It was 1984. My father introduced me to an abandon building on the corner of 6th South and State Street in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City and told me of his plan and desire to start a pawn shop.
A short time later, while in high school, my father asked me to quit my job at the hardware store and work for him after school. Together, along with the help of many others, the business grew to five stores. Rothchilds Sales & Loan became Utah 's largest, most successful pawn shop chain.
My father enjoyed the pawn business almost as much as he enjoyed having his family, including five boys, working with him. Being of one the oldest brothers, I managed the West Valley City store from start-up to profitability. In the years that followed many events transpired providing positive growth opportunities which were both challenging and exciting.
Before my father passed away Rothchilds Sales & Loan had already caught the attention of many large pawn shop franchises outside of Utah . However, it wasn't until after his death that the decision to sell the business was made.
After fifteen exciting years in the pawn business I decided to look for a new challenge. However, it seemed like I was continually drawn back to my experience in the pawn business. After a day of snowmobiling in the Rocky Mountains, a couple of guys who knew of the success of our former chain of pawn shops, and recognized the business potential of the pawn business, provided me with the extra help and encouragement.
My partners and I introduced 1st Cash Sales & Loan, based on the same principles and ideals of the former Rothchilds. Incorporating cutting edge pawn broker philosophy 1st Cash quickly gained momentum, even in an already competitive market.
It wouldn't be true to say I know of no other business. I began a career as a stock trader and trader of mutual funds. However, it is true that I personally know of no other business that is as much fun and provides as much variety. Along with the ability to make loans to people, a pawn broker has to be a good negotiator, an expert appraiser, a jeweler, gun dealer, loan processor, retailer and among other things, a business manager.
As times change many things remain the same. Honesty and integrity are fundamental and key ingredients to success. Regardless of how pawn shops are perceived, they indeed fulfill a niche in the community. Often called "the world's second oldest profession", pawnbroking finds its roots as far back as three thousand years ago in ancient China . The settlement of America began with pawnbroking as the only lending system. Queen Elizabeth pawned her crowned jewels so as to pay for Columbus voyage to the Americas.
The common misunderstanding of the pawn business is understandable given many people's limited knowledge of the business. Unless someone has been introduced to pawning at some point, the tendency of many people is to believe the way the pawn industry has been portrayed by the movie industry.
1st Cash Sales & Loan opened for business May 22, 1989. The name 1st cash was chosen to represent the first convenient and logical way to acquire cash for short-term monetary needs. The average person has probably never considered pawning as a way to obtain needed cash. However, people in all economic conditions need money from time to time - some just require more than others.
Pawn shops have been around for a long time and it isn't likely that they are going away. However, they have become more user friendly. Still, many people are not concerned about that. They just like to find bargains on quality one of a kind and often times unusual items.
Troy Thompson, Owner
What types of items do we take for collateral at 1st Cash Pawn?
Most things of value! The most popular items pledged include gold and platinum jewelry, diamonds, high grade watches such as ROLEX, BAUME & MERCIER, TAG HEUER, and PATEK PHILIPPE, quality tools such as Snap-on, Dewalt, MAC, Makita, Craftsman, Milwaukee and other industrial grade tools, firearms, coins, guitars, musical instruments, TV's, computers, laser printers, scanners, metal detectors, car audio, camcorders, cameras, stereos, collectable items, swords, knives, and the list goes on and on! We also give loans on vehicles or titles, RV's. Part of the fun of this business is that it is different every day. I have many years of experience in the pawn business and I STILL get offered things that have never come in before!
Most people have heard of pawn shops, but many have ideas and images that are, shall we say, less than accurate on just what a pawn shop is and what we offer. The short definition - we offer a short term loan based on the collateral you pledge. No credit check, no wait for approval by a loan officer, just fast cash! When you have a loan to buy your home, you pledge the home as collateral in the event that you don't (or can't) pay back the loan. If you don't pay your loan back, your home becomes the property of the bank. We operate in much the same fashion. You bring in an item to pledge for a loan, you leave the item with us, and we give you cash and a receipt to bring back. In Utah, the term of the loan is 30 days. You can pay the interest at this time and we will give you a Âï¿½newÂï¿½ loan, again good for another 30 days. Most people do pick up their collateral and repay the loan, but when they do not, we in turn sell the items to recover our investment. That, in the short definition, is it!
Hollywood has long portrayed pawn shops as being dark, sleazy operations, full of stolen property and shady characters. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are in fact, a combination Âï¿½Lending Institution' much the same as your bank, and discount retail/jewelry/tool store, only with the BEST prices in town. Our stores are clean and well maintained with large and varied inventories, and staffed by some of the finest pawn brokers in the country! We work very closely with law enforcement at all levels to ensure that the material that we take in is legally owned and offered. As a matter of fact, some of our best customers are these very same law enforcement officials!
So why should you shop or get a loan at 1st Cash Pawn? Simply put, to get the best possible deal around on some of the finest merchandise, from our friendly well-trained and educated staff, and at the best possible price and terms! Feel free to bring your entire family to 1 st Cash Pawn and shop!