Feeds

South Koreans pawn shiny tech for stress-free loans

Hocking Gangnam Style!

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Cash-poor South Koreans are increasingly pawning their shiny new smartphones, fondleslabs and laptops for hassle-free loans at a growing number of specialist hock shops springing up in the Asian nation.

There are 15 of the new IT pawn shops in the Seoul area alone, all designed to cater to a younger, tech-savvy clientele, according to Korean news agency Yonhap.

A world away from the shady image of the classic pawn shop, usually manned by a chain-smoking octogenarian, this new breed of hocking shop reportedly features young staff, flashy, modern interiors and store web sites.

“One guy was telling his friend he was having a hard time finding someone who could lend him 200,000 won ($184),” pawn shop owner Kim Moo-hyun told the news agency.

“What was ironic is that he was holding the latest iPhone and iPad, which are obviously expensive. I thought this could become a business model.”

These shops typically pay 50-70 per cent of the device’s market price with interest at roughly three per cent, Yonhap said.

Loans apparently range from 200,000 won (£117) to 1 million won (£586) on average, with a Galaxy S3 in good nick potentially fetching 350,000 won (£205).

Customers can be in and out in ten minutes, after showing ID, signing a contract and handing over the device, in a set-up designed to service those in need of hassle-free, one-off loans.

Korean pawn shop owners have even tried to allay customers’ anxiety over being seen in their establishments by offering personal consulting services on mobile messaging platforms, Yonhap said.

But with new product release cycles shorter than ever, items will typically only be taken for a month or two. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.