How to Pawn a TV

How to Pawn a TV

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When the unexpected happens, such as vehicle repair or a hospital bill, it can put added strain on your weekly or monthly budget. In such cases, you may be looking around the house for things you can get rid of and sell to add a little bit of breathing room to your budget.

However, an alternative option could be to pawn an item that you can do without for a defined period to receive a low-interest collateral loan without credit checks to ease your financial strain. For some, this may be sentimental and valuable jewelry. For others it could be a TV, rationalizing that they could use some reduced screen time anyway.

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If you find the latter option more appropriate, this guide will help you know all there is to know about successfully pawning a TV!

How to Pawn a TV

If you are in need of fast cash for whatever reason, pawning a valuable but expendable item in your possession, such as a TV, can be a convenient and savvy solution. In essence, pawning is the same thing as a collateral loan, where one party provides a valuable item to the other party, who appraises the item and gives out a loan to the initial party based on the estimated value of the collateral item. The loaner maintains possession of the collateral item until the loanee is able to pay back the initial loan.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider and assess before you pawn a TV.

Does It Work?

First of all, you should make sure your TV is in working condition. While some pawn shops may buy a broken TV, very few of them actually do. Moreover, you are unlikely to get a worthwhile return if you pawn a broken TV. If your TV works but has a few kinks and issues or is an older TV, you may want to contact a local pawnbroker beforehand to see if it is something they would be interested in buying or holding as collateral.

What Is Its Market Value?

Secondly, you should also conduct a personal evaluation of your TV so you can have reasonable expectations when you bring the TV to a pawnbroker for appraisal. Factors such as the size, brand, technology and age of the TV will all have an impact on the amount of money you receive from the loan. Compare those qualities in your TV with similar TVs on the market and account for any applicable depreciating value associated with the age and function of your TV.

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This may require some more research into the actual specs of your TV unless you already know them. Is your screen plasma, LED or LCD? What are its features and processing system? How do its sound and picture compare with the latest models?

Make Your TV Look "Like New"

Make Your TV Look “Like New”

As you are evaluating the value of your TV, make sure it is in tip-top shape. That is, wipe down the screen with a microfibre cloth and cleaning spray appropriate for TV screens, clean out any dust in or around the air vents and make sure all of the TV accessories are accounted for and in order.

By doing this, you can add “completeness” to the list of factors that will determine the value of the pawnbroker’s appraisal. A TV with a complete set of accessories, such as the original pedestal, remote, HDMI cables, power cords and the box it came in, will boost its value in the pawnbroker’s eyes. Moreover, a dirty TV may indicate to the pawnbroker that it was not taken care of very well or has lost its value. So make sure it is clean and looks as close as possible to how it was when you first purchased it.

Come As You Are and Be Prepared To Negotiate

Finally, make sure you are prepared to negotiate. Pawnbrokers combine market expertise with the art of negotiation to appropriately appraise the received items and get the best deal for their shop. However, negotiation is a two-way street, as you also want fair value for your items, so figure out the minimum and maximum value for your item and try to negotiate the pawnbroker to a price within that range.

When pawn shops offer you a loan, it is expected that you will pay back the loan at an agreed-upon date, typically within one month or so, depending on the particular shop you are working with. Pawnshop loans also have a fixed interest rate that will apply to the loan payment. Some shops allow loanees to only pay the accumulated interest if they are cannot pay the total amount after the initial loan expires, which will renew the loan for the same amount of time.

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If neither the loan nor the accumulated interest is paid at the initial loan’s expiry, there will either be a grace period before the item is sold, as there is with us at the Vault Loan, or they will put the item up for sale immediately, depending on the pawnshop.

Can You Pawn a TV Without a Remote?

The majority of pawnshops will accept a TV without a remote as long as it has value on its own. That is, if you bring a broken-down old TV without a remote to a pawn shop, they may redirect you to the local landfill. With that being said, a TV with a complete set of cables, remotes, cords, and original box is far likelier to net a substantial return than a TV that is missing one or all of those components.

The pawnbroker will be looking for any point of weakness or inferiority with the TV to leverage when negotiating a loan or how much they are willing to pay to buy the TV from you. So a working and contemporary TV without a remote will most likely be pawnable, but don’t expect full value on the loan or purchase from the pawnbroker.

How Much Can I Pawn My TV For?

How Much Can I Pawn My TV For?

As mentioned, the value that the pawnbroker gives your TV will come down to a few different factors, including the brand, age, size, features, and completeness of your TV.


We will start first with the brand of your TV. With TVs, the reputation of each brand tends to precede them. So if the TV is made by a well-respected company, it will be a good first impression with the pawnbroker. On the other hand, if the TV is made from a lesser-known company or one whose reputation precedes them negatively, you will likely be starting on the wrong foot.

With that in mind, some examples of well-regarded TV brands include Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Visio and Sharp. TV brands that are typically average to below-average include JVC, RCA, Toshiba, Phillips, Insignia, Hisense, Sceptre and Hitachi. That said, there are exceptions with each brand, as some TV brands that are generally average or below-average offer high-quality options, while well-regarded brands have a few duds.

Age and Features

Remember when 1080p HDTV was the new groundbreaking advancement in television? It seems like ages ago but not as long as you might think. Now 4K is the latest innovation to captivate the hearts and minds of tech enthusiasts. However, something else will likely come along in a few years and make 4K seem like a pre-color, bubble-screen television (maybe not exactly, but you get the point!).

The constant advancements in television technology cause them to become outdated and obsolete quicker than other items of value. As such, the age of your TV and its technological ability will make the difference between an underwhelming offer and an offer you cannot refuse.

For any value, your TV should be flat screen and have HD capabilities, at the very least. You will likely get a decent offer for a 1080p TV, but the value will decrease if it isn’t also a smart TV. The best offers are reserved for out-of-the-box 4K televisions with all the bells and whistles, such as virtual assistant technology (Alexa), organic LED technology and superior sound, picture and processing systems.


When it comes to TVs and pawnshops, bigger is always better. That is, the bigger the screen, the better your offer will be. So don’t expect to receive a mind-blowing offer on one of that massive cathode-ray tube (CRT) televisions that weigh more than your fridge! Those TVs may be better suited to a museum or antique shop at this point.

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With that being said, big-screen TVs continue to be the most valuable type of TV on the market, even though they evolve with other developments in the TV tech world that make previous models of big-screen TVs obsolete. In terms of current market value and definition for big-screen TVs, any TV over 42 inches is considered a big-screen TV and should provide good value, particularly if it is a well-regarded brand and is up-to-date with all of the current features.


Once again, having a TV without a remote, power cord or another essential accessory to actually operate the device will decrease its value with the pawnbroker’s appraisal. Throw in any accessory you have with the TV when you bring it in for appraisal. If you have a gaming console or sound system hooked up to the TV and have no other TV to use them with, you could also include those as collateral to increase your loan payment if you choose to do so!

It is important to remember that when pawning a TV or any other item, pawnbrokers will offer you between 30% and 70% of the item’s market value as a security measure to ensure that the pawnbroker can make a profit on the item if you are unable to repay the loan by the agreed-upon due date and grace period. After that, they will sell the item to secure their investment and maintain a profit margin.

Is it Better to Pawn or Sell a TV?

Is it Better to Pawn or Sell a TV?

Pawning a TV and selling a TV both have their merits and determining which one is better usually depends on your attachment to the TV and what you hope to gain from your dealings with the pawnshop.

For instance, if you are particularly attached to your TV or prefer to keep it in your possession, then pawning a TV is a better idea, as the loan will help you in the short-term while allowing you to maintain possession of the TV, as long as you repay the loan. On the other hand, if you have no use for the TV and would prefer to have it out of your life, then you might as well sell the TV, as you will be paid a percentage of its value without any expectation of repayment. Selling may also be a better option if you do not think you will be able to repay the loan.

If you are concerned about your credit score or history with pawning, you need not be! Pawn shops do not conduct credit checks before offering a loan, nor do they contact credit bureaus if a loan is not paid off during a certain period of time. In this way, pawning is a great way to acquire a loan if credit concerns are a deterrent.

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Another consideration when deciding between pawning or selling a TV is that pawnbrokers are typically more selective and choosy when it comes to buying an item outright than they are with providing a loan. With pawned items, the pawnbroker’s primary considerations are determining if the item is something the individual will want to come back for and how much the item is worth should they not come back for it.

When buying an item, in contrast, it is all about profit margins and resale value. The pawnbroker will want to make sure the item is sellable since it is in their sole possession after the purchase. They will consider such factors as their existing merchandise and if they have an overabundance of that item already in stock, as well as the likelihood of making a profit off that item.

Consequently, there is more risk involved for the pawnbroker with buying an item than providing a loan, especially if the item holds clear value to the individual seeking the loan. This added risk can make a pawnbroker more wary of buying a TV from you than offering a loan.

Moreover, it is not a guarantee that you will get more money from selling a TV than from pawning it, although this is often the case. If the pawnbroker believes they will be able to turn around and sell the item quickly after purchasing it, they may offer you more to buy the TV than they would with a collateral loan. On the other hand, if they are unsure of its resale value, they may give you a more acceptable loan for the TV than their offer to purchase it from you.

Whether you have a TV lying around collecting dust or are trying to think of savvy ways to earn a little more cash in the short term for unexpected bills and such, pawning a TV could be a worthwhile endeavor. At the Vault Jewelry and Loan, we have over three decades of experience providing collateral loans to individuals at prices that work for you and us through a streamlined and customer-friendly process. Contact one of our customer service representatives today to learn more about pawning a TV with us at the Vault!

Jamie F. - Pawn Shop Manager in Northern VA
Jamie Furman

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.

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