It is easy to overlook pawn shops as places to find deals on the things you want. Often, these shops are located off the beaten path and in some people’s eyes they have a reputation for unscrupulous behavior. That is a rap the industry has been successfully fighting and remedying with such shops now offering consumers a great and safe place to shop. Yes, with wise shopping on your part, you can become a pawn star in no time, saving a bundle on your next purchase.
1. Know what you are buying. Like visitors to estate sales, you should have a very good idea of what you are looking for and how much that item is worth. Seasoned pawn shop owners know this information too and attempt to price their inventory to reflect the current market value. That does not guarantee that prices are always accurate or even fair. Examine your considered items closely and know its true worth. For items of high value such as jewelry, antiques or collectibles, you should ask for its appraisal. If the pawn shop does not have one, ask if your independent appraisal would be considered.
2. Understand pricing strategy. Pawn shops make money because they deal with individuals, not middlemen and rarely with commercial accounts. That means when consumers have something to sell, prices are often as much as 70 percent lower than retail. Those savings are passed on to buyers. Still, you should understand competitive pricing on both the retail and pawn shop levels. Some shops mark prices or select items higher than competing shops, something you won’t know unless you are thorough with your research.
3. Examine the tag date. Take a close look at the tag on the item you are considering purchasing. Many shops post a date, representing the precise date when the item was added to its inventory. The longer an item is in a pawn shop, the more likely you can strike a deal. Pawn shops do not like to hang on to most inventory for long as they don’t make money on unsold goods. Lagging inventory hinders turnover; you can expect to receive a deal if you ask for one.
4. Prepare to haggle. Haggling or negotiating a price for whatever strikes your fancy is how pawn shops work. In fact, if you pay full price for most items, you may surprise the clerk or owner. Pawn shop pricing is rarely set in stone. That’s because pawn shops typically price their items at the higher end of the pricing spectrum. There is much room to negotiate, but do not insult the pawn shop with a low-ball offer. If you have a strong, but reasonable price in mind, then offer it. Then, expect to go back and forth on pricing until both parties settle on the final cost.
Additional Shopping Considerations
The more information about a product that you possess, the better for you. Knowledge is power and it will help you as you negotiate. Avoid becoming emotionally involved with any purchase — if you can’t strike a deal that is right for you, then be prepared to walk away. Shoppers will often overpay for an item if they become personally attached to it or if they avoid comparison shopping at other pawn shops.
Alex Landon is a professional blogger that enjoys discussing firearm related topics. He writes for Tradingplacepawn.com, a Pawn and Gun shop in Georgia.