How To Use A Pawn Shop

inside of a pawn shop

Maybe it’s a surprise bill – like a car breaking down or a flat tire. Maybe you got sick and couldn’t go to work for a few days making your paycheck smaller than it normally is. Whatever is going on, sometimes you just need a little extra money to get through a period of time and that’s what pawn shops are good for.

I realize that on the surface that sounds great. However, the down side here is that many people know how to use pawn shops to their maximum benefit.

So after years in this industry I decided that I would sit down and really explain the process.


This will give you a ‘Nuts and Bolts’ understanding of how you should use your local pawn shop to get the most benefit from them.

Before I go into that though, I just want to say that if you are worried about using a pawn shop for the first time, you really don’t need to be.

Pawnbrokers are typically very fair and ethical people who take pride in operating a high quality, respectable business and are truly there to help you get through tough periods of time when you need it the most.

how to use a pawn shop money
Pawn shops offer a variety of services that you can use when you need quick access to money.

What They Do

Pawn shops offer a variety of services. While some offer services such as check cashing, bill payments and more – most pawn shops are essentially business that will loan against valuable items or offer to buy them outright.

What Are The Pawn Loans?

What that means is that if you take a gold and diamond ring to a pawn shop, they will evaluate it and make you an offer as a loan against it that you can pay back at a later point in time.

If you do make a loan against the ring (which is just an example of something you could pawn), they will hold onto it and keep it safe and secure. When you come back for it in 30 or 60 days, you will be able to get your ring back just as you left it by paying back the principle plus any interest or fees on the loan.

Normally the interest rates are very affordable although there are some higher interest states that allow pawn shops to charge more. However, even at that, they still aren’t normally very high.

What Is The Buying Option?

The second major service that most pawn shops offer is to buy your merchandise outright. If you do this, the pawn shop will often pay you more for the item(s) than if you had made a loan against them.

The downside of this of course is that you won’t be able to get whatever the item(s) were back. Once you’ve sold them, they pawn shop can do as they please with them which normally means selling them to another customer.

However, you won’t have to deal with any of the hassles normally associated with selling an item to a third party and you will get cash immediately, on the spot which is great if you are in a tight bind.

What Is The Best Option For You

Well, this is going to depend on a few factors.

Do You Want The Item Back? – If you want whatever you are thinking about pawning or selling back then you will definitely want to make a loan against the item instead of just selling it. By making a pawn loan, you are going to have to pay back the principle (or the amount you borrow) plus some interest and possibly storage (depending on the State) but in the end you will be able to get your item back just like you left it.

This is particularly useful when we are talking about something you really need – like a laptop that you might use for school or a ring that has been in the family for years.

Additionally, you really aren’t giving up anything when you go with this route. You are just letting someone hang onto an item of yours so that you can take care of the other responsibilities that you might have going on – which is a scenario that we are all in occasionally.

Do You Need The Most Money? – If you need the most money, and immediately, then your best option will probably be to sell the item(s) outright.

Most pawn shops are going to give you more for your merchandise when you sell them over when you loan against them because they will be able to easily and quickly determine their exact cost on the item when they have to turn around and resell it.

Additionally, you will have nothing else to worry about down the line. Once it’s done and taken care of, it’s all set and you can go on and do what it is that you need to do without having to worry about repaying a loan later down the road.

Pawn Shops As Sell Things

Now the one thing that we didn’t really talk about was the fact that pawn shops also sell used merchandise. This can save you a ton of money if you are looking for high quality jewelry (like an engagement ring) or tools, high end consumer electronics, etc.

The great thing about pawn shops is that because they are professional buyers of gently sued merchandise, they really know what to look for and how to inspect items before they buy them. That means that what ever you buy from a pawn shop has probably been tested and you know that it will work properly.

Additionally, more and more pawn shops are offering warranty plans on some of the goods which will give you some peace of mind about your purchase.

Of course, there is one last great advantage to buying things from pawn shops and that is that you can often negotiate the prices of the merchandise with them. That gives you a serious buying advantage that big box stores like Best Buy, etc just don’t offer.

In other words, you can walk away with a real steal of a deal!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line on pawn shops is that you can use them to get quick access to money that you probably wouldn’t be able to get any other way – and you can do it just about any time you need to.

They are fair, honest and will treat you with respect which is so important during times where you might be feeling under stress or strain from whatever financial obligations have suddenly arose.

Pawn shops offer a massive benefit and service to the communities they serve and are operated by highly trained and ready-to-serve staff and you should have no worries when walking into your local pawn shop the first time.