When James Constantinou saw a gap in the market and set up his pawnbroking business in affluent Surrey, he had no idea how successful his business would be. Since 2009 Prestige Pawnbrokers has gone from strength to strength.
James’s timing was impeccable – from chatting with his friends and contacts James could see that the recession was hitting hard. There was a complete change in lifestyle for many successful people who were asset rich but who were suddenly finding financial doors closing where before they had been waiting with open arms…positively encouraging people to borrow As the economy started to decline, banks were literally closing up shop leaving many people in a very tricky situation. With the realisation that they no longer had access to normal credit lines, people were fast becoming cash poor and looking for other options. This is where James found his niche, offering short-term finance to people who were being refused credit from their banks. James’s business depended on people finding valuable possessions and turning them into instant cash…suddenly looking in your wardrobe became serious business! Dusting off your Hermes bag could mean the school fees sorted for another term! The much loved but unworn Rolex might just pay off your credit card or offer you some mortgage payment relief…Granny’s old diamond bracelet might pay for the wedding you had been planning before the recession hit!
Far from the old vision of pawnbroking – which brings to mind some sad Dickensian story – James was offering people a secure option whereby you could raise money against your valuables but with the option to claim them back after seven months by paying the loan back or simply paying the interest and extending the loan.
Prestige has come a long way since the early days and James now has branches in Richmond and Hatton
Garden as well as his original shop in Weybridge.
The business has grown enormously. James has developed his website (www.prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk)
and the company now has an eShop (http://shop.prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk/) where you can buy beautiful
pre-loved items at a fraction of the actual value – perfect for those seeking a real bargain.
Perhaps one of James’s most notable achievements last year was being noticed by Channel 4. With quite
a bit of coverage in the national newspapers, Prestige Pawnbrokers was picked up by Channel 4, who thought that the nature of high end pawnbroking would make an interesting documentary.
Posh Pawn is now into its fourth series having been overwhelmingly popular. The TV show burst onto our
screens last spring and continues to be astoundingly popular. Since filming started, James feels that the show reflects life at the shop branches and whilst we see some pretty interesting artefacts coming through, the maincore business is jewellery. Usually heirlooms or gifts – the jewellery business is booming! James always seeks a second opinion and with jewellery his first stop for a valuation is always his great colleague Ian Towning – who has proven a firm TV favourite during the show.
With the show back on Channel 4 in August and November it’s been a great success. If you haven’t already seen it, it makes compelling viewing and if you are a jewellery lover you will definitely see some fabulous pieces come through the Prestige Pawnbroker shop doors!
For more information or valuations please either
call 0800 917 6897 or
check out www.prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk