Of all of the things that I get asked about pawn shops on a regular basis, the topic of “How much do pawn shops pay for trombones” doesn’t come up too often.
That having been said, there are a lot of trombones out there and they do make an excellent item to pawn.
Pretty much any pawn shop that deal with musical instruments will be interested in working with a trombone if you should happen to bring one in.
What you do have to keep in mind is that pawn shops aren’t a big box store and not all pawn shops operate the same way.
Pawn shops are owned by thousands of individual small business owners and each have their own ideas about what items would be good to take in versus those that aren’t.
Because of that, not all pawn shops deal with music instruments as a whole, and those that do may not deal with trombones specifically.
That’s a rare exception, however it was important to at least note it so that you were aware that it might be the case and won’t be caught offer guard if your local pawn shop decides not to take yours.
How To Find A Pawn Shop That Will Take Your Trombone
The easiest way to do this is to go to Google.com and search the phrase “Local pawn shops” or “Pawn shops in my area.”
Google will return a list of results with the names of the pawn shops, addresses and phone numbers.
Pick 2 or 3 and give them a call. What you want to ask them is the following:
- Do you accept trombones?
- What does the trombone need to have with it? (Case, mouthpiece?)
- What do I need to have to make a loan or sell something at your pawn shop? (Photo ID, Drivers license?)
Getting The Most For Your Trombone At A Pawn Shop
I want you to think about what you do when you are buying something expensive.
If you are like most people, you look at a few different stores to try to find the best price possible on that item.
You don’t want to overpay for something if you don’t have to, right?
Well, when you are selling something like a trombone to a pawn shop, you can do the same thing if you want to.
Take a look around, go to a couple different pawn shops and show them your trombone. Get offers, in writing if possible.
Let them know what you are doing and hopefully they will make the most competitive offer possible.
In the end, this will ultimately work out to be the best thing you could do.
But there are some things that you should do before you take your trombone into the pawn shop for them to examine and evaluate to make an offer on.
Clean it up – You want to make your trombone look as new as possible. Remove any heavy marks or debris if possible, but without damaging the finish if it is still in good condition.
Make sure it all moves – make sure there are no “Frozen” parts on your trombone. If so, hit them with a little oil and try to work them free so that everything moves easily, just like it should.
Bring the case – if you have a case for your trombone, be sure to bring it with you as pawn shops are likely to offer a little more for a trombone with a case versus one without it.
Typical Pawn Shop Values For Trombones
With all of the above in mind, let’s talk about what you probably really want to know.
How much do pawn shops pay for trombones when all is said and done?
Well, it’s going to depend a lot on your trombone, what kind of condition it is in, what model it is, etc.
For trombones with dings, dents, and damaged finishes, you are almost always going to be looking at something between $20-$50 depending on what make and model it is.
Trombones that are this rough need a full restoration, and that isn’t also cheap is there are significant dings and dents that need to be taken out before the finish is restored.
If your trombone is a good make and model and in decent condition, you might be looking at something between $50-$125 for it. This all really depends on what it is as, just like watches for instance, some manufacturers are more desirable than others.
If your trombone is truly something special and cost thousands of dollars when it was new, it will often have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis and would be very difficult for me to try to give you any kind of figure without seeing it. That having been said, it probably shouldn’t be less than $100 unless it’s damaged or not worth as much as you thought it really was.
Really old trombones are a bit of a surprise. If your trombone was made in the 40s or earlier, you may find out that it is worth quite a bit of money!
How Do Pawn Shops Determine The Value Of Trombones
When a pawn shop has someone bring in a trombone, the fist thing that are going to do is look at it’s condition.
Are there dings, dents, or creases in the metal work?
The next thing that they are going to examine is the finish. Are there rust spots or other finish imperfections?
Once they have this basic information, along with the make and model of the trombone, they will look on sites like eBay to see what trombones in similar condition have sold for in the past.
Mind you, they aren’t looking at just any listed trombone of the same make and model.
They are looking at the actual sold listings for trombones in similar condition to yours.
For instance, they won’t take a trombone of the same make and model that has been listed for a “Buy it now” of $9,500 and assume that’s what they should pay you for yours.
When searching for things on eBay, you can select to just see “Completed and sold” listings.
From there, they are going to be looking at the sold listings for trombones that are the same make and model, but that are also in the same condition as yours.
If yours has dings and dents, they will compare the pricing that trombones of that make/model sold that that also had dings and dents.
On the other hand, if yours is perfect, they won’t use the price of one that is all marked up to base their offer on.
Typically speaking, for a loan, you will be offer between 40-60% of the eBay value of the item, and on a buy 50-70%, maybe even higher.
Remember, it’s not free to sell things on eBay. When that pawn shop turns around to resell your trombone, it’s going to cost them about 10% in eBay and paypal fees.
In addition, they have to pay an employee to picture it, describe it, answer questions about it, package it and then ship it.
By the time all is said and done, the pawn shop doesn’t actually make 30-50% on that transaction. Instead they normally only make 10-20%, which is a very reasonable markup when compared to other industries.