If you’ve never set foot in a pawn shop – you are not alone. Most people miss out on the true pawn shop experience simply because they don’t know what the experience will be like. Let’s look at some of the things you can expect the next time you visit a pawn shop.

Expect to be surprised at a pawn shop

Contrary to popular belief, pawn shops are not dark, shady, dingy places loaded with stolen items and people trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money.

Instead, they are bright, clean, secure, well-organized businesses with friendly, experienced employees who are ready to serve you with a huge variety of quality merchandise and services. Pawn shops are highly regulated at the federal, state and local levels, and they work closely with local and federal law enforcement to help prevent and identify stolen property. 

So, if you’re expecting to walk into a shady-looking business that deals in stolen goods, look elsewhere. Pawn shop owners and staff are highly trained and work proactively within the industry and with law enforcement partners to ensure you’re getting quality merchandise and excellent service, all at fair prices.

Expect knowledgeable, friendly staff

Again, contrary to what most people expect, pawn brokers are friendly, outgoing people who enjoy working with all types of customers who visit their store. Since pawn brokers deal with so many different items on a given day, they must be able to assess items quickly, know the going market value and demand for a particular item, and be able to negotiate professionally and fairly. At Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn, we are always working to provide you with the best-trained staff who have the top-notch education and experience to help you get what you need – from large diamonds and firearms to luxury watches, handbags, accessories and more.

Expect to find great deals

Whether you’re a bona fide bargain hunter or simply looking for a better way to go easy on your wallet, you can save big and find amazing deals on so many different items by simply shopping at your local pawn shop. It is likely to sell just about anything you may need at prices well below retail – including tools, musical instruments, jewelry, watches, firearms, electronics, antiques and more. Pawn shops thoroughly clean and test their items before they hit the sales floor, and most shops will let you try out items right there in the store before you buy, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Plus, most pawn shops offer warranties, protection plans and return policies, so you know you’re getting the most value for your money.  

Expect to have options to pawn, sell or buy

When people hear “pawn shop,” many forget that in addition to pawning items for quick cash, you can also sell items directly to the store. Pawning and selling can take the same amount of time and may even result in the same amount of money – but there is one clear difference. Selling your item means you are turning over the ownership rights to your item immediately in exchange for money. Pawning is another form of a collateral loan. The pawn store gives you a cash loan in exchange for your item. If you return within the terms of your loan to repay the loan amount and any interest, your item is then returned to you. 

If you’re selling, expect to get a portion of the item’s value

If you’re looking to sell an item, you should do a little bit of research upfront and be realistic in what the pawn shop may offer you for your item. Pawn brokers specialize in evaluating a wide variety of items, and they must be able to make a deal that accurately reflects the item’s condition, value and demand. On average, you can expect to sell an item for about 30 to 60 percent of its online or retail value.

So, in other words, don’t expect to walk in and be able to get top dollar for a bunch of stuff that’s been gathering dust in the back corner of your shed. Instead, take a little time to clean up your item, make sure it’s working properly, round up any accessories that go with it – like remotes, instruction manuals, etc. – and look at several online selling sites to see what similar items are selling for. This should give you a better idea of what the pawnbroker will offer, before you even walk in the door.

Also, be mindful of other factors that could affect your potential offer, like time of year, location, or customer demand. For example, don’t expect to get much interest in selling your snowblower if it’s the middle of summer, or you’re in an area that receives little to no snow. Same thing goes if you’re trying to sell an air conditioner in the middle of winter. However, pawn shops are always looking for certain items that have good resale value and are always in demand, like jewelry, precious metals, electronics, power tools, gaming consoles, watches and firearms, so expect to receive a decent offer on these goods, regardless of the time of year or your location.  

Expect a no-hassle experience

We’ve all had an expensive repair or bill pop up at the worst possible time. The last thing you want to worry about is dealing with a lot of paperwork or having to wait to get the cash you need. If you find yourself in a situation where you need some fast cash, relax. Most people are pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy pawn shop transactions can be. Whether you’re looking to pawn, sell or buy, you can expect a convenient, hassle-free experience. Most pawn shop loans can be done in minutes with very little paperwork, and unlike traditional loans, there are no credit checks required and there’s no impact on your credit.

At Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn, we specialize in treating customers like family and offering you the best prices for your items. For more than 30 years, we have provided our customers with the high-level service they deserve. Visit one of our locations in North Charleston, Moncks Corner or Goose Creek, SC, today and see how we can help you. Visit us online to see some of our outstanding merchandise or to get a free estimate!