Do Pawn Shops Buy Books? Here’s the Verdict

January 09, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

More books than you can handle? Consider handing them off.

There are around 10,000 pawn shops in the US. They can be a great way to make money for old rope — or in this case, old books.

But do pawn shops buy books? And what kind of books do they buy?

We’re taking a look below.

Do Pawn Shops Buy Books?

It’s a yes! Well, a qualified yes. Pawn shops take weirder stuff.

Pawn shops will buy books, but they won’t buy just any book. Books are a hard sell in anything but a thrift store unless the book has intrinsic value.

Books don’t retail for much to start with and the average book only loses value as it ages and becomes dog-eared. To be of interest to a pawn shop, your book will need to have something slightly special about it.

What Kinds of Books Can You Sell?

Pawn shops won’t buy just any book. If you want your books to have a second home, you may have to take them to the thrift store.

But if you have some special books lying around, you may have better luck. Pawn shops will buy rare or otherwise valuable books.

Signed books, first editions, and out-of-print versions are all examples of books that might turn a profit at the pawn shop.

What Do They Pay?

When trying to pawn a book, you’ll probably want to keep this general rule in mind: you’re looking for far more than the book’s suggested retail price.

A pawn shop probably won’t care about a book it can only sell at or below the suggested retail price. If you’re taking a book to a pawn shop, it’s because the book is special. That means it should have a special price tag to match.

Of course, we can’t put an exact figure on what you can expect to receive. That will vary from book to book and depend on what makes it so special. But the point is that you’re looking for exceptional and not everyday value.

Keep in mind though that pawn shops are resellers and need to resell your book to make a profit in order to stay in business.

How Can I Make More?

That’s the question we usually ask in a transaction. When you’re trying to pawn a book, there are a few things you can keep in mind to get the maximum value possible.

First, there’s the condition of the book. That includes its age, the abuse it has suffered. If the cover is undamaged and in good condition, it might make up for some damage to the book’s interior.

Do Pawn Shops Buy Books? It’s a Qualified Yes

So, do pawn shops buy books? It’s clear that pawn shops won’t take just any book. You’ll have to have something special on your hands if you want to pawn it off. But if you do have a rare book, don’t let that stop you from trying.

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