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Trading Post Northwest company opens store on Pioneer Boulevard in Sandy

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New pawnshop is second business for Booth family


Pawnshops are a dirty business. Literally.

While the cast of the reality TV show “Pawn Stars” seems to spend their days discovering an endless string of historical treasures, Mike Booth says he is usually tackling tasks that are much more ordinary. That includes cleaning the new inventory that comes into his pawnshop, Trading Post Northwest. POST PHOTO: ELIZABETH KELLAR - Mike and Andrew Booth recently opened their second  Trading Post Northwest store in Sandy. The pawnshop is located on Pioneer Boulevard.

“It’s certainly not like the television show,” Booth said, laughing.

Booth has operated Trading Post Northwest in Newberg for nine years. He also operated a store in Canby for three years, but recently decided to close that store and relocate the second operation to 38950 Pioneer Boulevard. His son, Andrew, will manage the Sandy store, while Booth’s daughter, Taylor, helps by handling the store’s jewelry business.

Booth, who lives in Estacada, made the shift to pawn shops almost by accident.

“I’d never been in a pawnshop before I opened one,” he said.

The original vision for his shop was one that dealt in big-name retail closeouts. Booth soon realized his customers expected something else and adjusted his business plan accordingly.

Pawnshops offer resale merchandise, but they also specialize in “the oldest form of loaning,” he said. “It’s collateralized loaning.”

Because of his retail roots, Booth believes he puts an extra emphasis on what graces his store’s shelves.

“I think what set us apart is at the end of the day, I’m a retailer,” he said. “I really want to move products.”

After almost a decade, he admits there’s still a bit of a trick in understanding what his customers might want to buy. For example, he’s expecting that in Sandy, snowboards and fishing poles will be hot items.

“It will be exciting to see what comes in,” he said. “Every store has a niche.”

Guns are always popular, too. Booth notes that anyone wishing to be part of a gun transaction in his shop will need to produce a driver’s license and undergo a thumbprint scan. Those scans are shared with the local police department on a nightly basis.

“Everything’s visible,” Booth said.

When not in the shop, Mike and Andrew Booth are active triathletes. They participated in their first Ironman triathlon three years ago and found themselves hooked on the sport.

A former cross country and track athlete at Boise State University, Andrew Booth is currently enrolled at Portland State University. Taylor booth also attends PSU.

“It’s been fun for us to train together,” Booth said of the triathlons. “As you get older, you don’t get to spend as much time with your kids.”

And although it’s not exactly like a reality show, father and son agree that the shop has certainly had its entertaining moments.

“The people, that’s half the fun,” Andrew said.

Trading Post Northwest can also be found online at tradingpostnw.com.