What about pawnshops?
IF you need to get cash urgently, the most efficient method may be a pawnshop. “I just give my things to the shop when I am broke and when I have money I will go take them back.” says Sok Heng, a university student from Pursat province.
“It is common for people to pawn their things when they need money urgently,” says Sok Chea, who works in the Phnom Penh Pawnshop along Kampuchea Krom Boulevard, adding that she charges customers five percent interest per month; meaning they lose 60 percent of their value in a year.
Pawn shop fees are a small price to pay if you can buy your stuff back within a few days, but for customers unable to buy back their stuff, the result is no better than if their stuff was stolen, as no money is made whatsoever.
There is also the honesty of the pawn shop owner to worry about. Under a January 2010 prakas, pawn shop owners are required to have a permit to operate, along with a minimum capital of 80 million riels (about $18,823).Cash-U-Up, a Singaporean-backed business, recently put up US$500,000 to start a pawnshop in Phnom Penh.
Their location at PGCT center on St 274 gives people loans at three percent interest against collateral such as jewellery, phones, motor-bikes and laptops.
There are roughly 40 legal pawn businesses in Phnom Penh, said Mey Vann, the director of financial industry at the Ministry of Finance.
If you do decide to pawn your possessions, make sure that you will have money soon and the person you leave your valuables with is licensed.
BUYING new stuff and selling it when it gets older is common in Cambodia, but most people don’t really know how to get the most money out of the possessions they want to replace. To make sure that you know the best time and place to sell your antiquated assets, we went to a variety of places that buy back your products to find out how people can be sure to get the most possible money in exchange for obsolete or unwanted phones, computers, motor-bikes and jewelry.
Cell-phone shops are ubiquitous in Phnom Penh, which means there are plenty of people ready to buy your phone. The key is finding someone who won’t cheat you. Hun Bun An, a mechanic at Phalla Samaki Mobile Phone Shop, shared some of his techniques for determining how much someone’s cell phone is worth, but admitted that can even be difficult for him to be sure of the correct price.
“Misjudging is common for every shop owner, so we have to be experts and look carefully,” Hun Bun An advised Lift readers. “If people want to sell a phone back for a high price, it should be a phone with a trademark from a well-known brand, have been used gently and maintained.”
He explained that he first looked carefully at the inside of the phone because, unlike the outer appearance which can be deceiving, it tells the true condition of phone. The amount of time the phone has been used is also a determining factor in its value, he explained.
Many Cambodian youths are extending their sense of style beyond wardrobes and hairstyles these days and decking out their motor-bikes to give them a personal touch. There’s nothing wrong with a cool motor-bike, but changing it too much while it’s yours might make it worth less when you are ready to sell it and move on to a newer ride.
While value doesn’t decrease significantly due to exterior changes, Nhim Heng Kri, a motor shop owner near Orussey Market, says that young drivers quickly alter the engines on their motor-bikes. He also said they are the most likely candidate to walk into his shop trying to sell their motor-bike in order to update to a new style or get money for other investments or activities.
“I gauge the value according to the condition and model of the engine,” said Nhim Heng Kri. “The consumer should know how to maintain the motor or else they can lose some money when selling it back.”
Many people think gold is the best investment you can make, and the idea that gold never devalues has been taken to heart by many Cambodians, who prefer to save gold over money. Owning gold has surely paid off in recent months as gold has reached historical highs in terms of value in relation to the US dollar and other major currencies. Gold may be a safe investment, but we still wanted to find out the smartest way to invest in the precious metal.
“Buying gold is dependent on the quality and karat of the gold,” said Phorn Pheng, the owner of the K99 Gold Shop, a gold dealer located in the west of Central Market in Phnom Penh. “14k gold gets the lowest price and kilo-type gold gets the highest price.” He said that some of his customers sell gold because they need money, but most of them wanted to exchange for smaller or bigger pieces of jewelry.
He said the best option to ensure that your jewelry maintains its value is to buy kilo-type gold, but added that many sellers these days provide a receipt so buyers can sell it back within a limited time and lose only 20-30 percent off the price they paid.
SELL ON THE INTERNET
Phnom Penh’s markets may be bustling, but don’t assume they are the best place for you to sell your goods. Selling things through the internet on sites such as CambodiaPropertyGuide.com or khmer24.com can give you more control over the price people pay for your valuables.
“The customers can buy it at a good price since they do not need brokers,” said Ty Rady, the founder of Khmer24, adding that 30 to 40 percent of visitors on his website were students looking to buy or sell mobile phones and computers. He added that you can set your own price and interested people will call you. If you are selling things on the internet you still need to know their worth, but you are the only person who can rip you off.