How to Find Pawn Shops Near You

March 02, 2020 - Pawn Resources

Wondering how to find pawn shops near you? Here’s a really simple guide. You can try

  1. An ancient copy of the Yellow Pages, written in hieroglyphics
  2. Aimlessly wandering the streets
  3. Shouting at passersby
  4. Your sister’s Ouija board
  5. PawnGuru

An ancient copy of the Yellow Pages, written in hieroglyphics

If you want to find pawn shops this way, you will end up near the banks of the Nile. Be careful, this is how the Israelites wound up making pyramids for centuries. There is a great documentary about it called “The Prince of Egypt”.

Aimlessly wandering the streets

Getting super desperate here? Where are the pawn shops? Go take a stroll down in the middle of town. No one can stop you from wandering the streets, glowering at neighborhood dogs, in your quest for a pawn shop. This is the subject of an early and poorly regarded album by The Mountain Goats.

Shouting at passersby

Please do not scream at strangers.

Your sister’s Ouija board

Please do not scream at ghosts.


Ah yes. PawnGuru. That’s us. We can show you pawn shops near you with our curated local directory pages, complete with reviews. Better yet, you could post your item on PawnGuru, so local pawn shops could send you messages and offers on it. That way, you don’t have to call every single one of them.

Simply go to that submission page and fill out the short form. If you add a picture, you’ll probably get more offers. That’s because images help shops know what they’re dealing with. You’ll get offers just by lounging around. You can then take the best offer, and go to the pawn shop and sell or pawn your item. It’s that simple.

Of course, you could always drive around town for 5 hours asking people on the street if they’ve seen a pawn shop. I bet they have. We’ve seen pawn shops too. They work with us.

What Can You Expect From Pawning or Selling Your Item?

Well, money. You want instant cash for your item. Pawn shops are safer than Craigslist, faster than eBay, and better for your life than payday lenders. Pawn shops are reselling agents, so they need to make a profit on your item, but you probably weren’t going to make market value for your used items anyways. Unless they’re antiques, in which case a good pawn shop will be able to resell that item for a bit.

So you’ll bring in your item to the pawn shop, you can negotiate with them, and they’ll negotiate with you. You’ll leave with money. Imagine that, exchanging goods and services for fungible currency.

Why should I post my item to PawnGuru?

Here’s your scenario, you have a diamond ring that you need to pawn and you need to pawn it fast. You don’t know about the reputation of pawn shops around you. You don’t know which pawn shops will give you the best deals, you don’t know which items pawn shops are currently looking for. Fortunately PawnGuru can help you with all three of those things.

How Can PawnGuru Help Me Find the Reputation of Local Pawn Shops?

PawnGuru helps you know the reputation of pawn shops in 2 distinct ways. 

First, we have user reviews for each shop, so you can look here and find the reviews on your local shops. It’s quite simple, type in your zip code and we’ll show you a list of the local shops in your area. We’ll give you a list and a standard 1-5 star review for the pawn shops. 

Second, if you submit an item you will be contacted by PawnGuru-approved shops. We only work with pawn shops with good community rankings and good customer service. The pawn shops on our platform all have a personal connection with our team, and we work hard to ensure that consumers and shops have positive interactions with one another.

How Will PawnGuru Let Me Know Which Pawn Shops Will Give Me the Best Deals?

Here is where we get into the inner workings of PawnGuru.

In 2014, our CEO Jonathan visited eight Detroit pawn shops with a violin, an iPad, a gold ring, and a diamond ring. They wanted to answer the question of whether pawn shops offered the same prices on their items or different prices. They found a huge spread from the different pawn shops. Some pawn shops offered hundreds of dollars for items that some pawn shops only offered pennies.

For the iPad, one shop offered $50 for a pawn loan, and the other 6 shops offered over $100.

For the diamond ring, one shop offered $65 for a pawn loan and another offered $1060.

All 8 of the shops they visited were located within 15 minutes of each other in the Detroit area. The price differences are common for the pawn industry.

We did the analysis over a year and found the time of year greatly increases variance too. In May, the average difference between the highest and lowest bid was 405%, and in December it was 184%. People tend to pawn the most during the summer months and pawn shops want to sell the most during the fall and early winter.

The gist of this experiment is that not all pawn shops specialize in the same materials. I spoke to a wide variety of pawn shops at our latest Pawn Innovators Conference. Some pawn shops only dealt jewelry, and some didn’t even have jewelry! You don’t want to take your diamond ring to a shop that only deals electronics. It’s all about supply and demand. The pawn shops need to move their items faster, and if they’re known in the community to be the best place to buy a TV, they would love to take your high quality TV. If you try to give them a diamond ring, they won’t be able to sell it as fast, so they won’t be able to give you the best possible deal for it.

The average spread for pawn shops in 2015 was 258%. Jewelry has the largest offer difference, and video game consoles have the smallest offer difference. Each ring and necklace is unique, whereas each console is a factory replica. If your video game console is in good working condition, then it should be worth about as much as the other identical video game consoles around. Still though, the offer difference between the highest and lowest offer for a video game console was 50% in 2015.

So which store is the best store to pitch your item to? The specialized stores give the highest offers. The store that only buys/loans/sells jewelry wants your jewelry the most. The store that mostly buys electronics wants your TV the most. Furthermore, the specialized shops have specialized knowledge. The TV store knows what a quality TV is. The jewelry store knows how to tell genuine diamonds. The handbag store knows how to tell fakes. The shops who know your item’s quality are likeliest pay for it.

If you get what seems like a low offer from a pawn shop– remember, it isn’t about you. Your item might not be right for that shop, and that’s okay. There are plenty more who can and will express interest.

Finally, the difference in pawn shop offers has to deal with their cash on hand. They will pay you immediate cash for your item. The more cash on hand the shop has, the better or larger the offer they’ll be able to make. Cash on hand varies with the time of the month and their inventory.

Which Items are Pawn Shops Currently Looking For?

High quality items like diamond rings, jewelry, watches, and guns will give you the most money. Remember though, take your items into the shop that specializes in those items.

Pawn Shops also want computers– both desktops and laptop– as well as large flat screen TVs, riding lawn mowers, cars and trucks (come with your title in hand), motorcycles, musical instruments, video game consoles, speakers, smartphones, digital cameras, power tools, bikes, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and home appliances of all sizes.

Jewelry is great to take into a pawn shop, but keep in mind-over 30% of all items pawned are electronics. Most pawn shops are looking for electronics today. 

How do you find the shop that wants your item? We already know them. They’re on our platform scouring for the items they want the most, and they’ll give you the most money for your item because they want it.

Also, from talking to the pawn shops, you might be able to find a deal that you weren’t expecting. Sometimes you’ll go in thinking your iPad is going to be the thing to sell, but they’ll let you know that you can make a huge amount by selling your TV to them. They’re friendly. And they’ll talk to you on PawnGuru.

Submit your item today and get an offer!


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