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How To Sell To A Pawn Shop

by | Oct 27, 2020 | Blog

There are a few things to consider whenever you are looking to work with a pawn shop. Your immediate question is probably, ‘How much can I get for my item?’ While this is a very important question, there are a lot of underlying things that are considered by the pawn broker:

Are you looking to sell or get a loan on an item?

There is a distinct difference between selling your item and getting a loan on it. When you are selling it, you’re telling the pawn broker that you will NOT be coming back for the item. This means that the pawn broker must take into consideration their ability to make money on the item (see below for more info on that).

When you are looking for a loan, the pawn broker is hedging against you coming back each month to pay the loan balance. Also, when you take a loan – the pawn broker’s ability to make money is on how long you will have the item on loan. Once you come back for your item, however long it took you to pay back the loan, is how long the broker can make money on their investment. For example – on a $100 dollar loan, you pay generally $10/month that you have the loan out. If you come back after two months to pick up your item, that means the broker made $20 dollars.

The difference between a straight sell and a loan will impact how much the pawn broker is willing to offer you in cash. If they feel that you will come back for an item (lets say it carries intrinsic sentimental value to you) then they may be willing to go slightly higher on a loan because they know that the more cash you take out, the better the interest payment will be for them (Pawn brokers are business people after all).

If you are looking to sell your item outright, then consider the following – as they all play into determining a cash value for whatever item it is you bring.

What kind of resale value does your item have?

Different categories of items have varying resale values in the secondary market. If you are looking to sell your item directly to the pawn shop, do a little bit of research prior to visiting the shop. One good place to look at is the eBay sold listings. That will show you what the secondary market is currently commanding for the item you have for sale.

A pawn broker will make you an offer based off the resale values that you can see online. Pawn brokers also use specialized industry software to make offers, using aggregate data from other pawn shops around the country.

Regardless of what you are selling, there is always a secondary market for everything – and a pawn broker will always at least make you an offer.

Where does the pawn broker resell their items?

It’s important to note if the pawn broker you are dealing with sells their items online as well as in store. With the advent of many different resale channels, pawn brokers use more and more digital outlets to make their sales. This plays an important part in determining your offer – because the markets they use are where the broker will research your specific item.

It may be a good idea – before going to visit your local pawn shop, to call up and ask them where they sell their items online. This will give you a sense of where to go and do your research so that you come prepared.

How quickly will the item be resold?

Much like the resale value, speed of salability also plays into the equation. If your item is HOT, then a pawn broker is more likely to offer you more cash up front – because they know that they can make their money back sooner.

If you have something that takes longer to sell (this can really be anything depending on the broker and their sales channels) then the thought process is that the broker will need to sit on the item longer, and they will in turn make less money. This will have an impact on the offer that they make you if you are outright selling your item.

What are your expectations for the item?

During a transaction with a pawn shop, one of the very first questions that any reputable broker will ask you is, ‘What are you looking to get for [it]?’ We ask this question because it helps frame the conversation with you based on what you bring in.

If you can walk in with some realistic expectations, then the negotiation process with the pawn broker will go much smoother.

Why is the pawn shop offering you less than what you could sell it at for yourself?

You may have done all of your research, looked at your items resale value, and gone online to see where the pawn broker sells their inventory – and still your offer may come in at a lower amount than what you had anticipated.

The thing to note is that the Pawn Shop is a business. As brokers, we have to work double time to make a profitable business. Consider that we negotiate every individual item on the front end (so there is no reliability or predictability in items coming in) AND we also end up negotiating a lot of the time on the sale side. So in essence, a pawn broker has to rely first on who comes in and second on who out there is interested in buying that one specific item that you have for sale.

It’s not to say that you shouldn’t go to a Pawn Broker – pawn shops are one of the greatest and simplest ways to sell unused items or to get cash fast. We don’t require credit checks, we are often times much friendlier than other financial institutions – and generally as long as you communicate with us, we are happy to work with you to facilitate the return of your items (i.e. if you need an extra day or two for payment on your loans).

Simply put, pawning is one of the oldest industries in our history, with very good reason too. As conditions fluctuate in life, its always good to know that there is usually a pawn shop nearby than can quickly and easily facilitate cash needs for you without much hassle.

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