Fran appears on Million Pound Pawn
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What items does a pawnbroker take and what interest do pawnbrokers charge?

And are they all rich?

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Million Pound Pawn on ITV takes us inside the world of highly lucrative high-end pawnbrokers – so what items does a pawnbroker take?

What interest do they charge? And are they all rich?

Here’s everything you need to know about Million Pound Pawn and the world of pawnbroking!

Dan Hatfield makes a tidy profit on everything he buys and sells (Credit: ITV1)
Dan Hatfield makes a tidy profit on everything he buys and sells (Credit: ITV1)

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What is a pawnbroker?

A pawnbroker is a person who lends money at interest on the security of an article pawned – or buys items for “liquid cash”.

Potential sellers hand over their item (known as a pawn or pledge) to the pawnbroker who will value it.

You can redeem the pawn at any time, by paying what you owe and getting the item back.

If you don’t repay the loan during the redemption period, the pawnbroker can sell it to recover the cash.

In Million Pound Pawn, affluent or canny clients hope to sell their goods for a decent price – but the pawnbrokers want their cut too.

With the current pandemic, the pawnbroking business is doing a roaring trade.

Brits have turned to their valuables to get them through a tough time financially.

Pawnbrokers can be a “real lifeline for the asset rich and cash poor”.

What does a pawnbroker take?

A pawnbroker will take anything they think they can sell on.

You can pretty much pawn anything of value – but sellers often think their items are more valuable than they really are.

Some shops will only take items such as gold or jewellery, but most will consider other valuable items that can be sold on such as electronics, power tools and musical instruments.

In Cheshire, Kathy is one of the few female pawnbrokers in the industry (Credit: ITV1)
In Cheshire, Kathy is one of the few female pawnbrokers in the industry (Credit: ITV1)

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What interest does a pawnbroker charge?

A pawnbroker isn’t doing you a favour – they are trying to make the biggest profit they can for themselves.

The pawnbrokers in Million Pound Pawn do not reveal what percentage of the sale they keep – but it’s hefty if their smiles are anything to go by!

Pawn shops generally charge between three per cent and 10 per cent per month, dependant on the size of the loan and the individual company.

They are higher than a bank will charge for a loan, but less than payday loan providers.

The advantage is that there are no credit checks, which is the appeal for some cash-strapped clients.

Also, pawn loans don’t affect a person’s credit score.

When Black Lace’s Dene Micheal tries to sell a Rolex, they offer to buy it for £2,500, or give him a loan of £1,500 – charges of which would be £70 a month.

Are pawnbrokers all rich?

Most pawnbrokers earn a decent living but the ones in Million Pound Pawn deal with much bigger numbers.

In episode one, Dan buys jewellery for £155,000 – but refuses to reveal what percentage her took from the transaction.

Let’s just say, his suit looks expensive!

All pawnbrokers take a cut of their deals, and obviously high-end ones get more money.

Pawnbroker Ray appears on Million Pound Pawn on ITV1
Pawnbroker Ray appears on Million Pound Pawn (Credit: ITV1)

Can you trust a pawnbroker?

According to single mum and divorcee Fran, who appears in episode one, pawnbrokers are not to be trusted.

She tells the camera: “We all need pawnbrokers because we need the money, but I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.”

She’s right about the need for them, as there are more than 800 pawnbrokers in the UK right now.

However, Fran thinks her jewellery is worth around £17,000, and pawnbroker Dan has a big surprise for her.

Million Pound Pawn on ITV1: What’s it about?

Million Pound Pawn is a three-parter looking at the high-end of the pawnbroking business.

This isn’t about dusty-old trinkets, this is about fine art, Lamborghini’s, £60,000 bottles of whisky (yes, really!), Tiffany jewellery and Rolex watches.

Episode one reveals the heartbreaking story of single mum Fran, who is hoping to fund medical treatment for her son.

She must part with a pair of diamond earrings, and a possible Patek Philippe watch to potentially save her son’s life.

But is the jewellery as expensive as she hopes? Or are they fakes?

And can she trust Sheffield-based third generation pawnbroker Dan Hatfield?

We meet pawnbroker Ray in London, who meets a man hoping to sell his Lamborghini.

Meanwhile, in affluent Cheshire, Kathy is one of just a few female pawnbrokers in the industry.

She meets former 80s pop star Dene Michael who is hoping to raise money to see him through these tough times.


Million Pound Pawn airs on Tuesday February 23 2021 at 8pm on ITV1.

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