A famous name, like any entrepreneur, James had to start somewhere

James Constantinou is an entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Prestige Pawnbrokers,

You may have seen James in his TV Show ‘Posh Pawn’, we go behind the scenes to speak to the man who has made a multi million pound empire by combining tenacity, knowledge and commercial knowledge.

With cash flow at it’s tightest in a long time, many business owners are looking to raise large sums of cash, instantly. Posh Pawn’s aim is to meet that requirement which is managed by having the best appraisers/valuers within the sector and access to sold data.

What is your USP

We offer instant cash loans secured against ALL luxury goods/valuables from art, wine, jewellery, watches, handbags, boats, planes – but our USP is that we cover such a broad spectrum of asset classes and can release funds against all of these assets faster than anyone else in the UK.

What made you start your business – did you want to rock the status quo, or was it a gap in the marketplace that you could fill?

Following the crash of Lehman Brothers and the downturn of markets in 2008, there was certainly a gap in the market to fill and although I didn’t set out to rock the status quo I certainly did that. We changed the public’s perception of pawnbroking and the industry too.

I can’t deny the challenge to do something new magnetised me to the arena but the opportunity to deal with some amazing, and on occasion, priceless items was a big draw to me.

What are your brand values?

Transparent-Open-Fair

I think people respect our values and there are absolutely no hidden agendas.

Our loans are simple and straight forward, there are no hidden costs.

We want to make money from our service and I believe our clients respect this.

Do your values define your decision-making process?

Absolutely….Our service is 100% bespoke and our teams are trained to handle each case individually with our core values in mind.

Repeat business is a major factor in our success.

Is team culture integral to your business?

We employ over 50 of the best appraisers and valuers in the luxury pre-owned market and collectively our knowledge is infinite. We interreact and play off each other’s strengths and passions – this is how we are able to function efficiently and swiftly and where our competitors find it difficult to keep pace.

What do you do to go the extra mile to to show your team you appreciate them?

We have team building exercises and they are incentivised through our bonus structure but it’s much more than this, I consider the entire team as part of a family that are achieving something very special, from the shop floor to the highest tiers of management.

They are highly regarded by me individually and they are valued – this is so often lost within the work place and individual talent should be appreciated more.

In terms of your messaging do you think you talk directly to your consumers in a clear fashion?

I think our message is very clear and the Posh Pawn TV show has done a great job in representing the industry and getting our message across.

What’s your take on inflation and interest rates – are you going to pass that on to your customers or let your margins take a hit and reward customer loyalty in these tougher times?

We do not need to alter our rates during times of adversity. The trend is growing and our customers’ demands are more frequent so this more than covers any extra costs the business suffers due to these issues.

How often do you assess the data you pull in and address your KPIs and why?

Data is being analysed almost on a daily basis and we adapt to any key needs instantaneously. This is one of the major advantages of being an owner operator.

Is tech playing a much larger part in your day-to-day running of your company?

Although I’m a technophobe there is no getting away from it – yes it’s playing an increasing role in what we do especially when it comes to data analysis.

What is your attitude to your competitors?

I’m not concerned with my competitors, I just want to be the best at what I’m doing. If I consider myself not to be the best then I’ll go and do something else…There are no prizes for second place.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in business?

Study your market and trends, develop a USP that is not easily copied and work your balls off.

Make sure it’s in a field that you are passionate about.

It can be a pressured place to be as the lead decision maker of the business. What do you do to relax, recharge and hone your focus?

This is where I’m meant to tell you stories of long walks in the country and pub lunches followed by trips to the theatre. The truth of the matter is that if I’m not busy evolving new concepts, locating sites for new stores or thinking about the next big deal then I’m not relaxed or focused, I’m at my most comfortable when I’m working.

Do you believe in the 12 week work method or do you make much longer planning strategies? 

I’ve not heard of the 12 week work method and most strategies are thought of laying in bed trying to sleep.

What is your company’s eco strategy?

As a business, we are making a contribution to sustainability as the luxury goods we deal in are all pre-owned. Like everyone else we are concerned with the environment and are doing what we can in the workplace. We would look to ongoing and new Government policy to help us all be more focused on the environment and always ensure we are playing our part. I’ve stopped short of supplying the team with super glue along with a shuttle service to the M25.

What three things do you hope to have in place within the next 12 months?

6 more operational stores, a two week break somewhere hot and a knighthood.

Exactly that. Thank you James.

Read more:
Secrets of Success: James Constantinou CEO and Founder Posh Pawn Brokers