Having a tough time paying for gas?

HOUSTON "This is a part of a pen collection that someone is selling," said Todd Quattlebaum with EZBayer.

From writing utensils to butter churns, Quattlebaum has always seen the unusual being offered for sale at his eBay drop off store.

"This is part of a collection of antiques that one of our customers had who is trimming down their collection," said Quattlebaum.

He says business is picking up and the economy is the main reason.

"We are definitely seeing an increase in the amount of business from people who are trying to off set the gasoline price, their mortgage payment and of course the higher food prices," said Quattlebaum.

While Houston has been spared the full impact of an economic down turn, Quattlebaum says he sees people every day who are selling possessions just to pay the bills.

"They are telling us that the gasoline bite is starting to affect them and they need to offset some of that and some of the thins they have laying around the house area good way to offset that," said Quattlebaum.

He adds as volume has gone up, so has the need to make a quick sale.

"We do have some who say they need the money right now as opposed to the 2 or 3 week process that it takes to run through eBay," said Quattlebaum.

It's that need for quick cash that is driving business at some pawn shops. Workers at Pawn One in Bellaire say 8 out of 10 customers looking to sell or take out a loan are doing it for similar reasons.

"They need either a loan or money to get gas basically, gas and food, groceries," said Arthur Marquez.

While electronics, tools, and computers are in demand, there is one thing consumers can sell that here and at the eBay store bringing a premium right now.

"Gold," said Marquez.

"Just a small handful of gold some people think they get 100 dollars but there people leave with checks that are 5, 6, 700 dollars," adds Quattlebaum.

Employees at pawn shops and eBay drop off stores say they see people selling off heirlooms everyday to pay for gasoline.

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