Pawn shops are great solutions when you need quick cash. You could go to the bank, but they require stacks of paperwork, extensive wait times and a loan application that can negatively impact your credit score. With pawn shops, all you need to do is look around your home for things to pawn or sell — there’s no extensive paperwork, you get immediate cash and there is no effect on your credit score.
Learn more about things pawn shops will always buy, including some things you didn’t know you could pawn. Think of things like luxury handbags, sporting goods and even cars! Getting fast cash is likely easier than you thought.
What Are Pawn Shops?
Pawn shops are safe, reliable businesses where you can exchange your items for fast cash. They’re great solutions for people in a pinch, like if you need a few extra dollars to cover your rent or are close to having enough money for the newest game console.
When you need cash, you have two options at a pawn shop — sell your item outright or pawn an item for a short-term loan. Both are great options, and the right choice for you depends on if you want your item back or not. You can visit pawn shops to purchase competitively priced items, too, like luxury handbags and watches, musical instruments, collectibles and much more.
How Do Pawn Shops Work?
You have two options at a pawn shop. You can sell your item outright for immediate cash, or pawn a collateral item in exchange for a short-term loan. Going into more detail, at a pawn shop you can:
1. Receive a Collateral Loan
“Collateral” is something valuable — like a family heirloom, firearm or coin collection — that you’ll get back after paying off your short-term loan. To receive a collateral loan, you’ll present your collateral to the pawnbroker, and they’ll tell you how much they’re willing to loan depending on the collateral’s value.
When valuing your collateral, some pawnbrokers will take sentimental value into consideration, and some won’t. What really matters is the item’s current market value. The more valuable the collateral is, the higher chance you’ll pay off your loan to get the item back, making pawnbrokers more willing to distribute a loan.
If the pawnbroker accepts your collateral item and offers you a loan, you’ll receive a ticket outlining how much your collateral loan is worth, the interest rate, the maturity date, plus any additional fees and other important information. The loan or “pawn” spans a 30-day period accruing an average 5% to 25% interest rate. At the Vault Jewelry and Loan the interest is a flat 10% + $3.00. This means you’ll end up paying more than the loan amount you receive, but it can be far less than the amount you’d owe the bank or a minimum payments on a credit card.
Either on or before your maturity date, return to the pawn shop with your ticket. You can choose to pay off your loan and interest in full to get your item back, or pay off the interest and extend your loan another 30 days. If you forget to repay your loan, you risk receiving penalty fees, which vary depending on the pawn shop. If you don’t come back for your item altogether, your collateral will be sold after a reasonable grace period to repay the loan.
2. Sell Your Item Outright
If you find an item in your house and know you’re okay with not getting it back, consider selling it outright. Selling your item doesn’t involve using the item as collateral — once you sell your items, it transfers ownership from you directly to the pawn shop. That’s why it’s important for you to be 100% certain you no longer want your item.
Pawnbrokers are usually more selective when it comes to buying items outright. When accepting a collateral item, their main focus is taking in items people will want to come back for. Comparatively, when accepting an item for selling, they’re going to consider a few factors:
- Existing merchandise: Pawnbrokers are usually aware of what their customers want. If they already have something similar to your item, they may be hesitant to buy your item and take up more space on the sales floor. This also means that if something doesn’t work in one pawn shop, it may work in another.
- Market value: Pawnbrokers are more likely to accept items that have a high market value, as they’re usually more valuable to customers. If your piece makes the pawn shop’s sales floor more competitive, they’re likely to be interested in making an offer.
- Profitability: What really matters to pawnbrokers is profitability. If they feel they can make a reasonable offer on your item and sell it for a profit, they may feel more inclined to make you an offer.
The sales process is fairly straightforward. You’ll present your item to the pawnbroker, they will likely as how much you are looking for, then they’ll make their offer. Prices are often negotiable, but the pawnbroker makes the ultimate decision. Once you come to an agreement, your pawnbroker will hand you your cash and accept the item as their own property.
How to Negotiate at a Pawn Shop
Your pawnbroker wants to work with you, not against you. If you want to negotiate for a price that’s more conscious of your item’s worth, consider these tips when negotiating at a pawn shop:
- Set realistic expectations: If they could, your pawnbroker would buy your item at its 100% market value. Pawnbrokers make their profit on the competitively priced items they sell. Expect them to offer you anywhere from 30% on certain tools, to 70% on gold and silver of your item’s market value so they can support their business and other customers. When buying outright, remember they can’t consider sentimental value, because that value won’t apply to other customers.
- Let them make the first offer: Your pawnbroker will start the negotiating process by making you an upfront offer. This upfront offer isn’t always going to be their lowest — some may start with a concrete offer. Their first offer is a good starting point to determine where you want to try and negotiate to.
- Avoid over-haggling: Remember, the pawnbroker has the ultimate say in how much your item is worth to them because they have a good idea of what they could sell it for. Over-haggling can turn the pawnbroker off of your item, which could impact their final buying decision.
- Get quotes from multiple places: Get quotes from different places. Pawn shops have different customer bases, so your item may be worth more at one location than another. Do your research and go with a pawn shop that makes you the offer you like best.
Do You Get More Money if You Pawn or Sell?
Oftentimes, people decide whether to pawn or sell depending on which option gets them the most money. There’s no concrete answer on which makes you more money because most purchasing decisions are unique to the pawnbroker. Whether you pawn or sell depends on:
- If you have something valuable: With both pawning and selling, your item’s market value determines how much money you’ll receive. Remember pawn shops will offer you 30% to 70% of the total market value, so set reasonable expectations when negotiating with your pawnbroker.
- If there is a higher sentimental or market value: Your item can be valued on two factors — market or sentimental value. Market value is the most influential factor pawnbrokers consider when valuing your item. Some may or may not consider sentimental value, which is more relevant to collateral items.
- If you’re willing to part from the item: If you’re not willing to part from your item, your best option is to pawn it as collateral, even if you think you’ll get more from selling.
One factor to weigh when considering whether pawning or selling will get you more money is collateral loans are charged 10% interest flat, plus $3.00. This cost is worth it for most people because it is affordable and they have peace of mind knowing they’ll get their collateral back.
Things You Didn’t Know You Could Pawn
Now, let’s dive into some of the different things you can pawn or sell at a pawn shop. Ideas for what you can pawn include:
- Electronics: When the newest electronic enters your house, the old one usually gets kicked to the side. Consider pawning your electronics instead of letting them gather dust in the corner of your storage room. Common electronics include laptops and computers, game consoles, smartphones, tablets, TVs, streaming devices and digital cameras.
- Firearms: Gun laws and regulations vary from state to state, but if you’re in an open carry state — like Virginia — you can pawn or sell your firearms to your local pawn shop. Pawn or sell your pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, receivers, scopes, gear and ammunition.
- Musical instruments: Whether you’re upgrading your current instrument or your child outgrew theirs, consider pawning or selling your pianos, violins, drums, guitars, electronic musical keyboards and more at a pawn shop.
- Tools: Somehow, tools always seem to pile up in the garage. Make room for more powerful tools by pawning or selling your good condition, top-brand tools like DeWalt, Snap-On, Milwaukee and Makita.
- Precious metals: Pawn shops value items like bars, coins and jewelry made of precious metals — specifically, gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Precious metals are valued based on purity, content, weight and current market price. So, if your piece has precious metals, pawn shops may be willing to make you an offer.
- Coins: The old coins around your house or deep in your purse may have more value than you realize. Connect with a coin dealer, like the ones at your local pawn shop, and see what your coins are worth. Collectible coins include American Double and Silver Eagles, Vienna Philharmonic, Canadian Maple Leaf, Chinese Pandas and South African Krugerrands.
- Jewelry: Do you have any jewelry in your collection you haven’t worn in years? It may have more value than you think. Jewelry that does the best can either be heavy pieces or high-end brands of rings, necklaces, chains and diamonds.
- Luxury handbags: Luxury handbags are highly sought after, both new and vintage. Pawn shops accept luxury designers like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Chanel, Hermes and Gucci.
- Watches: Like luxury handbags, designer watches are highly sought after, especially brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe.
- Cars: Pawn shops that specialize in high-value luxury items may welcome relatively new or older cars and motorcycles — under 100,000 miles — for pawning or selling. They’re more likely to accept classic luxury cars like Porsche and Ferrari and may consider makers like Ford, Honda and Acura in good conditions.
What Can You Pawn or Sell for Quick Cash?
Some things are more valuable than others. The average pawn is around $150, but some pawn shops are willing to offer up to $100,000 for the right item. Consider the following items that can get you $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 right now.
What Can You Pawn for $1,000?
Some things you can pawn for $1,000 include:
- Diamond jewelry: Diamonds are valued based on clarity, color, cut and carat. Some of the most sought-after diamonds can reach tens of thousands of dollars, increasing your chance of getting a higher pawn value.
- High-end designers: Luxury brands are more exclusive and highly sought after, increasing their resale value. Plus, because they’re so exclusive, they never really go out of style — even certain vintage pieces are worth tens of thousands of dollars.
- Firearms: Top-tier guns in good condition can reach values upwards of thousands of dollars. The most valued firearms are reputable name brands like Sig Sauer, Heckler & Koch and Smith & Wesson.
- Cars: Motorcycles and cars are high-ticket items. New, they can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you can even receive a $100,000 loan for the right car.
What Can You Pawn for $500?
Some things you can pawn for $500 include:
- Jewelry: Jewelry with precious metals and gemstones is valuable to pawnbrokers. Gold is particularly valuable right now, and pawnbrokers will accept anything from 8-karat to 24-karat gold.
- Rare collectibles: Collectibles, particularly coins, can be extremely valuable. Some coins can be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Some of your rarest collectibles may earn you a quick few hundred dollars.
- Musical instruments: Good quality instruments, like violins or drum sets, can be worth hundreds of dollars. If your musical instruments are in good condition, you may be able to get up to $500 for them.
- Sporting equipment: Larger sporting equipment, like riles and shotguns, are very valuable. Depending on the condition and quality of your equipment, pawnbrokers may offer you up to $500.
- Televisions: Modern flat-screen televisions retail for up to thousands of dollars. Consider pawning or selling your newer televisions, where you’re likely to receive a few hundred dollars.
What Can You Pawn for $100?
Some things you can pawn for $100 include:
- Smartphones: New smartphones cost hundreds of dollars. Although their resale value isn’t as high, brands like iPhone and Android can have values of at least $100 depending on the phone model.
- Video game consoles: Many people enjoy playing video games and keeping up with the next big console. There are many different sought-after video game consoles, like the Xbox or PlayStation consoles. People also enjoy collecting retro consoles, such as the Nintendo NES, Playstation 1 and 2, the Nintendo 64 or Game Boy.
- Laptops and computers: Laptops and computers are staples in many people’s lives. Consider selling your current model to raise funds for a new one. Make sure to wipe your computer of personal information before selling.
- Speakers and stereo equipment: A popular item that can earn you around $100 are speakers and stereo equipment, including digital audio workstations, headphones, microphones and amplifiers.
What Can You Pawn for $50?
Some things you can pawn for $50 include:
- Smart watches: Smart watches are newer technology that retail for a few hundred dollars. Used smart watches can earn you over $50 when kept in good condition.
- Kitchen appliances: Pawn shops are very particular about the kitchen appliances they accept. Some will accept common appliances like blenders and pasta makers, but only in like-new condition and of a good brand name.
- Digital cameras: Another smaller technology that can earn you $50 to hundreds of dollars are digital cameras. Popular brands like Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic are most sought-after by pawnbrokers, earning you more money when kept in good working condition. Some professional DSLR’s bring thousands of dollars!
- Video games: Along with video game consoles, consider selling the video games you don’t use anymore. A few vintage video games can earn you up to $50, depending on how popular the game is.
- Power tools: Power tools, especially kits, can earn you money. Go through your collection and look for items like impact wrenches, combo kits and cordless drills.
What to Look for in a Pawn Shop
No two pawn shops are the same. If you’ve had a bad experience with pawn shops in the past, do some research on other local places for a better experience. Some things to look for in a pawn shop are their:
- Expertise: Pawn shops specialize in different areas. Some specialize in firearms while others do well with collectible coins — and some specialize in it all! Pawn shops may also specialize in high-value items, which is important if you want to earn more than $1,000 with your valuable item.
- Customer base: Depending on the location or area of expertise, pawn shops may attract a different crowd. If a pawn shop excels in firearms, it will attract people who are interested in firearms, and the same goes for other areas. Before choosing a pawn shop, visit the location and see the type of merchandise they sell.
- Security: Before entrusting your collateral item to a pawn shop, ask about their security. A reputable pawn shop will secure your collateral items in vaults protected by a code and security cameras. That way, you have peace of mind knowing your items won’t be lost or stolen.
- Fairness: You don’t want to visit a pawn shop that offers unfair prices and won’t work with you. Visit one that believes in mutual benefit and is open to negotiation so you know you’re always receiving the best value.
Get Fast Cash Now — Pawn or Sell at The Vault Jewelry and Loan
With over three decades of experience, the experts at The Vault Jewelry and Loan have seen it all. Whether you’re in a pinch or looking to save up some extra cash for your upcoming vacation, consider pawning and selling with us.
We have a passionate team of friendly, knowledgeable staff that can walk you through our loan and selling processes. Not quite sure what items we accept? Reach out to us! We’d love to hear more about the items you’re looking to pawn or sell, and we can give you guidance to save you time.
Above all, we value customer experience. We make the loan process easy — no extensive paperwork or worrying about added fees. There are no secrets about our services. When you sell or pawn your items, we want to work with you to negotiate a price that works for us both.
We have seven locations across Virginia, including Falls Church, Manassas, Woodbridge and Fredericksburg. Contact the location nearest you to learn more about our pawning, selling and buying opportunities today.