SA’s prince of pawn
BRANCHING OUT: RADIO, TELEVISION ARE TWO OF HIS LATEST PROJECTS
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