Pawn shops have traditionally served their communities by offering quick, no-hassle loans to their customers, even for small dollar amounts. But lately, pawn brokers who cater to jet setting clients from around the globe have become big news. Unquestionably, one of the biggest names in pawn for the ultra-wealthy is Borro; it’s been featured in outlets including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN News, and has lent nearly $300,000,000 since its inception in 2011.
So how does Borro work? Well, pretty much like any other pawn shop actually. Clients get in touch with Pawn Shops of the Rich and Famous by phone or in person at one of their three locations in London, New York, and Los Angeles. Borro’s appraisers, who are available for house calls worldwide, will then assess the client’s item and a loan offer is extended. If the client accepts, up to $1,500,000 will be wired within 24 hours. If the client cannot bring the item to Borro, the company will make transportation arrangements, with Lloyds of London underwriting the shipping insurance. Not only does Borro offer traditional shorter-term pawn loans, they also do longer term loans for a minimum of $100,000. Borro will also manage the sale of your luxury item, fronting you up to 70% of the estimated retail value. In cash, naturally.
As collateral, Borro accepts jewelry, automobiles, and luxury handbags, but since 2014, the majority of their loan business has come from fine wines, liquors, and art. These loans have helped clients pay for anything from unexpectedly large tax bills to updating the interior of their yachts. For instance, one family secured a $30,000 loan using a black crocodile Hermes Birkin bag as collateral. Another client received a loan for nearly $200,000 using their Mercedes McLaren, which was used as start-up money for a new business venture.
The team here at Common Exchange is pleased to see all of the attention that Borro has garnered. Not only is it highlighting some of the great services pawn brokers have to offer, it also helps dispel many of the largely undeserved negative stereotypes that have been associated with the pawn industry. So if you haven’t found the right time to break open that Balvenie single-malt scotch that’s sitting in your liquor cabinet (average price: $37,000 a bottle), consider using it as collateral for your next loan. Your pawn broker, Borro included, promises not to drink it!