How To Get The Best Deals In a Pawn Shop
It’s common knowledge that a pawn shop is a great place to go to get a good deal on all types of cool stuff that you just don’t want to pay retail for. In most cases, this is 100% accurate and great deals can be had. As a child I would always go with my grandfather to his best friends pawn shop and watch him go through all of the tools. He would spend hours digging in bins to find that missing piece to fill out his collection. He would buy Snap-On hand tools and nice pistols as they would come out. Generally, he would always pay very fair prices for them. Growing up, I don’t think I ever had a new bike or tv! At a very early age I became hooked on this business.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU WALK INTO A PAWN SHOP THESE DAYS
Most pawn shops are, according to the National Pawnbrokers Association, what would would be considered “mom and pop” operations. Meaning that they are not generally chains and the owner/operators are there everyday. Heritage Jewelry and Loan would be a great example of this type of pawn shop. Then there are the chain stores that are much larger and are regional/national in their presence.
Generally, as a rule, the larger corporate stores have more rigid rules and are more limited in what they can do in terms of discounts. Most of these stores have strict mark down rules that are governed by the age of the merchandise. For the larger stores that I deal with, it is usually 30 days before they will consider doing any type of discounts. And to further that, these discounts are done is increments. generally the longer they have had the merchandise, the more they can discount it. In talking with many of the managers of these stores, they sometimes feel that it ties their hands and takes away some much needed power from them. However, that is not to say that great deals are not available with them.
With the smaller shops, it is a different story. These stores have a more flexibility in their pricing and discounting as the owners are typically the managers. This makes the process much more streamlined and easier when it comes to getting a better deal. There generally isn’t a mark down by age rule, and if there is, it can be easily overridden by the manager. This is particularly helpful for the pawn shop when prices in certain areas start to mover rapidly in any direction. Most notably in the gold market.
In the end, no matter what shop you go into, expect that there will be some negotiating available to you. Just be mindful of the fact that certain factors out of the control of the store can limit what that discount may be.
So you picked what you want to buy and now what?
So you have picked out that perfect piece of jewelry or toy that you can’t live without. So now what? Now comes the part of that transaction that really can be fun, the negotiations. So here are a few tips to remember when trying to get a discounted price on an item.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the pawnbroker if they can do any better on the price. Odds are they certainly can.
- Be respectful, remember that the pawnbroker is a person too and while he or she wants to work a deal with you, they don’t want to listen to how bad the item is or how everyone else is cheaper.
- Be realistic! I can’t stress this one enough, don’t walk into a store and offer 5.00 on a Rolex or other such unreasonable offers. Pawnbrokers want to sell their items, but for realistic prices. Its a common misconception that pawnbrokers get items for unbelievably cheap prices, but I can tell you that in the internet era, this just isn’t the case.
- Be willing to find a common ground. While items are used and may need a little TLC to get them perfect, they are not trash in most cases. So be willing to meet the pawn broker in the middle during the negotiations.
- Be respectful of their time. While their job is to help the customer, at a certain point, if you are not showing any potential of buying something, don’t be surprised if they walk away. If you are just their to look, let them know and they will gladly help you, but it will help set the tone of the interaction.
Pawn shops are great places that fantastic deals can be found on a regular basis. These tips are a good starting points for successful transactions. Remember we are all human and have our good days and our bad ones, so be patient and try theses steps and I am certain that you will win more deals than you loose. Until then….happy shopping.