Most people seem to think of pawn shops as suspicious or seedy, largely due to their unjustly vilified portrayal in pop culture. Good, reputable pawn shops do exist, and welcome your business with open arms!
Here are the 5 signs of a good pawn shop.
If you are still a bit wary about visiting a pawn shop, you can always ask to see the store’s licenses. The owner should be able to provide the appropriate papers to prove they are in-line with government regulations.
Their in-house gemologist should also have an up-to-date license from the Gemological Institute of America certifying their expertise. Jewelry is a huge commodity for pawn shops, so their appraisal skills are crucial for any pawn shop worth their wares.
If either the owner or their in-house jewelry expert becomes defensive about showing their licenses or flat-out refuses, this is a major red flag. It will be best to take your business to a pawn shop with more open and honest staff.
Huge Variety of Stock
Any good pawn shop should have plenty of different items on sale. This can be really anything from antique jewelry to some of the latest electronics. They’re trying to entice customers to buy their well-kept stock after all.
You should be wary of pawn shops that only appear to carry one type of item in their stock. At best, the owner does not have much in-stock, but at worst, this could be a sign of trouble.
Before heading off to your local pawn shop, it’s a good idea to look up reviews about the place beforehand. If they have good reviews that seem to come from genuine people, then that pawn shop might be worth a visit.
You should also check if the pawn shop you plan to visit has any complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website, which houses any previous customer complaints and reviews free for you to peruse through.
Owner Asks You a Lot of Questions
Pawn shop owners should ask you a bunch of questions about all the items you try to pawn or sell to them. This is to ensure the item’s authenticity, history, and other important details before the owners appraise it and decide to take it off your hands. Thieves often try to sell off stolen goods to pawn shops, so pawn shop staff must always be vigilant in their questions to ensure they are not aiding a criminal in any way.
In fact, it would be very suspicious if a pawn shop owner bought something off of you and didn’t ask any questions about where it came from!
Friendly Staff and Welcoming Environment
Pawn shops are just like any other business out there. A good pawn shop should have friendly staff ready to help you with whatever you need and stock that is organized and well-maintained.
If the pawn shop you visit has surly staff or seems cluttered or dirty, then perhaps you should seek out a different store.