Is a chain of British swap shops / pawn shops / similar which sprung up some time in the early 2000s. They will buy and sell just about anything, although they tend not to touch gold too much. So it's basically consumer electronics, CDs, DVDs, and so forth.

The fact that they will buy just about anything without asking too many questions has led them to be nicknamed by certain segments of the populace as "Stash Converters." There's one near where I live and they have a big scary sign up saying that they don't touch mobile phones without two proofs of address and photographic ID, and if they find out your phone is stolen, they'll not only rat you out to the Po Po but also send you a "civil recovery notice" for the money you got off them. Granted, this is mostly flying a kite, but the idea is to terrify the sorts of people who go there into not selling nicked stuff.

Needless to say, there are serious concerns about how much stuff in Cash Converters is in fact genuine and how much of it was nicked. A trawl through it does reveal quite a lot of comparatively recent items of consumer electronics, musical instruments that are by no means whacked out by any stretch of the imagination, and similar. My local one seems to always have lots of guitar amps on sale, most of which look barely used. Also car stereos. And tranches of CDs and DVDs gfor a pound each. However, before one gets one's hopes up, they're usually the sort of CDs or DVDs that you'd be a little bit ashamed to show to your house guests. Like awful compilation CDs like Bonkers, the Clubber's Guide, or the destined-never-to-end "Now That's What I Call Music" series. The films are likewise horribad on average.

They also trade in jewelry, usually of the chunky gold variety. Needless to say, like a lot of these "cash 4 gold" businesses, you get nowhere near the market value of the stuff if you sell it off and after a while it probably gets sent off to be melted down and repurposed into the sort of tacky nonsense you see sold on tele shopping channels with dubious gems like "rutile quartz," "tanzanite," and industrial diamond chippings for inflated prices. As well as this, they also will do a cheque cashing service (for which a cut is taken), and payday loans.

You have probably worked out that Cash Converters are not a business which congregates in affluent areas. You are right. Whenever I walk in there, it always has that scent about it. The scent of multiple indices of deprivation hangs heavy about it. I have patronised in my time, usually to flog old stuff that I have no use for any more, such as a laptop charger for my two-lappies-ago lappy which broke irretrievably, and occasionally you might find a CD or book not totally worthy of derision. But these are the exceptions. It's also the sort of place that, quite frankly, trades on stupidity and a failure by people to shop around - I'm sure if you sold something privately you would get a higher value than what you would get in Cash Converters, and "payday loans" should be avoided by everyone regardless of how destitute you are, they're about half a step above loan sharks. However they do a roaring trade, that's for certain, and although they themselves do take steps to avoid buying stolen stuff, their patrons do not, and I've seen quite a few private sales take place in the queues there with no questions asked.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.