91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

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

Kamal Hamid
Pawn shops can get people cash fast.

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.

Michigan Radio originally broadcast this story on June 1, 2017.

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

Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook, or let us know your Next Idea here.

(Subscribe to The Next Idea podcast on iTunes, or with this RSS link.)


Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.