Pawnshop QA

A woman tries on an engagement ring at a pawn shop

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Do you get more money if you sell or pawn?

You don’t always get more money to sell something at a pawnshop. In some counties, pawnshops can buy an item and put it out for sale immediately for sale. In other counties there is a holding period of 15 days or more before an item can be re-sold. Jewelry has a mandatory holding period of 15 days in all counties.

The main reason a pawnshop would pay you more money to sell something is if they think they can re-sell the item quickly even if they have to take a lesser profit margin. For example, say a lot of customers have been coming in to buy iPads lately, we may pay more to buy one from a customer at that time than we normally would since we know we can sell it quickly. If the price of gold has spiked and seems to be steady at a high price we will pay more for the gold weight, since we know it is easy to sell, if we are buying it than if we made a loan against it.

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When we make a loan (pawn) against something we are committed to waiting 30 days to have the loan paid back before we put the item out for sale to recoup our investment. As a company, we even wait until an item is 15 days past the due date before forfeiting and putting it for sale. Just in case our customers forget, or something comes up, there is a little extra time to get back to us. Because of this we typically pay slightly less when we make loans (pawns). A lot of time will elapse between when we do the loan and when it may come available to re-sell so the price we offer has to reflect that.

Other times the item you have may have a well-established value that doesn’t change much even over longer periods of time and in those cases, the price to sell something to us or to take a loan against the item are going to be the same thing. Things like guns, certain tools, diamonds, and high-end instruments will likely fall into this category.

Is pawning or selling better?

Pawning (getting a loan against something) could be a good choice for a lot of people–especially with things like gold and jewelry. We pay for these things based on their wholesale value so what we can offer you will likely differ greatly from what you paid new for your item. We always pay you in cash for your goods. Our interest rate is affordable at 10% plus a $3.00 fee. By taking the loan you keep your valuable item and pay a low rate to retrieve it, especially if we can’t give you what you want to have to sell it. In the event you don’t have all the money together at the end of the loan period we also offer the option of renewing your contract for another 30 days for just a payment of the interest. If you are in a tight spot and just need to borrow a small amount of money that you will be able to pay back, pawning your item is the way to go. Whether it is jewelry, a nice guitar, or a tool, we keep your things safe and secure in our backroom storage until you come back to get them.

Selling what you have outright is a good option if you don’t think you will be able to pay back the loan or if you just want to get rid of something you don’t need/want anymore. The process is quick and easy and we pay you in cash. We take the same kinds of items whether you want to get a loan or sell something to us so you can always choose what is best for you.

credit-loanDoes pawning affect your credit?

No. Not at all. If you don’t pay a loan back to us all you lose is the item you pledged as collateral. We don’t do any credit reporting so you don’t have to worry about a ding on your credit just because you didn’t come back for something.

How do I get the most money at a pawnshop?

The single best way to get the most money from a pawnshop is to make sure your item is clean and in good condition. Make sure you have all the documentation or accessories that your item comes with. It will be easier for us to re-sell something that is complete and in good condition. Therefore the nicer and more complete your items are the more we are usually willing to pay.

How much do pawn shops pay?

In general, the ideal price for a pawnshop to pay is 35% of an item’s market value, this is especially true of things like tools and bicycles. We usually are willing to pay up to 50% on things like tablets, laptops, pro-audio equipment, game systems, and guns. If we are buying a large volume of gold we even pay between 70-85% of market value depending on the liquidity and ability to turn over the piece(s). Gold and silver coins we pay up to 90% of the market price. Loan prices against these same items may be slightly less.


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Is it better to pawn or sell gold?

It really depends. The price of gold is always rising and falling–just like gas. It may have a steady overall price but the ebb and flow have a large impact on what can be paid at any given time. If you want to cash out and not worry about repaying a loan then selling is definitely the right choice to make. However, if you just need to borrow some money and can afford to pay another 10% back, it is probably better for you to hold on to the jewelry and take the loan. That way if you ever get in a tight spot in the future you know you always have something of value you can use in a time of need. Many of our customers have had the same piece of jewelry with us many times and they bring it back every once in a while if something comes up. It’s like insurance in the unlikely event something unexpected happens.

bride-with-necklaceIs it better to pawn or sell jewelry?

This also depends. You have to ask yourself if you really want to keep the thing you are pledging for the loan. If you think that it might be difficult to pay back the loan or that you aren’t sure you really want to keep the item, it will be better for you to sell the item to us. Then, if you decide later on down the road that you want to buy it back, the item will have likely made it out into the showcase for sale, and as long as we still have it, we will sell it back to you at a deep discount, clean and in a beautiful gift box. If instead, you don’t want to lose what you are pledging–take the loan. The interest is very affordable and you can extend/renew the loan, if you need to, for as long as you need to pick it back up. As long as you are able to make the interest payment you never have to worry about losing your item. We are also very flexible with payments if something comes up or you can’t make it back before the loan expires. Find your store and we will work with you and we even take payments over the phone on a credit card!

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Jamie F. - Pawn Shop Manager in Northern VA
Jamie Furman
Manager at The Vault Jewelry & Loan | Website | + posts

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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Testimonials What Our Customers Are Saying

Ernie A.

Great store. I’ve been going there for years and they’ve always treated me good. Great products service!

Carola H

Great customer service and affordable prices. Super happy with my purchase

Mia I.

My husband picked up our engagement rings from here, best day of my life. thanks route 50 for the great selection. I was very pleased

Brad B.

The guys were really honest and straight with me. I went to other shops in the area such as jewelry exchange of tysons and got much much worse treatment. Other places you find either stuck-up trashy people, or extremely rude cut-throats. These guys were regular, nice, and fair; explaining the process to me and how buying/selling and pawning things work. I’d recommend them to a friend.

Michelle P.

Never disappointed. Excellent customer service, very friendly. Very clean store. Great selections.