4 Ways Pawn Shops Use Text Messaging to Grow Revenue

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What if there was a way your pawn shop could stand out from other local retailers, bolster your e-commerce options, and attract more foot traffic, all with one solution?

We’re here to show you how texting can do all that and more, because 99% of text messages are opened. Text messaging is an underused marketing and sales tool that more and more pawnbrokers, like you, are starting to tap into for:

  • Increasing inbound requests for pawned items
  • Sharing SMS updates on inventory and deals that get engagement
  • Receiving more loan payments on time by texting payment portals
  • Earning more online reviews and increasing search engine ranking by texting review links

All of this leads to better customer experiences and more money in your pocket. Below we’ll cover steps to utilizing each of these tactics, plus how they fit into your pawn shop’s larger objectives like sales and marketing.

1. Increase inbound requests for pawned items.

Customers have a ton of questions when they reach out to you:

  • Do you have a specific kind of item in stock?
  • What are the price ranges?
  • Do you have any pictures?
  • What kind of financing do you offer?

And if you can’t answer these questions, they will most likely move on to another pawnbroker or retailer.

Texting makes answering customer questions more manageable because you can have multiple text conversations going on at the same time (instead of one-at-a-time like you would over the phone). You just need a way to advertise that your pawn shop texts, which you can do with tools like SMS Chat.

SMS Chat is a widget that lets customers reach out to you directly from your website’s homepage for things like asking if a certain pawned item is in stock or to check its pricing information.

Inbound requests will drastically increase when you give potential customers the option to reach you the way they prefer most—which is text messaging.

2. Share SMS updates on inventory and deals that get engagement.

Sometimes you have pawned items that you know are hot commodities, you just need a way to let your regulars know they’re on the shelves.

SMS updates and promotions can be one of the most effective ways for your pawn shop to reach people. Not only is it easy to pop your list of contacts into a group message, but you know that 99% of those contacts will read your message and engage with it.

The best part is that Text Request’s group messages work like BCC email, which means that any responses become a one-on-one conversation where you can answer individual customer questions and give them more personalized information that drives them closer toward a purchase.

Your pawn shop’s SMS marketing campaigns could be as simple as:

“Did you know we’re having a limited-time 30% off sale on all jewelry items?”


“Visit our website to check out the affordable pricing on these name-brand handbags that just came in: [link]”

You can also send photos of the items to the interested customers who text you back asking for more information.

The key is that you start building a list of these contacts early on (either by collecting their phone numbers at the register or by offering them discounts) so you have a subscriber list you can regularly send these SMS promotions and updates to.

Related: 10 Text Message Templates for Marketing and Promotions

3. Receive more loan payments on time by texting payment portals.

Want a way to decrease the amount of time it takes for buyers to close their short-term loans?

A big part of that is getting customers to make payments on time, but sometimes they need a nudge to do that. Afterall, the biggest reason customers miss payments is because they forgot.

That’s why businesses that switch to texting for collections see a significant increase in payments, because text messages are read within seconds regardless of who they come from.

Your SMS payment reminder could be as short and sweet as:

“Hey [Name] this is a reminder that your payment for [item] is due this Friday. You can pay on our website at: [link]”

Related: 15 Text Templates to Collect More Payments

4. Earn more online reviews and increase search engine ranking by texting review links.

Potential customers previously found pawn shops by using tools like Yellow Pages and Yelp, or by seeing a pawnbroker’s listings on eBay. Now potential buyers are more likely to use Google, or to search for a specific item nearest them.

This means improving your search engine ranking is going to play a huge role in the foot traffic you bring to your pawn shop.

So what’s the best way to start increasing your ranking?

Online reviews are needed to not only get your pawn shop popping up in searches, but also to show you're a reputable vendor locals can trust.

The good news is that getting more reviews is fairly simple—76% of customers will leave you a one if you just ask them directly.

This is where text messaging enters to make your life a thousand times easier. You just copy and paste your review link into a text, and hit send:

“Tell us about your pawning experience at: [link] - [Pawnshop Name]”

Text Request can make this process even easier when you save these messages as text templates you can send over and over as needed.

Related: 15 Text Templates for Requesting Customer Reviews

Increase your pawn shop’s bottom line with text messaging!

Your pawn shop needs a way to compete with other retail stores and Amazon. And text messaging is the perfect tool to direct more customers to your online store or in-person through links, or to share what items you have in stock.

You can advertise that your pawn shop texts everywhere from your physical store’s windows, to your social media, to even your website by using the SMS Chat widget we talked about earlier.

The point is that once you have a number customers can text you with, you’re going to see more of them reaching out to you. It’s the number one way they want to connect with pawnbrokers like you.