When you need money fast, you need to know where to get it; fast! You know that one option is to take something of value to a National City pawn shop. But which one? You don’t have a lot of time to mull your choices over.
Pawn shops determine the value of items and how much they will pay for a purchase or loan. The amount you can get depends on the item you have to sell and the pawn shop you take it to.
National City Pawn Shop
What Should I Pawn?
Pawn shops only accept items in good condition that their customers will want to buy. If you’ve heard that pawn shops will give you money on everything but the kitchen sink, think again! People who shop in pawn shops do so to get items for less than they would have to pay retail for. Popular items like electronics, jewelry, and some collectibles sell fast and bring more money into the pawn shop. Those are the items pawn shops are most likely to buy.
Some of the most valuable items sold and pawned include:
- Electronics – These include newer models of widescreen TVs, video game systems, computers, and laptops.
- Jewelry – Jewelry made of precious metals and/or precious or semi-precious stones is valued according to the quality of the materials and their weight. The value of gold jewelry depends on the purity of the gold (14k, 24k, etc). The National City pawn shop you choose will determine the value of diamonds according to the four C’s, clarity, color, cut, and carat weight. Expect to get more for diamonds a full carat in size and over and less for pieces with a number of small diamonds with a higher total weight. Jewelry also includes watches but only those high-end brands that have the greatest value.
- Musical Instruments – Most pawn shops deal to some extent in musical instruments, including guitars, keyboards, and amplifiers.
- Gold – Gold jewelry, coins, and even gold tooth fillings can be worth a lot of money. The good news is that gold doesn’t have to be in great shape to retain its value. The pawn shop will pay you the price for salvaged gold and you can still make a good profit. However, the value ultimately depends on the purity of the gold and the amount you have.
- Collectibles – This category is a little more challenging to define. The value of many collectibles depends on how much a person is willing to pay for them. A Star Wars fanatic may be willing to pay a high price for a portrait of C3PO and R2D2 but the actual value might be no more than the price of materials the artist used to create it. If you have all kinds of collectibles with the artist’s signature and number on them, you could be greatly disappointed when you learn that the market is flooded with similar items and they have very little actual value.
A Note on Sentimental Value
The relationship between actual value and sentimental value is a nonexistent one. An heirloom passed down through the generations might be the most important thing you own. The same is true of something new that you received from someone special. The pawn shop only considers actual value, not sentimentality.
This means, if you decide to rush out and pawn your engagement ring, you aren’t going to get the full actual value, much less the sentimental value. If you do use something with this much sentimental value, you are much more likely to pawn it than sell it. If you need money fast, try to find something with a high actual value that lacks the sentimental value that only you care about.
If you get a pawn loan on your engagement ring, it will be for a percentage of the actual value. Let’s say your fiancé paid $10,000 and it had a 400% markup. That makes the actual value $2,500. The pawn shop loans you $1,500 using the ring as collateral. You need the money to pay a $1,000 car repair so you can drive to work. Not only do you get enough money to pay for the repair, but you have the additional $500 to pay towards your pawn loan.
At the end of a month, the loan is due in full. Your car breaks down again, this time with a different problem. The bill is $1,000 again. You need the $500 you put in the bank and an additional $500 to pay the repair bill. You don’t have the money to get your ring back and the pawn shop now owns it.
To make sure you don’t end up in a scenario like this, you need to find an item to pawn that has a high actual value and not a sentimental value. Of course, you may not have any other option. If you have to put up your sentimental valuables as collateral, this makes your choice in a National City pawn shop even more important.
Differences in Pawn Shops
Most pawn shops deal in a variety of popular items. For example, most buy gold and deal in jewelry and electronics. Most also offer pawn loans and buy items right out. Beyond these basics, many differences set pawn stores apart.
For one, some pawn shops “specialize” in one or two types of merchandise. Some focus almost exclusively on buying gold and gold jewelry. Those that deal with firearms often focus on those items alone. Others focus on musical instruments. Those that have experts on-staff or who work in partnership with experts can help you get more for your item if it falls into that category. At the same time, a pawn shop that deals with a variety of items regularly has a broad range of experience on which to base their valuations.
Choosing What to Pawn
You know what valuables you have to pawn and a general idea of what you can get for each one. To further define the value of your items, look at the “sold for” prices of items that are identical in brand, features, and condition on online sites like eBay. Remember that the amount the pawn shop pays is only a percentage of the actual value.
Don’t hesitate to combine items to get larger amounts of money if you need to. If you don’t have a single item valued for the amount you need, combining items will expand your options. Once you know what you want to pawn, the next step is to choose a pawn shop.
Finding the Best National City Pawn Shop
If you need money fast, it helps to already know which pawn shop you can trust. So, what does it take to make a pawn shop ‘the best?’ Actually, a number of things are important, including:
- Close Location – You don’t want to travel too far from home so that making loan payments or picking your item up is an inconvenience.
- Specializes in Items Like Yours – A pawn shop that specializes in a specific area knows the actual value and should offer you the best price.
- Offers Long-Term Payments – The amount of time you have to pay back your pawn loan is even more important if you are forced to pawn something with a lot of sentimental value.
- Flexible Payment Options – The last thing you want is to get a loan that lasts for a month with no other options to pay. A pawn shop that cares about building relationships with members of the community will offer flexible payment options that protect you when things don’t go according to plan.
- A Good Reputation – Even if you have never entered a single National City pawn shop, lots of other people have. Some people use their services on a fairly regular basis. They know who gives them fair prices and good deals. They know the level of customer service they receive and which stores have the greatest interactions within the community.
Of all the features to look for in a pawn shop, no other one is more important than reputation. The fact is that the pawn shop determines the value of items you want to pawn or sell. You want to do business with a store that is trustworthy and has a good reputation among a number of regular customers. This alone will help ensure you get the best possible price for your item.
You can learn a lot about a pawn shop by searching online for reviews and exploring the shop’s website. It helps to have a good idea of what to expect before you go inside.
Should You Sell or Should You Pawn?
About 80% of people who pawn items return to pay their loans and collect their items. The other 20% surrender their items and the pawn shop then offers them for sale. In either case, the pawn shop is a business that needs to make money on each exchange. That fact plays a role in how much you can get for your item.
When you sell the item outright, the pawn shop will pay you a percentage of the actual value. Their specialty in buying and selling this type of item allows them to determine the item’s actual worth. If the item is worth $100 and they buy it for $75, the additional $25 is the profit they will make when they sell it to someone else.
When you pawn the same item, you may get the same $75 or more, depending on a few factors. If the pawn shop does business with you regularly and they have a relationship with you, they may feel comfortable in offering you more. They know you pay back your loans and they won’t lose any money by giving you more.
The popularity of the product and how quickly it will sell can also make a difference too. Although there is an 80% chance that you will pay back your loan, the pawn shop must consider the 20% chance that you won’t. If that happens, they need room to make money and that includes moving the item quickly in a sale.
Another difference is the fee that applies to a pawn loan. If you pay back the loan over time, you will pay back more than the amount of the original loan. You want to find a pawn shop that offers reasonable pawn fees to prevent paying back a lot more than the original loan amount.
The Art of Negotiation
You can’t always get more money for an item by haggling with the pawn store clerk but sometimes you can! It never hurts to try and increase what the pawn shop offers, even if it’s only a few dollars. Granted, it isn’t something that everyone feels comfortable with. But you can learn and your newfound skills will come in handy the next time you travel abroad. You may even find that haggling is fun once you have some success. If it works, you could get a few more dollars in your pocket when you need it the most.
Polish It Up
The final piece of advice on getting the most money at the pawn shop is to make sure your item looks its best. Check to see that all the parts are there and that it is in working order. If you need fast cash, taking a broken item to the pawn shop will ruin your plans. Take the time to make it look its best and its most valuable.
The Best National City Pawn Shop
When you need cash fast, you can count on Monte De Piedad for the best prices and excellent customer service. We take an active role in giving back to the National City community and build relationships with many of our customers that benefit them and our business. We give longer to pay and offer the most cash on loans and purchases.
Contact us today or stop by any of our thirteen locations to find out how much you can get for your item. We’re always close by when you need cash in a hurry.