In these days of a declining economy, everyone is searching for a deal when it comes to buying gifts. Whether for Christmas or any other occassion, pawn shops are becoming a popular place to shop. Most people only know of pawn shops what they see on tv. A detective in a police drama investigating a murder, and is talking to a seedy l;ooking man in an even seedier looking store that is supposed to be a pawn shop. While this may certainly be true in some locales, for the most part, pawn shops are just as nice and shopper friendly as a regular retail outlet, but at a much lower cost to the customer.
Pawn shops operate in one of two ways. They buy property outright from a customer, and then it is immediately put up for sale. They also loan money on objects of value, taking the object and keeping it as collateral for up to ninety days in most cases. If the customer returns during that time frame and pays the money back plus interest, the object is returned to the customer. If the customer never returns to reclaim the merchandise within the specified time, the item is then placed into the store’s inventory for sale. The owner of the store is usually looking to get enough out of the item by selling it to cover the loan amount, the interest, and some additional amount for his time and trouble. The price that it is put up for sale at is often far less then than what you would pay at retail.
The main items found in pawn shops are pieces of jewelry. Before being placed for sale, the jewelry is cleaned and the settings are checked to be sure the stones are secure. Many people who experience broken engagements will pawn or sell the diamond engagement rings to the pawn shop. You can usually buy a diamond ring at a huge savings. A lot of pawn shops also have full wedding sets available, along with many other types of jewelry pieces. The pawn broker is very meticulous in checking the jewelry when brought in to ensure that he is either buying or loaning money on quality pieces.
Another staple of pawn shops is any type of electronic equipment. From televisions to stereos to dvd players and computers as well. The pawn broker will test these items and also let you try them before buying. Although the merchandise is used, it will probably be in excellent shape and again cost far less than new retail. Most pawn shops in this area also deal with rare or unusual coins and paper money. If coin collecting is a hobby or a serious undertaking for you, the stock at the pawn shops are worth looking into.
Do you have a child who needs to buy a band instrument? Many students in school will purchase a band instrument and then only take band class for a short time and then no longer have a need for the instrument. They often will then sell the instrument to the pawn shop for hundreds less than what they originally paid for it. Most pawn shops will have the instrument tuned and cleaned and any service done to it that is necessary. Even if the purchase is a brass instrument that needs pads replaced or otherwise reconditioned, the cost of that added to the price of the instrument at a pawn shop is still far below retail. If your child uses the instrument for a short time and then has no further use for it, you can always sell it back to the pawn shop at a later date. Many pawn shops also stock everything from guitars to drum sets for the aspiring musician.
Some people have concerns about the possibility that merchandise at pawn shops can be stolen property. Pawn shops work closely with the local authorities to ensure that this is not a problem. There is a list that is regularly generated by the local police listing all property that has been stolen in the area. Pawn shop personnel review this list regularly to ensure that they are not contributing to the issue by purchasing or loaning money against stolen property. Anyone selling or pawning an item at a pawn shop must have proper identification or the pawn shop will not do business with the individual.
While pawn shops are scarce in some parts of the country, if you live in a larger city or near a military base they are often plentiful. Military personnel will often pawn or sell their items at a pawn shop rather than placing for sell ads and dealing with trying to sell their items to private individuals. Living in a military town, I know that many young military personnel will make purchases and then decide shortly thereafter that they would rather have the money for something else. Their answer is to pawn whatever items they recently purchased. This provides a steady supply of good quality items for the pawn shop shelves. We even have a privately owned chain of pawn shops here in our area. All of them are well lit and well maintained outlets, with knowledgeable and polite personnel to assist you. Whether you are looking for a good deal on some jewelry for yourself or for a gift, or interested in electronics or musical instruments at a reasonable price, then your local pawn shop is a good place to start. And don’t forget about them if you too find yourself short of cash and needing a short term loan or wanting to make a quick sell of an item you no longer use. Your local pawn shop will be happy to help you in either case.