When you're in trouble and need a payday, your local pawn shop can be your lifeline
A pawn shop is a great place when you need money urgently or want to buy something at a lower price than you would pay at a traditional store. Pawnshops also offer a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to the price you pay for an item. Most pawn shops are open to negotiation on everything. If you love to bargain, barter, and negotiate, you're sure to get a killer deal from your local pawn shop.
As with any other kind of business, pawn shops need to make money. Their greatest advantage, however, is that they can set their prices for the items they sell. They also conduct their evaluations on the items that are brought in to determine how much they are willing to pay the seller.
Once the value of an item has been determined, they offer a percentage of that in the form of payment to the seller or a loan to a customer. The percentage is determined by the discretion of the pawnshop and ranges from 25% to anything up to 75% of the value of the item. Items that are deemed as popular or in high demand will generally fetch a higher price.
If you're a pro at negotiating, you can get excellent deals at pawn shops. Pawnshops are accustomed to customers negotiating, most of them expect it. However, the key to successfully negotiating is to be reasonable. There's no need to be greedy in the price you ask for.
Negotiating at a pawnshop
Before taking an item into a pawn shop it is important to cover the following guidelines to get the best price possible:
Know the value of your item – It is important to come to terms with the fact that when selling an item at a pawn shop you won't get the full price for the item, even if the item is brand spanking new. Therefore, shop around and do your research on what the market value for your item is before going into the pawnshop.
Don't expect 100% of the value – Most times pawnbrokers offer between 40 and 60% of the value of the item. This is where knowing the value of your item comes into play. Once you receive the first offer you'll then know when to negotiate or not.
Condition is everything – Make sure your item is not only in working order but in tip-top shape. First try it out at home, test all cables and connections, and make sure all the parts are still together. Pawnshops can't turn a profit on damaged, incomplete items.
Be realistic with your pricing – Don't try to get more than what your item is worth. In reality, a pawnshop will never pay more for an item than what it is worth as they still need to sell it again and make a profit.
The Do's and Don'ts of Negotiating
Whether you love it or hate it, bargaining, bartering, or negotiating is the name of the game when it comes to selling or buying at pawn shops. Fortunately, it's really easy to do and anyone can bargain at a pawn shop.
Pawnshops only have a certain amount of room to play in terms of their profit margin, but they would rather accept a small profit margin than none at all. Negotiating is about reaching a price that is fair for both parties.
Do: Request a better price every time
There's nothing to lose by asking for a better price on an item. The majority of the time you'll get the price lowered. It might seem intimidating but pawnshops are used to it, they are always offering some sort of discount.
Don't: Make a ridiculously low offer
Pawnbrokers are extremely strategic when customers negotiate with them, after all, they do this daily. They will usually ask you what you are willing to pay for the item, putting the ball in your court. Start the negotiation by requesting a discount in the region of 30%. This is not too high, nor too low. It shows the pawnbroker you are serious about the item and that they can make a sale.
Do: Be Nice
Nobody wants to do business with rude people. If you start negotiating with a pawnbroker and you're pretty much an arrogant, rude human, pawnbrokers will more than likely show you the door. The friendlier you are the greater discount you'll get.
Don't: Point out faults in an item if you're wanting a discount
Pawnshops price their items based on the condition, so never point out flaws in the item as it has already been taken into consideration. It gives the impression of disrespecting their skill and business.
Do: Know your stuff
It is important to do a bit of homework before going into a pawn shop. Shop around and see what other pawnshops and second-hand dealers are selling similar items for. This will ensure you go in with realistic expectations as well as sound knowledge of how much or how little you can negotiate.
Whether you're just browsing, pawning, buying, or selling, visiting a pawn shop should be an enjoyable experience. 9 times out of 10 you'll find that pawnbrokers are friendly and always willing to negotiate.
Now go on and get a great deal.