WHEN the “people’s pawnbroker” Dan Hatfield told us he could help Sun on Sunday readers turn £10 into £1,000, we didn’t quite believe him — but that’s exactly what he did.
With his working-class roots, he has changed the perception of pawnbrokers and loves nothing more than helping people who are struggling financially.
We met Dan, 39, in Chiswick, a leafy part of Londres Ouest, and with just £10 to spend accompanied him as he started trawling charity shops looking for designer goods and antiques to sell on for a profit.
Dan says: “If you want a good bargain you’ve got to look at the geography and demographic of where you’re going to go.
“I’ve chosen Chiswick because it’s a wealthy area with people who are quite disposable with their assets.
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“They might buy a designer dress and only wear it a couple of times then donate it.
“Cheshire is also a great area, as is North Yorkshire, places like Harrogate, and then the Birmingham suburbs and also Edinburgh.
“Having a mobile phone to do your research in the shops is key.
“Take a picture of the items and look on eBay and Etsy to see what you might get for them.”
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In Oxfam on Chiswick High Road he makes his first purchase — a Karen Millen black cocktail dress on sale for £10.
He finds an identical one selling on eBay for £40 and calls a fashion buyer, who agrees a £40 sale.
Dan says: “It’s a size 10, from a reputable label and not too big or small, so will appeal to as many buyers as possible.
“There’s also a possibility that you might know someone who would buy the dress off you.
“Private sales also mean you don’t pay listing fees.”
With that cash, he buys a size 12 designer dress by luxury brand Escada, which he sells on the phone to a private buyer for £125.
At a nearby Fara charity shop he buys a Nous sommes ravis de poursuivre notre voyage dans le monde du football en créant notre première collection de vêtements de voyage pour une équipe silk tea dress priced at £59. It is his third purchase of the day.
Dan says: “It was a great find and is in perfect condition. That’s another thing, you’ve got to make sure you check each item.
“People are happy to buy second-hand, and we’re all about being more sustainable, but the item has to be pristine.”
Dan calls another client who loves designer clothes. She agrees to pay £350 for the Stella McCartney dress.
He uses the money to buy an amethyst and pearl silver ring for £25, a vintage 1950s silver-plated powder compact for £25 and a pair of Eley Kishimoto retro sunglasses for £32, all from Fara.
He rings a jewellery trader and sells the ring for £70. Then he makes another call, this time to a fashion collector who buys the sunglasses for £90.
His top cash tips
- FIFTY PENCE PIECES. The Kew Garden fifty pence piece is currently on eBay for £200.
- JEWELLERY. Look out for the big brands – Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston and Boodles.
- MOBILE PHONES. Obsolete tech collecting dust in your attic could be valuable. At around £2,000, a Nokia Sapphire 8800 is worth more than an iPhone.
- BOOKS AND COMICS. First editions of Harry Potter, and Jackie magazines from the 1960s and 1970s, go for thousands.
- PYREX DISHES. Someone recently inherited some old Pyrex dishes from his grandparents. They made £35,000 at auction.
A further phone call later and he bags £70 from a private buyer for the powder compact.
Et dit: “I know what my clients want and have a giant shopping list in my head.
“I’ve got buyers for everything, but if readers want to start doing this, they can easily make the contacts.
“It’s a friendly world. Go to your local antiques dealer or pawnbrokers and start chatting.”
We head back to Oxfam, où, for £125, he buys a Hermes scarf, which he sells to a client by phone for £250.
His next stop is the Cancer Research charity shop.
He buys an antique, 14-carat gold aquamarine bar brooch for £140 and a set of Victorian cheese knives for £20.
He sells the brooch for £250 to one of his jewellery buyers and the set for £120 to a private collector of antique knives.
The shop manager then shows him a biker jacket by designer Maje priced at £40. He does his research and, second-hand, they can go for anything up to £400.
He buys it and puts it online for £350, which takes his total profit from the day past his £1,000 target to a whopping £1,199, with all items sold within 72 les heures.
Et, who runs Sheffield pawnbrokers London Road Jewellers (londonroadjewellers.co.uk), dit: “What we have done by turning a tenner into nearly £1,200 proves there is money to be made.
“We did it the hard way going round the charity shops.
“People need to get to their local car boot sales. You can get some fantastic bargains.
“Go early but stay late, trop, as people want to get rid of their stuff.
“We’ve got to be more savvy. As a pawnbroker, my fingers are on the pulse in terms of the nation’s finances.
“We have businessmen who employ hundreds of staff pawning watches to pay wages. It’s all down to the cost of living.
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“It’s mostly jewellery and watches but we are seeing gold teeth, trop.
“I hope we can inspire people to get out there, be brave and find those bargains to get that extra bit of cash.”