SA’s prince of pawn


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - CITY - Peter Feld­man

He is busy film­ing a video se­ries, Get Naked With Roy, in his own stu­dio.

Roy Peretz, pic­tured, is a for­ward-look­ing, oneof-a-kind in­di­vid­ual who sees an op­por­tu­nity around each cor­ner. This colour­ful Span­ish-Is­raeli ar­rived in South Africa from Is­rael in the 80s. By trade a chem­i­cal en­gi­neer, he was en­ticed by the gov­ern­ment of the time to in­vest in the home­lands.

He built a chem­i­cal fac­tory, em­ployed hun­dreds of lo­cals, and guided his com­pany into be­ing one of the most suc­cess­ful of its kind on the con­ti­nent.

Af­ter 10 years in this busi­ness, Roy Peretz was itch­ing to ex­pand into an­other field al­to­gether and saw the pawn in­dus­try as a vi­able op­tion. He had knowl­edge of di­a­monds and gold and high-end watches. He also loved deal­ing with peo­ple and the “art” of buy­ing and sell­ing in­spired him.

So be­gan the his­tory of Cash Inn, a pawn shop he launched in 1998, at 341 Jan Smuts Av­enue next to the Colony Shop­ping Cen­tre in Hyde Park.

Next to his of­fices, where clients would pawn their gold, their jew­ellery and their cars, among other items, he opened a sec­ond set of premises which served as a sort of shop-cum-mu­seum in which clients would shop for spec­tac­u­lar ob­jects from sports mem­o­ra­bilia to art, and from col­lecta­bles to pi­anos, mo­tor cy­cles and sculp­tures.

Over the last three years, Peretz also em­barked on new ad­ven­tures in the me­dia field. First came hit TV se­ries, Pawn Stars SA, on DStv’s His­tory chan­nel in 2015 and then he branched out into ra­dio.

He at present hosts two shows on com­mu­nity sta­tion 101.9ChaiFM and he does an ap­pear­ance ev­ery Tues­day on the HOT Break­fast show on Hot 91.9FM.

Now Peretz has come up with an­other ex­cit­ing project. He is busy film­ing a video se­ries, Get Naked With Roy, in his own stu­dio.

This is a se­ries of in­ter­views and fun mo­ments with a va­ri­ety of per­son­al­i­ties of­fer­ing in­sights into Roy Peretz’s of­ten com­i­cal view of life. He in­tends flight­ing the first se­ries soon on YouTube and is hop­ing for a big in­ter­na­tional view­er­ship.

On the busi­ness side, Cash Inn thrived and be­came a bench­mark for the pawn shop in­dus­try, el­e­vat­ing the busi­ness above the sad and seedy op­er­a­tions around town that gave pawn shops such a bad rep­u­ta­tion. Run­ning the “shop” side of the op­er­a­tion is fel­low Is­raeli, Ey­tan Na­dle, a gen­tle gi­ant of a man with a wry sense of hu­mour.

Peretz’s rep­u­ta­tion first came to the at­ten­tion of a TV com­pany, Rapid Blue, in 2014. They had been in­structed by a A+E Net Works, a Bri­tish TV or­gan­i­sa­tion, to find a rep­utable South African pawn shop for a re­al­ity TV se­ries based on the suc­cess­ful Amer­i­can ver­sion called sim­ply Pawn Stars.

In Peretz and his team they found the right com­bi­na­tion and be­fore long Pawn Stars SA was born in which the team dealt with cus­tomers want­ing to pawn rare items. It be­came an in­stant hit, be­ing screened in coun­tries around the world.

The team – com­pris­ing Ey­tan Nadler, Liel Ri­mon, who runs Top Cash pawn shop in Morn­ing­side, and Roy’s PA Irene Bower – be­came fa­mous overnight and a sec­ond sea­son was sched­uled, which gained them even more fans. Cash Inn and the team were on the world map.

Peretz be­lieves there is hid­den gold in peo­ple’s homes – if only they would take the trou­ble to look around.

He says: “Of­ten peo­ple come into the shop with items they found gath­er­ing dust and ask if it has any value. Nine times out of 10 it may not be gold but there is al­ways a chance that it’s a valu­able dis­cov­ery and we will pay its value.”

Of­ten peo­ple come into the shop with items

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