|Type of business||Pawnbroker|
|Area served||United States|
|Services||Secured loans, Luxury Good Reseller|
iPawn is a financial services company serving as an online lender and reseller for high end luxury goods. The company holds an online pawn shop license with headquarters based in Tyler, Texas. iPawn raised over $4 million in investment and has been cited as one of the leading companies in transitioning the pawn industry to the internet.
iPawn provides two main services:
- Non-recourse loans, otherwise known as pawn loans or asset-based loans, against valuables.
- Buying and selling pre-owned valuables.
Both lending and retail services are rendered to consumers and small businesses. iPawn provides its services against luxury items such as jewelry, diamonds, gemstones, precious metals and high-end watches.
iPawn was established with the purpose of utilizing the latest technologies and internet for the veteran pawnbroking industry and to serve as a high-end pawn broker, delivering a simple, private way to get loans or sell high end goods through the internet. The idea came after learning about the high interest rates charged by pawn shops. The company launched its services to the public in July 2012. In March 2013 iPawn closed $4 million in its second round of financing from a group of angel investors led by Dr. Rafi Gridron. On May 12, 2014 iPawn announced the launch of a new brand called Worthy dealing only in after-market sales.
Brick & Mortar Pawn Shop Vs. Online Pawn Shop
While services provided by a brick and mortar pawn shop are similar to those provided by the online ones, there are few main differences: most notably, the means by which services are rendered. In a brick and mortar pawn shop, the process of receiving a loan or selling a valuable is done in person while in an online pawn shop the process is conducted through the internet and a courier of choice. The low inventory overhead results in the ability to provide higher value and lower interest rates. Another notable difference is the appraisal process of the submitted valuables: in a brick and mortar pawn shop, the appraisal is done in the local shop itself while in an online pawn shop, all items are shipped to a central facility where the appraisal is made.
Licenses and Accreditation
iPawn is a licensed pawn shop certified by the Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC). Additionally, iPawn holds a precious dealer certificate, also granted by the Texas OCCC. iPawn is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
In the Media
In August 2013, MSN Money Watch discussed how iPawn caters to affluent individuals and families that don't need money immediately but want a more sizable loan to help their cash flow. In an article published in July 2013, Reuters discusses the benefits of the purely online transactions carried out by iPawn, focusing on the desired discretion amidst the negative stigma of pawn shops.
In May 2013,LearnVest brought into focus the story of a dentist who chose to use iPawn to sell family jewelry instead of a traditional bank loan.
Yahoo New Zealand published an article in March 2013 shedding light on the new world of online pawn shops and what to expect when utilizing their services.
South Coast Today Describes in an article published January 2013 how small business are turning to pawn shops for short-term loans, a better suited alternative to traditional bank loans.
Early in 2013, TIME Business and Finance discussed the reinvention of the pawn industry and its transition to the internet.
KETK NBC Sits down with iPawn COO in December 2012 to talk about bringing the pawn shop online.
Later in December 2012, The New York Post wrote about the appeal of high-end online pawn shops from small business owners to wealthy celebrities.
- Staff (March 14, 2013). "iPawn Raises $4M". PE Hub. Reuters. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Sarah Max (Jan 17, 2013). "Reinventing the Pawn Shop". Time Business and Money. Time. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Paul Tharp (26 December 2012). "New pawn shops court high-end borrowers". nypost.com. New York Post. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Laurie Kulikowski (2012-12-18). "Online Pawn: a Booming Business Luring Upscale Customers". Thestreet.com. The Street. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Geoff Williams (14 March 2013). "Pawn Shops Go Mainstream". U.S.News & World Report. U.S. News. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "OCCC License". Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Active Precious Metal Dealers". Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Geoff Williams (14 March 2013). "Pawn shops go mainstream". U.S.News & World Report. U.S. News. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- DEBORAH L. COHEN (2 July 2013). "High-end pawn shops solve small business cash crunch". Reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Stephanie Taylor Christensen (May 21, 2013). "Pawn Shops Go Upscale: Is This a Good Way to Score Extra Cash?". Learnvest.com. Learnvest. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Jennifer Lade (January 18, 2013). "Online pawn shops offer financing option for small business". Southcoast Business Bulletin. southcoasttoday.com. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Angela Berry (December 13, 2012). "ETL: The revolution of online loans". kektnbc.com. NBC. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Laurie Kulikowski (December 21, 2012). "Online Pawning Goes Uptown". Nuwireinvestor.com. NuWire. Retrieved 9 December 2013.