Curt Heezen, 36, of Madison, says he was a regular visitor to pawn shops who grew up in South Dakota and was disappointed that there were so few in Wisconsin. There are only eight licensed pawn shops in the state and another 12 that offer both pawn shops and payday loans, according to the Department of Financial Institutions.
“I think this store will do very well and also bring in taxpayer money,” Heezen predicts.
The new Pawn America in East Towne has 30 employees who have been trained on how to assess the value of an item and make a deal with sellers. Some items can be searched online. Gold, a particularly popular item these days with such high prices, can be weighed.
“For the most part, it’s an art, not a science,” says Hattman, 30, from Houston, Texas, who moved to Minnesota to join Pawn America and now lives in Poynette with his wife and two children. . “Sometimes you can’t really check what something is worth, so you have to trust your instincts. “
Pawn shops were historically seen as a dumping ground for stolen goods. But to prevent the resale of stolen goods, customers are required to produce government-issued photo ID. Under municipal ordinances, the pawnshop must submit descriptions or serial numbers of items to the police for cross-checking of thefts.
“We work with a national law enforcement network,” says Hattman.