Whether you’re looking to sell some of your items or get a short-term loan, visiting your local pawn shop is likely your best option. But, if you’re new to the business of pawning personal items, you may be unfamiliar with some of the ways in which you can get the most money for your goods. Let’s look at some tips for getting the best possible price from your pawnbroker.

Decide if you’re pawning or selling

Pawning and selling are two different transactions, and you should have an idea of which you want to do when you get to the pawn shop. If you no longer want an item, you will want to sell it. You will receive payment for it and the deal is done. If you need some cash temporarily and would like to have your item back, you will want to pawn it. The pawn shop will simply hold your property as collateral and return it to you once you repay the money you borrow. Knowing ahead of time which avenue you want to take will make you appear confident in your choice and not as open to potential bargaining.

Make it shine

If you were selling your car and wanted the best possible price for it, you’d take some time to wash and vacuum it and get it detailed so it was clean, shiny and looking its best. The same is true of anything you’re trying to sell to the pawn shop.

While it may seem a little counterintuitive to put all that work into something you’re just getting rid of, you’re more likely to benefit from it later. Remember, the pawnbroker is a potential buyer, so take time to make your product stand out from the rest. Make sure your item is clean and in good working condition, and check for any missing or broken parts. Include any accessories, remote controls, electrical cords or adapters – even instruction manuals – when you bring in your item. Doing a little bit of work on the front end makes it easier for your pawnbroker to see the value in your item and sell it, which could mean more money for you.

Do your research

Before you hand over your valuables, you should have some idea of what they’re worth. This is where a quick online search or a professional appraisal comes in handy. Don’t assume that what you paid when you first bought your item is what it’s worth now. Most items depreciate over time, especially if they’re fairly common, while more unusual or hard-to-find items may be more in demand – and be worth more money.

Check several online selling sites and do some comparison shopping to see whether your item is actually selling and what people are willing to pay for it. This will help you determine how much to ask for when you visit the pawn shop.

Know your market and your timing

As they say, timing is everything. If you expect to sell a heater in the middle of a heat wave, you probably won’t get much interest. The same goes for selling a pair of snow skis at a pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina versus one in Colorado. Those types of items are more likely to sit longer in a pawn shop’s showroom, or not sell at all, which means a pawnbroker probably won’t even take it. However, if you have an item that could be in high demand in a few weeks or months, you may get much more than you expected.

Just like regular retail stores, pawn shops try to stock up on seasonal items in advance. For example, your pawn shop might offer more money for your gaming console or video games as they get ready for holiday bargain shoppers. While jewelry generally sells year-round, they may want more available inventory prior to Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Tax season is also a peak time for most pawn shops, especially as shoppers look to splurge on TVs or electronics.

Pay attention

Just like other retail stores, pawn shops may specialize in particular items. One may deal only in jewelry, watches, gold and diamonds, while another one may deal more with firearms. Look closely at the store’s signage, walk inside and take a look around, or even ask the staff. They can tell you pretty quickly whether or not they are interested in your item.

Take your treasure, not trash

While pawn shops generally take a wide variety of items, they really don’t want your junk. Remember, pawn shops make their money by selling quality products at bargain prices. So why waste their time – and yours – trying to pass off a less-than-stellar item?

Be flexible and ready to negotiate

The process of selling your stuff to a pawn shop is similar to buying and selling other big ticket items. It helps to know some basics going in. What’s your item worth? How much of a demand is there for it? How much money do you want for it, and, most importantly, how much are you willing to settle for it?

When you walk in with an item to sell, be prepared to be flexible and open to negotiating. Don’t feel obligated to take the first offer you get. You can always haggle a bit and see if you can get a little extra money. Most pawn shop staff are experts at negotiation, and they won’t be offended if you try to work out a better deal. They can always decline your offer or make a counteroffer, so you lose nothing by trying.

However, leave your emotions at the door, and be willing to walk away if the shop won’t budge or make a reasonable offer. Also, don’t be afraid to shop around – another shop may make a more competitive offer, especially if they specialize in particular items, their inventory is low or you have an item they know they can sell quickly.

Don’t share your life story

Let’s be honest – your local pawnbroker really doesn’t want to know all about your Aunt Gertrude and how much she loved that diamond ring you are now trying to sell. They also don’t need to know why you need the money or why you’re trying to sell your item. It’s better to keep all that to yourself.

Be polite

This one should be simple. If you treat the staff with respect and kindness, chances are, you will get the same treatment in return. No one wants to deal with rudeness or a condescending attitude. Here at Gene’s Pawn, our staff works hard to treat every customer like family, and we appreciate being treated kindly as well.

Happy pawning

A pawn shop can be an excellent resource – whether you need cash quickly or you’re looking to get rid of items around your home. At Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn, you can rest assured you’ll get the best price possible for your items. For more than 30 years, we have offered our customers the high level of service they deserve. We proudly serve customers throughout North Charleston, Moncks Corner and Goose Creek, South Carolina.