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Pawning a Laptop: What You Need to Know

Computers, Electronics

Pawning a laptop is easy once you know how the quick process works and what preparation steps you must take to protect your data.

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Whether you’re a newbie to pawning or just unsure if the protocol is different for pawning a laptop versus other types of valuables, you came to the right place.

At PawnGuru, we create a space for you to learn about pawning a laptop and then we actually help you make the sale happen by facilitating relationships between you and your local pawn shops. This will help you get the best deal possible when pawning a laptop.

Read the information below that encapsulate everything you need to know about pawning a laptop safely, getting the best offer for your laptop and making the transaction happen.

Protecting Your Data when Pawning a Laptop

It is especially important to address the topic of data privacy when it comes to pawning a laptop. Why? People tend to look to pawning for quick cash, since it is the easiest way to get same-day cash in hand. With this type of option available for quick transaction, it is easy to overlook the issue of data protection.

It is shocking how many laptops are pawned or sold with sensitive data still on the hard drive. This could have grave implications for you if you leave sensitive information on there.

Our advice? Make sure you transfer all of your personal data off of your laptop. This includes notes, documents, any type of business information, personal identity data, credit card information and more. Don’t forget to transfer your music, voicemails and photos to a backup drive before you wipe your computer clean.

You can find options to reset your laptop completely by visiting your computer’s settings or system preferences.

Side note: speaking of wiping your computer clean, literally do that. Make sure your laptop is wiped down so there aren’t fingerprints, coffee spills or crumbs. Appearance helps in the appraisal process.

Pawning a Laptop: Pawning versus Selling

There is a difference between pawning and selling, even though you can do both at a pawn shop. When you are pawning a laptop, you are giving it to a pawn shop as collateral for a loan. The loan amount is the value your laptop is appraised at by the pawnbroker.

The loan will need to be paid back by a given date that you and the pawnbroker agree on. When you pay back your loan and by the given date, you should expect to receive your laptop back.

Selling a laptop at a pawn shop is very straightforward. The laptop is appraised and you either agree to sell it to them outright for that amount, or you don’t. You have negotiating power, but do keep in mind pawnbrokers tend to keep a good pulse on the current pricing of electronic devices.

Pawning a Laptop in 4 Easy Steps

  1. List your laptop online at PawnGuru (it’s free)
  2. Compare your offers from local pawn shops through PawnGuru
  3. Accept an offer
  4. Transfer your data to an external drive
  5. Wipe all personal data and media off your laptop (even if you are pawning it vs. outrightselling)
  6. Visit the pawn shop
  7. Make the transaction


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

Pawn or Sell My 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.

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