April 18, 2014
OK, I have been in Sacramento for 8 months and a good portion of that has been in and out of medical centers and hospitals. As you can probably imagine, even with insurance I owe a few dollars. Some facilities have been good to work with, some a little rough. I needed $400.00 to cover some immediate bills but the only things I had of value was a couple of guitars. These are nice units but not gazillion dollar units. I have a mobility problem so I started calling pawn shops near my apartment. None of them would give me the time of day let alone a ball park figure on how much they might loan. I have been in business before and I understand risk and return / profitability. However, treating customers like scum or low life does not need to be part of the transaction formula. One thing I do know, the guitars I own are hard to find now and sell quickly, especially on Ebay. I set out on my quest to try and get a loan. I went to two local pawns, one by ElCamino and Watt Ave and one on Auburn across from a lumber yard. I would mention the names but thank God I forgot them! One young lady at the shop on El Camino was polite but the guy sitting down that would give her no help because he was too busy foaming at the mouth counting his mid day register. The young lady said she would try to get me the $200.00 per guitar, did some checking on the Internet for values and turned to ask Foamy if she could loan $200.00 per guitar and before she could get another word out, he wiped off the foam long enough to tell her "Give the guy $100.00 bucks, gave me a look like....that stupid old man wont know the difference....and went back to his counting and foaming! Uhhh, I continued on my quest elsewhere. The second shop was a little more customer friendly but he looked at the guitars and offered $150.00 each. In reality, if you can't get what you need, why settle for what wont work? So, I went home and listed them on Ebay even though I didn't want to sell them. Then I thought I would give it one more try and looked on the internet again. This time I found California Loan & Jewelry. On the site it said Give us a call for an estimate............What???? They will actually talk to me on the phone? Noooo it's a trick I know it is. Well I called and Wow!!! Polite, friendly, caring, attentive and most of all, not degrading. I told the gentleman on the phone that I needed $400.00 and the information on the guitars. He replied that ball park would be about $350.00 to maybe $400.00 but of course he would want to see the guitars to give exact prices. Now I am thinking ok....it's a trick, he wants to get me in there, he already knows I have been beat verbally by other shops so he probably figured I was worn out and an easy kill. But...... he actually sounded human. I took the chance, grabbed my guitars and hobbled to my truck and drove over to California Loan and Jewelry. (Side note, Sacramento has strange parking meters that give you 12 minutes for 25cents. They can't give and even 15?) I took the guitars inside and immediately was greeted by smiles........ Ok, another trick....or not? Well, it was the or not! I was treated kindly and with respect from start to finish. Then the gentleman asked again what I was hoping to get as a loan on the guitars, I replied $400.00, he looked again on the Internet and said ok we can do that. He did the paperwork and explained every inch of the way on how it worked, the interest charges, being able to re-up with interest only if I could not come up with the full amount when due............it was great!!! So, in a few minutes, I was in the shop, treated like a valued customer and out the door with the money I needed. I cannot say enough good things about these folks. OK, WARNING WARNING WARNING!!!!! The store is clean and organized but too dangerous if you admire great deals on quality stuff. There is a couple of guitars there, (not mine) that I had to start foaming at the mouth from amazement of the brand and selling price! Be careful if you go there needing money...... wear blinders and do not window shop!!!! I am not going to mention what I was foaming over because if you reading this is a guitar lover, the Gibson Guitars and other brands are really priced right so I am not going to tell you that so I can detour someone else from getting what I want to get! OK, I spent a little time on this review and normally I might give a rating with a few details on a review. In this case I want to make it very clear that this is a real business that clearly really cares about their customers pawn loans or what ever. I would recommend this place to my friends and family without hesitation. All I can say is wonderful and unbelievable. I really wish all businesses could take classes from this group on quality customer service. Tim Horton.....and no, I do not sell coffee and donuts.
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