Beginner’s Guide to Selling Items at a Pawn Store

February 25, 2020 - Pawn Resources

In the average American home, there are 300,000 items.

Many of those items can be exchanged for cash at a pawn store. But the whole process of going into one and negotiating a price can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created a guide to help.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about selling items at a pawn store.:

How does a Pawn Store Work?

The first thing you’ll want to know before you step into a pawn store with all of your things is how exactly they work. You’ll bring an item in for the Pawnbroker to look at. They will try to assess your item at a glance.

However, if the item is older or not in familiarity with the broker then they will bring in an appraiser. An appraiser is a professional who can estimate how much an object is worth.

Once the observation is over the broker will then make an offer on the object to you. This offer could be in terms of cash to sell it right there or in terms of a loan.

If it is in terms of a loan then the pawnbroker will explain the terms of the loan and put together some paperwork. After everything is filled out the exchange of the item and cash is made.

When the pawner returns before the specified date with the cash, usually containing interest, then they are able to receive their item back. If the pawner doesn’t return by the date, then the broker keeps the item.

When to Pawn

Selling things to pawn shops is a good way to get some fast money when you’re in a tight spot. Before heading to a pawn shop you should check your other options for getting a large sum of money quickly. This could be credit cards or bank loans.

Pawn shops are known to give high interest on the loans that they give to pawners. And it’s important to note that a pawnbroker will try to make a deal on your items. Often buying them for less than they are worth.

There are also pawn shops online as well. If there isn’t a pawn shop near you, or you don’t have the time to travel to one these can be convenient. They can also help you negotiate your items as they will offer you multiple different offers at once.

These online pawn shops also offer the ability to link straight to your bank account. This way you get your money faster.

Do Your Research

It’s important to do lots of research before you even set foot in a pawn store. Look up your item on the internet to help yourself get an idea of how much it’s really worth. If it’s an older item consider getting it appraised before the pawn shop.

This will make you confident in the price and you’ll know it’s legitimate. Have a price in mind when you walk into the shop.

Another thing you should research is the pawn shop you are going to. Look at the reviews of those around you. As this will help you gauge how good their deals on items and loans are.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to find reputable store’s as well. In addition, you should always visit more than one pawn shop. This will help you find the best deals in your area.

Hot Items to Sell

Pawnbrokers love antiques and things with age. If you have some old items in your possession and even old coins and collectibles then that is definitely something to bring to the pawn store.

These are items that get better and more valuable with age. So it’s no surprise that some brokers are willing to drop some big cash on these items.

Musical instruments are also a hot item in pawn shops as people are always buying them for themselves and their children. They are also an item that many people try to sell as well.

Pawnbrokers love seeing electronics being offered to them. This could be anything from gaming consoles to laptops.

One of the most in-demand items for pawnbrokers is jewelry. Especially gold. Gold bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. They usually take the jewelry and melt it down and sell the gold raw.

Clean Your Stuff

Before you go around selling your stuff to a pawn store you’ll want to make sure that your items are in their best condition. This is because the items will sell for more money if they look good.

Take the time to wipe down any items, and to reset them if possible. This goes for games and electronics. You want them to be just like new.

If you have a phone or computer make sure that all your personal information is taken off of it. Wipe all the hard drives as well.

And be realistic with yourself as well. If an item looks worn out, it is not going to be offered full price. It’s important to clean and repair but understand that some items just aren’t going to be brand new again.

Don’t be afraid to unscrew or take apart items to clean them. As this is how you will reach those hard to get areas.

How to Negotiate

When you’re going to negotiate with the pawnbroker do it right. Before you come into the shop with your item you should already have two numbers in mind: how much it’s worth and how much you want to sell it for.

When interacting with the pawnbroker keep the amount of talking you do a minimum. You don’t want to give something away about the price of an item. This may affect the offer of the broker.

Listen to the broker and their reasoning for giving the offer that they did. Don’t get frustrated if a negotiation doesn’t go your way. Just pick up your item and take it to the next shop.

When you make your first offer to the broker it should be way lower than the price that you actually want to sell the item for. This way you can let the broker “convince” you to go a little closer to the price you actually want.

More Pawn Store Tips!

Selling items to a pawn shop can be a great way to make some fast cash. And to get rid of some extra stuff hanging around your home. But in order to get a good deal, you need to be knowledgeable about how the store works.

For more tips on pawn store’s check out our blog.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

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.

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April 28, 2018, 2:03 AM

Being raised in the first pawn shop in Hillsborough County and spending many hours there, I must comment on the pawn shop reference! LMAO, in real life pawn shops don”t operate like Pawn Stars! (:-) 0

Avatar for Heidi Bookenstock

Heidi Bookenstock

June 7, 2018, 5:55 PM

I’m moving in a few weeks and am having to get rid of a lot of stuff. A friend suggested trying to sell some of what I’m getting rid of to a pawn shop to help cover moving expenses. I appreciate the tips in this article, especially doing research to know what my items are worth.

Avatar for Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson

August 8, 2018, 7:36 PM

I have some extra jewelry, so I’ve been wanting to sell it to a pawn shop. Thanks for the advice to research different pawn shops and the value of the items I wish to sell; these could really help me get a better deal. Another great tip I’e heard it to be confident and haggle, as that can also help you sell for a better price.

Avatar for Jocelyn McDonald

Jocelyn McDonald

September 6, 2018, 5:01 PM

My husband and I have some old items we’d like to sell, and we’re considering going to a pawn shop. You had some great tips for selling at a store like this, and I liked how you said to look up the items you intend to sell online before going to the shop, so you can get an idea of how much it’s worth. We should have a price in mind when going to the shop, and we’ll remember this if we decide to sell at a pawn shop.

Avatar for Tiffany Locke

Tiffany Locke

November 7, 2018, 1:19 AM

I’m glad that you talk about how pawn shops can help you get money quickly and that you can go online to find one near you or to use them. Going online could help you research the various pawn shops in order to find one that is reliable and will give you the best option. It could also give you the chance to work faster and more efficiently so you can get your items sold by the time you want or need the money.

Avatar for Kate Hansen

Kate Hansen

August 1, 2019, 8:28 PM

I like how you said that it is important to do your research before you go to a pawn shop. My husband was thinking about selling some of his old watches to one and wanted to know some tips before going. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to him if he decides to go to a pawn shop.

Avatar for Stefan Bradley

Stefan Bradley

August 2, 2019, 4:21 PM

It makes sense that you should figure out how much your item is worth and how much you are hoping to sell it for before visiting a pawn shop. My wife and I need to pay rent soon, and we are hoping to sell some of her old jewelry in order to get the money that we need. We’ll see if we can find a pawnshop that will buy our jewelry from us for a reasonable price.

Avatar for Henry Killingsworth

Henry Killingsworth

December 19, 2019, 4:26 PM

My wife has a couple of golden earrings that she doesn’t wear much anymore, so she is wanting to sell them. I found it helpful when you explained that it is important to do a lot of research on your item so that you know how much money it is actually worth before going to a pawn shop. These tips you shared will help us find a place that will give us the best deal for my wife’s earrings.

Avatar for David Johnson

David Johnson

January 9, 2020, 4:26 PM

My dad gave me some old watches that he doesn’t want anymore. Thanks for explaining that appraisers will come in to see how much objects are worth. I’ll have to go to a pawn shop with the watches.

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