Life is full of unexpected expenses. Maybe you walk outside to find your car’s been totaled by a hit-and-run driver. Perhaps some surprise medical expenses are threatening to leave you in debt. Or, your child wants to go on an overnight school trip, but you don’t have the money for it. In these scenarios, you need cash quickly. Pawn shops are a fantastic avenue to get some quick money.
Generally, pawn shops work like this — if you have an expensive item, you can sell it to the shop outright or use it as collateral for a loan. When you meet with a broker, they will offer you a price for your item, and this is where negotiation comes in. Pawn shops expect to work with their customers to settle on a mutually beneficial price, which may take a little bargaining.
If you are using the item as collateral for a loan, most shops offer a 30-day repayment option that includes interest. When you pay the loan back, you can collect your item. However, if you fail to repay them, they can sell your item. Pawning is different from consigning your goods because most consignment shops only pay you when, or if, they can sell your items. Pawning guarantees you cash, whether as a loan you must repay or money in your pocket.
Why Pawn Designer Handbags?
The luxury handbag industry is booming. In 2019, the designer handbag market value was around $50 billion. And that market is only growing — researchers predict the value will jump to $89.9 billion in 2026. Many people don’t think about the value of the purse they carry on their arm, but brand-name handbags are in high demand at pawn shops. They also have a high resale value, making them excellent for those who need quick cash.
People buy luxury items because of the connection they can build with the brand. A study by Forbes magazine reveals that people with brand loyalty repurchase at a rate of 58%, meaning they continue to invest money into that brand. While a quality handbag is sure to sell well, having an authentic connection to a designer brand can astronomically increase the bag’s value. For example, Hermés bags fetch around $3,000 on the low end.
Steps to Take Before Pawning Your Luxury Bag
OK, you need cash, and it just so happens you have a gorgeous designer handbag in your closet. What’s next?
1. Prepare Your Bag
The first step to pawning your designer purse is to make sure all your belongings are out of the bag. Check every corner and pocket to ensure you don’t miss anything valuable. Gather the change that collects on the bottom and shake out any crumbs or debris. Then, scrutinize the bag for any stains or damage. If it’s in less-than-perfect condition, you may not be able to get as much for it as you would a pristine one.
2. Clean Your Bag
In addition to clearing out the bag’s interior, be sure to clean its exterior, too. Thorough maintenance can keep leather and suede handbags looking like new, and you want your bag to look its best before taking it to the pawn shop. Be careful to use the correct cleaning materials to avoid damaging it — some brands may even offer cleaning guides and kits to maintain your luxury bag.
3. Prove Authenticity
Proving your designer bag’s authenticity is an essential part of preparing to pawn it, as a fake designer bag won’t bring in much cash for you. Experts at pawn shops can usually evaluate an item’s legitimacy, but you can speed the process along by bringing in documents that prove it.
Most designer brands include a card or certificate you can use to show they’re the genuine article. If you don’t have that, bring a receipt from your purchase. Nowadays, you can even get a receipt emailed to you for easy access. If you don’t have access to either a certificate or a receipt, there are other ways to check your bag’s provenance. Read on to learn how to check the authenticity of some of the most frequently counterfeited designer brands.
How Can I Pawn My Louis Vuitton Bag?
Louis Vuitton bags are fantastic to pawn because of their near-perfect construction. To check a Louis Vuitton bag’s authenticity, first examine the patina and craftsmanship. If the trim doesn’t seem to be vachetta leather or the stitching is slightly imperfect, that may be a sign the bag is fake. You can also check the purse’s legitimacy by finding the date code inside.
How Can I Pawn My Chanel Bag?
The Chanel brand is practically synonymous with timeless, understated opulence. A Chanel bag’s intricate detailing can speak to its authenticity — check out the screws, stitching, logo and hardware to ensure it matches Chanel’s stringent quality standards. All Chanel bags also come with a date code sticker inside.
How Can I Pawn My Gucci Bag?
Gucci bags are another frequent target of counterfeiters, but the construction quality can be a dead giveaway for fakes. Authentic Gucci bags will always have high-quality hardware, engravings and zippers. You can also examine the Gucci logo to ensure it is a genuine item. Additionally, you can use the serial number, usually on a leather patch inside the bag, to check its authenticity.
Guide to Pawning Luxury Handbags
Now that you’ve prepped your bag and cleaned it, and maybe even found your receipt or a certificate of authenticity, you can take it to a pawn shop. However, before stepping through the doors, ensure it is a reputable dealer. Check out their website and be sure the shop you approach is licensed, bonded and insured, with rigorous safety precautions in place.
When you approach a pawn shop, you’ll need to remember a few details that may differ from the experience of selling your bag at a consignment store.
Have Realistic Expectations
If you’ve never pawned anything before, it may be a good idea to do some research or speak with the shop owner about how to pawn luxury handbags and other items. Even if you paid top dollar for your item, it may not be in high demand and thus will fetch a lower value at a pawn shop. Keep this in mind, especially when you plan to pawn your items in exchange for a loan.
If you have a specific price in mind, make sure it is realistic for the item you plan to put up as collateral. For some items, shops will perform additional checks to ensure they aren’t selling stolen goods. For designer handbags, understand that many factors contribute to price evaluations, and come in with practical expectations about what the shop can offer you.
You may not get the highest price for a stained handbag or one that shows obvious signs of wear and tear. Even if you have documents of authenticity, the shop might still perform a thorough check to ensure the bag matches the certificate. All these actions shouldn’t insult you — their purpose is to provide a fair and honest deal.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
In the United States, haggling about prices doesn’t often occur outside home and automobile sales. But in countries worldwide, small vendors expect to negotiate prices and usually start the conversation at a higher price than they hope to receive. As a general rule, pawn shops also plan for negotiations.
Of course, pawn shop owners are in business to make money, but they use negotiations as a tool to come to a mutually beneficial price point. Their first offer usually isn’t a firm number. If you’ve never negotiated a price before, it may take a bit of discussion to come to a decision, and that’s a typical part of the process. Bargaining can feel strange for those unaccustomed to it, and you might be unsuccessful, but it can never hurt to try!
You could work out a better price for your luxury handbag, but be respectful and fair. If your designer bag is in pristine condition and you certify its authenticity, you might negotiate a price reasonably close to the market value. Even gently used luxury handbags can fetch a pretty penny, which is why they are such an excellent item to pawn when you need a quick loan or some fast cash.
Know the Conditions
It’s paramount to ensure you understand the conditions of the transaction you’re taking part in. If you want to sell your designer handbag outright to a pawn shop, the process is relatively simple. You transfer ownership of the item to the shop, and get your money quickly. The pawn shop can then earn a profit on your bag.
For a collateral loan, the broker will usually offer a loan amount equal to a specific percentage of the item’s worth. This percentage will be higher for designer handbags from expensive brands like Hermés, and other luxury goods like jewelry and precious metals. According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, a typical pawn loan is around $150, and 80% of people repay their loans within the initial timeframe.
The typical period to repay a loan is 30 days. Just like banks, brokers will ask for interest on the loan. A typical interest rate can range from 5 to 25%, but they are subject to state laws, so they vary significantly based on the shop. If you don’t pay the loan or renegotiate its terms, the broker can take ownership of the item and sell it after a short redemption period.
If you realize you might not repay your loan on time, you can always speak to the shop owner and see if they allow renegotiation of the terms. For example, since they want their money back, they may agree on an extension if you can pay off the accrued interest for the first month.
How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay for Designer Handbags?
If you have a luxury handbag you’d like to pawn, odds are you want to know how much the pawn shop will pay for it, whether it’s for a loan or you’re selling it outright. Truthfully, every pawn shop has a different process, and things like market value and the economy influence that price greatly.
Something you might have pawned a few years ago may receive a very different price today. Gold is a good example — 20 years ago, a gold ring may not have gotten you as much as it can today because gold is in such high demand right now. If you’re curious, here are some specific factors that influence how much a shop will pay for your bag.
- Brand: Some brands have better reputations or bring a higher luxury value than others.
- Authenticity: If you can prove the bag’s authenticity, you’ll get a higher price than if it’s questionable or likely to be counterfeit.
- Rarity: If the handbag is rare, custom or in extremely high demand, you’ll get a higher price than for standard or more conventional styles.
- Condition: A bag in pristine condition with the original box or packing materials will fetch an excellent price. In contrast, if there are obvious signs of wear, you may not even be able to sell it in some cases.
- Economy: If the economy is booming and people are spending money, you can get a higher price for your bag. For instance, if there’s a recession, fewer people will be in the market for luxury handbags, so you won’t get the highest price.
- Liquidity: If a broker knows they can sell the handbag pretty immediately — maybe someone’s come in to inquire about it recently — they’ll be more likely to negotiate a high value for you.
A general rule to keep in mind is that an item’s worth depends greatly on the pawn shop. For example, pawn shops will pay a high price for Louis Vuitton bags in excellent condition if their clientele includes wealthier people with more disposable income. If a pawn shop’s customers don’t usually ask about higher-end handbags, you may be better off heading to a shop that specializes in luxury products.
Pawn Your Luxury Bags at The Vault Jewelry and Loans
Not all pawn shops are the same, especially with items like handbags. It takes a specific shop and expertise to pawn your designer bags. The Vault Jewelry and Loans specializes in high-value products like designer handbags, fine jewelry, firearms and electronics. We value transparency, so we’ll guide you through the entire process and work with you to establish a fair and respectful price for your luxury bag.
If you’re facing an unexpected expense, we can get you the cash you need faster than any bank loan and without impacting your credit. All in-state loans have a flat interest rate of 10% plus only a $3 fee for loans of $100 or more. We offer 30-day loan periods, and we’ll work with you to accommodate loan extensions if needed.
Our trained customer service representatives will walk you through the process of pawning your luxury handbag. Contact us today and get the cash you need quickly!
James (Jamie) F., is the manager of our Centerpointe Way location in Woodbridge, VA. With over 14 years in the pawn business, he is an expert in Diamonds, Gold, and Luxury Watches. He is fluent in Spanish and English and enjoys helping customers’ find the item they want at a great deal. Banks and Big Box stores have convinced many that new and expensive is the only way to buy. He aims to change that paradigm and provide exceptional service and quality products at a bargain price to every person who walks through our doors.