Exactly How Do You Pawn Something Without Getting Ripped Off?
No matter how well you manage your money throughout your life at some point you’re going to have an emergency that requires quick cash and you’ll have nowhere to turn. Sure, you might have had a wallet full of credit cards but it was pickpocketed, you tried calling family but they’re having money problems worse than yours.
You might even have a few people you could ask for a short-term loan but your pride is getting in the way, so exactly what do you do? Well, one solid option that many people don’t realize is there are pawn shops in most large cities. It takes some skill to not get ripped off by them so we’ll go over some tips on just how do you pawn something and not lose your shirt in the process.
Pawn Shops Aren’t Usually The Best Option But
There are always payday loans but they’re going to have to be able to verify your income and that can be a problem. Some jobs, like self-employment, don’t have a central person that can be called a boss that will be able to verify your employment. If they demand to see a check stub, maybe you don’t get paid by check, just by online PayPal deposits.
Or, there is always a good chance that you really don’t want your boss to find out you’re having money problems at all since he might lose confidence in you. Payday loans also usually require a checking account so they can automatically withdraw the funds on the day they’re due and maybe you don’t trust them or don’t exactly know what day funds will be available.
There are also short-term secured loans against things like real estate or automobiles but you need to have plenty of equity and you could lose something of incredible value if you miss a payment. Some of these loan shark type lenders are really in the business of taking expensive properties from unsuspecting people that have money emergencies. They would like nothing better than to repossess your expensive car that you’ve worked so hard to pay off. The bottom line is if you have some smaller items like guns, jewelry, electronics, antiques, or other valuables a pawn shop may be the best way to get the money you need without a lot of trouble.
There are some advantages to going to the pawn shop since they don’t care what kind of job you have, how much real estate you own, or any of that information at all. All they really care about is what you have for collateral and how much it’s worth. If you default on the loan they just keep your item and put it up for sale in their store.
There Are Some Things You Need To Keep To Yourself At The Pawn Shop
If you have something that you’ve found at the flea market or a garage sale, don’t tell the guy down at the pawn shop anything like that. He’s going to think that he can offer you a lowball price since it has no sentimental value to you at all. Plus, if you got a good deal on it, don’t mention a price because he’ll automatically use your purchase price in his consideration of how much it’s worth if he has to resell it at his store. It’s always better if he has to carefully think about it and compare it other similar items he’s bought and sold in the past. The item may be worth far more than what you think it is, you’ll never know until you get their offer.
If you have any doubts about the value of an item, take it to a real appraiser and actually pay to get it appraised. Then you’ll have a slight upper hand on the pawn shop clerk because he needs to carefully do his own appraisal and make the offer quickly based on a limited amount of information. However, remember that they are only going to loan a percentage of what the real value of the item is since they are in the business of making money off of both the loans and the retail store connected to their loan office.
Always Be Ready To Walk Out The Door Even If The Offer Is Good
No matter what, you should always go to several different pawn shops, even some in different cities, to get the best value for what you have. Some pawn shops specialize in different items, like guns, musical instruments, jewelry, electronics, power tools, or whatever, if they have the right buying clientele they can offer more and get a quick sale.
On the other hand, if you have a Bass Saxophone that’s worth $1,000 and they have no other musical instruments in their store, they’ll only offer you a small pittance for a great instrument. Plus, in some cities, some types of products, maybe it’s power tools, will get a premium price because there are a lot of hobbyists that work on cars, you just never know. Get an offer from at least three different shops before you decide on one.
Sometimes you’ll even be taken advantage of because they’ll offer you 25% of the value of an item and not even be planning on selling it in their own shop. Instead, what they’ll do is resell it to another pawn shop for a quick cash deal and then the other shop will mark it up again before sale. In that case, you’re just paying the pawn shop to be a middle man and if you were to look around some more you would get a much higher price.
If You Have Boxes, Instructions, Paperwork, Or Certifications Bring Them
Many different items have a certain value because of where they’ve been or who has owned them in the past. Or, they may be possible heirlooms like a painting, statue, or antique, these items could be worth much more than their face value if the proper documents are brought along with them for inspection.
Not only does is show an increased value for the item but it also shows that you have a heartfelt connection to the item and that makes it worth more. They will also be able to sell the item for much more money if they have paperwork and certificates since some buyers place a higher value on documented antiques, jewelry, or even rare stamps.
You should also take advantage of the internet to find out the value of what you’re going to pawn. Some types of items, let’s say baseball card collections, have a fairly stable price and you might be able to find a buyer that would purchase your entire collection for a really good price. You’ll never know until you do some searching.
You can also take advantage of the image search feature on Google to help you find similar products even if your antique isn’t something with an exact name. You can search by description and get a pretty good idea of what something is worth so that you know whether or not the pawn shop is lowballing you or not. When you are learning how do you pawn something, you have to do your research and use all of the information you can find to your advantage.
Once You’ve Found Several Pawn Shops Where You Can Get Your Loan Hit The Internet
Of course, there is going to be a contract that will spell out the payment schedule so you know exactly how much you have to pay and when. If you don’t follow through, the pawn shop has the right to sell your pawned item to pay off the loan and make a profit too, that’s their business. You should take all the time you need to read the contract and all of the small print, ask questions of the clerk, and even take it to an attorney if you need to on an expensive item.
You should also go to several review sites online and search for the name of the pawn shop to read as many customer reviews as possible. When you want to know how do you pawn something without getting ripped off, this is one of the most important steps. Keep in mind that when it comes to pawn shops there are always going to be some bad reviews.
People expect to get retail prices for their used goods and don’t understand that the pawn shop is in business of buying low and selling high. You can’t be confused into thinking they are there to help you out of your emergency cash flow problem, because they’re not. You’ll see some reviews from past customers that don’t understand this, so be aware of that, and take note of it in your own case as well.
Remember, You Have The Option Of Selling Or Pawning
Each shop is going to be different in their focus but they often buy things outright with the idea that they are going to put them up for sale immediately. When an item is pawned, they are loaning you money, sometimes 90 days other times 120 days, and you’re going to either make small payments or a lump sum payment and retrieve your pawned item.
They will be charging interest, sometimes high interest, for the span of the loan. At the end of that time, the item becomes their property and they can sell it. Some pawn shops do have special deals where the previous owner of an item that is up for sale can purchase for a discount. You should ask about that, it will have to be in the contract, and the item could always be sold before you have the money to buy it back.
If all you really want to do is sell your item, be sure and check out online sales places like Ebay, Craigslist, and online classifieds because you’ll get a higher price. The downside of putting things up for sale will be that you’ll have to wait longer for the money and your precious item is gone forever, you can’t get it back. With a pawn shop you could walk away with money the very same day instead.
If you have a money emergency, then you should give some thought to using a pawn shop. They have their advantages and disadvantages just like every other way to get fast cash. But, as long as you study on how do you pawn something and then do your homework, you’ll know exactly how the game is played and just what to expect.