3 Secrets From Pawn Shops ($1.4 Million in Deals)

February 17, 2020 - Pawn Resources

I started PawnGuru to help people get the most money when they needed it the most. I asked myself:

What if people who needed to use a pawn shop could get competing offers, and find out how much their stuff was worth right from their home? Why hasn’t anyone tried this before?

After a year in business,  I’ve started to see lots of patterns form, but I’m thinking of one in particular right now: Certain items will get more offers from more pawn shops for more money than other items just like it. This brought me to another question: Why should one Rolex get 5 offers when another gets 1? How can they be so different?

The answer is that they aren’t. Let me explain!

Pawn shops are busy – and the best ones are really, really busy. When they’re looking on PawnGuru to find items they want to give cash for, they’re looking for shortcuts. They want to be able to look at an item and know exactly how much it pawns or sells for. Items that don’t have a lot of description or information get ignored because it’s too time-consuming to think about how much they’re worth!

Here are three fast, proven tips to make sure your item stands out among all the other ones.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words – if there’s plenty of light and you hold the camera still

A picture is worth a thousand words
You can’t pawn a city. But you could try.

If you submit an item to find out how much you can pawn or sell it for, you’ll want the pawn shop to see it. But having a blurry or badly lit photo won’t improve your chances versus having no photo at all`. To get a big boost, make sure you take the picture with as much light as possible and avoid using the flash. Remove any background clutter – having an item mixed in with others confuses the pawn shop. And be sure to hold still!

2. If it’s rare or unusual, you’ll have to prove it

If you’re bringing Picassos, hire Brazilian military police.

If you say something rare is valuable, you’ll have to work a little harder to prove it. Paintings, lamps, vases, unusual jewelry can all be pawned or sold. But shops need guidance on these sorts of items so they can give you a fair price. Talk about the artist (if it’s a piece of art), include information on any documents proving authenticity, and don’t hesitate to tell the story behind the item. 

3. Include information– don’t make them beg!

Thanks to PawnGuru, pawn shops have so many deals they need two screens to review them all.

On PawnGuru, shops can choose to message you one on one. If they’re interested in what they see, they’ll often write to ask for more information. To make sure they stay focused on your item and don’t get distracted by others, try to minimize the amount of back and forth by including lots of information.

For example: if you’re pawning or selling a laptop, don’t just tell them the model – say how many gigabytes the hard drive is, and write down the size of the monitor!

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 Sheila JM Cutnoe

Sheila JM Cutnoe

May 12, 2016, 5:22 PM

This is my first experience with Pawn Guru. This system is soooo much better than calling up a pawn shop telling them what you have, they agree to it only to get there & then be told they don’t need it!! Wasted gas & time!! Praying for a great experience & future association.

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