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Gold and guitars among trends at Santa Barbara pawn shop

Ethan Pacheco, State Street Jewelry and Loan
Beth Farnsworth/KEYT
Ethan Pacheco, State Street Jewelry and Loan

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A local pawn shop often serves as a bellwether during social and financial instability.

Your News Channel team stopped in at State Street Jewelry and Loan Monday morning to see what types of trends employees were seeing during inflation in a post-pandemic world.

Ethan Pacheco was working the counter. He said his team is seeing an increase in customers selling off gold -- from dental gold and jewelry to gold bars. And silver.

Pacheco also noticed another trend.

"People are starting to sell off their (pandemic purchased) cameras and people are buying guitars with the stuff that they sell, surprisingly."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the customers coming into this shop were older women. Pacheco said nowadays, a new clientele is traveling across county lines, from Lompoc to Ventura, to sell their belongings for much needed cash.

"Younger people between I'd say the age of 20 all the way up to 30," said Pacheco. "With the increase in inflation, rents going up and everything, people are struggling a little bit more than normal so they're having to hock off some items to get some extra cash for groceries, to get themselves some food or to pay off their rent."

The shop also has an inventory of tools not for sale. These are purchased from owners at roughly 20 or 30 percent of their value -- for those needing fast cash. The owner then has the option to buy it back within four to six months.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here


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