Poor economy means more items at area pawn shops

BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport pawn brokers are having trouble finding room to store merchandise, as more customers are now selling their belongings during difficult financial times.

Billy Onkey says that his customers are selling their Rolex watches and fine jewelry in exchange for cash. The owner says that the customers that usually return for their belongings for a service charge can't afford to.

"I lost a few customers who constantly always come back to redeem their items because of the economy," Onkey says.

The increase in customers selling instead of buying merchandise has also become a growing trend at the Consign Mart in Westport, where gold is among the items sold.

Shop owners say customers are selling any old, unused possessions. Reaching historic levels, gold is currently priced at $1,000 per ounce and has become a popular selling item.

"You have people that make serious money, that live paycheck by paycheck and that's a scary thought," Consign Mart owner Howard Crash says.

The customers are not the only victims of the economic recession, store owners also have thin wallets, as a result of not being able to resell the items that they receive.

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