Pawnbrokers and their customersAuthors: Sharon Collard, Professor Elaine Kempson,
Funded by: National Pawnbrokers Association
Published by: National Pawnbrokers Association
Publication date: October 2003
This study was commissioned to provide an independent, in-depth understanding of the provision and use of pawnbrokers. The study had a number of specific objectives:
- To describe the history, make-up and regulatory framework for the pawnbroking industry and set it within the overall credit market.
- To prepare a profile of pawnbrokers’ customers and their typical transactions.
- To explore the reasons why people decide to start, and to continue, using a pawnbroker, including the alternatives (actual and perceived) they have available to them and their perceptions of costs and service offered by pawnbrokers.
- To assess users' views and experiences of pawnbroking, the nature of their relationship with pawnbroking firm, and their satisfaction with the service received.
The study was qualitative in nature, and based on interviews with both providers and customers. It began with interviews with representatives of the National Pawnbrokers' Association, the industry’s trade association. This was followed by depth interviews with the employees of individual companies participating in the research. The third and fourth objectives were met by depth interviews with customers. In total, 30 depth interviews were conducted with the customers of pawnbrokers, spread across four locations.