Internet shuts down pawn shop
AS eBay continues to boom, it seems residents in the 21st century have forgotten about the traditional collector's dream – the second-hand shop.
John James has owned the building on the corner of King and Albion streets for about 20 years, which began as a second-hand/collectables shop in 1994.
“We have been trying to sell the business ... second-hand shops have been closing down,” Mr James said.
“This sort of thing seems to be dying out now there is eBay and the internet.”
Mr James is looking forward to a change of pace as he plans to try new things and continue with his favourite pastimes – travelling, surfing and pottery.
He will miss the store, which was originally Kirkegarde's Music Store and, when he purchased the site in the late 80s, Chas Carrie's Toystore and Windscreen Repairs.
“You have got to be interested in old stuff and collecting, which if you ask my wife I am very good at,” Mr James laughed.
He first took over managing the second-hand store in November 2000 when his tenants were looking for a change.
“When I first started I was bringing stuff home all the time,” he said.
“It didn't take me too long to realise I had to change.”
In the store, it didn't take him long to realise either that there was a collector for everything, with plenty of regular customers searching for buttons, collectable cats, bottles and other historic items.
“It will be a bit of a shame to close as people always stop in,” Mr James said.
There was a customer he had once, who was a truck driver travelling through who was fond of his shop and said he would be back with his wife.
“He came back a month later with his wife all the way from Melbourne, it was incredible.”
Out of all the valuable items, each with its own story, one always pops into his mind as the most interesting item he has came across.
“We got this walking stick from a deceased estate and it would rattle when you shook it and then I found out inside it was a fully engraved sword,” Mr James said.
Other items include clothing from the 1930s and even a pair of boys' Speedo togs with the price tag from the 1950s still attached.
“You name it, we have sold it,” Mr James said.
Closing down sale starts Monday, September 20.
Everything is 50 per cent off.