With Pawn Stars becoming all the rage these days, check out what it takes to become a pawnbroker both internationally and here in Australia.
Because pawnbroking as a profession is so intricately linked with finances and money lending, there are strict requirements for becoming a pawnbroker. These rules change country by country, based on the laws of that nation. In countries with a federal and state system, laws can also change between states as per the legislation of that particular region.
With all of these restrictions, the simple answer on how to become a pawnbroker is that it completely depends on where you live. For example, the National Pawnbrokers Association of the UK notes that pawnbrokers need a Consumer Credit Licence, trade premises, security and need to be trained on the procedural knowledge before they can work as a pawnbroker.
Here in Australia, the Business Licence and Information Service notes that to become a pawnbroker, you would need two key licences:
- Pawnbroker licence: Needed to lend money against pawned goods.
- Second-hand dealer licence: Needed for buying the pawned goods, and on-selling them.
You may apply for a combined licence for both. Once you have these licences, you’re legally allowed to become a pawnbroker.
Interestingly, Michael Wormack, a pawnbroker from London, told The Guardian that there is a rewarding, emotional side to becoming a pawnbroker. This is because they often connect with customers at highly emotional moments, such as when they need urgent money for organising a funeral, or during happy occasions while they’re planning a wedding.
“A large part of the job is counselling,” said Mr Wormack. “A lot of people return just for a chat or some advice and we give them a cup of tea and a biscuit and direct them to somewhere that can help them.”
So, there you have it – you might clock off from work every day feeling like you made a positive difference to many people, simply by becoming a pawnbroker!
To delve further into the world of pawnbroking, be sure to tune into the next episode of Pawn Stars Australia.