Winnie the Poo, the Mario Bros. and almost all the musicians left Puerta del Sol. Now what is seen the most are the fluorescent dungarees of the men in the Compro Oro advertisement. These workers and the stores in this area of Madrid appeared with the 2008 crisis and for many years they were a claim that attracted many in need. But if in that crisis the normal thing for them was to attract five or six customers a day, now they can find themselves with a song in their teeth if they manage to take one or two to the boss's store, according to one of them, Freddy Ravelo. . When they arrive at the counter, the most they usually exchange are gold teeth, wedding rings and small jewels. Ravelo still remembers the day in 2011 when an elderly man approached him with a two-kilo ingot that he had just taken from the bank. Now the men spend the day between boredom and despair. History is not repeating itself by far, they all confirm here.
“Grandma's jewelry box gives what it gives and it was already sold in 2008,” says Carlos Rovira, the owner of a business on neighboring Montera street, Losoroncat, with resignation. His explanation is one of the most heard.
That year and the following many people from Madrid sold all the gold they kept at home to put something to eat on the table. Out of nowhere, around Sol and in the most depressed neighborhoods, dozens of establishments with garish yellow signs sprang up. Until then, pawnshops and pawnshops operated in discretion, but these new businesses helped break the taboo. Acknowledging that you were penniless stopped being so frowned upon. The Buy Gold ended up becoming a symbol of those sad years. But now the businessmen of these stores that have survived do not rule out closing soon. "These are the lowest purchase levels I've seen in ten years," laments Rovira at the door of her store. It has a prime location, just 70 meters from Puerta del Sol, but there are far fewer pedestrians than normal and they pass by. He looks around and hardly sees the elderly, the clientele that could brighten up his day. They stay at home so as not to expose themselves to the virus. Many young people no longer buy jewelry. They prefer to spend their savings on a trip or a state-of-the-art mobile.
The truth is that when this new crisis hit us many thought that the good times were going to return. They opened new branches in offices in the downtown area of the capital and expanded their staff of advertisement men. Some televisions gave news about supposed queues at the doors of these establishments. "It's all a lie," says Pilar Díaz, the manager at a Blue Diamond branch that opened a month ago on Esparteros street. Since she spends the day alone in the office, she says she has time to read the many news stories that have been published about a fake business boom. It shows as proof the pages of the regulatory "police book" where these merchants must write down the purchases. Almost every day the record goes blank.
Ironically the price of gold is at all-time highs. In August a gram of pure gold reached the record price of 62 dollars. (But be careful because jewelery in Spain tends to be less refined. That is why experts warn clients of these businesses to be wary of those who promise "maximum appraisal"). In any case, it is a good time to invest in the gold metal and for this reason some Buy Gold are dedicated above all to “sell gold”. They are saving the balance sheet by selling their jewelry stock to clients interested in putting their savings in gold.
Sempi Gold, a Madrid company that offers investment in bullion, sold 60% more in August than in the same month last year. Buy Gold and jewelry stores are your competition. "People have heard that gold is a refuge value but sometimes they go to these businesses because it is what sounds like the most to them, they have seen it in the neighborhoods," says José María Martínez, director of communication for Sempi Gold.< blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
First of all, how did my mom learn how to use tiktok??? Second of all, why she send me a video of how to make a mix… https://t.co/cIS96vQPmc— alxx Wed Jun 10 23:39:01 +0000 2020
Maybe it's too early for Gold Buyers to throw in the towel. The victims of the previous crisis were prescribed austerity but now there is more aid. If the depression continues over time, situations of extreme need could repeat themselves, says Tomás Epeldegui, the Madrid director of the precious metals investment company Degussa. "I hope it doesn't happen, but the ERTEs and the subsidies cannot last indefinitely," he warns.
In the neighborhoods there are clients like Johany de Jesús who say they can barely get by thanks to the help of the Compro Oro. This employee of a cleaning company is a regular client of a Super Efectivo branch on Alcalá street at the height of Pueblo Nuevo. "I'm already the daughter of these people," she jokes, looking at the saleswoman, "Raquelita." One recent afternoon he pawned a ring. It's 200 euros that he uses to send money to his sick mother in the Dominican Republic. “This is what gets me out of trouble,” he says at the window as he waits for his money.
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