4 Things to Know Before Entering a Pawn Shop

Before you enter a pawn shop, it’s wise to understand how you can receive the best deal, whether you’re pawning an item for a loan or looking to buy or sell.

Pawn shops are one of the last few places in modern commerce where you can haggle and are expected to protect your own interests. As such, going in without all the information leaves you at a disadvantage.

Before walking in, here’s what you should know:

Research Market Value

  • What is the going rate for an item you’re trying to pawn, sell or buy? If you don’t remember what you originally purchased the item for, look up similar items and how much they’re selling for now. Don’t go into a pawn shop unaware of the price you should expect, or you’ll be at a disadvantage.
  • Once you have a good idea of pricing, start the haggling process with a slightly higher figure than the general market value. This is done with the expectation of coming down in price and reaching a compromise later.
  • Be suspicious if they try to convince you it’s worth a fraction of the price. Even a used or secondhand item shouldn’t lose all its value, so long as it’s in good condition.

Understand Flaws and Fixes

Are you trying to buy something that might have a few flaws in it? Are you trying to sell something that needs to be fixed?

Knowing its flaws and possible fixes helps you understand the item’s value. An unfixable item isn’t worth buying or selling to a pawn shop owner. However, someone may convince you to buy an unfixable item, saying that the flaw is totally fixable. Likewise, they could haggle you down to a lower price by convincing you a minor flaw diminishes the total worth.

Learn How They Operate

What is the interest rate at the pawn shop? How long do you have to pay back the loan before your collateral is forfeit?

Read their rules carefully and completely before engaging in any business. When negotiating, this will help you avoid any confusion and seem knowledgeable to the pawn shop owner.

As a plus, when you don’t have to reiterate the basics, it saves time and makes business go a little smoother.

Know Your Options

Before walking in, you should decide: Can you get a loan, sell your item, or buy a particular item somewhere else?

Whether it’s at an official store or a different pawn shop, it’s wise to shop around. Places that have multiple pawn shops or other venues for buying and selling used goods give you options. You also have the upper hand; if you don’t like their offer, you can take your business somewhere else.

The difference isn’t always significant or drastic. You can’t get away with unreasonable demands just because they have competition. However, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to accept the deal; you can go elsewhere

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