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Published January 22, 2011, 08:31 PM

Making Extra Cash During Tough Times

A Grand Forks family is trying make extra cash, during the down economy, in a popular way. By selling belongings to pawn shops.

A Grand Forks family is trying make extra cash, during the down economy, in a popular way.

By selling belongings to pawn shops.

Pawn shops are seeing a spike in business, but what's getting the most attention, is the items being sold.

This isn't the first time Richard Hatto has been to a pawn shop.

"My wife got on the Spring cleaning kick and we brought in a bunch of stuff." Hatto said.

The Hatto family is pawning a rifle and dvd player.

Richard Hatto is stationed at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, but soon he will be move to England. A trip that doesn't come cheap.

"There's an inherent cost that comes with moving that isn't covered by the government so it helps field some of the shortfalls we're definitely going to have to pay for." Hatto said.

The Hatto family is not alone.

Owners of the Silver Dollar Pawn Shop say when people are low on funds sometimes they see unusual items coming through the doors.

"A thousand dollar bill, most people don't have them first of all and it just happened that this person needed money and it was something left to him by his dad." Silver Dollar Pawn Shop owner Jim Bassett said.

The store sees a lot of business around Christmas and springtime.

With some customers trying to pawn off bigger, more expensive items.

"We're starting to see more flat screen tv's coming in, more people have them now so we're seeing more of them. We don't have a lot of room for the huge items like cars and snowmobiles." Bassett said.

Whether pawning or buying, shoppers like Hatto are finding good deals.

"You know it's always nice to save a little bit on stuff. We take a lot of stuff to pawn shops that, that's not really donation stuff." Hatto said.

Owners say the most popular items are musical instruments, rifles, and gold jewelery.

Silver Dollar Pawn Shop is located at 1224 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks.

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