Feeds

South Koreans pawn shiny tech for stress-free loans

Hocking Gangnam Style!

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.