The company's main operations involve buying, selling and loans. It's primary business is in the buying and selling of second hand domestic goods, mainly electrical items. This has diversified into many other personal financial products and services, for example: cash generator loans, payday loans, cheque cashing and money transfer. In this respect, it is in fact very similar in operation to cash converters loans. Another recent product is cash generator log book loans.
Cash Generator was started in Bolton, UK in 1994, after Brian Lewis noticed a similar business in the USA having great success, he decided to emulate the business model in the the United Kingdom, trading as Paragon Pawnbrokers. The model proved to be a great financial success and by the start of 2011 had expanded to over 130 stores (an average store gets in the region of 5,000 visits per week), many of which are franchised. Additionally, the site cashgenerator.co.uk was launched in 2009; and the company claims to have identified some 500+ potential store sites for future development.
The business's primary retail activity is that of the buying and selling of second hand items, mainly electrical goods like TV's, computers, laptops, consoles, hi-fi, cameras and mobiles. Other items include gold and silver jewellery, musical instruments and toys. You can also buy new and graded goods from select stores. Each store will usually have a Buying Counter that can give consumers free valuations of their goods. A 'Sale and Buy Back' offer allows the consumer to buy their goods back at a much higher price within a 28 day period. Since its early beginnings in 1994, the business claims to have bought well over 30 million goods from UK consumers.
Main Lending Criteria
- The stores will usually only buy goods from adult customers who are over 18.
- Two forms of identification are required; e.g. photo ID and address proof.
Since it began, the business has offered a cheque cashing service. Customers can cash their cheques, like salary, compensation or repayment cheques in the cash generator store for a handling charge plus a small percentage of the cheque's value. As time has gone on, the company has also expanded into other cash-based financial services, some are in partnership with 3rd parties.
- Money Transfers. Customers who use Cash Generator loans can transfer their money to worldwide recipients using the Western Union transfer service.
- Pawnbroking. The pawnbroking service offers consumers loans for up to six months, if they pawn their gold, jewellery or other valuables. Although the service is not available in all stores, and is still a small part of the main business.
- Short term loans. Consumers can apply for loans in the form of payday loans. Cash generator log book loans are offered to customers with a car who are offered loans from £500 and £50,000.