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Top 5 Misunderstandings or Mistakes People Make When Pawning | Blog | Pawn Ameri

Bringing your items into a pawn shop for a pawn loan for the first time can be a little daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process or have a skewed perception of how pawn shops operate. Spending a little time researching the pawning industry and having a knowledge base of the items you’re looking to pawn can be very worthwhile. We’ve been in business for over 20 years, and with 18 locations we’ve gained an expertise of the industry. Below are the top 5 mistakes or misunderstandings people make when pawning with us for the first time. 

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Misunderstanding: The Market Price of Precious Metals Fluctuates, Affecting its Value 

Our pawnbrokers are trained to examine gold, platinum, and silver with professional tools, which then helps determine its value. Included in this is measuring the karat purity of the precious metal, assessing the piece for any markings or hallmarks, and finding out the item’s total weight.

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The two main factors that determine the price of your precious metals are the karat weight and physical weight which are priced in DWT (pennyweights, the unit of measure used by jewelers worldwide). Based on the DWT of your precious metal, a price is calculated using the kitco current market price. The market price for precious metals can fluctuate often, sometimes even multiple times in a single day! When the market price of precious metals is high, you’ll be offered more for your gold, silver or platinum. The price you are offered one day may not be the same the next time you get it appraised. 

Learn more about the types of precious metals we buy here and the gold buying process on one of our previous blogs here

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Misunderstanding: Not All Items are of Value to a Pawn Shop

Our stores are filled with a variety of items such as electronics, jewelry, sporting goods, collectibles, and tools. However, your item may fall into one of those categories but still might not be of value to a pawn shop. Our loans are not only based on the actual value of the item but on our ability to resell the item if you choose to not repay your loan.  Yes, we are in the collateral loan business, but at the end of the day, we still need to make enough money to pay our own bills too. Items may have great sentimental value and be worth a lot to you, but that might not be reflected in the price you are offered if the item would be hard to resell in our stores.  Older, dated electronics, brand-less items or antiques may not have as large of a payout as you’d anticipate and is something to consider when seeking a pawn loan. 

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Mistake: Every Offer Price is Negotiable or Trying to Over Negotiate with the Pawn Broker

Coinciding with our last 2 answers, the price we offer to you for your pawn loan may have some wiggle room, and it may not. A lot of people walk into our stores thinking they will easily be able to negotiate brokers into giving them the price that they want. Part of this is due to the pawning reputation and perception of them being a place to “haggle, hustle, or work out a deal” and the other part comes from the amount of bartering that happens in pawn shops on TV. 

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What people fail to understand is that we are in the business of buying and selling. We have to pay less than what we would be able to resell the product for on our sales floor because we have to pay our own bills and run a business too.   We know the market price of precious metals, we know the retail selling price-points in our stores for almost every item. The prices we offer are fair for all parties involved and though we might be able to counter-offer you a few bucks more with some negotiating, at the end of the day our offers are firm for a reason. Offering fair prices from the start is a practice we strive for at Pawn America because we want you to keep patronizing our business! People won’t be interested in returning to a place who underpays, and we want to keep our customers coming back and recommending us to their friends and family. 

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Mistake: Trying to Pawn Stolen Goods

Pawn America is the worst place to come and try to pawn stolen items! The media has created an illusion that pawn shops are seedy, dirty shops filled with a bunch of broken or stolen merchandise – and that could not be further from the truth at Pawn America!  Less than one percent of all pawned merchandise is identified as stolen goods. Pawn shops are required to follow all regulations and are governed by federal and local laws. We are heavily regulated and work closely with local and federal law enforcement officials – every pawn transaction is shared with police departments nationwide. We photo ID every customer who conducts a transaction and create a full customer profile of everyone who does business in our stores. 

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Mistake: Not Cleaning Off Your Items Before Bringing Them In 

Pawnbrokers are most interested in items that are presentable. The easiest way to make an item presentable? Clean it off!  Clean products look nicer, which makes the products more enticing to potential buyers.  While a pawnbroker can clean items themselves, doing so takes time. A pawnbroker won’t charge you a cleaning fee if you bring in a dirty product, but they will likely make you a lower offer than they would for a cleaned-up version of the item. 

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By spending just a few minutes cleaning up the items you’re bringing in to pawn, you can make you are receiving the best offer possible. Dusting old pieces that have sat untouched, wiping down screens and getting into the cracks with a disinfecting wipe and polishing any metal will ensure your items look as good as possible – and command the highest possible price. 

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When it comes to pawning, the more informed you are, the better. We hope you consider taking our insider tips and tricks to life when bringing in an item to one of our store locations for a pawn loan! 

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