Pawn shops are an excellent way to put a little more cash in your pocket by selling items that you no longer use or want. They are also a way to get a short term loan to get through some stormy weather without giving up the things you love. But not all pawn shops are the same. And to make sure you get a fair shake, finding one that has a good reputation is critical. But how do you know what the signs of a good one is? When looking for one to use, use these 5 tips to find the best pawn shop.

Understand how the Process Works

Pawn shops have been around forever. They were created to help people who were going through a financial crisis and in need of quick cash, fast. The basic principle is that you exchange your valuables for a limited term, and the pawn shop gives you a small cash loan. Ideally, you repay the loan, including the interest over the time frame you agree on. And if you don’t, or can’t repay what you owe, the pawn shop takes possession of whatever you used as collateral. So the key is to know what your item is worth ahead of time so that you are getting fair market value cash for your item.

Read Reviews Before you Choose the Best Pawn Shop

Reviews are an excellent way for people to voice their personal experience. The same is true of pawn shop reviews. Since the best pawn shops operate fairly both in their pawn process and in their selling practices, you will want to get both sides of the story. Most customers are happy to tell everyone when they have had a good experience. And in turn, many are just as happy to voice their dissatisfaction if not. That not only means you will find the best pawn shops to use, but it might also mean that reviews will help you avoid ones that are not the best.

Know What Your Item is Worth

Although the concept is to get your item back at the end of the repayment term, if you get less for your item than it is worth, then you are actually paying more money to buy your item back. That is never a good deal. Before you decide to pawn any valuable you have, know what it is worth so that you don’t get taken.

Is the Pawn Shop Licensed?

According to Federal law, pawn shops have to follow IRS code. They must also comply with something called the Truth in Lending Act, as well as the Patriot Act. Every pawn shop operating in the US must carry both state and local licenses, and the best pawn shops will have more than one license, including a second-hand dealer and general business dealer license. The license is a must to ensure that your valuables are safe from theft. And also, it ensures that the pawn shop is operating on the up and up. So make sure to ask if your pawn shop is licensed before you choose to do business with them.

They Have a Good Reputation

Although the internet and reviews are an excellent way to gauge the reputation of a pawn shop, world of mouth is always going to be your best guide. An established pawn broker will have a good reputation in the community as someone you can trust. And they will also have a long list of customers who can vouch for their fair practices. If they don’t, then try to find someone who does.

Pawn shops are an excellent way to get through a financial crisis unscathed. Because you can get a loan with nothing more than collateral, they are a viable option for everyone, no matter what your situation is. But before you choose to let someone hold your valuables as collateral, make sure you understand how pawn shops work, that you know the value of your item, and that you choose a pawn shop that is licensed and has an excellent reputation. Gene’s Pawn shop has been operating for nearly three decades and values the reputation they have built as the best pawn shop. Stop in today and see how they can help you weather your financial storm.