How do Chicago pawn shops work?

February 16, 2020 - Pawn Resources

How do Chicago pawn shops work?

The first documented pawn shops in Chicago date back to the 1850s. According to a 1992 article in The Chicago Reader, “By the turn of the century there were nearly 67 licensed shops, many of them downtown.” A handful of upscale shops, designed to cater to a nervous and image-conscious class of conspicuous consumers, opened downtown. These often featured, like pawn shops of the era across the country, private booths to conceal the identity of the customer from the public. Other pawn shops opened to serve the city’s nascent working class, in a cluster on South State Street.

There are basically three reasons to visit a pawn shop in Chicago, and one of them probably brought you to this article.

The first is to pawn an item – to get a loan against the value of the item. When you pay it back, you get your item free and clear. If you get a pawn loan, contrary to popular belief, the pawn shop will not be able to sell it unless you default on the loan, and stop payments. It’s a good option to get liquid cash with much better terms than a payday loan. In fact, the state of Illinois regulates pawn shop interest rates for just this reason.

The second reason is to sell an item outright. There are lots of options for selling used goods in Chicago. But nearly all of them involve meeting a stranger in a parking lot, and hoping they show up on time. If you don’t have the time, patience, or bodyguards to meet at 11 PM on a Tuesday in a dimly lit Chicago lot, pawn shops provide a professional alternative with reliable hours. You can expect to get a little less than you would selling directly to a person, but to get the deal done much faster and safer than you otherwise would.

The third reason is to buy something: pawn shops must do something with all the items they’re buying or defaulting on. Chicago pawn shops provide great deals on all kinds of consumer goods. They’re popular sources for TVs, video games, power tools– basically anything you could need to buy for your home, a pawn shop will have.

Chicago Pawners & Jewlers

The most popular items to pawn in Chicago are electronics. Unlike the cities of many neighboring states, and the entire US South, it’s extremely unpopular to pawn guns in Chicago. Years of legislation designed to reduce the availability of guns in the city mean that they are uncommon, though not unheard of.

Devon Pawn Shop INC

In 18th and 19th century Chicago, the use of pawn shops was closely tied to the fortunes of the manufacturing and food production industries. Today, things are different: there are many more options for selling items, buying goods, and for getting cash quickly. But for their professionalism, reliability and safety, pawn shops present a compelling option for Chicagoans. The best way to access all of Chicago’s most reputable pawn shops is through PawnGuru. Our site will let you post your request and get responses from all interested local shops, so you can choose the one that suits your needs best. Whether you’re in Hyde Park or Lakeview, PawnGuru will give you the ability to get the best deal possible across Chicago.


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