How To Get The Most Money From A Pawn Shop

Selling your stuff at a pawn shop is a good way to make some money fast. They will buy whatever you are going to sell, and pay you in cash for it. Generally, it will only take an hour or so for you to get paid like this. The key, however, is some simple tricks that you can do that will help you get the most money possible from these places.

Unless you need fast cash, according to this article, pawn shops probably aren't the best place to sell your stuff. If you aren't pressed for time you're going to make more money by selling stuff on Craigslist, eBay, or even at your own garage sale.

Should you be pressed for time, and need your money fast, this is a good way to do it. Pawn shops are everywhere, so you are going to find one that's local to you. It's important to find a couple of them in your area, but we'll cover that later.


Pawn Shops As A Cash Advance Alternative

Using a pawn shop is also a good way to not have to get a cash advance. Selling your stuff off will leave you with less stuff, not a ton of debt! Cash advances are extremely expensive and give people serious problems.

The high price of these loans, when paired with them being repaid in just a couple of weeks, leaves people with no choice but to end up relying on them. Once you rely on them you're living on borrowed time and borrowed money. It's impossible to keep it up for long, and when it comes crashing down you're left with an insane amount of debt.

Selling stuff at pawn shops will either cover your financial emergency, or at the very least put a major dent in the amount of money that you need to borrow.

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Pawn Shop Tips

The key to maximizing how much you walk out of the pawn shop with is to make sure that what you're selling looks as close to new as possible.  Doing this will take some extra time, but the payoff for doing it is huge. Pawn shop buyers use their eyes first to evaluate how much you're going to be offered for your stuff.

Put simply, pawn shops aren't going to buy your junk.  If what you have looks like it's been well used, there are probably some things that you can do to breathe some new life into it.

Let's use an acoustic guitar as an example of what you can do to make this work.  First, start by cleaning the guitar itself, the case, and anything else that you have with it.  If your guitar is covered in stickers and other crap, get that off of there.  Cleaning is the most basic requirement for this.  Next, restring the guitar and tune it up.  You know that the pawn shop buyer is going to play it, and if it sounds good you're going to get more money.  Finishing touches might be adding a conditioner to the wood or rounding up all of the picks that you have laying around your house and tossing them in.

You're probably not going to want to sell your guitar once it looks brand new again, but it's important to keep your financial goals in mind!

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Image courtesy

Sell What They're Buying

Another really easy way to get more money from the pawn shop is to make sure that you're selling what they're buying. Some things are always in demand, and are always going to be hot at the pawn shop.

If you've ever done any shopping at the pawn, you probably already have a good idea of what they buy most often. In case you aren't a pawn shop regular, these things are guns, jewelry, gold, tools, bicycles, music gear, and TV's.

Should you not have any of these, fear not, pawn shops will still buy your stuff. It's just that the things discussed above are going to be an almost guaranteed buy.  Pawn shops buy just about anything that they can sell again, so if the things that you have are of any value odds are in your favor!


Most pawn shops are just fine with you negotiating the sale price.  They may not listen to you, but if you know the specific value of something you have a bit of leverage.  I'm not saying that you should waste your time and money getting something appraised before you head to the pawn shop, but having a general idea of it's value is helpful.

Should the shop not be willing to listen to you at all, or you feel like you're getting screwed around, tell them that you're just going to pack your stuff up and head to their closest competitor.  It's very helpful to have a few pawn shops that are close to you that you can check out, and threatening one shop by heading to another is a good way to get them to change their tune!

Best For Fast Cash

Like I said in the first paragraphs, pawn shops are the ideal place to sell your stuff fast.  If you have more time, do something else that's going to yield you more cash.  It's more work, but the payoff is much larger. 

Should you decide that a pawn shop is the right choice for you, use the tips above to maximize the amount you're walking out of there with.  You'll be very happy you did!

Comments 1 comment

Bethany March profile image

Bethany March 6 years ago

i watch that show Pawn Stars and I never realized how little they would pay you for some things. If I need fast cash in the future I may consider a pawn shop and these tips may help.

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