Non-Traditional Shopping a Growing Option

Updated: 11/21/2012 6:48 PM By: Tim Sherno

As the holiday shopping season begins, some non-traditional options are gaining in popularity. Karl Hattman is the Regional Manager for Pawn America, he says their records show big jumps ever year, better than traditional retails outlets, "We've seen 30% plus growth on Black Fridays, specifically over the past 4 years, every year, year to year.  The industry average for example last year was nationally 7%, we saw 33% growth last year and we expect similar growth this year."

Hattman points to changes in perceptions to pawn shops, some on the part of the consumer, others by design.  Some suggest sites like Ebay have played a big roles in lowering resistance to buying items thought of as 'used.' Hattman says his store has found ways to appeal to customers with warrantees, even boxes.

Financial Advisor Nicole Middendorf puts it another way, "Why would you buy a brand new car? Let someone else take the depreciation." Middendorf's argument is purely financial, "Why would I spend $100 for something when I could find it somewhere for $50 bucks and save myself some money? Obviously the more you can save, the better off you're going to be."

Non-traditional shopping is not without potential pitfalls, for example there is no guarantee you can find what you're looking for, and a buyer may not be able to get a warrantee from a person-to-person sale on Ebay or Craigslist.