7 Things You Should and Shouldn’t Buy from a Pawn Shop

pawn shop neon signUnless you’re independently wealthy, you probably look for ways to save money as often as you can. Shopping online for discounts is one great way, saving money on groceries, utility bills and car insurance are others.

But here’s one you may never have considered: shopping at a pawn shop. It’s actually a viable way to save money – and not just on guns. Here’s why.

Dispelling the Myth About Pawn Shops

I’m sure that as soon as you read the phrase “pawn shop,” something like the following image came to mind: an old fat guy in a wife-beater t-shirt sitting behind a counter watching TV with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. There may even be a gun and a dog at his side, random stuff piled up everywhere in the aisles, and a stench of stale beer and body odor.

Well, believe it or not, there are some pawn shops out there that don’t fit in with this stereotype. In fact, some are actually very clean and professional. So don’t let preconceived notions stop you from saving money.

3 Things You Should Buy from a Pawn Shop

  1. Tools. Buying tools brand new can get quite expensive, and the prices at pawn shops are typically unbeatable. If you’re looking for a tool that you’re going to need for just one or two home improvement jobs, definitely consider a pawn shop. It’s simply not worth it to pay full price for seldom-used tools.
  2. Jewelry. Pawn shop jewelry prices are normally about half of what you would pay retail (yes, I said half!) and the quality is just as good. Some people may have an issue with buying “used” jewelry, but isn’t almost all jewelry “used” in some way, shape, or form? Diamonds are removed from one diamond ring and placed on another; gold is melted and re-formed into new jewelry all the time.
  3. DVDs. I get used DVDs for $2 a piece at my local pawn shop. You can inspect the disc for any scratches before buying, and I’ve never had a problem with any movies purchased there. Usually, if it doesn’t play, they’ll just let you switch it out for another one. You can also find a lot of older movies and in pawn shops that I doubt you’ll be able to find at any retail site. And again, at $2 apiece for various DVD movie formats, you just can’t beat it.

pawn shop goods

4 Things You Shouldn’t Buy from a Pawn Shop

  1. Vacuum Cleaners. You just don’t know what other people have tried to suck up with their vacuums before. You can also introduce new germs and allergens to your house by using a vacuum that has been used elsewhere.
  2. Computers. I’d be really leery of purchasing either a desktop or laptop computer from a pawn shop. There are just too many things that could potentially be wrong with them, and you wouldn’t find out about the issues until it’s too late.
  3. Televisions. Of course, there is an implied risk with purchasing anything from a pawn shop since its all used merchandise, but this risk goes up even further with televisions, especially flat-screen LED TVs.
  4. Small Electronics. This includes digital cameras, GPS navigation systems, and the like – for the same reason as above. Too many things could already be wrong with them.

Other Things to Be Aware Of

Some pawn shops are shadier than others, but the one thing you need to keep in mind before you even walk into one is: buyer beware! Understand that all merchandise there is used, and could break down on you. That’s the main reason why it’s less expensive than buying brand new.

Keep in mind that most pawn shops have a “no cash back” policy. If you do have to return something, you’ll probably only get back the money you spent in the form of a credit that can be used at that store only. Most pawn shops also have very limited return policies. Be sure to inquire specifically about all aspects of any return policy they may have.

Final Word

Yes, you can buy from a pawn shop and you can save money by doing so. I have purchased many things from pawn shops over the years, and most have worked just fine. Have some things broken after I bought them? Absolutely. But the overall money that I have saved over the years has far outweighed the replacement cost of the few things that did break down.

What are your thoughts on purchasing items from a pawn shop? Is it something you do on a regular basis, or do you stay far away from them?

(photo credit: Shutterstock, maveric2003)

  • http://www.moneybeagle.com Money Beagle

    Great advice. I have never set foot in a pawn shop myself, but I’ve always wondered what deals you might be able to find as I know that they typically buy the stuff for dirt cheap, so I figured there has to be deals.

    • Hap

      Yes they buy for cheap. Why would someone sell if so cheap if they paid retail and needed the tools for a job? Maybe because the seller did not buy it and does not care how much he/she receives for it. It may just buy another fix for their brain. The pawn shop has huge markups. They are not doing you a favor, or the druggies either.

      • Davidbakke

        Interesting perspective–thanks for commenting

      • Hap is gay

        Hap, your gay

  • David Bakke

    Money Beagle:

    I’ll be honest with you–most pawn shops are dumps, but may still have good deals–others are well-kept and definitely have good deals.

    Check one out some day when you have a little time to kill.

    And, thanks for commenting

  • http://passthesoaplove.blogspot.com Ru

    I find Pawn shops do great deals on video games as well as DVDs. Much cheaper than buying new and in many cases cheaper than buying pre-owned from a game shop.

    They’re also good for some electronic beauty products- I’ve seen curling irons and straighteners brand new in boxes for a fraction of the normal retail price. Even if they’re not new, curlers aren’t used as often as you’d think, so give them a good wash and they’re good to go!

  • Patricia Van Vactor

    Ihave never bought from pawn shop Ebay CL are better as are yard sales

    • davids dad

      hey david i agree with you about nothing you sound like a little bitch made asshole eater why dont you suck a fat one and shut the fuck up maybe they have a sale at your local pawn shop and you can buy some lick my nuts for half price how that for a comment

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com David/moneycrashers

    Ru–great point–and I’ve never seen a curling iron in a pawn shop! Great tip–and thanks for commenting…

    Patricia–yes, Ebay and Craigslist are viable options, but I think pawn shops should be on the list too. Thanks for commenting

  • pawn user

    Pawn shops are great and negotiable with a fist full of cash. Max-it pawn is the ONLY pawn shop that gives you a money back guarantee on someone elses used stuff. So if that camera breaks within the first 30 days, you can return it hastle free.

    ALot of other pawn shops are shady with NO refund policy, buyer beware, Hehe

  • Hap

    After having property stolen from me, I started looking in the local pawn shops. (I got a copy of all pawn shops in my county from the police.) I happened into one just after they put my property up for sale. I called the police and they met me at the pawn shop. The pawn show owner and his wife accused me of setting them up and someone I knew pawned it for me. In my state a pawn shop owner is not to buy from a felon. He was as told to me by the police officer. They had to put my property on a shelf on the back room. I also learned that locally the pawn shops have to report pawned merchandise to the police daily and the serial number. I then called the local police and asked them to do a search for an item that did not show up in my found merchandise. It was two blocks away at another pawn shop. I called my police officer again and he met me there. That pawn shop handed my item to me, no questions asked. I thanked them.
    The first pawn shop wanted me to buy my merchandise back. (The pawn shop association had lobbied and had a bill passed that gave them that right.) I kept in contact with the police officer weekly until about a year passed. I then stepped up my calls to the police to several a week and then sometimes 2-3 a day. He was getting pretty tired of me by then and called the prosecutors office to see what could be done. The prosecutor told him to go and tell them to release my merchandise to him or they would put arrest him and take him to jail. He called his lawyer. The lawyer asked him if he wanted to go to jail. He released my merchandise back to the police. I went to the police station to pick it up.
    Now one more thing. I was using county police and when I inquired to the city police about the pawn shop and the problem I was having they told me what an upstanding citizen he was by helping them in court. I inquired if he was so upstanding why was he buying from felons? The city police were of no help.
    I once read a book called HOW TO MAKE A MILLION BY STARTING A PAWN SHOP. They pay 10 cents per $ value of the merchandise they pawn. Personally I would never buy from a pawn shop. You may be buying a neighbors stolen property.

  • Kent Carney

    I have used pawn shops and have even bought my latest television from a pawn shop. It helps to know who you are dealing with. The folks near me are decent people and treat you decent if you treat them decent. They do have a lot at risk so yes, they cannot give you what you think everything is worth. They lose some things back to the owners and no one has mentioned that they lose whatever they have paid out on the items. Yes again it may be your neighbors stolen stuff. Then again it may be the stuff your neighbor wanted to get some money loaned to him on that was not stolen and after the waiting time period you can get some pretty good deals as stuff comes out onto the shelves from the back. It helps to check in every once in a while and as you get to know the owners of the pawn shop you will find that most of them are pretty helpful. Movies and music are great buys and I have returned pirated videos with no problem. They threw them out. I have also found firearms to be a pretty good item to buy at a pawn shop. They do all the appropriate background checks ad the person you are dealing with is specially trained and licensed to deal with the FFA. Check any power tools for operation before you buy and immediately after getting home for assurance they operate. One can generally bring something back within 24 hours but it is buyer beware and I have found if i want a reliable power tool to buy new. Do watch the rates on the money you are borrowing. Sorry fella but of you got 10 cents on the dollar then you did not look honest, I find they pay about 33% of full 100% new value on your property. If you have accessories in say a tool you are pawning you may want to remove them as they generally give you nothing for any accessory items unless they are high dollar to begin with. But it took me a year to get things back one time due to my stupidity and the high rates but they worked with me so that I could get things back. They turned out to be flexible and honest when I was honest. Hence I now stop in to buy some videos or just say Hi and keep my eyes open. And if you are buying bring cash. Pawn shops are a cash world.

  • Hap

    Hey Ken Carney
    I didn’t get 10 cents on the dollar. The book from the library (from what I remember) said that the pawn shops pay as low as that. I found the book at my local library. How can the pawn shop pay 33% to 100% of new value (Your statement) and run a business that requires the markups it costs to rent a building and pay employees? As well as lights, insurance, sewer, water and other utilities. Of course the pawn shop owner does not need to run to a pawn shop to borrow to make ends meet, so he is taking a good amount of money our of that business. Take my word for it, you can buy it cheaper somewhere else.
    With Craigslist and others, why would anyone with a legit address need a pawn shop? When you need your item again buy it back the same way. Eliminate the middle man.
    If I need a loan, I would use a bank, credit union, friend or relative.
    I believe the pawn shops biggest risk could be in who some of their customers are.
    My experience with a pawn shop showed me what kind of people they really are. I hold them in the same respect as I do the thief that sold my property to the pawn shop. Their business card said they do not buy stolen property. They are not legally allowed to buy from felons, but they did in my case. So if they don’t buy stolen property and if a person finds their property being sold, shouldn’t they happily return if if the proper documents are presented by the police dept? I was 50/50 on that one. 1 decent pawn shop (now out of business) 1 fat foul mouthed owner (wife included) of another pawn shop (still in business 10 years later)
    Another thing to remember, most people would turn in an insurance report and not check the pawn shops. I am not that way. I don’t like some one stealing from me or my neighbors and then have a fence with a neon sign saying he is respectful.

    • South Bay Cookie

      Hap, it is unfortunate that you were a victim of a crime and I am very sorry to read this. Upstanding citizens and non-citizens work hard for their things and do not deserve to be robbed or burglarized. While it is true that some stolen items end up in pawnshops, not every item for sale there is stolen. In my case, I have used pawnshops several times for short term cash loans when I was hard pressed for money and in between jobs. I thank God that I had items of value to pawn. There have been a few times when I simply could not afford to pay off the loan in the 3 – 4 month time frame, due to hard times. When that happened, my items were put on the shelves for sale. I suspect that may be the case of the previous owner of that i-pod. They did not clear their music list before pawning it because they anticipated getting it back, but unforeseen circumstances may have caused them to not be able to repay their loan. Hap, its understandable that you are bitter about your situation; who wants to go through all of that trouble and the violation of their property!? But its not fair to stereotype this industry and the people who use their services. Neither me nor my family members are drunks or drug abusers. We are just people who need cash fast for whatever reason, and for whatever reason we cannot get approved for a loan from a bank. People who are unemployed don’t qualify for payday loans, so for them, a pawn shop is a timely blessing. I hope you got most, if not all, of your items back and that you and your loved ones never have to experience that type of crime again.

      • David Bakke

        Nice commentary–thanks!

  • franko

    IPods are great to buy at pawn shops–check them out and they’ll typically have gigabytes of music on them that haven’t been erased! So, not only do you get an iPod, but craploads of free music.

  • David Bakke


    Thanks for your comment, and that’s a great point. Purchasing a “fully loaded” Ipod certainly has its benefits!

  • Hap

    I wonder where the seller to the pawn shop got the ipod. Maybe the reason the music was still on the pod was because he did not know how to operate the ipod. He probably could not use it because the real owner had the instructions at home when his car window was broken and property removed.
    I fail to see the reason for an honest person to warrant a trip to pawn shops. I have visited many with friends and have not seen the value. Especially when you figure in the cost to society of the reason the item was put on the pawn shop shelves. The pawn shop owners know where most of their merchandise come from. The people selling on the TV pawn shows do not look like the people in the various shops I have visited. Many look hung over from some self induced chemical.
    It is up to everyone to judge how their money is spent. If you support a pawn shop, then when your car window gets busted and the contents of your car is missing, just figure it is a cost of doing business with a pawn shop.
    Smile and shrug your shoulders, because you now know how the pawn shop gets its merchandise. (You probably start feeling like the guy that used to own your new ipod.)
    Is it really a good deal when all is said and done?

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com David


    You’re absolutely justified in all of your opinions, but my research has shown that not every single item taken in by a pawn shop is stolen.

    But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and we always appreciate a lively discussion here at Money Crashers.

    Thanks again

  • Hap

    True, not every single item is stolen. But while going through the trauma of getting my items returned, I learned from a neighbor that a large manufacturers tools were showing up in a local pawn shop. One of the fellows that worked for the manufacturer was a pawn shop addict, so he quickly alerted his companies management.
    Really, shouldn’t you as a customer try to shop in honest businesses? What is the value of a good deal if someone is missing an item that was a valued gift, an item they saved for a long time for or an item they could afford in better times and could not afford now?
    The pawn shop I had the problem with had on their business card “we do not buy stolen property”. They are not allowed to buy from felons, but the seller of my goods was a felon! Documented by the pawn shops records and information from the police.
    I believe the business model is more likely that of a fencing operation than other second hand stores.
    Most business have to compete for lower prices for the products they sell. A pawn shop does not because of the type of sellers that frequent their establishment. Now I am not saying all pawn shops are looking for that type of customer, but many are. Check out the types of people selling products while in the shop.
    If the item is stolen, has a large value, then shouldn’t the pawn shop owner be suspicious if he gets it for too low a price? Of course if he knows the person is a felon, then he should walk away from the transaction.
    The profit motive is too high for some to turn down. They only care about themselves and the profit margin.
    Throw the idea for ethics out the window.

  • gpawn

    There’s been a lot of changes in the operation of most pawn shops as of late. These changes are due primarily to the economic crash and an enhanced local police involvement with pawn shops. 30 day money back warranties on the purchase of most items are now pretty routine for pawn shops and it’s getting VERY hard for stolen property to make it into a modern pawn shop system. While I can’t speak for all pawn shops, here at Glendale Pawn and Jewelry, we’re quite active with local law enforcement and have facilitated more than one “Sting operation” which has lead to us being featured on local television stations on several occasions.
    In summary, check out the pawn shop before you go shopping or apply for a loan. Make sure the pawn shop that you’re considering dealing with has a sterling reputation and then look forward to getting some fast, no-hassle cash for unexpected needs and saving 30 – 60% on top quality merchandise.

    • Davidbakke


      Thanks for the updated information. With just about anything, I think the actions of a few can spoil the reputation of an entire industry.

  • Anonymous

    The only pawn shop i deal with is Cash America here in jacksonville,FL I’ve bought from them from them many years,I bought a nice 27″old school TV 10yrs ago for $70 bucks and still working w/converter that i use for the living room,I can afford new but i like this TV……lol they’re 120% good people and if i need a HDTV i have no problem buying one from them or anything electronic. Just like you take your car to one repair shop you trust,the same can apply with pawn shops, I know the owner and the workers,he doesn’t buy from anyone and goods that he questions he’ll call the cops,all the things you say not to buy I have from this shop but again it’s a matter of picking a business you trust.

    • Davidbakke


      Your comments are right on point. it is definitely a “relationship” business.

  • http://houstonmortgage.wordpress.com/ Rich

    Thank you for the tip. I almost purchased a computer from a Pawnshop, but with prices falling so rapidly, the computers at the big box stores were more cost effective. I did, however, purchase a small HD videocamera. The first one did not work, they let me return it for cash… I saw a second one while I was in the store and bought it straight away… for about 20% of what the new item would retail for. It works like a champ!

  • Davidbakke

    Yeah, I’d never purchase a computer from a pawn shop–too many things could go wrong. Smaller electronics you should be OK with. Whenever I buy from them, I take the item home and test it immediately. If you return it the same day, the’ll usually give cash back

    Thanks for commenting!

  • http://tsveetech.com Tsvee Tech

    I got a great deal on a scanner from a pawn shop but admittedly when I got it home, it wasn’t what I anticipated. Unfortunately this is where the no return policy got me, I can’t get back what I spent on it even though I got it in like new condition it won’t be worth what I paid for it to someone else. Wish I had read this article before this mishap. Thanks for the info!

    • Davidbakke

      Sorry to hear about your experience, but thanks for sharing!

  • Appelpie1

    If you have good knowledge of computers and know what your buying, you could easily profit off of the computers they sell. but like i said you have to know what your buying.

    • Davidbakke

      Great point!

      Thanks for sharing…

  • JshSince91

    oh, i almost forgot, be weary of buying jewelry from pawnshops.. David is 110% correct that you CAN get a good deal on jewelry, but if you walk into a place that has a sign saying “music and pawn” or “collectible cards and pawn” for example, then they obviously dont specialize in jewelry and might not know exactly how to tell the difference between what is a diamond or a shiny plastic looking diamond.. in other words, if you are looking for a specific item, look to see if they specialize in the same category as what youre looking for. tools dont really need to be specialized in because there is no such thing as a fake wrench.. unless the “high quality” brand name is fake, but either way if you buy something like a fake brand name you still have the same tool and either got it for the same price as you would in a store or still for cheaper.

    • Davidbakke

      Thanks for all the insight! Your comments are appreciated…

  • Marjorie

    It’s been years since I bought anything from a Pawn Shop, but I did use a well respected/rated Pawn/Check Cashing place to cash a very VERY large check from an inheritance I received on a Friday night when I was in a very serious monetary emergency bind. They charged me quite a bit for the service but it was worth it being able to afford to get out of town and take care of another family members medical expenses and problems.

    I found -Okay- deals at the couple of pawn shops I’ve been to, not terribly great, but like I said it’s been years and I’m curious to check out some of the newer/nicer/chain/reputable ones that have come around in the last few years.

    My original reason for (reading this article) and posting was, why don’t you recommend buying TV’s from a pawn shop – say even the absolute best pawn shop in the world with a good return policy? Is it because the price difference from good sales at retail stores aren’t that much different? Or is it because of potential quality? Because when I bought electronics in the past, they let me test them out completely in the store and mess around with them for a bit before I purchased anything and I would expect to be able to do the same with a TV.

    Also, I know the posts are old, but I think Mr. “Hap” made his personal stance, opinion and experience very clear… repeatedly. It’s an unfortunate thing that happened to you, and I’m glad you were able to retrieve your merchandise. A “friend” of mine pawned a game system out from under me and I wasn’t able to get it back bc I didn’t have the serial number or know which pawn shop she sold it to, so I feel you, but not all pawn shops or pawn shop patrons are bad people. Also, some larger pawn shops have extremely high/good security and offer not just a loan, but more or less “storage” for expensive items like fur coats that you may not want to keep in your house, and can’t put in a safety deposit box at the bank. In that sort of situation, you’re basically paying them to keep it safe and secure for you.

    • David Bakke


      Your comment was spot on about the TVs. It’s just worth it to pay a little more from a retailer and get more peace of mind…thanks for commenting and sharing!

  • Schase258

    Just an FYI for those of you who may feel better buying from craigslist vs. a pawn shop. Pawn shop owners/pawn shops are held to a higher standard under the law to prove they did they due dillegence to ensure items were not stolen or obtained through legal means. This means that if you purchase and item from a pawn shop which later is found to be stolen-you’re purchase is protected (the original owner CANNOT come after you in civil court) also you may have rights against the pawn shop in the civil courts. This also means if your items were stolen and sold by a pawn shop, you have rights to take civil action against the pawn shop/owner. If you buy a stolen item from someone on craigslist, you can be sued in civil court. As the buyer you are liable to ensure the validity of the purchase-if you purchase from a pawn shop they “owner” is then liable for validating the process and you, the consumer, are protected against civil action (and criminal action as well!)

    • Davidbakke

      Very good point–thanks for commenting!

    • Alex

      I’m sorry, but that’s not all true.

      The pawn shop/owner is not liable if an item in the shop turns out to be stolen. The person who sold it to the pawn shop is the one who is liable. Pawn shops are not legally allowed to take anything that is known to be stolen. Each customer must provide a valid ID, because there is no way of knowing if an item is stolen, unless someone called the pawn shop and told them about it before hand. All the information is copied off of that ID, and a description of the item including: Type of item, make/model, serial number, and a brief description are sent to police every night to ensure that it isn’t stolen. There is a waiting period (usually 15-30 days) that a pawn shop must hold an item before they can sell it, to insure that it isn’t stolen.

      • News Reporter

        The bigger pawn shops are now requiring digital fingerprints as well as a valid ID.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7MPSOA3EY6VUSMY5BPX3YI5MZ4 jeff

    I go to pawn shops on a regular basis buying movies. You cannot believe the kind of stuff they have there! I’m talking about rare out of print films, man.

  • Lily

    Over the years, in hard times, after two broken engagements, I was ‘allowed’ to keep the engagement rings. One was a quarter carat, and then 15 yrs later, a full carat (I hope for two carats next time lol). I had to pawn them, and did not get near what they were worth. I also pawned a gun I had owned. I didn’t want to give up the rings or the gun, but when rent is due, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. I certainly didn’t steal these and it broke my heart to part with them. I’d like to get a nice diamond ring for my nieces, one each Christmas in their birth order, and I was looking into whether a pawn shop would be less expensive than an online place.

    • Davidbakke


      You can look to pay as much as 50% less on high end jewelry purchased from a pawn shop. Even if you see something at a great price, try to talk them down even more. Everything is negotiable. Hope that helps!

  • Scott A.

    I purchased a 12 guage shotgun from a pawn shop some years ago and it turned out to be the best gun ive ever owned. I also purchased thru ebay from a pawn shop a motorcycle and it was exactly as advertised.I am very pleased with the bike and hope to turn a profit when i sell it soon because thats why i bought it to begin with.Dont expect to get everything for half price,you have to shop,pick and choose your buys wisely.By all means negotiate a price that you feel is fair and remember the store has to make some profit.Just like with any purchase you are in control. Dont be afraid to walk away whether buying or selling something.

    • Davidbakke

      Good insight Scott! Thanks for commenting.

  • itsmee123

    ummm i bought a microphone from a local pawnshop…. and it doesnt work at all umm is there any way i can exchange it or if not… is it possible for me to ship it to the company who made it and get another mic….?

  • http://www.1000directory.com/ High-End Directory

    About 4 month ago I did my first purchase at local pawn shop. I bought a mobile smart phone Samsung. And I works great since day one to now. It was little bit dangerous to buy but the gave me 30 days exchange warranty, which I never used. Before buying anything from pawn shop just talk to salesperson and if necessary with manager/owner. You can get good deal.

  • harlow simms

    Question: If you decide to buy any kind of jewelry from a pawn shop, can you get insurance on it (other than renters) for? 3rd party I think it’s called

  • Pamela

    What if they tell you its a diamond and it’s not. Or what if they are inaccurate about the size and quality of a diamond?

    • david

      Ask to see their diamond tester. They usually have one that will verfiy the authenticity. Also, ask for the specifics on their return policy. If you’re buying an expensive diamond and it ends up not being real, you probably won’t want store credit, you’ll want your money back. Make sure this is clear before you leave the store.

  • Stephy Sousa

    Do pawn shops wash the jewelry before reselling it?

    • Christine Monroe

      Some pawn shops do and some don’t. The pawn shop I work at takes all the jewelry and sends it out to a certified repair person. They take it and inspect it and professionally clean it. All jewelry is tested.

    • pawnshopsaroundtheworld

      yes of course

  • jocab

    I went to a pawn shop today and laid away 50$ on an item but have not fully. I was wondering if I could get my money back since I found a better deal.

  • brucefant

    I pawned a ring for a friend, at her request. She claimed only classless people pawn things, so she didn’t want to do it herself, and asked me to do it. I only got half of what the friend thought the ring was worth, which made her mad, and I gave her the money received from the ring and the pawn ticket too in order to redeem the item when she wanted. Later, when the friendship ended, she claimed I stole the ring. She reported it to police, and I was charged with false statement to obtain credit. The friend got her ring back, as she claimed it was stolen, and she kept the money I gave her for the pawned ring. Never ever pawn something for someone else. I’m screwed.

    • Oiseau Denuit

      if you would have keep a copy of the receipt and make her sign on it that she did received the money you would have been fine! But my doing it the way you did there were no proof and the person that you said to be your friend well you have now learned the wrong way she was not! too bad for you! Not fair!

  • Jason

    i do alot of business with many pawn shops , i only had one bad experience years ago from a Cash America in charlotte , where i pawned a D.V.D player and when i payed it out and brung it home it wasn’t working anymore and one of their dvds was stuck in the player and wouldnt come out , so i took it back and they replaced it with an almost brand new one and gave me 3 movies , so yeah i had always had awesome services at pawn shops and to all of you pawn shop owners keep up the good work

  • http://www.yonkerspawnbroker.com/ Yonker lee

    Perfect suggestions for buying items from the pawn shop.I think electronics are the items you should not buy ever from a pawn shop.As technology updates every second so why buy such an item from a pawn shop?

  • Ryan Struckman

    I bought my galaxy tab 3 7 inch LTE from T-Mobile for 100 dollars (saving me $200 if bought brand new from online or another retailer,) and its excellent!. If you plan on buying electronics, they will surely let you try them out before you buy under a break it and buy it thing.

  • Yet Another Pawner

    I got into business of doing business with pawn shops after one of my friends had to pawn her laptop. During this time working with my preferred pawn shop, I have hocked two guitars multiple times, and if I was for some reason having issues getting them out in time, the team was always super friendly and willing to give me a few days of leeway. I have also pawned old rings and a DS. In fact, I sold them one of unused guitars and got three quarters of my money back from new.

    Out of the things I’ve bought there, I have gotten a tool box, yet another guitar (the reason I pawned that other one), and got a 3DS. The 3DS works great, but let me tell you, if they have nobody who has experience with music, it’s a double edged sword.

    So, I think I could recommend going to pawn shops for sure. Definitely get your tools there! I’d rather pay $12 than $39.99 any day!

  • Help?

    I bought a 42 inch smart t.v a while back and my ex boyfriend stole it from me :( what can I do? It’s been over a year since I purchased from there. I can’t remember if I gave him my I.D or not when purchasing? help?

  • scott britton

    Dear Pawnbroker,

    There is a great new book out about pawnbrokers called
    Backroom Pawnshop Deals. You do not want to miss this. This is very likely
    destined to become the number one resource book in the personal libraries of
    the most profitable pawn shop owners. Norman Gorbein and the others have previously written books and there are a
    few training courses but trust me there is nothing like this on the market. And
    it is selling for only 24.99, so it is bound to get out far and wide. This book
    is a professional reference book akin to a pawn shop franchise system, written
    by a guy whose owned five pawn shops. Who can afford not afford to skim through
    the book at that price?

    Nothing written before even holds a candle to what is
    presented in Backroom Pawnshop Deals. It is my belief that everyone who’s
    anyone in the business will eventually have a copy of this book. When it comes
    down to sooner or later, it is usually better to get this kind of information
    sooner before the competition has it.

    Amazon has a complete description of the contents of
    Backroom Pawnshop Deals and allows you to preview a portion of it before you
    buy. It is even possible to read it for free with Amazons programs. This
    publication is Amazing, don’t miss out. Check it out now.

    I have included a link below for your convenience but you
    can also go directly to amazon to see this Backroom Pawnshop Deals


    Scott Britton

  • stewie

    Flat screen TVs are a good buy if you keep this in mind: Ensure the flat screen is on for at least 10 minutes, if it has a line on the screen don’t buy it. Flat Screens have a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years, look for one that was manufactured within the last 3 years. Unlike most imported items branding means something on TVs. Brands associated with high quality such as LG, SONY, SAMSUNG. VIZO have components with longer life expectancies than “Price point” Brands like Hisence.

    The same applies to computers, look for recent computers with better quality name brands running a Windows 8 or 8.1 operating system. Avoid older computers and all Apple products due to issues with iCloud password security issues. If you purchase a USED Apple product the previous owner can kill the computer at any time using the iCloud.

    Avoid all used Cell phones for the same reasons as Apple products.

  • Yorkiemom

    I have never purchased anything from a pawn shop and I would like to know if their prices are written in stone or if they have “give” to them. In other words, can you haggle?

    • Gpawn

      Most pawn shops are open to reasonable offers on products. Keep your offers reasonable and you always have a great chance for a discount!

      3 years experience working at a pawn shop

      • Yorkiemom

        Thank you for your answer. It is most helpful. Now what do you consider a reasonable offer in a $1200 diamond solitaire wedding band? Please help. Thank you in advance.

        • Seshno


  • tai

    Honestly, I don’t know if it’s worth it buying guitars at pawn shops. I’ve seen various instruments there, requiring AT LEAST 100 dollars of work on them before they can be playable (extremely high actions, lifted acoustic guitar bridge, neck angle problems, excessive fret wear, etc.) that are sold at near retail prices… I haven’t tried haggling but I seen one sold for 250 that isn’t worth even half that.

  • violet

    Can I buy headphones from a pawn shop?

  • Dale Alan

    always check the pawn shops first then check retail and compare . ask around for someone who knows about stuff . always haggle . you should see my mom at retail stores and on the phone with carriers always always always haggle . the more you haggle the better you get and the respect feels sooo awsome as well

  • Scott Britton

    This is an opinion with some truth but still lacking by someone who is clearly not an expert at product sourcing (Like a retail or resale buyer is) particularly with pawn shops. Take two flat screen LED televisions same brand and model manufactured in April 2014. One is on display at Walmart and the other is on display at a Pawn Shop. Wear and tear on the two sets is most likely equivalent. In fact, once a set is out of the box, it begins to collect dust, if vacuumed frequently there will be better air circulation and cooling. If plugged into a proper ground fault interrupter for amperage surge, and that has a battery for voltage fluctuations the television is being well maintained. Some Walmart’s do a better job handling merchandise than others, same with Pawn Shops. Bottom line if the item does not appear to have been mishandled that is the factor to judge, not where it happens to be sitting.. Second factor is cost: At a reputable Pawn Shop the late model television will cost you no more than 50 to 70% of what you would expect to spend at Walmart. (And you can haggle to get a better deal at the Pawn Shop) Now multiply that figure for all of your toys (Cell phones, gaming systems, Ping golf clubs, mountain bikes, hunting gear, karaoke machines, games, DVD’s car audio, etc, over a period of twenty years. Amplify all of that savings by putting that money into an investment (as if you had spent the entire sum at Walmart) Last do the math, compounding that growing principal by a fair annual interest rate of just 4% each year. Maybe a Roth IRA, ask David where to invest that his area. You have just learned one path to send your infant child to an ivy league university. Full Disclosure: I am the Author of Backroom Pawnshop Deals available on Amazon