Hill Top Pawn owner Paul Slifko talks to new customer Harris Price.
SNELLVILLE, GA - It's the kind of place your mother may have warned you about, but these days it's not your daddy's pawn shop anymore, especially Hill Top Pawn in Snellville.
First opened in 1994, it's now housed in a new 5,500 square foot building with plenty of customers thanks to a tough economy.
"We've tended here lately to see a customer who we normally wouldn't see," said owner Paul Slifko.
People who've never set foot in one before are now pawning belongings to make ends meet, especially gold and jewelry.
Slifko says that also means a higher quality of merchandise, which is bringing in new shoppers.
He pointed to a near mint condition 1968 Mercury Cougar and a good condition Fender Stratocaster guitar.
Regular Rick Parks likes to look for deals, especially used tools that are in good condition.
"I don't get a warranty, but I'm buying the product probably for half the cost," he said.
After searching retail stores for weeks, newcomer Harris Price was stunned at the deals he and his wife could get on jewelry for their anniversary.
"I bought her a ring; I bought myself a new ring and what we paid was probably a quarter of what you'd actually pay for it," Price said.
Two popular TV series, "Pawn Stars" and "Hardcore Pawn", have also given a boost to this second hand industry's image.
"We get a lot of really cool stuff and I think the shows have really helped to put in perspective just what a pawnbroker is and does," said owner Slifko.