This is one of those questions that people will most often have the very first time that they are thinking about using a pawn shop to help them out.
It’s a reasonable question really, and to be honest, when first time customer call us this is normally the first they they ask – how does it all work?
By the time you are done with this article you will understand exactly how the process works and what you have to do to get the money you need.
First and foremost, you are going to have to spend a few minutes thinking about what it is that you have that you can pawn.
This will partially depend on the pawn shop that you are working with as not all pawn shops accept the exact same types of merchandise.
For instance, some pawn shops won’t take things like tablets while other pawn shops will accept just about anything of value – even cars or house titles.
Don’t let that scare you though, the process of getting a pawn loan on something is actually very easy to do.
What Items Most Pawn Shops Accept
If you aren’t sure what you can pawn, here is a partial list of items that most pawn shops will accept.
Pawn shops will typically only deal with solid gold items and won’t give gold plated items much consideration.
The weight and purity of the metal involved will determine it’s value at a pawn shop.
When it comes to items like coins there may be a collectibility factor that comes into play when determining the price.
Additionally, if the coin is graded and is in good condition, that will also positively influence the price as well.
- Jewelry – this can mean gold necklaces, rings, bracelet, anklets and earrings for instance.
- Coins – gold coins of varying origins are commonly accepted. This can mean $5, $10, $25 gold coins from the United States or something like a krugerrand from Africa even. When it comes to gold coins, typically the origin isn’t nearly as important as the purity and weight of the coin itself.
- Bullion – bullion bars (or bricks) are often accepted from nearly all providers. There may be some pawn shops that are a little resistant to unknown foundries but that’s not typically the case.
- Collectible Pieces – this can mean things like plateware (forks, spoons, etc.), pens, lighters, or typically anything else small that is made out of solid gold.
With consumer electronics, the age of the item is going to be a pretty big deal. Newer electronics are constantly coming out making older equipment outdated very quickly.
Additionally, it’s important to be sure you have all of the various parts and pieces (cords, chargers, etc) that go with the items.
Finding or replacing these items can be expensive and therefore if your item is missing them, a pawn shop may not be interested in taking it in on loan.
- Newer TV’s – typically speaking pawn shops will only want to work with newer TV’s. Definitely flat screens at a minimum, and normally within 2-7 years old at most.
- Tablets – while some pawn shops only work with ipads, most pawn shops these days will accept just about any kind of tablet out there including Nooks and Kindles.
- Laptops – laptops are another item where typically speaking, the pawn shop will want something newer. This will mean a laptop that is less than 5 years old in most cases.
- GPS Systems – GPS systems also follow the same trend where the newer it is the better. Map software becomes outdated over time, so the newer systems are what is most desirable. Be sure you have the cord for it.
- Newer Digital Cameras – digital cameras have been out for some time now and as such there are a lot of very old, outdated cameras out there. Most pawn shops won’t work with anything less than 8-10 megapixels anymore unfortunately.
Typically speaking, pawn shops will prefer to work with primarily brand name tools, but the may also accept lesser known brands in some cases.
Pawn shops will accept both cordless and corded variations of these tools in almost all scenarios.
If your tools are cordless, make sure that you have the battery and charger with you.
These items are important not only in making sure that the tool works properly, but they are often expensive to replace.
- Power Drills – both regular and hammer drills are widely accepted. Make sure all of the speeds work and that the check tightens properly before taking it into the shop.
- Reciprocating Saws – as with drills, you are going to want to make sure that the chuck works properly as this is something that most pawn shops will look at. Typically speaking, quick release chucks are more desirable.
- Jig Saws – the same goes here, if the chuck is broken the pawn shop may not accept it.
- Circular Saws – with circular saws not having a blade isn’t a big deal, just make sure that you have the nut or bolt required to put a blade on the saw if you don’t.
- Orbital & Sheet Sanders – these are pretty straight forward. Have the dust bag with you if the sander originally came with one and try to make sure that the bag doesn’t have any holes in it.
- Brand Name Socket & Wrench Sets – in most cases pawn shops will only work with complete sets but if you are missing a few pieces you may find that a pawn shop will still work with your item(s).
When it comes to musical instruments, the brand name, model and country of manufacture are really going to be important in determining a value.
In addition, significant cracks, dents or other defects will play a huge role in the amount of money that you are offered for them.
Having the case for your instrument is also important in most scenarios, although a pawn shop will probably still make you a loan even if yours is missing.
- Acoustic Guitars – when acoustic guitars, be sure that you have the strings and having a case will help your situation. Obviously any cracks or major defects will hurt your offer and may rule it out completely.
- Electric Guitars – the brand and model really matter with electric guitars. There are going to be some makes and models that are highly desirable while others simply won’t be.
- Guitar Amps – guitar amplifiers are something that can typically be found in pawn shops. you will want to make sure that you have the power cord and that all of the functions or features of the amp work properly. Additionally, make sure that there is no loud hum or buzzing sound that the amp makes as most pawn shops will turn down amps that have this problem.
- Flutes – the condition of the flute will be important. Old pads and significant dings and dents will seriously impact the pawn value of a flute.
- Clarinets – with clarinets, as long as the cork and pads are in decent shape you shouldn’t have too much of a problem making a reasonable loan against one. Try to be sure that you have the carrying case with it though as not having it will hurt you when it comes time to determine how much a pawn shop will loan you against it.
- Trumpets – trumpets are going to be like most other brass instruments in that any dings or dents will hurt the value that you are offered at a pawn shop. Additionally, things like stuck keys or slide that don’t move won’t look good so try to clean things up and lubricate the trumpet before you take it down to your local pawn shop.
- Trombones – with trombones the biggest problem I normally see are defects in the bell area. As long as that’s in good shape and there aren’t many extremely large dings and dents in the instrument you shouldn’t have a problem making a loan against one at a pawn shop. Obviously, for an instrument of this size, having the case with you will be very important.
You should hopefully have some of these items laying around your house that you can use to get a short term loan. That having been said, most pawn shops will work with just about anything of value.
If you have something in your home that’s not on this list it will never hurt to give a local pawn shop a call and ask them if they will accept it. In some cases, they may have to see the item first in order to tell you for sure if they would be willing to work with it.
How To Find Pawn Shops In Your Area
Once you think that you have found something that you can pawn, or if you are unsure if you have something that a pawn shop will take, the next thing you have to do is find the pawn shops in your area.
The easiest way to do this is just by going to Google.com and searching the phrase “Local Pawn Shops” or “Pawn Shops In My Area.”
Google will return a list of results for pawn shops in your area that you can use to make a loan.
They will provide you with their phone number as well so you can give them a call to make sure that they accept what you plan on taking to them.
While you have the pawn shop on the phone, it’s not a bad idea to ask them what all you need to bring with you in order to make a loan or sell something to them.
Most states will just require a state ID but it’s worth checking just to be sure that you are fully prepared when you arrive.
How Do Pawn Loans Work
Once you have your item that you want to pawn and you know which pawn shop you want to work with you will want to make sure that you have all of the various parts of pieces that originally came with the item when you bought it new.
If you don’t have them, that may be okay, but be prepared to be offered a slightly lower value than you may have been had you had all of the accessories.
Letting The Pawn Shop Examine The Item
You will give your item(s) to the pawnbroker to look at and examine. They are normally just checking to make sure that everything works as it should.
After that they will attempted to determine a current used market place value for your item. They will often do this using a site like eBya or Amazon and see what similar makes and models are selling for in like-condition and completeness.
They will then make you an offer which is normally going to be between 40-60% of whatever current used value they could find for your item(s) were.
Getting The Pawn Loan
Once they’ve made you the offer, you can choose to accept it or not. If you do, the pawn shops will give you cash on the spot that you can use to pay your bills or take care of whatever responsibilities that you have.
The loan will typically be good for somewhere between 3-90 days although that is determined by state law and may be shorter or longer depending on the laws in your area.
Getting Your Items Back
When you have the money available to repay the loan, you will go back into the pawn shop and give them the principle as well as whatever storage or interest charges may have accrued on the loan while you had it.
The amount of the storage and interest charges are set by state and local laws, not the pawn shop in most cases.
When you’ve repaid the loan you will be given back your items in the same condition that you dropped them off in.
Repawning Items In The Future
You are able to pawn your items again in the future should you need to make another loan down the road.
This is often one of those questions that I get asked because for whatever reason people think that just because you had an item in a pawn loan once you can’t repawn it – and that’s just not the case.
Pawn shops are normally happy to take your items back in assuming that you are bringing them back in similar condition and completeness that you had originally.