Buying and Pawning Collectibles at a Pawn Shop

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

The market for collectibles has exploded in recent decades. Reality TV shows have shown just how lucrative collecting rare and valuable items can be. While the proliferation of information online has provided many novice collectors with the tools to make confident, informed purchases, there are also many challenges.

Pawn shops are a great place to shop for collectibles like celebrity memorabilia, sports memorabilia, art, antiques, high-end watches and many other rare and valuable items. Pawnbrokers have expertise in several areas and understand how to verify an item’s authenticity and appraise it accordingly. A pawnbroker will have done the research and established the item’s provenance before they purchase the item or extended a loan against it, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the real deal. One of the best aspects of shopping at a pawn shop is that items are often sold at prices well below retail.

If you have a rare collectible or item of value that you’re interested in pawning, it’s important that you come to the pawn shop prepared. Do your research. Knowing the item’s history and its previous owners will help you to establish a solid provenance so that the pawnbroker can extend a loan to you with confidence. You should also know the item’s current market value in order to have a realistic expectation of how much money the pawnbroker will give you for your item. Of course, you’ll want to bring in any supporting documentation or certificates that lend to the item’s authenticity. This can add to the value of your item during appraisal.

Pawnbrokers are a great resource simply for appraising your items of value. If you believe you have a rare collectible but aren’t sure of its value, a pawnbroker will be happy to help you determine the item’s value and authenticity. Pawnbrokers often have a GIA certified gemologist on staff and are experts at appraising most items of value.