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Eight Ideas for Marketing Your Pawn Shop on Social Media

  1. Post photos of your products. Even if the people following you aren’t looking for a specific item, they may know someone who is. Be sure to include some information in the comment section such as size, price, etc.

 

  1. Ask your customers to check in on Facebook, at your store. Offer a discount for check-ins. When your customers check in at your store, their friends see that they were there. When their friends “Like” their status, their friends see the post in their feed. All this means more exposure for you!

 

  1. Hold a contest. Contests don’t have to be complicated. Post a trivia question and give the first five people who answer correctly a discount code. You can track this right inside your PawnMaster software. You can do this on a regular basis, so your following begins to expect it. For example you can do #TriviaTuesday.

 

  1. If you sell vintage items, do a #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) campaign. Post pictures and descriptions of the vintage items you have for sale.

 

  1. Ask your customers to “Like” and “Follow” you for insider sales.

 

  1. Share photos of your staff, introduce them, recognize them, and make them visible so when people come in to your shop, they see a familiar face.

 

  1. Thought leadership is a great way to gain credibility. If you read an article that was interesting, share the link on your page for others to see. This can start a discussion around the topic, generating activity on your page. If others share your article, you will gain exposure that way too.

 

  1. Set a goal for the number of “Likes” you receive. Once you achieve that number, offer a discount to all your Facebook followers. You can do the same for all the other social media channels you use.
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Pawn Shop Holiday Checklist

Pawn Shop Holiday Checklist

holiday checklist

o Get your social media pages up and running

WHY: This holiday season is expected to be the first to test a new wave of social commerce. Word-of-mouth about your shop and your sales can bring in more paying customers. Consider offering a discount for customers who check in to your store.

o Put together a holiday calendar of planned promotions

WHY: Plan now to get ahead, so when your stores are extra busy with holiday volume, you’ll already have it done. Make sure to communicate all of your sales with your employees.

In addition to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Free Shipping day, you can also think about doing a sale in early November to attract early shoppers, Small Business Saturday is November 29, have special offers in early December to celebrate the beginning of the shopping season, and “Final Days” for last minute shoppers. Be as creative as you’d like with it.

Don’t forget to think about all the channels you have available for promoting your sales. Text messaging, e-mail, snail mail, flyers, store signage, etc.

o Get your inventory online

WHY: If you already have a system in place for getting your inventory online now, you’ll be able to take advantage of the holiday e-commerce spending, in addition to your regular retail operation. Consider offering free shipping for online sales.

o Be sure to opt all of your customers in for marketing text messages

WHY: This way, you’ll be able to include all your customers in any holiday promotions you run. They’ll be able to receive and redeem promotions right on their phone.

o Make sure to include Customer Loyalty Points in your sales

WHY: Customer Loyalty Points are points your customers earn on every dollar they spend. They can redeem the points for discounts in your shop on future purchases. This will keep your customers coming back. The more money they spend, the more they earn. Be sure to have you loyalty points program in place so the customers you gain over the holidays come back later to redeem their loyalty points.

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Culture Pays: Happy Employees Make for Happy Customers

dathree-Amigos

Over the years, Data Age has been one of the top rated companies to work for in central Florida. We work hard and we play hard… And yes, we get a little whacky. Our world-class, industry-leading products certainly are very attractive to the top professionals seeking long-term employment, but it’s the culture at the company that attracts top talent through our doors and keeps them here. We just completed the NPA event and it is obvious the pawn industry is growing and transitioning. The veterans are mixing with the younger brokers so to speak. The younger folks here talk about how understanding the demographics of our customers is so important… This is a true statement. Not only does a company have to evolve and improve upon their products, services, methodologies and strategies, they also have to understand the people driving the business and the audience it is serving.

The industry is seeing a lot of the seasoned brokers continue to flourish, as they pass along their knowledge and wisdom to the young professionals making this industry a career path for themselves. The NPA had a wonderful forum in Vegas called the young professionals forum and it was refreshing to see so many energetic, new faces contributing at a high level.

Here at Data Age, we subscribe to and support the same line of thinking. We have a great blend of highly experience people, mixed in with the youth and future of the industry. One example would be the “Three Amigos” pictured here. Not only do we promote good work/life balance by having a boat load of fun, we bring in nothing but the best talent. These gents, along with a host of other team members, bring new-age and cutting-edge ideas and approaches which translate into results for our customers. We encourage our customers to stay well connected to their Account Managers because, while the world-class software we provide is well documented, the insight, collaboration and true partnership our team can deliver is what separates us from the rest. We also know how to have fun so go for it with your responses.  :)

By Len Summa, COO

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Check out this AWESOME testimonial from our 8 store client Money Mizer!

Money Mizer Management, Inc.

1648 Manchester Expressway, Columbus, GA 31904
phone: 706.810.0605 / email: mgmt@moneymizer.net
I recently spent two days at the Data Age headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. The purpose of my visit was
to gain a deeper insight into the Data Age product and services our company, Money Mizer Pawns and
Jewelers, utilizes on a daily basis in our corporate and franchise stores. I came to the realization that the
money our company invests in Data Age products and services goes far beyond the tangibles that we
receive. The quality of the product is clearly a result of and evident in the caliber of people who provide that
service to our company.
Richard Lutz exhibited the qualities any educational institution would love to see in a trainerhis
pace,
feedback, and depth of knowledge were exemplary. My background lies in education, where I obtained my
M.Ed with a focus on content and curriculum. Therefore, I must confess, my time spent with Richard was
part training, part critiquing his educational approach. Richard appears to have an innate ability to adjust his
instruction based on the needs of the student. The questions I posed were always approached by Richard in
a manner that focused on my prior level of knowledge to build my understanding to the next level. Educators
receive countless semester course hours focusing primarily on how to employ this particular pedagogy. Data
Age is fortunate to have a corporate trainer who has the innate ability to instruct in such a manner.
Alan Kircher should be appointed the title “Data Age Ambassador,” as he was a more than gracious host.
Alan went, in my opinion, above and beyond in making me feel welcome and at ease during my visit. The
foundation of sales is not built upon a quick seal of a deal but upon developing a trusting relationship with
the customer. Alan seems to have a firm grasp on this concept. Our discussions during training breaks and
meals varied from personal and business, and I felt a genuine concern from Alan on both fronts. His
suggestions for our company always seemed to be an extension of my own concerns, wishes, and needs.
In fact, each and every person I shook hands with and met at the Data Age office was welcoming and
seemed to show genuine interest in my presence not only as a customer but, more importantly, as a guest.
Robin Kiltz took time from her work at the end of the day to sit down with me and go over the billing from
each of our stores in order to see what may be lacking or what may be redundant. Adam Nunez and Nick
Marzola went above and beyond the call of duty to address a problem from one our store managers who
called me as they were preparing to leave on Friday. Billy Booth, likewise, took time from his busy schedule
and delayed his leaving for a youth baseball tournament to spend time to go over and discuss some new
features and products with me. Being a former high school coach, myself, I can appreciate his patience!
Thank you again for the opportunity to come visit and train at your company headquarters; thank you for the
hospitality shown to me during my visit; and thank you especially for the exemplary product and unparalleled
service provided to our company by Data Age Business Systems.
Sincerely,
William E. Harris
Money Mizer Management, INC

Memphis Here We Come…

It is always a great pleasure for me to spend time with our clients. I have such respect for the operators in this industry and it brings me great pleasure in seeing them succeed. Today I had the pleasure of spending  hours with one of our long time clients Gina & Josh Barkan. Gina and Josh have been using PawnMaster for 15 years. These guys are hard workers and they pride themselves on good business.  Services and relationships is the name of their game and you can see this by the amount of traffic that comes through there doors. There shop is well received by the community. I enjoyed speaking with their team and getting valuable feedback from the trenches, which we always use to make ourselves better. I want to personally commend Gina & Josh with a Bravo! I also want to thank the entire PawnMaster family for their continued support. Twenty seven years of experience with  almost three thousand clients that continually help us stay innovative. While so many other vendors struggle to attain long term growth, we pride ourselves on loyalty and history. 

 As always, we value our PawnMaster clients and will continue to respect the responsibility that comes from being the industry-leading pawn software provider.  Thanks gang… see you at the Dixie show in Memphis. Please stop by and see us at booth 302.

 

 

~Len Summa, Chief Operations Officer

PawnMaster Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the features that makes PawnMaster so easy and fast to use is the built in keyboard shortcuts. You don’t need to use a mouse to do most functions in PawnMaster. In fact, with a little practice, using keyboard shortcuts can be much faster than using a mouse.  One of the most popular videos in our “Did You Know” series is the one on shortcuts. We’ve had several customers ask us to provided a more expanded list of those shortcuts.  Richard Lutz, the Data Age University Product Training Manager, has put together this comprehensive list of the keyboard shortcuts available in PawnMaster.

PawnMaster Login Screen

On the login screen, the tab key or arrow keys may be used to move the cursor. Enter key or ALT+ O used to login.

PawnMaster Toolbar

On the home screen, pressing the ALT key, will add an underline to the shortcut keys. Here is a list of the shortcuts for the PawnMaster toolbar:

ALT+F File ALT+R Reports
ALT+A Admin ALT+T Tools
ALT+C Customer ALT+O Police
ALT+P Pawn/Buy ALT+G GL Export
ALT+S Sales ALT+M CheckMaster
ALT+I Inventory ALT+H Help, Also accessible by pressing F1 and right-clicking in certain fields

 

When using keyboard shortcuts, hold down the ALT key through each of the keystrokes. Do not release then press the alt key again, because, depending on the key combination selected different menus will open.

For example;

Pressing  ALT+P, N,  F,  I,  will start a new pawn and take me right to the screen to scan a customer’s ID.

However pressing ALT+P then ALT+N then ALT+F then ALT +I will result in opening the inventory menu.

Memorizing the keyboard shortcuts for just a few of the most frequently used tasks will greatly increase your speed and productivity.

 

Admin Customers…
ALT+C Cash Drawers ALT+E Edit
ALT+G Gun Log ALT+F Find
ALT+M Maintain Employees… ALT+A Add
ALT+V Vendors… ALT+D Delete
ALT+P Printer Setup ALT+X Exit
ALT+D Image Capture Devices
ALT+W Weight and Balance
ALT+S Store Setup
ALT+I Item Setup (Codes)
ALT+L Customer Locks

 

Pawn/Buy Sales
ALT+N New ALT+S Sale
ALT+M Maintain ALT+M Maintain Sale
ALT+P Payment ALT+L Layaway
ALT+L Forfeit Listing ALT+Y Maintain Layaway
ALT+F Forfeit Pull ALT+R Repair
ALT+O Overdue Title Loans ALT+E Maintain Repair
ALT+R Send Out for Repo ALT+C Credit Sale
ALT+U Undo Reminder Notices ALT+D Maintain Credit Sale
ALT+B Assign Bins ALT+I Memo Item
ALT+C Change Amounts of Items ALT+O Maintain Memo
ALT+A Audit
ALT+E Remote Store Payment
ALT+
ALT+

 

Inventory Reports
ALT+N New ALT+C Report Categories
ALT+M Maintain Inv ALT+R Reports
ALT+S Scrap ALT+T Total Only
ALT+C Combine ALT+P Print
ALT+I Repair ALT+X Exit
ALT+T Transfer
ALT+P Physical
ALT+E Real-time Physical
ALT+R Receive Inventory
ALT+A Auction
ALT+U Mass update price

 

Tools Police
ALT+B Backup ALT+T Ticket Listing
ALT+A Data Maintenance ALT+C Create File to Send
ALT+C Remove/Add Cash ALT+H Hold/Confiscate
ALT+M Message ALT+O OFAC SDN Listing
ALT+G Gold Quote ALT+B BWI Real-time Sub
ALT+D Daily Spot Price
ALT+W Wanted Items
ALT+P Change Emp Password
ALT+T Time clock
ALT+O Combine Customers
ALT+E Extend all Pawns GL Export
ALT+F Pickup a Firearm ALT+X Export Batch Data
ALT+L E-Mail Customers ALT+P Print Batch
ALT+K Print a Check ALT+A Setup Accounts
ALT+R Debit Load Card ALT+C Setup Cash drawers
ALT+S Send Text Messages ALT+I Setup Item Types
ALT+X Send Blast Text Message ALT+M Setup Account Mask
ALT+H Print Shelf Labels ALT+O Setup Options
ALT+Q Metal Quick Quote ALT+K Setup Checking Accounts
ALT+I Protection Plan ALT+R Remote Store Payment Setup

Those are the main keyboard shortcuts currently available in PawnMaster. For more information on using PawnMaster more efficiently, contact Richard Lutz at 727-582-9100.

 

Backups: The Most Important Task You May Not Be Doing

Your data is the most important asset to your business. Most PawnMaster customers like the fact that their data is only saved on their own systems and not co-mingled with other shops’ data. This is especially important for people using digital gun logs (see section 9). While having your data stored locally is beneficial, you want to make sure you always have a valid backup stored off site in case of a disaster.

Our business computers house some of our most precious data, financial records, personal customer information, and the entire inventory. Losing that data can be devastating. It can be wiped out and disappear in a heartbeat if your computer is damaged in any number of scenarios, such as: lightning, fire, theft, virus, spilled liquids, or just an inexplicable hard drive failure. Most of us know that we should be backing up, but we put off doing it. Losing valuable data is viewed as a some day threat rather than an imminent danger. To get yourself organized and motivated, imagine losing all of your data and having to start over from scratch. This realization should show the importance of backing up your data within PawnMaster.

This chart shows the most prominent causes of data loss

picture 7

There are three Data Age approved ways to back up your data within PawnMaster. Before explaining the processes, lets view some guidelines. If you only backup once a day, do it after the last transaction. Make sure all of the workstations have PawnMaster exited properly. You can close PawnMaster easily by going to the computer and clicking “File>Exit”.

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Once all of the workstations have PawnMaster turned off, you can perform the backup. You do this by opening PawnMaster on the server, and clicking “Tools>Backup Data”.

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Doing this creates two files called “pmDatabak.dat” and “pmPICSbak.dat”.

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These are the two files that should go into your flash drive or external hard drive in order to protect the files from accidents.

 

If you want to backup more frequently, navigate to the PawnMaster directory usually located under C:PawnMaster then to the “support” folder.

4-2

In here you will find a file called “Pmtools”. Within Pmtools you can click “backup/restore” then click “backup”. This can be done while other workstations are in use. Always make a new backup before making any system changes or doing anything out of the ordinary.

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The two files “pmDatabak.dat” and “pmPICSbak.dat” contain your database and are the most important for backing up your PawnMaster. Even after performing the backup, the files are still not completely safe. The best thing to do after completing your backup at the end of the day is to put the files on a flash drive or external hard drive and take it off site. This prevents an accident from happening and damaging your data. Preventing a data crisis in the first place is the best step towards being secure, which brings us to our next topic, DigiShield.

Third party backup solutions may be providing false security. We’ve had several customers use third party backup software and not have a valid backup when they needed it.

picture 6

The most effective way to back up your data is to use a service provided by DataAge called DigiShield. Proper and secure data protection is important and can save your business money if you experience computer problems. With DigiShield you will have all the protection you need. DigiShield is always on, always secure and always connected. With DigiShield you would never have to remember to backup your data because it does it for you, automatically, sending it off-site to our secure data facility. Data Age validates your data and restores your data monthly to make sure it’s valid in case of a disaster. DigiShield is a proven solution for data backup for PawnMaster and is definitely the best choice when it comes to a simple and effective solution to these needs.

 

The Importance of Business Software

SoftwareAlmost every business uses some kind of business software to help them be more successful. We are not talking Microsoft Word or Excel. Business software helps a company run the vital elements of their business, control costs, automate functions, etc. Even small businesses use some kind of accounting program to help them keep their books, send invoices, make payroll and pay their taxes. Savvy small business owners use more advanced software to help them run the critical parts of their business.

Large companies use advanced software to manage sales leads, track projects, control manufacturing, and other vital functions. They understand the investment and why it’s important to not only make the right purchase but why it’s important to work with their software provider on an ongoing basis. The software companies provide support for their systems but they also have a good understanding of how their software can help improve their customers business. They have generally worked with thousands of customers, learning from each one and taking the experience and incorporating it into their systems to help other businesses improve. Using an advanced software system doesn’t only help you do mundane tasks faster, it gives you access to the experiences of thousands of other businesses.

Technology professionals who work for large companies know that software is an investment. The money they put into a system must have a return on investment. Large businesses will spend hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars annually on software. And not only on new software but on annual maintenance of existing systems as well. Why are they willing to spend so much? Because they understand for every dollar they spend, they are making or saving much, much more.

Many small businesses have embraced the use of advanced software to help them run their businesses as well. It’s hard to find a small business that isn’t using some sort of accounting program. However they tend to see it as a simple tool and try to find the lowest cost option. Why? Because accounting is accounting, right? More and more small businesses are thinking like large companies and looking at their software as an investment. They spend the time to learn about each option, what it will bring them, how it will help them save, and even more importantly, how it will help them MAKE more money. They research the company behind the software they are purchasing. They take the time to learn about what the software can do for them and what each systems strengths and weaknesses are. They listen to the software company’s sales representatives. Is the rep just trying to get them to buy or are they asking them questions about their business? Does the rep even understand their business environment? Are they selling software or can they offer a solution? Microsoft Word is software. A full management system that runs a BUSINESS is a solution. That shouldn’t be taken that lightly. It could end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

When looking at software for your pawnshop, remember it’s an investment. Do your research. Try to determine what the long term return on your investment will be. This system will be the most important tool in driving your revenue. Make sure it’s the right one for your business.

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The Value in Choosing the #1 Vendor

TIME is MONEY

Technical issues causing your pawn software to not function properly, such as not having the ability to print a contract, may result in you locking your doors and turning away business.
Having a reliable technical support solution is KEY in these situations. Including myself, Data Age maintains a 15 man dedicated technical support staff, possessing knowledge, experience and skill sets second to none in the industry. We prided ourselves on same day call backs, with a strong focus to have ALL customer’s called back within 30 minutes or less of creating a support ticket. Stores unable to conduct any business at all take priority and will receive an immediate call back.

We Don’t Outsource

My team and I also pride ourselves on being professional and easy to understand. Our customers often prefer to work with Data Age technicians over ANY other support entity.
The Data Age customer base is full of regular people, and our technicians are regular people too! No scripted robots here. We make sure our customers understand not only the often complex issues we are dealing with, but also the solution.
My support team is personable. We understand your business, your challenges, and the tools needed to run it. From software to hardware, we quickly identify your support issue and diagnose the problem. We are almost always able to resolve the issue on the same call. However, if that is not possible we have a system in place to escalate issues to the appropriate resource.
Our development doesn’t hesitate to jump in and assist in troubleshooting issues. Technical support and development work hand-and-hand to solve escalated issues. When we put our heads together there’s not much we can’t accomplish in getting your support needs met.

Experience that Matters

Our 26 plus years in the industry and a customer base that is fast approaching 2700 pawnshops has provided us with the invaluable experience to best support your shop. If it can go wrong, or if it can break, we probably seen or heard of it before. We can provide advice on anything from industry best practices, to system optimization, to data loss prevention. My team has pretty much heard it all.

A word of advice from the #1 Tech Support Team in the Industry.

Your pawnshop is your business. Your Business is your livelihood!
Taking care of the PC’s running your complete pawnshop management software is instrumental to running a successful business. With many years of experience in the field, we’ve seen a lot of shops take the low road when it comes to their pawnshops PC’s.
Having clean, and secure PC’s in place is essential to a trouble free, day-to-day operation. I’d make sure my PawnMaster terminals are being primarily used for running PawnMaster, and nothing else. Limit the addition of 3rd party software running on your PawnMaster terminals. Standing up separate internet PC’s just for price verification and personal use is highly recommended. I wouldn’t allow employees to use the PawnMaster terminals for ANYTHING except for running PawnMaster. Virus’s, malware and security breaches can compromise your database of customers and your transaction history.

What about hardware you purchased from another retailer?

Because of our ability to work so well with our customers, they often ask us to help them with hardware they’ve purchased from a different vendor. We are able to do so at a rate typically lower than any local IT service company. We find that local IT companies usually end up engaging Data Age support in their troubleshooting anyway.
Other pawn software vendors do not offer this type of Above and Beyond support. They will often leave you very little options next to contacting a local IT company. In some cases that local IT resource may not be conveniently available.
TIME is MONEY! The less TIME spent trying to find a reliable resource, the faster your shop can be up and running, making you MONEY!

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Did You Know? – Add a Layaway Notice to the Pawn Payment Screen

Often times pawn customers are also general retail customers who will take advantage of your layaway program. When these customers come in to make a payment on their pawn, it can be helpful to remind them about their layaway so they can make a layaway payment at the same time. This Did You Know video covers adding a notice on the pawn payment screen, showing they have an active layaway.