BY LINDA BENTLEY | FEBRUARY 6, 2013
CAVE CREEK – After selling his excavating business in 2004, when the economy turned south in 2008, retired Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputy Dana Gonder (l) thought long and hard about what kind of business would prosper in a bad economy and have staying power when times are good.
Gonder settled on the pawn business and started Wild West Pawn in 2009 in a 600 square-foot space in the strip mall next to the Dairy Queen. It wasn’t long before he outgrew that space and moved his business to another location with triple the square footage.
When that location became too crowded, Gonder and his partner Rich Christopher bought the old Fandango/Long Branch/Cody’s building and added another 3,500 square feet to give them 10,000 square feet of retail space.
What many people don’t know about the pawn business is it is simply a means of people being able obtain a collateralized loan that they can’t get from banks and the interest rates are regulated by state statute.
According to Gonder, approximately 85 percent of the people who pawn merchandise return to pick it up.
When someone comes in to pawn an item, it is written up on a multi-page form with a detailed description and a fingerprint of the person’s index finger. One copy is sent to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the merchandise cannot be sold for 20 days.
Wild West Pawn buys, sells and consigns pretty much anything of value and has an eclectic selection of goods, including jewelry, guns, bicycles, gumball machines, motorcycles, vehicles, boats and much, much more.
This neon sign is just one of the many eclectic items that can be found at Wild West Pawn along with a recently sold Jeep that will be making its way to Nome, Alaska.
Tattoo artist Chuck Goddard has a booth there as well and coming in May, they will also be offering title and registration services.
Wild West Pawn, located at 6032 E Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.