NPA/
FROM ENTRUPY: To celebrate National Pawnbroker Day, Entrupy is hosting a free authentication event on Saturday, December 12th with participating Entrupy Verified pawn businesses. Customers can bring their luxury item into a participating location to redeem one free authentication between 10am-7pm ET. Entrupy’s on-demand, user-friendly and accurate authentication solution is powered by AI, with every item authenticated being backed by a full financial guarantee. Participating locations will be featured on Entrupy’s social media platforms on December 5th for a list of all participating locations.
WANT TO SHARE YOUR PROMOTION? JUST EMAIL CYNDEE@NATIONALPAWNBROKERS.ORG
Welcome to GIFT DAY!
Operation Homefront’s mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families so they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they worked so hard to protect. Your donation will make a real difference in their lives, because 92% of Operation Homefront’s expenditures goes directly toward programs and services for these families. Give whatever you can…every little bit helps.
Donate Gently Used or New Musical Instruments.
NPA members can also donate financial support or new or gently used musical instruments to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates musical instruments to under-funded schools across the country in an effort to give students the many benefits of music education, help them achieve more in school and inspire creativity and expression through playing music. Hundreds of thousands of students have benefited and thousands of instruments have been donated to 1,505 school music programs across the country.
Gift Day began when a small group of pawnbrokers were wondering how they could give something back to their community over the holidays. They looked around their shops and noticed several guitars and other great musical instruments that were collecting dust. The answer seemed simple. By donating those instruments to local schools, veterans hospitals, and local charities, they were filled with the spirit of giving and Gift Day was born.
Gift Day is held on December 6th in celebration of National Pawnbrokers Day, which coincides with St. Nicholas Day. Saint Nicholas of Myra is famed for his generosity to the poor and for his penchant for secretly leaving gifts for people in need. Historians often recount how he saved a poor man’s daughters from being sold into servitude by throwing three bags of gold into the father’s window at night.
St. Nicholas, recognized in America as Santa Claus, was canonized as the Patron Saint of pawnbroking, and his three bags of gold soon became the international symbol of pawnbrokers. In this time of economic hardship, when funding and resources for our students has fallen to an all time low, a positive spirit and a generous heart will bring us together and help forge stronger relationships with the community. With our combined efforts, we can improve the lives of America’s children. We urge you to get involved in this wonderful giving opportunity.