Tips for Pawn Shop Novices

The famous three gold balls sign of a pawnbroker's shop, above a street in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, eastern England.

Pawn shops have been in existence for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest from of pawnbroking began in 5th century China. The three sphere symbol so recognizable today originated from several sources, including the Medici family, Lombardy and even St. Nicolas of Myra. Yes, Santa Claus.

Pawnshops have been a haven for those in need for centuries. While the image of the pawnbroker has certainly improved and there are lots of new customers to pawn everyday, there are many people who still have never been to a pawn shop. Most novice pawn shop users are pleasantly surprised when they do first set foot in a pawn shop by the array of services and merchandise offered.

Many modern pawn shops are well lit, clean stores that do not differ much from retail stores or other higher end second hand shops. The only difference is the added service of collateral lending. If you are just headed to a pawn shop to buy your first tip is to negotiate. If you’re looking for something specific, it can’t hurt to do a little research on what that item is going for secondhand so you can try to land in the same ballpark.

If you’re just browsing and find something you love it never hurts to see if you can get the pawnbroker to come down a bit. If you’re not a negotiator, paying the asking price still means you’re getting the item for less than retail so don’t worry. If you’re looking to sell or pawn an item, you’re first tip is look for the right pawn shop.

Some pawn shops specialize in certain items. For instance, Modell Collateral Loans specializes in wholesale diamonds, diamond jewelry and platinum jewelry. No two pawn shops are the same and it is okay to look around. Also bring any packaging, proof of provenance, or other paperwork and accessories you have for the item to fetch a higher dollar amount.

Read up on the lending laws in your state and make sure you understand the terms of your loan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarification, as the pawnbroker will always be happy to explain the full terms of your loan. Finally, remember the final decision is yours and you always have the power to walk away from any deal you are not satisfied with. Knowing you’re in charge should remove any remaining worries you have.