Pawnbroker duties

Keep a pawnbrokers record

You must keep a pawnbrokers record for all goods you acquire in your business. This must contain:

  • the identity of the pledger including their name, contact address, and contact phone number
  • the form of identity you used to verify the pledger’s identity (this can be verified by seeing the person’s authorised identification\), date of birth, and that they are 18 years or over
  • the pledger’s signature
  • a description of the goods including their serial number or unique identifier
  • the number you have assigned the goods
  • the name and signature of the person who conducted the transaction on your behalf
  • the redemption date, amount of money advanced on the goods and amount of interest to be charged
  • the total redemption price payable on the redemption date and whether any lesser amount is payable if the goods are redeemed prior to the redemption date
  • the date when the goods are redeemed and the amount they were redeemed for, or the date and price when they are sold, and the amount of money returned to the pledger.

This information must be recorded as soon as possible. If you fail to comply with these requirements - if convicted you could be fined up to $10,000.

These records must be kept on the premises or in your possession. The records must be kept for at least 3 years from the date of the transaction

Where can I enter into contracts?

You can only enter into a pawnbroking contract at the premises listed on your licence.

Redemption of goods

The redemption price is the amount of money advanced on the goods plus the interest payable on redemption of them. You can only charge interest (and no other fee) as part of the redemption price. The redemption date of the goods is the last day that a pawnbroker is required to hold goods for redemption by the pledger (the later of 3 months after the date on which the pledge was entered into, or the date agreed by the two parties). You can’t dispose of goods before this date.

Pledge tickets

When a pledger gives possession of pawned goods to you, you must give them a pledge ticket. The pledge ticket must show their name, the address where the goods may be redeemed, a summary of the rights of the pledger and obligations of the pawnbroker under the Act.

The pledger must produce the pledge ticket when redeeming the goods. You can assume that the holder of a pledge ticket is the pledger of the goods in the absence of proof otherwise. You may issue a replacement ticket if you are satisfied the person requesting the ticket is the pledger.

Pawned goods

You must retain the goods until the redemption date unless they are redeemed earlier by the pledger.

A label in the prescribed form with the number assigned by you must be attached to the goods at all times. A pledger redeems their goods on payment of the redemption price at any time. A pledger may also inspect any of the goods held by you for them at a reasonable time. An inspection includes viewing, but not handling of the goods. A demonstration may be carried out by the pawnbroker.

Can I sell unredeemed goods after the redemption date and retain the redemption price?

You may sell unredeemed goods after the redemption date in order to recover the redemption price if the pledger does not redeem his or her goods on or before the redemption date.

Unredeemed goods are to be offered for sale by way of a public auction (not conducted by you, your spouse/civil union partner/de facto partner/parent/child/sibling or an employee), or an internet auction on a public internet auction website.

If the highest bid is for the redemption price (or more), then those goods must be sold at the auction. If the sale price is greater than the redemption price, a pledger is entitled to 90% of the excess, provided this is claimed within 6 months of the date of sale. The pawnbroker may retain the remaining 10% of the excess. If the excess is $10 or more then the pawnbroker must write to the pledger and advise them of the amount they are entitled to, and the date by which it must be claimed. If the excess is not claimed within 6 months then the pawnbroker may retain that portion.

Selling goods to a pawnbroker

If a pledger wishes to sell any of their goods then you may buy the goods if the purchase price is more than the redemption price. The difference between the redemption price and the purchase price is paid in cash, and you record the sale and the purchase price in your record.

Buyback contracts

You cannot enter into a buyback contract. You can be fined up to $10,000 if you do.