5 Tips To Pawn & Sell Your Laptop for Top Dollar

March 07, 2020 - Electronics

Thinking of selling your old laptop or tablet? 

pawn a laptop
pawn a laptop

Pawnbroker’s may carry an array of quality used computers at bargain prices as well. If you need to purchase a new computer that’s faster, more mobile friendly, or more optimal for newer software, a pawn shop might have the most affordable options.

Read the following tips before you visit a pawn shop near you. They will prepare you and your item to get the best cash offer at the right pawn shop.

1) Backup and remove all personal data.

Before you head to a nearby pawn shop remove all your computer’s data. You can also perform a factory reset; depending on your item you may have to search online how to do this. Your item should be ready to be sold and used by the next owner. So, backup your photos, videos, documents, and passwords/usernames on a separate computer or portable hard drive.

2) Properly clean your Laptop and Tablet.

A dirty laptop or tablet computer is a huge red flag for pawnbrokers. If a customer brings in a product that looks neglected, it’s assumable that the device will have issues. Use a dry rag or cloth to wipe away dust, debris, and crumbs from food. Check the screen for smudges and fingerprints, and check each external port for dust and debris. Click here to learn how to clean your laptop from CNET.com.

3) Learn the details of your Laptop and Tablet before you pawn.

Knowing the specifications of your laptop or tablet will help you negotiate for the best cash price. By researching your item, you will get to know its resale potential.


  • The Brand/Manufacturer’s name.
  • Series or Model number.
  • Processor type.
  • Screen size.
  • Hard drive size.
  • Amount of RAM memory.


4) What kinds of Laptops and Tablets get the most cash?

For laptops, Apple, Dell, Sony, and Toshiba, are great manufacturers and will therefore have better luck. For tablets, it’s best if it’s made by Apple, Samsung, Google or Amazon. Computers made for gamers, like by Alienware, MSI, and Origin, will also be considered more valuable and therefore have better luck as well.

Laptops & Tablets That Got Multiple Cash Offers on PawnGuru:

Macbook Pro: → Received 8 cash offers, best offer: $1200.

15.4″ MacBook with Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz. Has a 250 GB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM.

ipad mini
ipad mini

iPad Mini 3: → Received 8 Cash offers, best offer: $400.

128 GB of memory capacity, 10-hour battery life, and 5MP HD camera. Also, has a finger sensor. Screen size is 7.9-Inch with Retina display.

asus tablet
asus tablet

Asus Transformer Tablet: → Received 7 Cash offers, best offer: $650.

10.1-Inch HD screen 16 GB Storage and expandable microSD card slot. Comes with built-in Windows 8 and has a 1 GB of RAM.


Toshiba: → Received 5 Cash offers, best offer: $300.

10.1-inch screen Intel Atom processor with 160 GB hard drive and 1 GB of RAM.


5) Make sure the pawn shop buys Laptops and Tablets.

It won’t matter if you have a Apple MacBook Air or Samsung Galaxy Tab in mint condition – not every shop deals with these electronic. (Some prefer not to deal with used electronics altogether.) Reasons for this include assumable concern for small dents and scratches from heavy usage and possible viruses. Also, the battery strength might have decreased – making the laptop less mobile friendly – which reduces its value. You can avoid this problem by submitting your item on PawnGuru. Only shops that are interested will send you cash offers!

Pawn Tidbits:

Why do some pawn shops buy computers and others do not?

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, a pawnbroker’s inventory will vary by local demand in their city. Meaning most pawn shops will only deal with items they think their local clientele will buy. For the many that do deal with electronics, it will really depend on your item. Is it very old? Does it work? Will a future customer want to buy it?

Can I trade in my old Laptop or Tablet for a new one?

Answer: Yes! Once inside, ask to see their inventory of laptops and tablets. If you see a computer you like, ask if you could trade in your old one, or get a substantial discount. You will definitely find awesome deals on laptops and tablet.

Jordan Birnholtz
Jordan Birnholtz

Jordan Birnholtz is the cofounder of PawnGuru. An alumnus of the University of Michigan, Jordan started PawnGuru in 2015 with Jon Polter, David Stiebel, and Jessica Zahnd. When he's not working at PawnGuru, Jordan volunteers his time to support undergraduates in building socially-responsible businesses and organizations through Optimize, a program at the University of Michigan.

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Avatar for Jessy Shaw

Jessy Shaw

June 22, 2015, 1:56 PM

David, I really like your tip about cleaning the computer to make sure that it looks nice. I don’t think that the laptop would sell as well if it was all dirty! I live near Grand Island, NE and I have heard about so many awesome pawn shops. I think that if you are wanting to sell something and get a fairly good price for it, a pawn shop is the way to go! I have been considering selling my laptop for some time now so thank you for the awesome tips!

Avatar for Norman Alvarado

Norman Alvarado

August 6, 2015, 9:41 AM

David, very helpful article. This will definitely be a good guide for those who are going to pawn or sell the laptop.

Avatar for Melody Brown

Melody Brown

September 22, 2015, 1:16 AM

I like what you said about backing up and removing personal data. The other day I got a new phone, but forgot to backup all my files. I reset everything, then quickly realized that I just lost all my pictures, videos, music, etc. Next time, I will definitely remember to do that.

Avatar for jenniferandrews37


October 22, 2015, 2:54 AM

Great article. I’ve been looking for some ways to get cash within the month and I like the idea of selling some tablets that I’m not using to a pawn shop. Do you just call ahead and see if the pawn shop purchases things like that? I’ll be sure to clean everything off of it. I once got a phone that still had someones personal information on it. Don’t worry we worked it out without her getting swindled.

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