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Short on Cash? 3 Things You Should NEVER Pawn

Updated on July 14, 2014

When you need cash fast, taking your valuables to a pawn shop makes it easy to get the funds you need. You can sell your stuff directly to the shop, or you can request a short-term loan against the potential sale price of your items. Some brokers will buy nearly any big-ticket item that a customer can produce, but you should still avoid pawning any of the goods mentioned below.

Pawn shops buy just about anything, but be careful.
Pawn shops buy just about anything, but be careful. | Source

Your Ex's Stuff

It's no secret that some exes can be pretty obnoxious. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that you can pawn your former partner-in-crime's belongings -- even if he was a total jerk who cheated on you 17 times or was always mean to your mother.

That doesn't mean that you can't sell anything that reminds you of your ex and the relationship that you had together, though. You can't legally sell things that aren't yours, like electronics or clothing that the ex hasn't picked up from your home yet, but you can pawn:

  • Engagement rings that were given to you by former lovers
  • Shared property that was legally awarded to you after a divorce
  • Presents that your ex gave you for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions

Have You Ever Pawned Anything?

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Family Heirlooms

If you were the lucky recipient of something that was once owned by the mother of your Grandma's Great Grandmother or another family member from the past, don't sell it to the pawn shop. Take out a pawn loan on it if you are 100% sure that you can repay the money on time, but avoid selling any heirloom items to the store. Holidays will be super awkward if you have to explain why an item that has been passed down through multiple generations has suddenly disappeared.

Awkward holidays aside, the item that you inherited is a special piece that you might want to pass down to your children one day. The heirloom can take you on a mental journey to the days before social networking and selfies, and it provides a memorable glimpse into your family's past.

Stolen Items

Laws are different in every area, but it's generally safe to assume that pawning a stolen item won't make your local police department very happy. Even if you didn't personally steal the item, it may still be illegal for you to knowingly bring stolen merchandise to a pawn dealer.

It isn't always obvious that an item was stolen, so think things over carefully before you agree to pawn goods for a busy acquaintance or neighbor who you don't know very well. For best results, play it safe and only bring in goods that personally belong to you.

When your check isn't enough to cover rent or a pay for a medical emergency, visiting a pawn shop can help you avoid bounced checks and high late fees. The broker will give you cash on the spot, and you might be able to score a low-interest loan if you don't want to sell your items outright. You can pawn many different personal possessions, from tablets to television sets -- but be careful not to bring in items that are irreplaceable or illegal. ​​

Do You Regret Anything You've Pawned? Share Your Experience.

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    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 

      4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for sharing this information. I have been low on cash lately, so I am trying to think of ways to make some money. I really had not considered visiting a pawn shop yet, but I might do it now... just not with stuff that does not belong to me.


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