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Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Pawnonomics by Steve Krupnik is a refreshing and fun read. It highlights a chronological history of pawnbroking and discusses what the industry is really all about. Most people have an idea what pawnbroking entails and their perceptions are usually wrong! Pawnbrokers provide a significant service to the community. They are picky and selective on the types of merchandise they choose to accept. And there are many good deals to be had if people get over the stereotypes and go into the stores to check out the merchandise available for sale.

Pawnbroking and lending money date back to before biblical times. As an industry, pawnbroking offers an opportunity for low end borrowers to get the money they require, hence providing an important service. Pawnbrokers are money changers, and they exist in most countries around the world. They are even in areas where they are otherwise unexpected – there are upscale pawnbrokers who loan upwards of tens of thousands of dollars when the collateral justifies it. Pawnbrokers state their fees and terms up front and the contracts are always on a basis that the customer can “take it or leave it” at any time.

Pawnonomics makes several points that the reader may find hard to argue with. Pawnbrokers are known to charge usurious fees, but are they any different than the blatantly unfair fees charged by credit card companies? Aren’t pawnbrokers more at risk that the person who takes the loan will never return to claim an item that can quickly lose its value in an ever changing economic market?

The book uses pictures and charts (some full color) to shed light on the industry and will ultimately change a person’s mind about the legitimacy of pawnbroking.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Lissy Peace & Associates. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.