Choose a Pawn Shop in 2 Simple Rules

February 05, 2020 - Pawn Resources

Good pawn shops store their items in a secure way.

That’s because pawn shops know that an insecure storage facility is bad for business. If items are stolen or damaged while in their possession, customers won’t want to do business with them – which could potentially run their business to the ground. Beyond protection for your item, what else should you look for in a pawn shop? Here are two rules I tell people to follow when they’re looking for a pawn shop to do business with.

Only do business with people you’re comfortable with.

Make sure you find a pawn shop that you’re comfortable doing business with; meaning you are comfortable going to and from their location and have fair and respectful treatment from the pawnbroker. Disrespectful employees are not the type of people you want to do business with.

PawnGuru lets you message back and forth with pawn shops to encourage dialog. If a shop on our service has a “Top Shop” button next to it, you know we’ve vetted the shop and that they provide top quality customer service.

In general, we think it’s best to look for a pawn shop that has been established for several years and has a good relationship with people in the community. On the other hand, a lot of smaller upstart shops take their obligations seriously and provide superior customer service.

Check for a pawning license.

Before you do business with a pawn shop, make sure they are licensed to do business in your area. A pawn shop that is licensed follows strict state and federal regulations that protect you. This is a good indicator for securing your item since all items that are kept in storage are required to be covered by insurance in case items are stolen or damaged during their possession.

PawnGuru takes care to make sure all the shops on our sites are appropriately licensed. And you know if there’s a “Top Shop” button next to the pawn shop’s name that you’ll be in good hands.

Did you find a shop on our service that was particularly helpful? Or one that wasn’t? Let me know at

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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Avatar for Nina Todd

Nina Todd

August 7, 2015, 10:44 AM

It is always important that before pawning or going to sell in a pawn shop we must always make sure that pawn shop has the pawning license.

Avatar for Luke Smith

Luke Smith

April 20, 2016, 2:35 AM

I like how there are only two steps when dealing with pawn shops. I agree that dealing with someone you can trust is ideal, plus I would not want to deal with someone that does not have a licence. These are good tips and I’ll have to remember them when I go to the pawn shop.

Avatar for Sammy Burke

Sammy Burke

July 11, 2016, 6:29 PM

David, the advice that you provided about finding a pawn shop that is licensed to do business is one great advice that you mentioned. I guess it’s something for me to start finding since my plan for this week would be to sell several sets of furniture in my house. Hopefully, my wife and I can find some pawnbrokers that can help us out.

Avatar for Cindy Tesler

Cindy Tesler

November 14, 2016, 5:46 PM

I agree that you should choose a pawnbroker that treats you fair. You also mention that has been established for several years so that they have staying power. I think it’s a good idea to choose a pawn shop that does thorough background checks on high dollar items that come through so that they are honest and are committed to turning in stolen goods.

Avatar for Baxter Abel

Baxter Abel

December 9, 2016, 5:34 PM

I didn’t realize that there was a license needed for pawn brokers. I also appreciate what you said about reliable pawn brokers being able to store their items reliably. I remember going to a pawn shop here in my town and the pawn shop has bars on all the windows in order to make sure the pawn shop is securely storing their items.

Avatar for Jenna Hunter

Jenna Hunter

December 10, 2016, 12:50 AM

We are in need of extra cash. We have thought about the pawning some items. It was fascinating to know it’s best to look for a pawn shop that has been established for several years. We will be sure to find one soon!

Avatar for Shad Morris

Shad Morris

January 18, 2017, 3:28 PM

Thank you for all this helpful information about choosing a pawn service. One thing that really stood out to me is that you say to find a company that you are comfortable doing business with. It would be nice to go in and be able to do business without worry.

Avatar for Frank Delaware

Frank Delaware

March 28, 2017, 1:10 PM

A friend of mine was telling me that he has a few things that he wants to sell, but he wasn’t sure how to find the right pawn shop. I really like that you say to make sure that the company is licensed before you deal with them. It would be nice to know that you aren’t going to get in trouble for buying or selling with them.

Avatar for Ridley Fitzgerald

Ridley Fitzgerald

July 17, 2017, 11:12 PM

These are helpful tips for pawning things to the right store. We want to sell some jewelry of my wife’s, since money is tight right now. I’ll be sure visit each potential store to see how comfortable I am with the experience and the people.

Avatar for Tiffany Locke

Tiffany Locke

July 25, 2017, 11:41 PM

It’s great that this article explains the importance of choosing a pawn shop that is licensed in your area so they’ll follow the necessary regulations and have the insurance they need. This could be important to help you get the items you want legally so you won’t run into any problems. In order to do this, you’d probably want to check out the business’s website, which should be able to tell you more about their license, insurance, and the services and products they offer in order to choose a pawn shop that will help you.

Avatar for Deb Pearl

Deb Pearl

October 5, 2017, 1:18 PM

I have some items that I would love to get rid of and my friend suggested that I could try pawning them. I have never been to a pawn shop before and wouldn’t know what to look for. That is great that pawn shops usually have a license. That would be a great way to make sure the company is reputable too. I will have to look for a shop that is licensed. Thanks for the information!

Avatar for Hannah Neilson

Hannah Neilson

December 13, 2017, 12:32 AM

I agree that a pawn license is a good thing to look for because it shows that they are qualified and secure. Finding a pawn shop with a license would be further evidence that they are professional and qualified. My brother needs to pawn a few things to help with some money trouble, so he’ll have to check for a license first.

Avatar for Ashley Turns

Ashley Turns

March 6, 2018, 1:43 AM

I like your advice to find a pawn shop that you feel comfortable with because of their local and the broker that works there. My husband and I are looking to sell some of our old wares to make enough for our rent, so we are wondering how to find the best service to use. We will definitely have to find a pawn shop that we feel comfortable with.

Avatar for Ellie Davis

Ellie Davis

April 28, 2018, 4:25 AM

Thank you for suggesting that you should only do business with people you’re comfortable with. My daughter played guitar years ago and has no need for the guitar she learned on. I think I should find a pawn shop to pawn it to so we can make room for other instruments.

Avatar for Tiffany Locke

Tiffany Locke

May 24, 2018, 1:47 AM

I like your advice to find a licensed pawn shop in order to make sure they follow the necessary state and federal regulations. This would be important to avoid any legal or other problems. In order to find one, you’d probably want to research the different options by checking out their website or visiting the shop so that you can learn more about their services, such as if they’re licensed.

Avatar for Mina Edinburgh

Mina Edinburgh

July 6, 2018, 12:32 AM

I really liked it when you said that a licensed pawn shop is better because the person can be sure that they are following the law and strict federal regulations. My brother is planning to pawn something, I am not sure if it is his guitar, but he asked me to look for a shop for me. Since following the law, and of course, his very own safety matters to him, I will be sure to look for one that is licensed just to be sure. Thanks!

Avatar for Hazel Owens

Hazel Owens

January 31, 2019, 10:32 PM

That’s good to know that you should check for a pawning license. My son wants to pawn off some old stuff, so I’m helping him find a pwn shop. We’ll have to find one in our area that has a license to pawn.

Avatar for Ellie Davis

Ellie Davis

March 26, 2019, 2:24 AM

Thank you for the tips on choosing a pawn shop. My husband and I have some things to sell. I’ll have to look into finding the best pawn shop in our area.

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