Choosing the Best Pawn Shop in San Diego

A pawn shop can be a great place to make some extra dollars. Make sure you’re choosing a reputable one if you want to be treated fairly and get the best deal. Whether you’re pawning, selling or buying at a pawn shop, here are some tips to help you choose a good pawn shop in San Diego.

Pawn Shop In San Diego

Know How Pawn Shops Work

Pawn shops have become increasingly popular over the last few years. They’re a quick way of making money on items you own or purchasing items at reasonable prices.

A pawn shop offers you three options: buying items that they have in-store, selling items to the store, or pawning, where you give them an item for a limited period of time in exchange for a cash loan. You then have to repay the loan, including any interest and fees, within the agreed time period. Otherwise, the pawn shop legally owns your item and can sell it to someone else.

If you take an item to a pawn shop, they will give you the choice of whether you want to sell or pawn it. You shouldn’t pawn unless you are confident that you will be able to repay the loan. Whether you’re pawning or selling, you should go in with an idea of what your item is worth to determine whether the price they offer you for it is fair.

What To You Look for in a San Diego Pawn Shop?

What to look for


Pawn shops in San Diego, and all over the US, are governed by strict laws and regulations which they have to abide by. Pawn shops are bound by 13 regulations at the federal level, including having to operate within the IRS Code, the US Patriot Act, the Truth in Lending Act.

By law, a pawn shop also has to be licensed, often both locally and at the state level. A reputable pawn shop will usually have more than one license. At the very least, they must have a pawnbroker’s license. Most will also have other licenses, including a secondhand dealer license and a general business license.

You should never consider doing business with a pawn shop that doesn’t have a license – they’re not operating within the law.


It’s advisable to find an established pawnbroker who has been in the business a long time. Their experience means they are likely to have a better knowledge of market conditions and what items are worth. As they’ll also have built up a large customer base over time, they’ll probably offer you a fairer price. They likely won’t need the extra few dollars as much as they need to preserve their good reputation.

A good pawn lender will value their position as part of your local community. They will provide their service as a means of helping out the people in your neighborhood. A long-established pawn shop is more likely to be operating for these reasons, as they’ve built up a trusted relationship with local residents.

Some pawn shops even choose to give something back by getting involved with local charities or community groups – this is the kind of activity you should be looking for when choosing a reputable pawn shop in San Diego.


A good pawn shop will be fair with you as long as you are fair with them. If you’re selling or pawning an electronic item, they have a right to ask you to prove that it works. If your item is a piece of jewelry, the pawn shop may want to see proof of its authenticity from a jeweler. It’s actually a good thing if they do this because it shows they take their job seriously and will not sell goods that aren’t exactly as described.

They also may not offer you the full market value of your item – this is because they are resellers. The price you would get from an avid collector online is likely to be higher. However, selling to a pawn shop has the advantage of the instant cash in hand whether you’re pawning or selling. If you’re pawning, you will also get your item back at the end of the loan period.


Obviously, you need to choose a pawn shop close to where you live for convenience. This is especially important if you’re pawning. You don’t want to have to travel for miles to get your goods back.

A pawn shop that has been established in a number of locations for a long time is likely to be more reputable than a single store that’s just popped up in the last few months. If consumers from a wide geographical area are trusting a particular pawnbroker brand, there’s a very good chance that you can, too.

Customer Service

Pawn Shop Customer Service

A reputable pawn shop will care about getting and retaining your business. They should be friendly and treat you well as soon as you walk in the door. They should also be prepared to offer certain terms and conditions that prove they are trustworthy and not try to deceive you in any way.

Firstly, they should not charge you for valuing your items. It’s important to choose a pawn shop that offers free valuations. They’ll make money from you when they get your business, not before.

A good pawn shop will also be very clear with you about its conditions when lending you money – this is actually a legal requirement. All forms and pawn tickets should be worded very clearly and contain all the information you need. If you’re unsure of anything, always ask. If they’re reputable, they will be happy to answer all your questions and should not expect you to sign anything until they’re sure you understand.

If you’re buying from a pawn shop, the terms of purchase should also be very clear. A good pawn shop will not overcharge you – they’ll charge based on an item’s existing condition, not its price when new. If they’re reputable, they may also be prepared to offer you a guarantee that the item you’re buying is authentic.

Finally, ask yourself, do you feel comfortable with this pawnbroker? If they’re friendly and helpful and you feel they’re being fair to you, there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself a reputable pawn shop.

Monte de Piedad has been operating in San Diego since 1977. For further information about how we can help you with all your buying, selling and pawning needs, please contact us