We all encounter a situation when we need a little extra cash here and there. Either that, or we have an overload of old stuff that we don’t need that could have some value. Pawn shops happen to be an excellent way to handle both of those problems, and we’re here to help you understand how the process goes. So, how do pawn shops work to make you money? How can you turn those extra items into cold hard cash?
Let’s take a look.
Instead of putting things up for sale online or paying to get rid of them, pawn shops provide you with the opportunity to get cash value for your items almost immediately.
If you don’t want to get rid of something but you need cash immediately, pawn shops also give you the option to get a loan on an item. This is referred to as “pawning” an item, whereas giving an item to the shop permanently in exchange for cash is called “selling” it.
Not that you don’t know what selling is, but it’s an important distinction to make when you step into the shop. When you pawn something, you’ll be given its value and are expected to pay a little more than you received in order to get the item back.
Like all loans, you’ll be charged more as time goes on. You can also pawn an item for less than it’s worth if you want to get it back out quickly. If you know that you might spend the $1,000 you might get for an item, for example, you could pawn it for $100 to cover your rent before you get paid.
Then, you would only have to pay a little over $100 to get the item back out instead of sitting on $1,000 and not spending any of it.
A quick visit into almost any pawn shop will show you that you can pawn almost any item.
Different shops will have different standards and expectations, though. You couldn’t pawn an old toilet brush or pair of underwear, but you might be able to get some money off of a lightly used blender, for example.
Generally, you can pawn or sell an item so long as the pawn shop could sell that item to someone else in a reasonable amount of time. Things like CDs and DVDs are commonly pawned unless that shop is chock-full of those items already.
Technology is a great option because there will always be a market for TVs, game systems, computers, and similar items. The same goes for many guns, knives, instruments, music gear, household appliances, and tools.
If you believe something has value, the least you can do is bring it into a shop and see what the pawnbroker has to say about it.
When pawning items, it’s important to remember what kind of deal you’re getting. Possibly the greatest advantage of using a pawn shop is the fact that you get money on the spot.
Additionally, remember that a pawn shop is a business, and the shop needs to gain an advantage from each transaction. With that in mind, it’s a win-win situation.
Many people enter into a shop with a number in mind, only to find that the pawnbroker doesn’t find as much value in the item as the seller does. Additionally, the value the seller gets is going to be slightly lowered by the fact that the shop needs to take a little as well.
When you sell something online, you have to go through the process of listing and marketing an item, then interacting with the customer. That process is entirely absent from pawn shop transactions which is ultimately why you get a little less value for the item.
There are a few things you can do if you want to figure out how much you can expect to get for an item.
First, think about the value of the item when you bought it. How much did it cost, was it time-sensitive, and how much use have you gotten out of it? The most important piece is considering how much use you got out of the item, and the kind of condition that the item is now in.
Get a grasp of the condition and try to find what similar items are going for online. You can use whatever online platform you like, but many pawn shops use the eBay value as a good indicator of what something is worth.
So, take a look on eBay and see what kind of dollar amount the same item in similar condition is getting. You can then expect to receive 50-80% of that value when you bring the item into a shop.
There are some things that you can do to increase the potential value of an item when you sell it at a pawn shop. We’ll work with one example here, but you can apply the ideas below to any item you have.
Let’s say that you’re going to try and pawn a pair of shoes. Maybe you only wore them a couple of times, but there’s some significant wear and tear. You think that maybe the pawnbroker won’t take them in their current state.
You could wipe down and clean the shoes, eliminating any smudges or scuffs they might have. Then, buy a new pair of laces that make the shoe look crisp and clean. Finally, you could get a new set of soles to make the shoes look and smell like they were barely worn.
Remember, the price you get is up to the discretion of the pawnbroker, so the better that something looks and works, the better price you’re likely to get.
Hopefully, you can now answer the question “how do pawn shops work?” There might be some more specifics on your mind, though, and we’re here to help.
Explore our site for more information on pawn shops and how to get the most money from your items.
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