Can You Trade At Pawn Shops – OFFICIAL ANSWER!

Brian McCracken


One, I love this question – it has absolutely got to be one of the best questions that I’ve heard recently and let’s just dig right in and get to the bottom of it.
We all know that you can go into a pawn shop and make a loan against something that you own to come up with some quick cash to cover an expensive.
We also know that you can go to the pawn shop and just sell an item outright should you need a little extra, or a little more than they might normally be willing to just lend you on the item should you have made a loan.
Lastly, virtually everyone knows that you can go into a pawn shop and buy gently used items at very good prices most of the time – and in fact this is what a lot of people use pawn shops for.
But what people don’t often think about doing (and they probably should) is just making a trade for something that they own in exchange for something that the pawn shop has in inventory that it might be looking to sell.
To be honest, a lot of pawn shops will do this and I’m really very surprised that more people don’t take advantage of this opportunity when it is presented to them. But how do you do it and what should you expect? Good questions…
There are a large number of pawn shops out there that will be open to the idea of trading your merchandise but not all so don’t over negotiate your position.
What Should You Expect When Trading With A Pawn Shop
Okay, so something that we’ve got to get on the table right now is that pawn shops are only really going to be interested in a trade as long as the items are very close in value, or if the pawn shop thinks that they will be able to get a little more for the item(s) that you are trading in versus those that they are selling.
That’s a golden rule and you aren’t going to find many, if any, pawn shops that will really violate that because it just doesn’t make sense for them to.
So what you need to do is figure out what a good “Used” value for your item really is and the best way to do that is the same advice that I’ve been giving for a long time which is to look it up!
You can go to or and see what items similar to the one that you are thinking about trading might commonly sell for in used condition and completeness similar to yours.
Doing that will give you a foundation that you can work from when determining either how to negotiate with the pawn shop or if the pawn broker will even go with the idea of making the trade at all.
The bottom line here is to expect them to only “Trade Up” and not “Trade Down.” In other words, they won’t give you a more valuable item for your less valuable item.
Tips For Trading With Pawn Shops
Really, there aren’t too many tips that I can give you here that you probably don’t already know.
The first major thing that I will tell you is to make sure that you item(s) is clean and presentable and just plain looks as good as possible.
The pawn shop will be trading you something that they’ve already cleaned and made ready for sale. In exchange, they are going to want something that is also pretty close to sale-ready so take a few minutes and get whatever it is that you are thinking about trading in the best condition possible.
The next point would be to not over negotiate with the pawn shop. Trading isn’t really a part of their normal business but they will pretty much always be willing to do it if the deal works for them.
That having been said, since they may be a little outside of their comfort zone already, keep that in mind and be respectful about how far or how hard you try to push them on something. If you go too far, you may find the whole deal fall apart right in front of you and then what?
Then you’ll be buying whatever you wanted at full price because that will be the only option left if you blow the trade negotiation.