February 25, 2020 - Pawn Resources
Whether you’re in a pinch for a medical bill or you have to pay rent or credit fees, getting a quick loan from the bank isn’t an easy option.
This is even more difficult if you don’t have a stellar credit score.
One of the best solutions for quick cash is to visit a pawn shop. As a matter of fact, 7.4% of US households turn to pawn stores in times of financial need.
However, should you pawn your item or outright sell it? Selling vs. pawning may seem similar, but there are a few pros and cons that set them apart. Picking one over the other depends on your needs.
Before discerning the pros and cons of each, it’s important to understand the differences between selling vs. pawning in regards to pawn stores.
Both terms refer to giving up an item for financial gain. However, selling means, you also give up ownership of the item. When you pawn, you can still get the item back as long as you return the money you borrowed.
At face value, it might look like pawning is the better option. If you dig in deeper, however, you’ll discover there are other factors to consider before opting for either choice.
As stated, pawning means giving up an item in exchange for money. There are a few wrinkles in this definition.
First off, pawn stores only accept some kinds of items, not all.
The most common items that pawn stores accept include valuable gems like diamonds, genuine jewelry, and luxury watches. You may find some that also accept guns, video game consoles, laptops, smartphones, and other electronic devices.
Pawning also doesn’t guarantee a lot of cash. Pawn stores will estimate the full value of an item and agree to lend you a percentage of that total. When you pay for the item, you also have to deal with interest fees charged on top.
The biggest benefit of pawning is that you can get your pawned item back. If you pawned something with great sentimental value, like your jewelry, there is the guarantee that you can still retrieve it as long as you pay the loan.
Another important benefit is that pawning won’t affect your credit score. Pawn shops only look into the value of what you’re giving them when they transact a loan, not your credit history.
This also means you don’t have to worry about your credit score dropping if you miss a payment or if you default on your loan. Your credit score is independent of your ability, or lack thereof, to pay your loan from the pawn store.
One other benefit is that pawning is a quick process. Applying for a loan at the bank can take days or even weeks at times. There’s no guarantee you’ll get approval, but with pawning, you’ll know right away if they’ll accept your item.
While pawning guarantees you a chance to get your item back, this isn’t forever. Pawn stores will give a strict schedule on your payments, meaning you’ll have to pay the loan in a given period fully. You can renew the loan, but this adds more fees and interest charges, increasing what you have to pay.
You also have to consider that pawning won’t get you a big loan. Even with a valuable item, you’ll only get to borrow a percentage of its worth.
If you can’t pay the loan, the pawn store will claim the item and then sell it to other customers. That’s how they get their money back if you can’t pay.
Pawn stores are popular for quick loans that rely on collateral – like your jewelry – as a means of financial security. However, you can also sell items to a pawn shop.
But why sell instead of pawning? What benefits do you get? What are the downsides to this?
Let’s start with the pros of selling vs. pawning:
The main benefit of selling is that you get a much higher value compared to pawning. If you had a watch worth $1,000, the loan you’ll get when pawning may only amount to $300. If you sell the watch, however, you may get up to $800.
In this regard, selling is the better choice if you need enough money and you don’t want to go through the hassle of a loan. You also don’t have to pay anything back. The money you get for the item is yours.
Another advantage of selling vs. pawning is that the prior gives you a chance to get rid of things you no longer need. If you have new jewelry, a new phone, or a new gadget, why pawn them if you don’t need them back? You can sell them and never have to worry about them again.
Because you’re selling the item, you also don’t have to worry about regular payments and interest fees. You get the cash as one big sum in a one-time transaction. This means there’s one less financial headache to worry about.
That said, selling an item does mean you’re relinquishing ownership. You’ll never get the item back. With pawning, you can still get it back as long as you pay the fees and the loan.
This also leads to the next downside: because you can’t get the item back, you can’t rely on it for another loan in the future. When you pawn, you retrieve the item and can pawn it again when you’re in need. This isn’t the case with selling.
In need of quick cash? Now you know there are two great options in case you can’t secure a bank loan in time. Selling and pawning seem similar, but their subtle differences are significant to consider before you sign away your valuables.
Looking to sell or pawn something? Feel free to contact us, and we can walk you the process. You can also check out our selection of items for sale, in case something catches your eye.
David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.More Articles