For many everyday Americans, one method of obtaining quick cash is through going to a pawn shop and selling any items of value that the shop will accept, and pawn shops are known for buying and selling a wide assortment of items, from musical instruments such as guitars and drum sets to used jewelry, used tools, and more. Used electronics are another option for a customer who wants to sell their items to the shop, such as handheld gaming devices, television sets, smart phones, laptops, and more. Sometimes, pawn shop have a negative reputation for being shady places, but in fact many pawn shops are reputable, honest places for business that are regulated so that they provide fair business. A customer at a pawn shop may also lend their items, like musical instruments, as collateral for loans if so desired. Anyone visiting a pawn shop to pawn an item or get payday loans will be best off knowing what to expect, and what mistakes to avoid.
Pawn Shop Basics
In general, pawn shops are small, independent businesses, and data from the National Pawnbrokers Association shows that about 85% of all pawn stores are small regional chains or small businesses that are independently owned. These shops, and their transactions, are governed by 15 various federal regulations and statutes, and these can serve to protect consumers and to prevent money-laundering from taking place. Recently, as of 2017, about 9,650 different pawn shops could be found across the United States, and 44% of all pawn shops can be found in the southeast region of the nation. Florida stands out as the state with the most pawn shops, with a total of 1,001 of them.
Who visits pawn shops? It has been determined that 7.4% of all households have visited a pawn store at least once, and about 30 million Americans regularly visit them, according to data from the National Pawnbrokers Association. Guests at such stores can sell musical instruments, handheld electronics, and more as collateral for loans or simply sell these items.
Visiting a Pawn Shop
According to Bankrate, customers at pawn shops can follow simple directions to get the best deal at such a business. For getting a loan, for example, pawn shops most often make deals for collateral loans with their customers. A customer may bring an item of value, and should the pawn shop owner be interested, the owner will accept the item as collateral for a loan that is to be repaid after a set amount of time. Guests should note, however, that the loan’s value will be only a fraction of the item’s own value, and it is important for the borrower to keep their pawn ticket. On this document, receipt information, as well as the loan amount and due date, will be printed, as well as a description of the item that is being used as collateral. Guests may also sell their item in the conventional sense, but they should be aware that pawn shop owners are less interested in these transactions, as they do not generate as much income as he loans do. All the same, musical instruments, jewelry and gold, electronic devices like game consoles, and more can be sold to pawn shops.
When a customer has offered an item as collateral, he or she can either pay back the loan plus interest at the pawn shop, or they can choose to not repay the loan, and in this case, the pawn shop will keep the item being held. Customers should note that in this event, pawn shops will not undertake collection actions, nor will this impact the customer’s credit score. All the same, in general, 80% of customers who take out such loan repay them.
Customers should also be prepared to present paperwork or other proof that they legally own the items that they offer at a pawn shop, and the customer must also present a government-issued ID as required by law. Cheaply made or outdated items may not sell well at a pawn shop, but good quality musical instruments, firearms, and tools are some of the most popular items to sell or offer as collateral at a pawn shop.