Glendale Pawn & Jewelry has been at the same location for more than 40 years.
At one time, it was a small business with other small businesses on each side – a bakery and a convenience store and a retail store. Over the years, Glendale Pawn & Jewelry bought out those businesses and expanded.
Lara Goldfarb has been the manager of the pawn shop since 2009, when she took over for her parents, Stanley and Shirley Grossman. The Grossmans had purchased the business from their cousin, Eugene Schnitzer, in the late 1980s.
Goldfarb was practicing law in Miami, Florida. She had lived in a lot of states before she settled in Miami. Now, she is settled in Glendale. She calls the Glendale Pawn business and its client base multi-generational.
“I know the kids, the parents, I’ve even seen grandparents and the kids,” Goldfarb said. “My customers still walk in the door and say, ‘I remember the bakery next door.’ People come in all the time and ask, ‘How’s your dad doing?
“It’s a business where it’s kind of difficult to make people happy. Some clients are fiscally irresponsible.”
She likened the pawn shop to a bank.
“You bring me collateral, I give you a percentage of the value,” she said. “A customer comes in and it’s a face-to-face consumer transaction. People tell stories like they wouldn’t tell anybody else.”
Goldfarb said the average person who walks in the door needs just a few dollars for a few days and most items that are pawned are redeemed.
“When we take property, we get fingerprints and ID,” she said. “It gives us a chance to have a personal relationship with people. So, when the phone rings, 50 percent of the time, someone wants to talk with me.”
No transaction is the same. Goldfarb said someone could be pawning baby earrings and movies – all at the same time.
One reason to go to the pawn shop, Goldfarb said, is the retail end. She said it can be a lot less expensive.
“We have a huge layaway,” she said. “We encourage people to start shopping for layaway now.
“In exchange, we give to the community certain city of Glendale fundraisers. We pay for fishing licenses for kids. We usually donate direct to city fundraisers. One donation was for musical instruments.”
For those who pawn items, they pay 26-percent interest the first 60 days, plus fees. The interest rate increases to 37 percent for 90 days. At loan expiration, an individual has the option to pay interest and fees and start the loan anew as if it is day one.
“If you go out and use a credit card and don’t pay it off, it affects your credit rating,” Goldfarb said. “But if you pawn an item and don’t pay, the item reverts to ownership of the pawn shop and goes out for sale.”
Thus, no hit on the credit report.
She said some customers never pay off – they just pay the interest – and others – parents, for instance – bring games in to punish their children.
“A pawn shop isn’t created for a subset of people,” Goldfarb said. “There are no income or ethnic boundaries to it.”
Some people pawn for safety’s sake.
Goldfarb said, “If you sell something to a pawn shop, you’re not getting the highest value for it. But it is safe. If you’re dealing with unknown people, you don’t know if it’s safe.
“I think that a pawn shop is a really nice environment. You talk, react, people feel comfortable with you. For me, it’s more like a friendship sometimes than a business relationship, and you can’t get that in a lot of jobs.”
Glendale Pawn & Jewelry sells online at eBay and GunBroker.com. Customers can find brand new tools, used laptops, gold and silver jewelry and unusual collectibles. Goldfarb said people can use a mobile app to make payments at glendalepawn.com, and its phone number, 623-939-2107, has the chat ability.
Glendale Pawn & Jewelry is located at 6548 N. 59th Avenue.