Just like any other kind of business, there are both good and poor pawn shops out there. Here are a few things to look out for to let you know your local pawn shop is a reputable one.
Clean Shop and Friendly Staff
Though most people think pawn shops are generally dirty or seedy places, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Good pawn shops are just as well-kept as any other kind of store. Their stock should be organized in a way that is easy for you to navigate, and the staff should be friendly and ready to help or answer your questions when you need it.
In fact, if the pawn shop that you go to does seem off to you in any way, then it might be best to do business at a different pawn shop.
Brand-Name or Valuable Items on Sale
Many pawn shops deal with jewelry and other sorts of valuable objects from time to time. You will know a pawn shop is legitimate if they showcase brand-name items rather than cheap knockoffs or valuables that you can verify the retail price of.
It might help to research these prices beforehand to ensure that the pawn broker understands the value of all the items they are selling as well as the market surrounding said objects.
Items in Good Condition
All the items in a pawn shop should be in relatively good condition. Just keep in mind that most items you find in a pawn shop are pre-owned, so a little wear should be expected. Pawn brokers do their best to thoroughly clean their stock before they resell it, though, so rest assured that you are buying items that are well-kept.
Of course, pawn brokers or their in-house jewelers may miss something from time to time. If you notice the prong of a ring is slightly off or the clasp of a necklace doesn’t fit right, you can also ask them to fix it for you. Some may charge a small fee while other shops will make these small repairs for free.
Wide Variety of Items
Unless the pawn shop you go to specializes in jewelry, then it should have a wide variety of items for you to buy. From pre-owned movies and games to tools to guns, you can find a lot of great items for much less than the retail price.
It is a good idea to know what you want to buy before heading to the shop, however. The pawn broker will be more than happy to help you find whatever it is you are looking for.
Clearly-Marked Loan Area
Though the front showroom is dedicated to showcasing some of the pawn shop’s best items, the shop should also have an area solely dedicated to issuing customers pawn loans or other similar transactions.
Most loan areas should look like a small bank teller’s booth built into the store. This is to protect the pawn broker and the money they loan out to those who need it.