Cash Converters is a shop window for all those gadgets, jewellery and collectables which have fallen from favour as the teenage son and daughter has moved on to the ‘next best thing’.
“Clearing out the room when children move out or go to university is one of those times when we end up with guitars and other technology at our store,” said franchisee Steve McBrearty,
“We have expert staff who can test and restore something like a guitar and give it a second life as someone else’s Jimi Hendrix style experience. When we reach the limit of our expertise, we have a network of local specialist businesses that can help.
“Buying pre-loved or previously owned items is now fashionable - a form of recycling if you like. And people can recoup some of the hundreds they have spent on gadgets by selling through us.”
Cash Converters in Bedford moved to the Bus Station from the High Street last year and is reporting a rise in visitors and business.
“The council’s investment in the Bus Station combined with our investment in store standards has definitely led to improved business levels. People can sell us items, use the Buy Back service or Pawn items to raise cash. Because pawns are basically a secured loan - e.g. we hold an item of value - interest rates are less than you think. We live in a society where people have grown used to borrowing money on credit cards and so pawning an item is now acceptable.”
Cash Converters which started in Australia has more than 700 stores in 21 counties all offering a way for people to buy and sell second hand, or obtain micro loans.
Pictured with Steve is musical equipment expert Paul who can give advice to those selling or buying instruments and other sound equipment.
“Retro jewellery is one of our more popular products and the 1920s silver finger purse, pictured, is one of many treasures that people can purchase here. Our staff are experienced in a wide range of areas and interests and can give people advice about the products which is something you don’t get when buying from a Facebook page. Some of our products will re-sell for hundreds of pounds so you don’t want to be giving them away. The money you recoup can go towards the next expensive item the teenagers want,” added Steve, who is a volunteer member of the Bedford Business Improvement District (BID) Board. He recognises that Bedford has to serve the whole community and the services offered need to support not only those that are having a clear out or upgrading, but also those in what the Prime Minister calls, the “just about managing” category.
“We are helping those who want to raise money and those who want to make a good value purchase.
“At Cash Converters, our mission is ‘helping people get on with life’.”