Let’s just face some facts; most people don’t use pawn shops regularly or never have.
Learning how to pawn something is pretty straight forward, but learning how to get the most out of it – that’s the trick it would seem.
Let’s just be completely factual about the matter – most people feel that pawn shops don’t offer you a great value for your merchandise, but that isn’t really true.
More often than not, pawn shops offer a very good value for your lightly used merchandise so that you can go out and take care of the bills or expenses that have come up.
That having been said, there are of course some tricks that you can learn to help you get even more, or at least, stand the best chance of getting the most amount of money possible for whatever you bring into the pawn shop when you need to come up with some quick cash.
So let’s go ahead and cover some things that you will probably want to know.
How Do You Pawn Something – Pawn Shops 101
Okay, so there you are, ready to pawn something for the first time… what do you do?
Well, the first thing we need to talk about is understanding that pawn shops across the country all operate a little differently.
You see, pawn shops aren’t like Walmart or Target. You can’t go to one and then go to another down the street and expect the exact same practices.
Most pawn shops are owned by individual, small business owners, known as pawnbrokers.
Each pawnbroker has their own ideas about what makes a good item to take in, or what makes something ideal to make a loan on.
Some pawnbrokers are very forgiving and really open to taking in just about anything of quality that comes through the door.
Other pawnbrokers are a little more selective in what they are willing to take in.
For instance, some pawn shops won’t take things like laptops, while others won’t take musical instruments. Others may only deal in jewelry or other precious metals.
Step One: Figure out what pawn shops in your area commonly take in.
So, the first thing that you really need to do is to figure out what you have that you can bring into the pawn shop. The best way to do that is simply to call them and ask what they take.
[Note: One of the things that we are working on here is to develop a directory of pawn shops that you can refer to, but until that is released, the best way to do that is still to just Google ‘Pawnshops near me’ and call the various shops on the list.]
While you are on the phone with them, you will also want to inquire as to what type of identification or other documentation that you should bring with you when you visit their store.
For instance, almost every pawn shop will require that you at least have some form of State ID, but if you are bringing them something like a Rolex, they may also want you to bring the box and papers with it as well to help determine it’s legitimacy.
This of course brings us to the second part of this post:
How To Get The Most For Something You Pawn
Now the next thing that we will want to talk about is how to get the most for the items that you take to a pawn shop.
What you have to keep in mind when it comes to pawn shops is that they often look at the items that come in as if they will be forced to resell them in the future – even if you fully intend on coming back for those items.
When you go into a pawn shop, you are going to see a lot of things out on the sales floor that customers can buy and all of that merchandise are also things that people said they were coming back for.
So keep in mind that when you are dealing with the pawnbroker, you can tell them that you are coming back for it, but they have maybe $500,000 in inventory that is all made out of items where the borrower said the exact same thing.
How To Make Your Items Look As Valuable As Possible
In order to give yourself the best chance of getting the most money possible, you have to make your items looks like they are ready for sale.
That means you should clean whatever it is up a little bit. I’m not saying that you should spend a hour cleaning the thing, but do try to make it look at least a little better.
Make sure that you have all of the parts and pieces that go with the items as well. For instance, if it’s a laptop, make sure it has the charger with it.
Speaking of chargers, make sure that if the items you are taking in are something that needs to be charged, that it is charged when you get to the pawn shop. That way the pawnbroker can turn it on and see that it all works exactly like it should and that there are no other problems.
Lastly, make sure that you have any paperwork or packaging with you that someone might find desirable.
Just In Case Your Curious…
Yes, I know that you intend on getting your items back, and so will the pawnbroker that you are working with.
That having been said, you have to be sure that you don’t take it personally when they evaluate your items based on the thought that you may not come back for them at all. That unfortunately is the case for many people, but fear not, the odds are in your favor!
As of this writing, roughly 80% of all pawn loans made in the United States are redeemed, picked up, or gotten back one way or another.