I was watching my little grandson, Cruz, my chubby little blogging inspiration, and I thought as I saw him delighted in the matches he made, well, really, none of the socks he put on matched. He didn’t care. He just admired his attire.
I wondered if he would grow up to be creative and innovative in his approach to life. Was this some psychological insight? Had I broken the code to understanding humankind?
Indeed wearing mismatched socks is unique. I knew it wasn’t something I could do without trepidation. I tried it one time, and it bothered me all-day
As with most of my thoughts, I quickly went down the rabbit hole and wondered if pawnbrokers match their socks or are they “mismatchers?” I contemplated if the trend of wearing mismatched socks correlates with how pawnbrokers do business.
I decide to engulf myself in a bit of discovery. I messaged Vito, owner of Granters Pawn, “do you have on matching socks?” I will let you all decide his answer. My son Sam who owns Idaho Pawn and Gold was standing at the kitchen sink, and I noted he didn’t have matching socks on. Really? Oh my, I raised him better than this, I thought. Oh dear, where had I failed?
With total terror in my voice, I asked him why? He laughed and said he would match them if convenient, but otherwise, he had more important things to spend his time on, like running his pawn shops.
He suggested I put a poll out on Vito’s Facebook group, Pawnbrokers Helping Pawnbrokers (PHP). Maybe you are one of the select who participated in answering the poll.
I ran the poll for a few days and found that out of pawnbrokers, sixty-six pawnbrokers responded. Enjoy the following findings:
58/66 always wear matching socks
5/66 wear socks they can find on the day they select them
2/66 said, “I don’t always wear matching socks.”
1/66 “I coordinate my socks with my banana hammock.”
As with all good research, I learned something from the people who responded. Some socks are “old man socks,” and these come in black and blue. I feel enlightened after corresponding with Lee. Did you know there is a right and left sock? From Lee, “…In the name of science I would like to add I only wear Polo and I take the time to put the right sock on the right and the left on the left. There is a difference.”
The first sock-like knit items were found in Egyptian graves in Antinoopolis dated around 500 AD. So socks have been around a while. I am a spinner, weaver, and crocheter, and I can’t imagine making an unmatched pair of socks, which seems unconventional.
For the longest time, socks were only a privilege to the elite sector of the society as it was secret manufacturing. In essence, socks were a luxury item.
Initially, foot stockings and pants were one-piece items, like the footed pajamas we have all seen or fishing waders. But the foot of the stocking would get dirty quicker than the other parts of the one-piece apparel, and so the socks and pants were separated. Eventually, the socks were made into separate clothing pieces from different materials.
Socks have taken on numerous shapes, sizes, colors, and textures throughout time. With the internet and the ability for people to make their ideas known, creative and innovative ideas about socks, how to wear socks, and social norms have changed.
Now there is a whole trend to wear mismatched socks. It probably started because nobody had the time to find two matching socks to create a pair, and everybody is so busy that taking time to match socks seems silly.
People pick up their car keys and wallets and rush out the door. They hurry through a drive-through to get a cup of coffee instead of waiting to make a cup at home.
Everybody started experimenting with wearing mix-matched socks, found there were no legal consequences (lol), and it’s still going on. The new generation thinks it is unique, creative, and “cool.”
Today’s youth is always up to experimentation and innovation.
Creatively solving problems is a thing. There is always something new on the internet every day, and millions follow the trends.
There is a Shift From Earlier Pawn Shops To Pawn Shops Today
Pawn shops and the pawnbrokers who own them are like matched versus missed matched socks. Early on, pawn shops were retail establishments and lending institutions, and pawn shops would buy, sell, and pawn used merchandise in good shape.
If you had something of value, you could use it to get a short-term cash loan based on the appraised value of the item you brought to the store. You would get a pawn ticket, be told the interest rate you would be charged, and pay the loan off to get your collateral back or lose your item should you decide not to pay back the loan.
Many of the items brought to the store were household items, unlike the brand name tools, gold, silver, diamond jewelry, musical instruments, and motorsports vehicles used as collateral for a short-term loan today.
How Do Pawn Shops Work?
Pawn Shop Loans
Historically and true today, pawn shops write short-term loans in exchange for valuable collateral taken into the pawn shop and safely held until the loan terms are repaid. Items pawn shops want to lend against are gold, silver, diamond jewelry, a family heirloom of gold coins and bullion, name brand tools, musical instruments, luxury watches, handbags, and even vehicles.
The pawnbroker will appraise the item and check the current market value. Based on the appraised value, the pawnbroker will then make an offer, go over the short-term loan terms, including the interest rate, and lend you the money. There is no credit check or need to provide additional information.
To borrow the money, you need to have a state-issued ID.
If you want to sell your item outright, a pawnbroker will go through a similar process. They will appraise the item and make you an offer, and they use the current market value to determine what they could sell the item on the retail floor to make a profit. Pawn shops buy luxury items, watches, gold jewelry, silver, precious metals, name-brand electronics and tools, guns, etc. Once they give you an offer, you are under no obligation to accept it.
Buying – A Pawn Shop Is A Retail Establishment
Pawn shops also have various items in their inventory to sell or possibly trade. If you are in the market for a Rolex, luxury purse, or diamond ring, a pawn shop may have just what you are looking for because they get various items every day. Most pawn shops have revolving inventories, so checking back often helps you find what you need. Pawn shops are a great place to buy things at a fair price, and you can usually find great deals on the same items you looked for in a big box store.
In today’s world, pawn shops are heavily regulated.
It’s a state law that a state-issued ID is needed to pawn or sell an item, which helps with theft.
The serial number on pawned items are checked, authenticity confirmed, and testing is done to make sure the thing is genuine before pawnbrokers offer an amount or lend money. Pawn shops work with local police if they receive an item they believe to be stolen merchandise or if the police are looking for things that may be stolen. This helps deter criminals from trying to liquidate stolen property through a pawn shop.
Pawn shops also have video coverage and take photos and fingerprints of the person selling and pawning an item. The pawn industry is safe and certainly, not like the shady, sleazy, imagined movies portray.
Pawn Shops - Is There a New Trend Like the Mismatched Sock Trend?
Rules and Regulations
Historically pawn shops didn’t have numerous rules and regulations to follow while doing business. Today, this is not true, and the government offers protection through acts like the USA Patriots Act Truth and Lending Act. The National Pawnbrokers Association, FFL Compliance Inspections, Requirements for Small Business, IRS Rule on reporting cash over $10,000, and other rules, regulations, and inspections ensure that the pawn industry is safe.
Pawn Shops Take Different Items Today
Historically, pawn shops took in household items like clothing and dishes and other household necessities because women often were trying to make ends meet because their husbands were off to war or working elsewhere. During the Great Depression, pawn shops were one of the only places to obtain a loan.
Today, pawn shops focus on newer name-brand electronics, gold jewelry, silver, high-end jewelry, luxury handbags, watches, etc.
Pawn transaction processes were similar, the value of the goods brought in was calculated, and then an offer was made to either get a short-term collateral loan or sell outright. A pawn loan isn’t a personal loan. The item used for securing the loan must have an appraised amount to cover the amount of money lent should the loan go into default. If it does, the pawn shop will take ownership of the item and sell it on their retail to recoup the borrowed money.
Interest rates were lower when compared to today’s interest rates. People would receive a pawn ticket. The transactions and customer information were documented on papers and ledger sheets historically.
Today, automated customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are used to keep track of transactions. Customers get notice of their pawn loan payments due through text or email, and some shops have electronic apps so their payments can be made right from their phones.
Repeat customer information is kept electronically, and notices, sales, and marketing are completed automatically. Most pawn shops have websites that explain the store’s process and how to get fast cash and the interest rate, and often they have an online shop so you can shop from home. There’s no need to head to the pawn shop to buy a wanted item because the shop will ship it to you once the purchase is made.
Sales tags and price tags were used historically on merchandise. Now most pawnbrokers use barcodes.
Cash or bartering was used historically to pay the terms of a pawn loan, and today debit cards and cash are used.
The pawn shop industry has changed throughout the years, and the image is changing too. The National Pawnbrokers Association and other associations like the California Pawnbrokers Association (CAPA) are working to change the idea of the industry.
Pawnshops have a place in society as lending institutions. Often people don’t have a personal bank account or good enough credit to obtain a personal loan, and they need money to make it until the next payday or extra cash to help in an urgent situation. The personal property they have in the garage or closet has value and can be used to get a current appraised value used to borrow money.
Pawn loans are non-recourse loans because the personal property used secures the loan, so the borrower is not personally liable. Pawn shops often have repeat customers who use the pawn shop as a lending institution when they need money for a short-term loan while they wait on another source of funds like selling their car to pay bills.
Like socks, everything that comes through the doors of a pawn shop has a story, reason, and price. Every person has a story and reason for wearing “old man socks” or “Polo Socks (because it helps distinguish left from right) or trendy mismatched socks.
According to Sam, owner of Idaho Pawn and Gold and Pawn Leads, matching socks are irrelevant when he can spend his time more effectively making money and running his businesses.
I was not too disappointed that I didn’t break the code to understand humanity or figure out why pawnbrokers do or do not match their socks. I learned that Cruz, my chubby little blogging inspiration, knows the truth…he is delighted with each day, doesn’t need a reason, and admires his attire.