Pawn shops aren’t popular around these parts despite the availability of quite a few.
A pawn shop offers secured loans to people, with items of personal property used as collateral, however, Nigerians aren’t attuned to the concept, hence it lacks widespread acceptability.
But people like Ogunlaja Yemi — who runs ET Money, a pawn shop conceived to serve those who require urgent funds to settle immediate needs — hope to change that.
In this chat with TheCable Lifestyle, Ogunlaja revealed the progress of the shop since its recent launch.
How has the response been since the launch?
It has been quite encouraging, to be honest with you, even better than I expected. The reaction has really been encouraging. Like all these businesses you go into, you get skeptical at first, but since the launch, it has been quite encouraging.
Considering the fact that Nigerians are not so accustomed to pawnshops, how do you hope to be successful?
There is always a challenge to it, with the awareness we have created and the ones we are still creating, we hope to enlighten people more about it as well. I think it does exist but not regulated, we are just trying to regulate it and bring a bit of sanity into it.
We adopted a strategy, in order to be successful in the business. We are starting our electronics and media awareness as well, anytime from next week, but we just concentrated on social media awareness for now.
What steps have you taken to attract customers?
The social media platform has really been helpful in regards to that. Two weeks ago, we did a launch to create a bit of awareness as well and we are all over social media. Although it is difficult to cover the whole of social media at once, I am sure a lot of people have come across us on social media.
What are the most pawned items thus far?
I think people come with a lot of jewelry and phones. In this part of the world, we are jewelry inclined. I can say six or seven percent of the people that have come here, have come with jewelry and phones. We had one or two cases of cars as well.
What kind of customers have you received thus far – women or men, young or old?
There are no specific age groups or gender that patronises our services. It cut across all age spectrum, irrespective of gender and age.
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