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Jan 24, 2018

Beth is the co-founder of Capital Pawn, which she started with her husband, Adam. She was born and raised in Oregon and made a switch from teaching to taking her passions to the next level and becoming a full-time pawn broker. With over 6 years in the business, Beth has already learned so much and is constantly looking for the next thing that can take her business to new heights.


[00:40] Beth was born and raised in Willamette Valley, Oregon, where the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle and renew are parts of her passion, thus starting Capital Pawn in Salem


[00:53] She graduated from Oregon State University with a BA in English and Masters in Teaching and was a Writing & Literature instructor for 16 years before opening Capital Pawn with her husband, Adam


[01:07] Beth and her husband have 3 grown children and consider Capital Pawn as an extension of their family


[3:13] Beth and her husband’s passions, which include teaching, learning, getting good deals and helping people with loans, were used as stepping stones to them opening a pawn store


[4:42] Beth and Adam opened their pawn shop in September 2011


[6:04] During the research phase, she decided to use high end customer service and a family friendly environment as a differentiating factor for her pawnshop


[6:55] And so the things that you said ‘I will not do’. What were some of those? “It was very hard for me with the smells”


[7:54] The laws in Oregon (the charge, holding period) includes 3% with fees attached (approximately 9%). A $100 loan at 60 days ends up being $117 to $119 to pick up. There’s a 14 day hold period for a buy and a 60 day loan with 30 days grace which can be renewed anywhere during the 90 day period


[9:03] Beth and Adam started on a small budget by designing the store themselves, by including Beth’s jewelry and Adam’s firearms


[9:22] “We really started out on a shoestring budget”


[9:27] The jewelry section was separated from the firearm section and the idea of pairing the two was promoted through a “Bling & Bang Sale”


[10:19] How big is your store? “It’s 5,000 square feet in total. But about 1,500 is showroom”


[10:56] Beth realized that some pawn brokers were never dependent on gold. She therefore focused on customer service during the time people were more dependent on gold during the gold rush


[12:02] Gun sales are 40%


[13:37] Asking is important to get Google reviews or feedback to ensure that experiences are shared


[16:01] Being a female pawn broker usually comes as a shock to persons. The connection is different as females are able to relate to other females and know what they prefer


[21:58] The differentiating factors of Capital Pawn:

  • Customers are greeted as soon as they enter the store
  • They ensure they get Google reviews
  • Relationships are created through community building


[25:21] For the last 6 years, what has been the hardest moment for you running the shop? “Christmas Eve”


[26:50] Balancing family and business comes through having a great team that can work without your presence


[28:14] Finding the right persons for your team is ensuring that you know who you’re looking for and make them a part of your team


[32:10] Keeping a good relationship with your partner: “Communication is key and make sure that you know your role”


[32:49] Approximately 84 pawn shops in Oregon. Most are members of the Pawn Brokers Association


[32:58] An association ensures insurance for your business and keeps you updated on legislations

[33:57] Visit the Pawn Leaders Podcast community on Facebook and to continue the conversation and increase your knowledge on the business.