I was hesitant to visit a pawn shop after an agency told me they wanted me to go in and check one out. I have been to a pawn shop once or twice before. My husband and I visited Camel Pawn in downtown Winston-Salem, NC seven years ago to retrieve wedding bands. I barely remember the experience, but the second time I went to a pawn shop, it was a dingy and dirty space with unhappy employees. Usually located in odd parts of town, I have purposely avoided pawn shops ever since.
However, when an advertising agency assured me there would be items of interest and that I would receive $100 store credit to record my experience at National Pawn and Jewelry, I was tempted to try it knowing that I may have to decline if I felt uncomfortable. I love finding deals and thrifting so I knew this would be worth trying.
Once I arrived, I was relieved that the area did not look rundown. The building, located on 3600 Reynolda road, was well kept. After I entered through the front doors, I was happily greeted by one of the employees. She introduced me to the manager – Sam – who was an enthusiastic and kind gentleman that described to me the intent of his business.
His passion was to build relationships and change the game of the pawning industry. No more dusty and sketch encounters and instead, creating positive customer experiences no matter the dire situation a customer was facing. Whether it is lending money, providing layaway services interest-free, or having a reward system where every dollar is one point, Sam and his employees serve the community as best they can.
National Pawn and Jewelry’s facility had a favorable layout as items were displayed clearly and labeled well. As I walked around, I not only enjoyed finding good-quality, used products but also discovering how affordable they were. DVDs were cheaper than Edward Mkays, and the store had cameras ranging from $60-100. I was ultimately amazed at the variety of their inventory in a small shop.
Though the store did not have any clothing options like Goodwill, the National Pawn had two high-quality, luxury-brand coats for a fraction of the price. Sam informed me, when he sees a well-kept item, especially from a good brand, he doesn’t turn it away because there is usually an opportunity for a sale.
I walked around the facility but immediately gravitated to the displays of jewelry and purses. After all, I am a fashion blogger! The display cases in the front had all sorts of fine jewelry. I am not a jewelry afficianto since I am an exclusive Chloe and Isabel merchandiser, but they did have some cool Michael Kors watches and Tiffany necklaces that I would come back to see!
Additionally, they had one Michael Kors purse that was to die for. It was blue and black with a silver chain. It was in good condition, and I was tempted to place it on layaway since it was interest-free. However, since I am trying to avoid getting into more debt, I decided to choose another item – not fashion-related but an absolute must-have.
I decided to take home a DeeBot floor cleaner for only $50 (since I had $100 credit). It sweeps not only the house but also mops! Though I have not tried the moping functionality yet, I have had this thing running for several days, and there is a beautiful gratification associated in opening the dirt compartment to find it filled to the brim. My floor was cleaner with a push of a button! With that, the machine picked up dog hair, debris, dust, and lint. Michael and I were ecstatic as our whole house has wood floors and two shedding, crazy Italian Greyhounds.
Changing the Game
The National Pawn shop employees were refreshing. Lately, I have been entering stores like Forever21 and Ulta and encountering unenthusiastic and annoyed employees. But at this pawn shop, I only saw happy faces that were ready to serve you. As I stood back and observed customers swarm the store, I noticed each employee had a chipper demeanor and were on the tip-of-their-toes prepared to help resolve a need.
Sam’s passion and informative tour were eye-opening. I now have a new perspective of what a good pawn shop can be! I told my husband that if we ever needed building tools, electronics, or any other do-dads, we had to call this store first to gauge their inventory.
Lastly, National Pawn and Jewelry engages with their community online as much as they do with in-store traffic. Involved in a variety of apps (Poshmark) and social media (Facebook marketplace) mediums, National Pawn keeps their finger on the pulse for the best items for the best price.
If you were like me – wary of sketchy pawn shops – I would recommend you visit any National Pawn shop store as they do not fit that stereotype – especially the one in Winston-Salem. Sam and his employees know how to change the face of the industry and has the Google reviews to back it up. I will be back to see their purse, watch, and camera selection once I get some cash at hand. After all, there is nothing better than a deal!