Smart Money, Ready Money

14 Aug 2014

Cash Converters is South Africa’s most successful second-hand goods franchise.  Ever since this Australian-based company first opened its doors in South Africa in 1994, the franchise has just mushroomed.  Today there are 66 stores in South Africa, adding to an international network of over 775 stores in 21 countries across the globe.


Cash Converters is first and foremost a buyer and seller of second-hand goods. In 2007 it expanded its services into lending, effectively finding a way to give the community access to cash. Today Cash Converters offers a number of microlending products including Cash Advance and Pay Day Advance.  


The franchise has enjoyed 25% growth year on year and is testimony to the success of the concept where consumers can buy something that has a six month guarantee at a half of the price they could pay for it new. Similarly, PDA’s are up 30% because people increasingly need cash.


The future looks promising for Cash Converters. It plans to open up another 20 more stores this year and increase its bouquet of financial service products on offer. The model is backed by strong operational know how, sophisticated IT support and international know how.



In the buy and sell section, merchandise typically sold at Cash Converters includes pre-owned sporting goods, jewellery, household and electronic goods. The Cash Converters financial services products include  the Cash Advance, which accommodates a money lending transaction secured against assets, and the PayDay Advance that accommodates lending money against the customer’s next salary.  Pay Day Advance is a partnership with FNB which links into FNB’s e-wallet to retain the convenience of cash loans for customers without having to bear the risk of actually carrying it.

Cash Converters’ customers include  any individuals with items they wish to sell,  individuals looking for affordably priced items and those with immediate cash requirements. Second-hand buyers are no longer  typified as  the lower income bracket. An increasing number of savvy affluent people are selling goods for cash, especially electronic goods. The franchise is also attracting upwardly mobile  consumers and students looking for a good deal.

Cash Converters outlets are best suited to open-air lifestyle centres or strip malls, where the demographics of the area support the trade of pre-owned goods. Suitable sites offer easy access, sufficient parking, high levels of foot traffic and good visibility.

Each outlet requires a hands-on  retail manager assisted by two to four sales consultants, a cashier, up to three buyers and one to three cleaning staff.




The Cash Converters head office support structure consists of a 63 man strong team that includes  11  national operations and training consultants. Cash Converters is committed  to successfully equipping their franchisees and staff  with the skills necessary to manage the daily operations of an outlet, as well as providing top-quality back-up and sales support.

The franchisees introductory training is conducted over an eight week period that comprises two weeks of classroom and six weeks of intensive in-store training.  Support training is provided on an on-going basis and any new developments and training are communicated to franchisees on a knowledge-share basis.

The franchisee’s primary source for procuring stock is the Buy Shop where customers bring their goods to sell, or via the House-Buys service offered by participating stores. Marketing is largely centralised although some level of independence is encouraged provided it aligns with the national brand profile.




Cash Converters outlets are owner managed and franchisees are required to be actively involved in the business on a daily basis.  The ideal Cash Converters franchisee is a people-person and a motivated trader at heart. Franchisees should possess high energy levels to maintain the pace of this proactively driven business.


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