Do Pawn Shops Buy Heaters – Answered! in 2017

Brian McCracken


We often get asked if pawn shops buy heaters and that answer will depend on a large variety of factors. To get the complete story on if your local pawn shop will take your heater, read this article – it’s worth it!
Let me tell you, when I was a kid, I loved winter. The cold never bothered me, to the point that in my teens, I would shovel snow in my shorts.
Yeah, I was a little crazy, but there are lots of people like me that aren’t bothered by the cold of winter.
That having been said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to hate the cold.
I still live in Ohio, but that’s because I like all of the other seasons.
Keeping this in mind, I’m writing this in February and have a small little room heater right underneath my desk keeping my feet and legs at something just sound of 200 degrees. (I’m kidding of course.)
So, when people ask me “Do pawn shops take heaters,” I kind of laugh under my breath and think “Well, I will if nobody else does.”
That having been said, to answer your question in the broader sense, yes, a lot of pawn shops will buy heaters in general
However, there are some rules that apply to pawning heaters or selling them to pawn shop, and they aren’t really any different then any of the other rules that apply when pawning or selling something.
A lot of people have asked whether or not pawn shops buy heaters, and the answer is – it depends. Some heaters are very inexpensive and a pawn shop would have less interest in those. On the other hand, some heaters are pretty pricey and in high demand during the winter months, which means that a pawn shop would probably be interested in those.
The Basics Of Pawning Heaters Or Selling A Heater To A Pawn Shop
Okay, let’s cover some of the basics when it comes to dealing with pawn shops and heaters.
First of all, not all heaters are worth a lot of money.
You have some heaters that can cost $10 at stores like Harbor Freight, and then you have other industrial heaters that can cost thousands of dollars.
Obviously, pawning these two very different types of heaters are going to be different animals.
In the case of the cheap little $10-$40 heater that you can find in Harbor Freight, Walmart, Kmart, Target, etc. – a pawn shop may or may not loan on them and if they do, it won’t be very much.
The reason is that they aren’t expensive when they are new and they just aren’t worth much used, even if they work perfectly.
Things To Be Aware Of When Pawning Or Selling Your Heater
In addition, for whatever reason, heaters tend to really pick up the elements of where ever they are.
So if you are a smoker, your heater will probably reek of cigarette smoke “Smell” when it’s on (and sometimes even off) and in these cases, most pawn shops won’t take them because non-smokers won’t want anything to do with them.
Additionally, people tend to get these household heaters really dirty, and I’m not sure how that happens, but it does.
Now in the case of outdoor heaters, especially those that use Kerosene, if you’ve spilled some other it on the heater in the past when filling it, there will be a certain shine from the residue of the kerosene left on the fill tank of the heater itself.
Pawn shops won’t want to see that, because they don’t know if your tank leaks, etc.
How To Pawn Or Sell Your Heater At A Pawn Shop
Now, with all of these things out of the way, let’s talk about what you should actually do to get a pawn shop to take your heater.
Be Honest With Yourself About What You Have
How much did your heater cost when it was new? $20? $100? $1,500? Have you had it in a room that you smoked in?
If your heater was on the lower end of that scale when new, a pawn shop probably won’t pay very much for it.
It’s not because the pawn shop is “Ripping you off.” It’s because nobody is going to pay very much for something used when they can go out and buy a brand new one, with more features and a warranty, for just a little more than they are selling it for.
So, when you take it to the pawn shop, if it cost less than $200 when new, you probably won’t get more than $5-$50 for it depending on what it is and what condition it is in. That brings us to…
Clean Your Heater Before You Leave The House
As mentioned earlier, for whatever reason, heaters really tend to take on the odors of their environments. Additionally, they get marked up pretty easily.
Indoor Heaters
Because of that, you are going to do whatever you can to make it look and smell as new as possible.
If you are a heavy smoker, there’s going to be very little you can do to eliminate that smell. The tar and nicotine in cigars and cigarettes tends to sink into the plastic and heating element of heaters and therefore doesn’t come out.
Now, if your heater is just a little marked up, take some rubbing alcohol or a lysol wipe and try to remove those marks.
You want your heater to look as new as possible when you present it at the pawn shop. You have to remember that they are looking at it as if they will have to resell it one day and most customers don’t want to buy something really dirty and stick it in the middle of their living room.
When we are talking about the things people buy to put in their homes, they expect them to be clean, even sterile looking, for a lack of better words.
If your heater looks like the pawnbroker is going to have to spend 2 hours cleaning it before he can resell it, they probably won’t take it and if they do, they won’t pay much for it because of the “Cost of time” involved in them cleaning it for you.
Outdoor or Gas Heaters
Now, if we are talking about outdoor heaters that use propane or kerosene, then there are something things you are going to want to do before taking it down to the pawn shop.
Much like indoor heaters, you want to clean is as much as possible.
Because these heaters have flames of some sort (in most cases), you will want to clean any of the left behind ash or residue out of the “Barrel” of the heater, or off the element/screen.
Special Note For Kerosene Heaters
Furthermore, particularly for kerosene heaters, you will want to be sure to really wipe down the tank area and make it look as clean as possible.
When filling kerosene heaters, it’s common (and easy) to spill some on it and that will leave behind a residue that will give the pawn shop some pause and concern when evaluating your unit. They don’t know if it was just a simple spill that wasn’t cleaned, or if the tank doesn’t seal, or if there’s a crack, etc.
Additionally, most pawn shops can’t have things like kerosene heaters in their pawn shop that have fuel in them.
Most fire departments inspect businesses and then they see that a heater has kerosene in it, they may cite the pawnbroker for the safety hazard.
So be sure to have enough kerosene with you to demonstrate that the heater works, but also have an extra container and funnel with you when you go so that if the pawn shop accepts the heater, you can drain the fuel out of it before they take it in.
You may find that a pawn shop would love to make you a loan on your heater or buy it off you, but if you can’t remove the fuel, they won’t be able to accept it.