How Do Pawn Shops Price Electronics – The Straight Truth

Brian McCracken


Do pawn shops price electronics fairly? That’s a good question and the answer is that yes, the prices that pawn shops use for electronics is based on the current market value.
One of the things that are most commonly sold to and purchased from pawn shops are electronics. That having been said, a lot of people often ask “How do pawn shops price electronics?”
Well, the answer of course is going to depend on if we are talking about when a pawn shops is buying them, just loaning on them, or of course, turning around and reselling them.
In all of these cases, the condition of the item(s) as well as their completeness are going to make a big difference in how the pawn shop prices them.
When it comes to electronics, people can be very picky about if they are cracked, scratched, or damaged in any way. This of course is completely reasonable given that most electronics aren’t easily repaired and furthermore, don’t react well to being dropped or exposed to moisture.
Of course, with that in mind, the pawn shop still has to be able to come up with a base value for all of these transactions.
Unfortunately, answering how they come up with that base value isn’t incredibly straight forward but I will do my best to walk you through them so that you have a better understanding of how pawn shops are pricing these items no matter what you are doing with them.
Pawn shops price electronics based on a variety of factors including the current used market value, condition, completeness, and age of the item.
How Pawn Shops Prices Electronics That They Are Buying
When a pawn shop is buying an item, they are normally going to look at a site like eBay or Amazon to see what similar models have sold for in the past.
They are going to take into considering the completeness of your item vs those they see sold on these sites. If you’re item is missing parts (such as cords, chargers, etc) then you can expect your offer to be reduced significantly.
In addition, they are going to be comparing the condition of your item versus those they see sold online. If your item(s) are in significant worse condition, then your offer will reflect that.
Once a pawn shop has determined what the item normally sells for used online, they will then offer you approximately 50-60% of that value. The remaining amount is so that the pawn shop can make a profit on the item when they resell it after all of the associated fees and expenses are paid.
How Pawn Shops Price Electronics That They Loan Against
Now when it comes to a pawn shop making a loan against electronics, they will basically approach the whole process just like they would as if they are buying it.
The big difference here is that they will typically only offer you between 40-50% of the used sales price of similar models in like completeness and condition.
The reason for the discrepancy is that there are associated costs in storage and keeping your item while it is in the pawn shop on loan, so they can’t afford to give you as much for it as opposed to when they are just outright buying it.
How Pawn Shops Price Electronics That They Sell
When pawn shops turn around and sell electronics in their stores, they will often price the items at approximately the price that they would sell for on a site like eBay or Amazon.
If the item doesn’t sell in their store, they can always turn around and sell it online, but they normally like to offer their retail customers a chance to purchase them at a significant savings versus buying them new.
In addition, if you are a savvy buyer, you can often negotiate with the pawn shop for a reduced price, thereby saving yourself money versus buying it online and paying for shipping, etc.
In addition, you will be able to inspect the item before you actually purchase it, which is something that you would be unable to do if you were buying it online.
How To Get The Most For Your Electronics From A Pawn Shop
With all of this in mind, if you are taking your electronics into a pawn shop to make a loan against or sell, then there are some things that you can do to put the odds in your favor for getting the most money possible out of them.
Condition – Make sure that you take the time to clean your items properly. In the case of electronics, don’t submerge them in water or get them overly wet. Normally just a little general cleaner or Lysol disinfectant wipe will be all that is required.
Your goal should be to remove any major debris, dust, etc. You want to present the item in the best condition possible so that the pawn broker feels that he or she would be able to resell the item without someone objecting to it’s poor condition or cleanliness.
Completeness – It’s incredibly important with electronics to make sure that you have all of the parts and pieces with you before you leave the house.
If the pawn broker has to replace missing parts just to sell the item, that will have a profound negative impact on the offer that they make you for it.
Passwords & Pass Codes – If the item that you are taking to the pawn shop requires a password to log into or reset, the pawnbroker will expect for you to have that and provide it to them.
First of all, it will help verify that the item isn’t stolen. Secondly, they may need those codes to reset the item and make it available for resale. If they can’t reset the item to resell it, they likely won’t be interested in making a loan against it or buying it at any price.
Charger & Working – Last but not least, if the electronic item that you are taking into the pawn shop works via battery power, make sure that it is properly charged so that they can verify that it works properly.
If the pawn shop can’t verify that the item you take to them is in proper working order, they may not take it at all. If they do, expect them to offer you far less for it than if it had been charged and verified to be working.