Okay, now this is a question that I am not at all surprised by. In fact, I’m rather glad that it got asked, so let’s get to the answer.
If you have never used a pawn shop before then you may not know exactly what it is that you can do at a pawn shop.
While pawn shops may offer all sorts of different kinds of services, they typically revolve around three basic functions.
The first thing that you can do at a pawn shop is get what is known as a pawn loan. A pawn loan is where a pawn shop will give you some money to cover some emergency expense that you have run into.
The second thing pawn shops will do is that they offer to buy merchandise from you should you happen to want to sell it. This most often happens if you have no interest in getting an item back, or you need a little bit more money than they were willing to loan you against an item.
The third thing that people will often do at pawn shops is buy things in their retail stores. These are items that pawn shops have either purchased or have made a loan against and the loan has defaulted.
What Is A Pawn Loan
A pawn loan is otherwise known as a no recourse loan. What that means is that the pawn shop will hold onto your merchandise during the length of the loan.
In this way the loan is secured. If you should default on the loan by not paying it on time, the pawn shop will end up keeping whatever merchandise it was that you put up for the loan.
The amount of your loan will be determined by the value of the merchandise that you have brought into the pawn shop. Typically speaking, most pawn shops will follow the 40% to 60% rule when assessing the value of used merchandise. That is to say that they will give you roughly 40 to 60% of an item’s current used value on a site like eBay or Amazon.com.
Pawn loans are typically much more affordable than other short-term financing options.
While the amount of interest a pawn shop can charge you will very state-by-state, in most states it is dramatically more affordable than your typical payday advance loan.
How Do You Sell Something At A Pawn Shop
If you would like to sell something at a pawn shop the process is extremely easy.
The very first thing that you should do is call the pawn shops in your area to determine if the take in the type of merchandise that you intend on bringing them. While you have them on the phone, be sure to ask them what they require that you bring with you in order to sell something in their store.
This is something else that is going to be regulated by state law, or local city ordinances. Most often, it is only required that you bring a valid state ID with you when you are selling something at a pawn shop.
There are a variety of things that you can do to get the most for your items when you are selling them at a pawn shop, but if you follow these two major points, you will do okay.
The first thing is to make sure that whatever you are taking into the pawn shop is clean and in good condition. What that means is that you should spend at least a few minutes wiping off, or cleaning off what ever it is that you intend on taking to the pawn shop.
You don’t have to go crazy with it, but at least make a solid effort to make your item as presentable as possible to the pawn shop when you take it in.
The second major thing that you can do to help yourself get the most money possible for something when you are selling at a pawn shop is simply to make sure that it is complete. Missing parts or pieces could end up costing you a lot of money in terms of the offer that the pawn shop will give you.
Buying Things At Pawn Shops
When you are walking into a pawn shop as a retail customer to buy something, there are some things that you should keep in mind.
The first and foremost is that the items you are looking at will most likely have been used previously. That means that you should pay special attention to any missing parts are pieces, or other defects that affect the function of whatever item it is that you are looking at.
In addition to that, make sure you ask the pawn shop if they offer any kind of refund or return policy against the items that they sell. While not all pawn shops do this, you will still find that some do and are happy to work with you should something go wrong with your purchase.
Lastly, keep in mind that you will be able to negotiate prices with most pawn shops. You shouldn’t do anything too drastic here but if you ask to pay between 10% and 15% under the ticketed price of an item, you might be surprised to learn that they agree to it.
Other Services Pawn Shops Typically Offer
While all pawn shops will differ in the variety of services that they offer to their customers, it is not uncommon for most pawn shops to offer things such as a notary service, check cashing, money orders, or even bill payment services.
In some cases you might find that your local pawn shop is also an authorized Western Union agent.
Then you have other pawn shops that do a little bit of everything and will also act as cell phone service providers, some even being authorized dealers for companies such as T-Mobile or Sprint.
Can You Trust A Pawn Shop
Of course you can trust a pawn shop. Pawn shops are like any other businesses, particularly small businesses.
Their owners work very hard to build their business, develop relationships with their customers, and as such, they will take great pride in their stores day to day operations.
While you may have heard stories about things that could’ve happened at pawn shops, typically these are untrue. I’m sure, in some scenarios, there have been pawnbrokers that have done things which were less than honest; however, that is absolutely a minority of pawnbrokers, as most pawn shops really strive for excellence.