When you need cash fast, pawning one or more of your belongings is a good way to get the money you need. The first question most people ask is “What can I pawn at a pawn shop to get the money I need?” Pawn shops either buy valuables outright or loan you money while using your belongings as collateral.
Every pawn shop differs to some degree in the items they accept for pawn. There are some basic items of value that nearly every pawn shop accepts. You might think that you have nothing of value to pawn. You might be surprised to learn that some of the items you have lying around collecting dust will be worth money to a pawn shop.
Defining “Valuable” to a Pawn Shop
Most people think of valuables as things like gold and diamonds, furs, or expensive cars. While some of these are things that pawn shops usually take, some are not. Even though something may have cost a great deal of money when it was new, it may not be of any value to the pawn shop today. A pawn shop would rather take an item as a pawn that is worth less money but will probably sell faster.
Keep in mind that a pawn shop is a business. Although the things that people bring them to pawn are used as collateral for loans, they often forfeit the items for one reason or another. That means that they never pay back the loan and the pawn shop must sell the item to get their money back. If the item is something that was expensive but which is no longer highly sought after, the pawn shop could be stuck with it for a very long time. This is why they are selective about the items they will accept.
What Can I Pawn That Other People Will Want?
Some of the most common items that pawn shops handle are jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, and power tools. These are all things that people have and that they may no longer need or want. They are also items that other people will want to buy.
People who shop at pawn shops know that they will get a better value than if they bought the same item retail. They may even have the option to upgrade to a better quality than they would be able to afford if they bought it new. Since the items are in very good or sometimes new condition, there is no tradeoff for quality. This makes some types of items highly desirable at pawn shops.
Even though you want to pawn something and get the money for it temporarily, you need to keep these factors in mind when pondering the question “What can I pawn at a pawn shop?” The pawn shop works on the assumption that customers may not be able to pay back their pawn loans. You should also consider the possibility that if you don’t come up with the money to pay back your loan, you could forfeit the item that you decide to pawn.
Most pawn shops take jewelry but only certain types of jewelry. Gold jewelry is always a top seller and other precious metals, such as silver and platinum, are not far behind. Jewelry with diamond and gemstones is valuable while costume jewelry is not.
If you have good quality jewelry that you want to pawn, don’t expect to get what you paid when you bought it. Jewelry that is sold new has a significant markup over the actual value. In addition, the pawn shop will pay you a percentage of the actual value, not the full price. They have to have some room to make a profit on the items they have to sell.
Of course, all jewelry isn’t new. Sometimes people have jewelry that they have inherited and they aren’t even sure how old or valuable it really is. There may even be some doubt as to whether the gold or diamonds are real.
One option you have is to take the jewelry to an appraiser to find out its value before going to the pawn shop. The only problem with this is that jewelers may charge between $50 and $150 an hour or at a flat fee per piece.
A more affordable option is to leave the appraisal to the pawn shop. If you choose a reputable business, you can rely on them to give you an honest appraisal of what the item is worth. The exception may be for highly valuable pieces of jewelry that are worth more than $2,000. If you would feel more confident getting an appraisal before approaching the pawn shop, it may be worth the price. Just take the results of the appraisal with you when you go to pawn it.
Most of us consider watches to be a type of jewelry. Not all pawn shops feel the same. Those that do accept watches typically stick with the high-end brands like Rolex, Cartier, or Patek Philippe. Contact the pawn shop to find out what kinds of watches they accept.
“Pawning VS Selling Gold”
Gold jewelry is the most popular but all gold is not the same. Pure 24Karat gold is too soft for jewelry. The gold in your jewelry may be 14Karat, 18 Karat, rose, white, or yellow. Some gold pieces are electroplated with gold. All of these factors will determine whether the pawn shop will accept your jewelry and how much they will pay.
Most gold jewelry is stamped with the type of gold used to make it. The pawn shop also uses a testing kit to determine whether unmarked pieces are real. The more gold there is in it, the higher the value will be.
If you have damaged or broken gold jewelry, it is not really useful to pawn. However, you can sell gold jewelry outright regardless of what condition it is in. Gold that the pawn shop purchases straight out is melted down to use to make other items. The pawn shop will use the amount of gold and the current rate to determine how much your damaged jewelry is worth.
Electronics, including televisions, gaming systems, cameras, laptops, and iPads are some of the most popular items at the pawn shop. Your question about “What can I pawn?” may be as simple as the laptop you used before you purchased the newest model.
People who buy electronics from a pawn shop want to know that they only sell quality items that are still in nearly new condition. Sometimes people buy new gadgets and leave them in the box for a few weeks before they decide to try them out. Often, the return policy is shorter than the period of time that has passed. As a result, they end up with a brand new gadget that they don’t want.
Think about the electronics in your home that you have only used once or twice, or maybe not at all. You may have put them out of the way and forgotten about them. These items may be top choices for the pawn shop. You may get all of the money you need and never have to risk forfeiting your lawn on something that is valuable to you.
As technology grows, so does the price tag on the electronics that have the newest features. Some people lack the financial resources to always have the most advanced laptops, gaming systems, or iPads. There may be systems they want for entertainment or for work or school. They may want to move up to a bigger screen TV. Shopping at the pawn shop makes it possible to buy more luxury items without paying the new price. It also makes it easier for you to get the fast money you need.
Pawning Musical Instruments
Musical instruments are often like exercise equipment; they start out with a purpose in life and then get pushed aside and forgotten, only to end up in the garage or basement. Musicians at every level of expertise consistently look to pawn shops to get their instruments and accessories at an affordable cost.
Kids who are just starting out in band are also good customers for pawn shops that pay for musical instruments. Parents prefer to invest less money until they know that their child will stick with their instrument of choice. This is not surprising considering the high cost of new musical instruments today.
If you are one of the many people who have an electric guitar and amp stuck in the garage from your teen’s ambition to become a rock star, you may have a valuable item to pawn. Band instruments like clarinets and flutes, keyboards, violins, and more are commonly accepted by pawn shops because they sell.
Most of us have seen the advertisements in the local newspaper for all types of musical instruments for sale by the owner. The problem is that it can be very difficult to trust someone you have never met that the instrument is in good condition. A pawn shop that handles instruments regularly will have a good idea of the instrument’s value. They will also test it to make sure it is in good condition before they accept it as a pawn. Their ability to offer customers a bargain on good quality instruments will make pawning your musical instruments a good choice.
Pawning Power Tools
When you ask “What can I pawn when I don’t have any jewelry, electronics, or musical instruments?” go in a different direction. Tools are often given as gifts or purchased on a whim. You may have a collection of good quality, brand-name power tools that you have used no more than once or twice.
The thing that power tools have in common with the other items listed is their value to the right person. New tools are often expensive. Someone starting a new job or who needs to replace existing tools will look to the pawn shop to find what they need.
You can pawn both small and large brand name tools. Expect the pawn shop to test any tools you pawn to make sure they are in working order.
Other Items of Value
Some pawn shops specialize in one or more areas of items. For example, some shops appear more like a music store than a pawn shop. Others will take almost any item if they can assess its value.
If you have other items, such as rare books, works of art, or guns that you want to sell, call the pawn shop first. Rare items may be worth money, but only if it is something the pawn shop normally deals in. They may not have the expertise in the area needed to put a value on your item. When it comes to pawning guns, it’s never a good idea to come into a pawn shop with a weapon without knowing they accept them as collateral for pawn loans!
A Note on Pawn Shop Security
When you decide to pawn your valuables, security should be another consideration. If you’ve walked past pawn shop windows that displayed all types of items in front of a plain glass window, just think about how secure your belongings will be. They are, after all, valuable.
Make sure you go to a pawn shop that takes security seriously. If your transaction goes as planned, you will be back with the loan payments to get your belongings back. While they are in the pawn shop’s possession, you want to make sure they receive with the importance you would give them yourself. The idea behind using collateral for a pawn loan is that the items you use are of value.
San Diego residents consider Monte De Piedad the “Best San Diego Pawn Shop”. With more than 35 years of experience and thirteen locations, they offer the best rates and terms at a location close to you. If you want more information about “What can I pawn?” and how to go about pawning your items, contact us today.