They say if you need quick cash, visiting a pawn shop should always be at the bottom of your list. However, if that’s the only option left, here are some ways on how to deal with a pawn shop.
Obtaining Money From a Pawn Shop
Locate Valuable Items
You’ll need to find and collect valuable items in your home before you can go to a pawn shop for cash. Some experts advise testing the quality of specific items at home to ensure that only high-quality items are brought in.
- When bringing in glass items, look for brand names such as Baccarat and Limoge to get an idea of the item’s value.
- In a pawn transaction, jewelry marked “HGE” (heavy gold electroplate), “GP” (gold plated), or “RPG” (rolled gold plated) is virtually worthless. These pieces of jewelry are typically made of a cheaper metal that has been coated with a thin plate to make it appear more valuable.
- Look for jewelry that has the words “750,” “750/1000,” “PT,” or “18k” stamped on it. These denote that the items are 18 karat gold or platinum, implying that they will fetch a high price at a pawn shop.
- Make your item as eye-catching as possible. This can be as simple as dusting or polishing off tarnish on a piece of jewelry. Consider how the item would appear to a consumer – if you were considering purchasing it, Is it appealing in its current state?
Make a Choice Between Pawning and Selling
Your transaction does not have to come to an end when you leave the pawn shop. Typically, pawn shops allow you to either sell or buy or pawn an item. Pawning an item means leaving it in the care of the store in exchange for a short-term loan. You can get your item back if you pay off the loan plus interest by a certain date. If not, the item becomes the property of the store, and the owner of that pawn shop may sell your item to the general public.
A pawn shop loan typically has a term of 90 to 120 days. The item then becomes the legal property of the pawn shop owner.
The interest rates and fees charged on your loan are typically governed by the state in which the pawn shop is located.
Proper Research on Items
Before you pawn or sell your valuables at a pawn shop, you should know the true value of the item. When you pawn or sell an item, pawn shop owners will usually try to cut you down to the lowest possible price, so you’ll need to know the value of each item ahead of time.
Consider having a professional appraise your items.
A written appraisal from a jeweler, for example, may help you negotiate a better price for your items at the pawn shop.
Don’t expect to get your money’s worth. Pawn shops exist to make money, so you will never receive the resale value of your items from one. Typically, you can expect to receive between 30% and 60% of the value of your items.
Instead, consider selling your items online. There are a plethora of online pawn shops, as well as online bidding sites such as ebay. These options can get you a higher price for your items, but you won’t walk away with cash in hand the same day as you would with a pawn shop.
Find the Best Pawn Shop
Every pawn shop is unique. Some shopkeepers are more understanding and willing to work with customers than others. Rather than going into the nearest pawn shop blindly, it’s worth your time and effort to research a few pawn shops in your area to find one where you’ll have a better experience.
Some pawn shops specialize in specific items, such as antiques or electronics. Instead of a general pawn shop, you might have better luck selling/pawning with one of these specialized locations.
Examine online customer reviews. You can get a good sense of how honest, helpful, and fair a given pawn shop is by looking around and comparing reviews.