What Kind of Warranty Can You Expect From a Pawn Shop

Brian McCracken


A lot of people are concerned with the warranty periods of things that they buy from pawn shops and for good reason. After all, we are talking about used items, so knowing exactly what kind of warranty you will get on your items before you finish your transaction is important. When people think about pawn shops, they are normally thinking about a place to get money quickly when they need it. However, for some people, they see pawn shops as great places to get gently used merchandise at great prices – and they would be right!

You can find anything from fine jewelry to power tools, TVs, blurays, video game systems, sound systems, hunting equipment and much more in pawn shops.To be honest, it almost doesn’t even matter what it is that you are shopping for. Looking into a pawn shop as a place to make your next big (or small) purchase is just a good idea because you could end up saving a ton of money on like-new items in many cases.

That having been said, most of the items, even those that are in like-new condition, are still often used slightly – and sometimes extensively. With that use comes the concern of durability and how long whatever it is that you are thinking about buying will last. Of course, this overall durability is often dependent on the type of merchandise that we are talking about. Things like a gold band are going to be very durable and basically, can’t break. It’s metal… it’s not like there’s moving parts or electronics that can go bad.

Do Pawn Shops Have Warranties?

When you buy something from a pawn shop, you may ask yourself “Do pawn shops have warranties?” It’s a good question to ask before you complete your transaction. Some pawn shops offer 30 day warranties, and some only offer 3 day warranties. Some are cash back, others are in-store credit, so know what you are looking at upfront if you’re not sure.

This is an area of the pawn industry where I wish there was more consistency, but unfortunately, there isn’t. You have to keep in mind that pawn shops are owned by thousands of individual, small business owners. Each is going to have their own ideas about what is a good warranty period or whether or not to even offer one at all.

That having been said, here are the two typical policies that you will find:

1. 30 Days, Money Back

With a portion of the pawn industry, you will find they they offer a 30 day, money back guarantee on the merchandise that they sell. Typically there will be some exceptions to this, such as if you drop a laptop, or run it over with a car (hey, I’ve seen it happen…). That having been said, this isn’t really the case in most pawn shops.

Pawnbrokers know that we are talking about used items here. You could buy a drill from a pawn shop and go out to use it in ways that it was never intended to operate and burn it out. Is it the pawn shops fault that you improperly used something? Hardly.

2. Store Credit, 3-30 days

The other warranty period that I see in a lot of pawn shops is in-store credit only. The reason for this is that most pawn shops will let you test something out before you buy it. So you know, and they know, that it works properly before you leave. If it stops working, the pawnbroker had no idea that would happen, but they also don’t want to risk someone using their store as a “Rental center.” If you are unfamiliar with this, it’s pretty common and it’s essentially fraud. Basically, someone will come in and “Buy” a tool. They will go out and use it to finish a job that they are working on, and then return the tool a few days later for whatever reason to get their money back. This is known as “Retail rental” and it’s dishonest.

So to discourage this, a lot of pawn shops only offer in-store credit, and typically within a certain period. That period can be as little as three days in many cases, but as long as 30 days in others.

The Others

There are a few other pawn operations that will offer longer refund or cash back periods, but this is really not that common. The pawn industry as a whole is a wide target for con-artist and scammers alike. Pawn shops have to do something to protect themselves and in this case, that comes down to restricting how they deal with merchandise returns.

The Rare Case Of Extended Warranties From Pawn Shops

Recently, some pawn shops have been offering extended warranties on the items that they sell. This is typically available for an extra 10-20% of the item’s cost and will give you a longer period of time that you can return your items in case there is a problem with what you bought. Of course, in these situations, certain terms and conditions will apply, so be sure that you know exactly what you are buying into upfront.