When you’re having a financial emergency, such as overdue rent or an unexpected medical bill, there are very few options that can give you quick cash. It is either you pawn or sell. So do you get more money pawning or selling?
It’s almost impossible to get a same-day bank loan, you may not have a credit card you can use, and you don’t want to ask friends or family for money.
In this case, pawn shops are an excellent source of easy cash that you can use immediately.
When you go to a pawnshop, you will usually be offered two ways to obtain the money you need: you can either sell your item to them outright or you can “pawn” your item as collateral in exchange for cash.
Naturally, you want to get as much cash as possible. Both pawning and selling your valuables are great ways to get fast money, but they also come with some pros and cons you will want to consider so you can make an informed decision.
Pawning or Getting a Pawn Loan
Pawning is a type of collateral loan you can get at pawn shops. The way pawn loans work is you take your item to the shop, and you are given cash in return. Pawn shops use this money as security for you to be able to reclaim your item when you pay back what you owe, plus interest.
The best part about pawning your items is that you only have to leave them in the shop for a short time, usually less than three months before you can buy them or redeem them wholly.
Selling at a Pawn Shop
Selling your valuables at a pawn store is just like selling anything else – you take your item to the shop, you negotiate a fair price, and you get paid in exchange for the item.
The biggest difference between pawning and selling is that you still own a pawned object, while selling means your item is now legally owned by the pawn shop.
The Pros and Cons of Pawning
Pawning your valuables is one of the best ways you can get quick access to cash you may need, but you will want to make sure you get as much as possible for your item.
1. You can get the loan right away.
No waiting for a few days while they process your application, no waiting for your references to be called. You can get the cash you need in a matter of minutes when you decide you want to pawn an item at a pawnshop.
2. Your items stay safe.
Pawn shops typically hold your valuables securely in their shops, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them in some unsafe place while you wait for the loan to come through, nor do you have to worry about theft or damage while you’re not there.
3. You can get your valuables back.
This is one of the biggest advantages of pawning. Once you have paid off your loan amount, you can reclaim your valuable item.
4. You can pawn your valuables again and again.
Since you can get your items back, you can pawn them again at a later date in case you find yourself in a financial bind.
5. You can extend your repayment date.
Don’t have cash to reclaim your item yet? Most pawn shops will allow you to extend the date by paying a fee. As a bonus, it won’t show up on your credit history.
1. It’s a secured loan.
The only reason you’re getting this money is that you’re giving them something valuable as collateral, so you always have to remember that you have something you need to pay back, and the interest you’ll owe on top of that will be high if you don’t repay it on time.
2. The payment plan is strict.
Pawn shops can give you anywhere from a month to a few months, but you must repay your loan within that time. If you’re late, you may lose your valuable item, and you will have to pay penalties for the missed payment.
3. The interest rate can be high for a pawn loan.
In exchange for a fast and hassle-free loan, pawn shops typically charge you at least 10% interest on whatever you pawn, so you should expect the interest you owe to be quite high.
4. You may lose your item if you don’t repay the pawn loan back in time.
When you pawn your valuables at a shop, you give them the legal right to seize and sell your items if you don’t repay your loan before you set a repayment date. You may also suffer late fees and interest charges.
The Pros and Cons of Selling at a Pawn Shop
On the other hand, you can also sell your valuables at a pawn shop instead of pawning it. This will also get you instant cash, but it also has its pros and cons:
1. You can usually get more money by selling.
A pawn store will generally offer more money if you’re selling your item instead of pawning it. However, it does depend on a few factors.
For instance, if you’re selling an in-demand item, such as gold jewelry or a high-end watch, the pawnbroker is more likely to offer you a higher cash value. If your item is hard to sell or the pawn shop already has a lot of it in their inventory, they may offer you less for it.
2. It’s a great way to get cash for valuable but unwanted items.
You may not want to keep your grandmother’s ring you inherited, but you also don’t want to sell it on the internet where you could get less money for it.
Selling these items at a pawnshop gives you good access to cash. It can also spare you the hassle of selling online, which entails hours of posting pictures and writing detailed descriptions for strangers looking through thousands of listings.
3. You don’t have to worry about interest rates.
Once your item is sold, the transaction is done. You don’t have to worry about paying back a loan you took or interest you owe.
1. You’ll lose your item permanently.
The biggest downside to selling your items at a pawn shop is you won’t get it back again.
If you need money and you don’t care about getting your item back, then this may be the best choice for you.
But if you want to keep your valuables, you’re better off pawning them instead of selling them.
2. You can’t resell your valuables if you need money again.
Once you sell your item, you can’t have it back anymore, unless you offer to buy it back from the pawnbroker. Expect to pay much more than you originally got for your item.
3. It’s harder to sell an item than to pawn it.
Just because you have something to sell doesn’t mean the pawn shop will take it. They have to be very selective about what they accept, because they also need to turn a profit. So you should expect them to look at your item critically and turn you down if they think it has low value or is hard to resell.
Do you get more money pawning or selling?
There’s no universal answer to whether pawning or selling will get you the most money. Several factors come into play, including the type of item you have, its condition, demand and resale value, plus the pawn shop itself.
To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your item in high demand?
- Is your item in good condition?
- Will you be able to prove the authenticity of your valuables if you want to sell them at a pawnshop?
- Does the pawn shop you plan on visiting buy or pawn the kind of item you have?
- Are you willing to part with your valuables permanently?
- Will you be able to pay back the pawn shop if you take out a loan on your valuables?
Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of each option, so you know which will be better for you in the long run.
How to Get the Most Money at a Pawnshop (Whether Pawning or Selling)
1. Research your item.
You can’t get the most money for your valuables unless you have proof of their authenticity, good condition and high value.
So you have to do extensive research before you take them anywhere. This means studying how much similar items sell for online, checking what pawn shops are paying in your area or asking a knowledgeable friend or family member who you think might know more about it than you do.
2. Have realistic expectations.
Reputable pawn brokers will try to give you a fair cash value, but don’t expect to make a fortune off your valuables or to even get market value. However, do negotiate if you can prove you have something of value, you have proof it’s authentic and you have proof the condition is good. With high demand items or rare pieces, you can get a higher price than you would otherwise.
3. Keep your valuables in pristine condition.
Along with making sure you research your valuables before you sell them, make sure they’re in perfect condition when you take them to the pawnshop.
For example, have your item cleaned or repaired before you take it in to get the best price you can. Naturally, pawn shops are more willing to buy or pawn items (and at a higher price) if they’re in excellent condition.
4. Bring documentation with you.
Documentation that proves the authenticity of any jewelry you have will usually help you sell it at a higher price. For instance, bring a GIA certificate if you’re planning to sell diamond jewelry or loose diamonds.
For fine watches, bring a certificate of authenticity you can get from brands like Rolex and Omega.
Be prepared to prove who you are as well – you may have to show your driver’s license or passport if necessary.
5. Don’t lie about the condition or value of your valuables.
Don’t try to sell damaged goods as good quality by hiding flaws – pawnbrokers will easily see what’s wrong with an item and how much it’s really worth. And if you tell any lies about your item, you could be charged with fraud if caught later trying to sell it again.
If you want to sell jewelry or other valuables you don’t have documentation for, you can call the pawnshop and ask them if they’ll consider buying it despite not having proof of its authenticity. But always be honest about your item’s condition and value, since you may not get very far otherwise.
Top Items to Pawn or Sell at a Pawnshop
1. Gold and gold jewelry
Pawn shops will buy or pawn gold/gold jewelry that you have, especially if you have proof that it’s real. That means you’ll likely get the highest price for your items by taking them to a reputable pawnshop.
Types of gold valuables you can bring in are:
- Gold coins
- Gold nuggets and bars
- Gold jewelry like rings, necklaces, and bracelets
2. Fine watches and timepieces
Pawn stores can be a good place to bring in your fine watch collection, particularly if you have hard-to-find or high-end watches. Top brands you can take into a pawnshop include:
3. Precious metals
Pawnshops are usually very interested in buying or taking items made out of precious metals, including silver and platinum. These items can be worth a lot of money depending on their weight and quality, so you’ll probably get a better price by selling them to a pawnshop instead of just anyone you find online.
Types of valuables you can bring into a pawnshop include:
- Platinum jewelry
- Sterling silver jewelry
4. Musical instruments
Many pawnshops are also willing to buy musical instruments, especially name-brand guitars and pianos.
Common instruments like guitars, pianos and violins are relatively easy to sell since they’re usually in high demand – but you may not be able to get top dollar if yours is damaged or average/low quality.
5. Diamond jewelry and loose diamonds
Pawnshops can be an excellent place to sell your diamond collection, especially if you’re looking for cash quickly. Even better, you’ll normally get a better cash price in a pawnshop than you would by selling diamond items at a pawnshop.
Types of diamond jewelry you can take into the shop include:
- Diamond rings
- Diamond necklaces
- Diamond bracelets
- Diamond brooches and pins
- Loose diamonds
- Estate jewelry
Always bring your stone(s) in to show the pawn broker, since you may be able to sell it/them for more money if you can prove its/their authenticity with documentation from a trusted source like GIA.
Many pawn shops you visit will buy or accept items like tablets, cameras, and smartphones as well as laptops. Some may require you to turn on your phone before they’ll make you an offer for it, so be sure to bring a charger with you.
Is pawning better than selling?
Pawning is better if you need cash fast and you can pay it back quickly. Selling is better if you want to get a bit more for your item, and you’re fine parting with it.
Is it better to sell or pawn gold?
Again, it depends. If your item has sentimental value (such as family heirloom jewelry) and you can’t bear to lose it, you may want to pawn it instead of selling it to a pawn business.
What do pawn shops pay the most for?
Pawn stores often pay the most for gold, diamonds and fine watches. However, it also depends on other factors like the condition of your item, its authenticity and documentation, etc.
How can I get the most money at pawn stores?
In general, you have the best chance of getting top dollar for a sold or pawned item if you bring in a recent model, sell or pawn gold and diamonds, and have documentation to prove you own the item you’re selling and its authenticity.
Need Quick Cash or an Instant Loan in Chicago?
If you need money NOW, come visit us here at Clark Pawners. We can offer an instant cash loan or short-term loan without a credit check, and you can get your money ASAP.
Interested in pawning or selling your valuables instead? You’ll find that our offers are honest, competitive and some of the highest you’ll find around.
No matter what you’re looking to sell or pawn, we’d be happy to buy or give you a pawn loan for almost anything of value! Come see us today and you could be back on your way with cash in hand within minutes.
You may also contact us at 773-974-3533 or request an appointment.