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Michigan company brings 21st Century technology to age-old pawn shop business

Jun 1, 2017

The Next Idea

For centuries, people who need some fast cash have turned to pawn shops: "pawning" some personal treasure for a cash loan.

Today there is a modern way to pawn an item. Instead of driving from shop to shop, you can turn to a Michigan-based startup called PawnGuru and do your dealing online.

“Musical instruments are an example of the kind of item where the offer spread is pretty significant,” said PawnGuru co-founder Jordan Birnholtz. “Some pawn shops are really skilled at appraising guitars and other musical instruments where others aren’t, and the ones that are going to be a little more skilled are going to be able to offer you more money in general.”

Listen below for the full conversation with co-founder of this Southfield-based company, Jordan Birnholtz.


The Next Idea is Michigan Radio’s project devoted to new innovations and ideas that will change our state.

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