How Do Pawn Shops Work? A Quick Guide | February 2019

Pawn Shop sign in a pawn shop

Do you need fast cash?

Looking to sell or pawn an item now?
Get local cash offers – free, fast & easy.

Pawn or Sell An Item

Are you thinking about pawning your items to get some much-needed cash? If you are new to pawning and have no idea exactly how it all works, then you might be a bit apprehensive.

However, rest assured that you are not in uncharted waters. In fact, 7.4 percent of households in America have used a pawnbroker at some point.

This means that if you have been wondering, “how do pawn shops work?” you are definitely not alone. Here are some guidelines as to what you can expect when you visit a pawn shop.

1. How Do Pawn Shops Work?

Pawnshops are places where you can sell your items for cash. However, you can put your items up as collateral for a loan. When you put an item up for collateral, you will get cash and the item will be used for securing the loan.

You will have to pay back the amount of the loan with interest over a set period of time.

If you pay back the loan with interest during the agreed time, then you will receive your item back. If you don’t pay back the money you borrowed, then your item will be sold to the public for the recovery of the money.

2. How Much Can You Get?

Now that you know the basics of how pawn shops work, you may be wondering how much money you can get from them.

You do not need to have a really expensive item to get a loan. However, if you need a lot of cash, then you will need an expensive item.

This is because your loan will be a percentage of what the item is worth. The percentage may differ depending on the pawnshop. However, more likely than not you can negotiate the amount of your loan, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you think you can get a better deal.

3. Is It Safe?

Pawn shops are actually regulated by local governments and need to be licensed by the state.

Examinations are often carried out to ensure that there is compliance with the laws that govern transactions, fees, duration of loans and the grace period offered.

Many states place restrictions on the interest rates that pawn shops can charge. However, some states are not rigid about this. You need to make sure your state does not allow brokers to charge large interest rates if you intend to put up expensive items such as jewelry for collateral.

Final Thoughts

It is only natural you should ask, “how do pawn shops work?” when you are seriously thinking about getting some cash by pawning your items. The key to having a successful experience is to know how everything works and deciding if you want to sell an item or use it as collateral.

It is usually okay to negotiate so you can get the best deal. You should also do your research about interest rates in your state.

Looking to sell or pawn an item now?
Get local cash offers – free, fast & easy.

Pawn or Sell An Item
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.

Looking to sell or pawn an item now?

Pawn or Sell