The Trading Place: Elite Buyers NW Has What You Want

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Business Feature: Elite Buyer’s NW

Written by Olive Gallagher, Contributing Writer | Photos by Laurel Bice

When one hears the words “pawn shop,” many of us, conditioned for decades primarily by films, probably envision a dark out-of-the-way shop where folks, down on their luck or desperate, are forced to part with the last valuable thing they own in order to survive. Even in “It’s a Wonderful Life” there’s no pawn shop on the lovely main street in Bedford Falls; but in George Bailey’s nightmare, there’s the grim storefront of a seedy pawn shop on the main street in Pottersville.

Well, throw that perception out of the window and make a visit to Elite Buyers NW, owned by Bryan Fitzgerald. Now with two locations—one that opened in 2019 in West Salem and won a 2020 Best New Business Award, and another one in Lancaster—what you’ll find will be a pleasant surprise.

Entering either location, you’ll find a well-lit interior with good music playing in the background, and polite, helpful folks dedicated to providing quality service on a “first name” basis. And Bryan is always there, ready to make a good deal and buy, sell or trade pretty much anything from rare Pokemon cards to DVDs, jewelry, silverware or firearms. He also has on hand, in any given moment, brand new things that come to him from a variety of above-board sources. He gets continuous calls asking for items and never knows what’s going to walk through the door—a part of the business he loves. He also on occasion ends up with somewhat odd pieces, including a gun rack made up of deer hooves.

Today, he trades in what he says “are the things folks want, not the things they need.” He also finds that folks who are desperate make up a very small percentage of his customer base, as well as those who want to sell the literal shirt off their back.

Bryan was born in Salem into a small, close-knit family. From his childhood, he loved to collect baseball cards and go to garage sales. Raised primarily by a single mom, he earned a criminal justice associate degree and worked in juvenile corrections in Woodburn. He loved that work, having considered himself an “at risk” kid himself. Today, he’s married with two children, two dogs and five cats, and is dedicated to his family and his customers.

That background helped form the value systems that guide him today, particularly in the way he handles the purchase or selling of firearms. He works closely with the Salem Police and every item carries a serial number. Bryan also works within a software that tracks every transaction. Each sale or purchase is with someone with proper identification, and every night, reports go into the police department regarding each purchase or sale. Every purchase also has a two-week waiting period while the item is cross-checked with law enforcement.

Stop in for a great shopping experience at Elite Buyers NW.

For more information, please call the West Salem store at 503-339-7594, the Lancaster location at 503-689-1755, or visit