Financial hardship hits us all a little different and not always at the best times. It’s just the nature of things. When we don’t need cash, we have it but when we don’t have it – some emergency expense always arises.
One of the things you can do to come up with some quick cash is to some items down to your local pawn shop and either make a loan against them so you can get them back, or sell them outright.
Now, of course, all pawn shops are a little different and not all of them accept the exact same types of merchandise, but overall most pawn shops will be interested in anything of value that, if you forfeit it, could be resold easily and for some amount of profit.
After all, you have to keep in mind that almost everyone who intends on getting their items back after making a loan against them normally do, but there is a percentage of people who are unable to get their items back and as such, the pawn shop is then in a position of having to market and resell them to get their money back out of them.
On top of it, it’s not unreasonable for the pawn shop to want to make a small profit on those transactions as they are in the pawn business to make money after all. You’ve got to understand that yes, pawn shops are in the business of helping to provide quick cash to those that need it, but it’s still a business and they still need to be able to generate a profit at the end of the day.
So then the next question is of course, what do you take down to the pawn shop to begin with?
If you are confused on what you can pawn for fast cash, don’t worry, we are about to give you some great ideas!
The Best Items To Pawn
Let’s start with the first big item – the main type of merchandise that almost all pawn brokers accept and some will sometimes only exclusively accept depending on the pawn shop.
Specifically we are talking about gold jewelry here, although some pawn shops will work with silver if you have enough of it, or platinum as well. Very few pawn brokers will accept stainless steel jewelry although there are some out there that will.
Gold jewelry is going to be looked at to determine the karat (or purity) of the metal along with how much it weighs. By multiplying the weight of the metal and the value of it’s purity, the pawn shop will have a fair idea of the approximate value of that item.
Based on that approximate value the pawn shop will then offer you a percentage of that – typically between 40-60% depending on the stability to the gold market at that time and what the local competition is typically paying for the same items.
In addition, if there are any diamonds that are of substantial size and quality, the pawn shop will often pay you for those as well. However, it’s important to know that if we are talking about a bunch of little stones, those won’t bring nearly as much value, if any.
On the other hand, diamonds that are at least 1/2 carat, are clear and have good color to them will often be given appreciable value which will only go up as the size of the diamond in question increases. Once you cross the 1 carat mark, the value will begin to exculpate even more!
So when considering using your gold jewelry as an item to pawn, it’s better to have something that is a higher karat (14k+) and heavier. These items will bring the most money possible.
High End Electronics
The next major thing to think about pawning for fast cash would be higher end electronics such as large LED or LCD TV’s that are relatively new, new game systems, Digital SLR cameras, iPads, laptops (particularly MacBooks) and the like.
The value of these items will often depend on experience or what a site like eBay says that similar items in like condition and completeness will often sell for on the second hand open market.
If you are considering making a loan against a high end electronics item then make sure that it is complete and in good condition. If it is something that is rechargeable then it is in your best interest to make sure that the item is fully charged and able to be tested and verified to be working properly.
This is the type of item where missing parts and pieces can really cost you substantially and that is not what you want, so have it all with you. The remote controls, power cords, and if you have the original packaging materials those can also be a great thing to think about take with you – particularly for Mac and Apple products as the unboxing presentation can mean so much with these high end products.
Battery Power Tools
The next big thing on the list would have to be battery operated power tools such as saws-alls, drills, circular saws and the like.
With these it’s so important to make sure that you have all of the batteries, the charger and the tools themselves and that they all work properly. Just like electronics, make sure that the batteries are charged up before you get to the pawn shop so that the pawn broker can verify that the tools work properly and that the batteries hold a charge.
When it comes to battery powered tools, age matters. Old 14.4v tools for instance aren’t going to bring nearly as much money as the newer 20v Max Lithium Ion sets from Dewalt for example. So if you have a tool that is 10 years old, just be aware the the pawn shop may not accept it and simply because they are so hard to sell – and when you do – they bring very little money.
Additionally, tools get used for work and we all know that. However, it is always best to spend a few minutes and clean them up first. It helps with the presentation of the tool and ultimately, if you end up forfeiting the loan, it gives the pawn broker the impression that they may be able to sell it more easily which will only help you in getting the most money out of that tool possible.
Gas Powered Tools
Following battery powered tools would have to be gas powered tools. Here, the same basics apple which is that the tool should be in good running condition, able to be easily started and in good physical condition as well.
That means that when you take a gas powered tool to your local pawn shop for a loan, make sure that there is gas in the tool so that the pawn broker can start it up and be sure that it runs properly. Failing to do this may mean that the pawn shop turns down the item as they will be unable to verify that to tool runs and operates properly.
Additionally, just like with the battery powered tools, make sure that the tool is as clean as possible and in good physical condition. 5 or 10 minutes with a wet towel here can really pay off when it comes to how much the pawn shop is will to loan you against it.
Better Bikes & Vehicles
Some pawn shops will do loans against bicycles and here again, what matters to them is the condition of the bike, the brand name and model and to be sure that the bike is in good riding condition.
If the bike has frame damage, flat tires or some other problems, the pawn shop may not take it in. In addition, if it is a really cheap bike from someplace like Walmart, they may also not take it in because of how inexpensive the bike was when originally purchased.
Likewise, some pawn shops may take other vehicles and cars. This can mean 4×4’s, ATV’s, motorcycles, etc.
Just like with gas powered tools, make sure that the vehicles are in good running condition and that the pawn shop will be able to full test them out. Failing to do this may mean that the pawn broker turns down the vehicle as they will have no real way of determining the condition of it and seeing if and how well it runs.
And like all things, taking a few minutes to clean up the bikes or vehicles before heading down to the local pawn shop can really help you in getting the absolute most money possible out of them. A lot of the pawning negotiation will come down to what something looks like and therefore how sellable the item is should you have to forfeit the loan. So taking the few minutes to wipe it down can really make a huge different in what you will be able to get out of those items for a loan or if you are just outright selling them to the pawn shop.
Still Don’t Know What To Pawn?
If you still aren’t sure what you can pawn for the most money possible the other option is to simply go to Google.com and search “Local pawn shops.”
Google will give you a list of pawn shop in your are along with their phone numbers. Give them a call and ask them what they take in.
Doing this can give you a great idea of what the pawn brokers in your are are willing to loan against or work with and can help you find something that you can pawn for some quick cash when you need it the most.
Mandy Dormain started working for Pawn Nerd in 2020. Mandy grew up in a small town in northern Tennessee. But moved to New York for university. Before joining Pawn Nerd, Mandy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers politics and economy stories.