Online pawn sites gaining in popularity

Published On: Feb 07 2013 09:35:24 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 08 2013 07:00:00 AM EST

Need some extra cash?   Maybe even a million bucks? If you have jewelry, hand bags, art, real estate or more; online, upscale pawn shops could be the answer to your problems.

More and more, online pawn shops are attracting mostly middle to upper class individuals and small business owners. For the most part, these are people who have run into short-term problems and need cash to stay afloat.

Pawngo.com is listed as the first of the online pawn shops. The way their site works, you fill out a form describing the item you wish to pawn. Pawngo then sends an initial estimate and a pre-paid shipping label, with insurance, so you can mail your item in. When the package arrives at their fulfillment center, they examine the item and then a representative calls you with a final offer. They immediately transfer the money and store your item in a secure vault with 24-hour video surveillance.

The company offers loans from $500 to $1 million based on the value of high-end luxury collateral. They take jewelry, fine watches, precious metals gemstones, high-end cameras and collectibles, among other things.

Pawngo is up against a growing list of competitors, including Pawntique, iPawn, pawnit.com and the latest addition aimed at the so-called luxury pawn market, Ultrapawn.com. Interest rates can average from 3 percent to 6 percent, compared to as much as 25 percent at local pawn shops.

The average loan from most of these places is around $1,500 and 85 percent of customers pay off their debt and get their merchandise back.

Just one word of warning, before you mail off any of your items, make sure to check out the site you're dealing with. Make sure it's one of the reputable sites. You can even check their accreditations on their site.