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    Pawning Luxury Handbags for Quick Cash

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    A Hong Kong company called Yes Lady Finance primarily deals in mortgages, but is now cashing in with loans using luxury handbags as collateral.

    Asia’s wealthy seem fascinated with luxury handbags. Milan Station, which sells used high-end purses, estimates next year’s revenue in Hong Kong alone will be around $4 billion.

    Milan Station’s affiliate, Yes Lady Finance, primarily deals in mortgages, but is now cashing in with loans using the coveted status symbols as collateral. Its hassle-free offering provides an edge over the other 200 pawn shops and 900 lenders in Hong Kong.

    Clients bring in their Gucci, Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, or Prada purses; show their ID cards while the items are appraised; and within 30 minutes, they get up to 80 percent of the purses’ value in cash. If they don’t repay within 4 months at 4 percent interest, their purses are resold.

    Almost all clients come back for their handbags though. Chairman and chief executive Byron Yiu explained, “We realized many clients attach a sentimental value to their bags.”

    Recently, one crocodile-skin purse resulted in a loan of more than $32,000. Unlike traditional collateral items like cars or electronics, luxury bags retain their value well.