So here’s one of those questions that I see all the time and I’ve absolutely no problem answering.
The question is really quite simple. When you purchase something from a pawn shop, can you reasonably expect for them to do a return on the item at a later point in time?
After all, when you buy things at other stores you will often be granted the ability to return the item for whatever you pay for it.
While I do understand that, and so do many other pawnbrokers, we aren’t exactly comparing apples to apples if you’re going to compare the return policy of a pawn shop to a store that deals strictly in new merchandise.
Pawn shops have some additional challenges that they are met with, in addition to the fact that the merchandise that they are often reselling is used.
While there are plenty of pawn shops that do offer returns, or refund periods of somewhere between three and 30 days there are also many other pawn shops that do not offer such a refund or a return policy.
The fact of the matter is that there is going to be no one steadfast rule which will answer this question in every scenario possible.
There Are As Many Refund Policies As There Are Pawn Shops
What you have to keep in mind is that a pawn shop is not like a Walmart or a Home Depot. Pawn shops are owned by thousands of small individual business owners that will each have their own idea of what makes a good or fair return policy versus what doesn’t.
So with that in mind, there is no way that any two pawn shops will be exactly alike. There is always going to be an individual tolerance that a certain pawnbroker will have, a certain exception that pawnbroker is willing to make that another one down the street may not be so willing to do.
Keeping all of this in mind, pawnbrokers do realize that they want their customers to feel somewhat secure with the transactions that they make in a pawn shop.
Because of that, the majority of pawnbrokers that I’m aware of will offer a refund, or return. Of some limited time should you decide to buy something at a pawn shop.
While that is in no way a blanket rule, it is a growing trend and becoming more common.
Not All Refund Policies Are Alike
Something else to keep in mind is that if any two pawn shops do offer some kind of refund or return policy, they may not go about it in the same way.
While more and more pawn shops are offering refunds in return periods for their merchandise, not all of them are going to offer you cash back.
A lot of pawn shops are opting to rather issue store credit as opposed to refunding someone’s purchase in the manner with which they paid.
The reason for this largely is because pawn shops are open to fraud attempts. Someone could go into a pawn shop and purchase an item that they already have a duplicate of at home which is broken.
The common scheme then is to return the one that they originally had, which was broken, and say that it was the one that they bought in the pawn shop.
While this may not be entirely fair to everyone involved in a transaction in a pawn shop, it is an unfortunate necessity for some pawn shops to operate in this manner just to protect themselves during the course of business.
The Nerds Opinion
My personal opinion on the topic is that you should always check out whatever you are buying at a pawn shop before you actually take it out of there.
While all pawn shops will attempt to provide the absolute best merchandise possible sometimes that is not always going to work out in their favor. Since we are talking about used merchandise, it will occasionally break or fail.
Your best bet is to make sure that everything is working as well as possible before you actually take anything out of the pawn shop.
By doing this little bit of work upfront you will stand a much better chance of your item working properly for some time to come. Additionally, it should give you a reasonable peace of mind if you thoroughly inspect the item before you pay for it.
Most pawn shop employees will be understanding of this process as it is something that quite a number of people do.