In August 2010, Arizona EZ-Pawn co-owners Jason Schiprett and Rob Jorgensen were preparing to close the doors on their location in Surprise and move to what they hoped would be greener pastures in Sun City.
“We were a little worried at first,” Schiprett said. “Just because this is an older community and we were concerned a pawn shop would not be welcomed.”
A year and a few months later, Schiprett said he now feels like he is part of that community.
“It’s been great,” he said. “The response from the people has been really warm.”
Schiprett said he and Jorgensen got a little unexpected help from popular TV culture.
“Shows like 'Pawn Stars' and 'Hardcore Pawn' introduced a lot of people to pawn shops and sort of opened people’s eyes to what we do,” he said. “They created an interest in pawn shops and we’ve benefitted from that.”
The store had lots of first-time pawn shoppers, he said, especially early on.
“We had people coming in all the time who would introduce themselves to us and then say this was the first time they’d ever been in a pawn shop,” he said. “Many of those people would then buy something from us or bring in something to sell.”
Many of them continue to do so.
“We have a lot of repeat customers now,” Schiprett said. “We have a few people who come in probably once a week to see what we have.”
Schiprett said setting up shop in Sun City has meant the opportunity to deal in items he otherwise would not likely have seen.
“We’ve had lots of World War II-era stuff,” he said. “German helmets, antique firearms. We see a lot of coin collections, that sort of thing. I have a mandolin from the 1940s, an accordion from the 1920s. It’s been really neat to see these things.”
Looking back, Schiprett said he is happy with the decision to leave Surprise for Sun City.
“Everyone here has been so great. We absolutely did the right thing.”
Arizona EZ-Pawn is at 9421 W. Bell Road. For information, call 623-544-3446 or visit www.azezpawn.com.
Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.