The Whiskey Trader has been open since March, but owner Morgan Milner explained that with a business like a pawn shop, it takes a few months to get going because the nature of the business relies heavily on the public.
The shop is located at 2173 Whiskey Road in Aiken, which Milner believes is a great spot to promote a business the Aiken area needs.
Milner said he started out working in the pawn business in Charleston back in 1994. Since those days, the industry has changed in a lot of ways, but he feels there is still a great need for the business.
“I really saw a need in the Aiken market, especially since the pawn business is really different now than it was 20 years ago when I got in it,” he said. “For example, we pawned big televisions back then. Now, the needs of the market have changed, so TVs aren’t even a hot item like they used to be.”
Today, Milner said the biggest sellers are nicer types of guns, quality, used instruments and valuable collectibles like coins, silver platters and other similar items.
He added that high-end items have also been a huge seller as of late.
“Everyone has two or three items they want to get rid of, but not enough to have a yard sale; so, that’s the beauty of this business,” he said. “They can bring those items here and sell them so they’re not just sitting around collecting dust.”
In addition to buying and selling items, the Whiskey Trader also offers additional services including pawning a product for cash as a loan. Within 30 days, the customer can come back and buy his item back for a nominal fee.
Milner said that is one of the main differences between his shop and purchasing used items from online retailers, such as eBay.
“I’m the only one you can bring your valuables in to and borrow some money,” he said. “You can’t go to your bank or to eBay and say, ‘I need to leave my tools and saws with you and borrow $50.’ So that’s the need I feel here, and I think people really appreciate (the) quick source of help I provide.”
For more information on the Whiskey Trader, call 803-226-0801.
Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the paper since June 2013. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.