Selling Pictures To Pawn Shops: Learn Which Pictures Pawn Shops Buy

Selling Pictures To Pawn Shops: Learn Which Pictures Pawn Shops Buy

Pawn shops buy some pictures, but not all. Learn how to determine if you picture is valuable artwork.

Last updated December 17, 2022

Signed pictures hanging on wall

Source: Pexels / Rachel Claire

Many pawn shops buy valuable pictures and collectible artwork. The types of pictures that pawn shops accept can vary, and not all pictures are accepted by pawn shops. In this post, we will discuss how you can sell your pictures to pawn shops.

The term picture can encompass a wide spectrum of artwork:

  • Photographs by famous artists
  • Family photos
  • Portraits
  • Paintings
  • Antique prints
  • Vintage posters
  • Collectible photographs
  • Celebrity headshots
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

Pawn shops buy valuable pictures that can be resold. Pawn shops do not buy family photos - pawn shops do not pay for sentimental value attached to items. Also, pawn shops do not buy digital artwork such as NFTs. We recommend contacting pawn shops before visiting the store so you can find out if they buy pictures. We recommend using Pawn Shop Map’s tool to find local antiques & collectibles pawn shops near you that buy and sell pictures.

The value of artwork is affected by a variety of factors. Below are common factors that will affect your picture’s value at pawn shops:

  • Rarity: The rarer a picture is, the more valuable it can be.
  • Condition: Pictures that are in good condition similar to their original state are more valuable than those that are damaged or faded.
  • Popularity: Autographed pictures of popular celebrities or athletes will be more valuable than those of lesser-known people.
  • Authenticity: Autographed pictures that are authenticated by a third party will be more valuable than those that are not. Make sure you bring in all related documentation to get a higher value.
  • Artist’s reputation: The reputation of the artist can significantly affect the value of the artwork. For example, a work by a renowned photographer such as Peter Lik will be worth much more than a work by an unknown artist.
  • Subject matter: The subject matter of the artwork can also affect its value. Artwork that depicts a popular or historically significant subject matter will be worth more than artwork that depicts a less popular or less significant subject matter.
  • Market demand: The demand for artwork in the market can also affect its value. Artwork that is in high demand will be worth more than artwork that is not in high demand. The art market fluctuates just like the stock market.
  • Frame: Frames often can make a picture more valuable. Good-condition frames that complement the picture help increase the picture’s overall value.

Valuing Your Picture

Pawn shops typically give you 20% to 60% of a picture’s resale value. We recommend reading our posts on calculating the percentage that pawn shops give you and figuring out your item’s worth at pawn shops. For example, a picture that is worth $200 would likely get an offer for $40 to $120 at a pawn shop.

We recommend gently cleaning your picture before bringing it into the pawn shop. Also, create a list of pawn shops near you so you can get multiple quotes. Many pawn shops do not take pictures, so you should contact the pawn shop ahead of time to verify that they are interested in your item.

Examples Of Valuable Pictures That Pawn Shops Accept

Celebrity autographs

Dean Martin autographed picture

An autographed celebrity photo is a photograph of a celebrity that has been signed by the celebrity. It is usually a glossy print of the celebrity, often taken from a magazine or promotional photo shoot. Autographed celebrity photos are highly sought after by fans and collectors as a way to commemorate their admiration for the celebrity.

Famous photographers

Peter Lik picture of canyon
Source: Peter Lik

A picture by a famous photographer is an image that captures a moment in time, often with a unique perspective or style. It is a work of art that has been carefully composed and crafted by the photographer to create a powerful visual impact. The photographer's skill and vision are evident in the composition, lighting, and post-processing of the image. The picture may be of a landscape, a portrait, or a still life, and it often conveys a strong emotion or story.

Vintage photos

Vintage photo / picture
Source: Memolition

A vintage photo is a photograph that was taken in the past, usually many years ago. Vintage photos often have a nostalgic feel to them, and often feature people, places, and objects from a different era. They often have a unique, aged look to them, with muted colors, and a soft focus.

Vintage posters

Vintage poster
Source: Etsy

A vintage poster is a poster that was printed and distributed in the past, usually from the early 20th century up to the 1970s. Vintage posters often feature artwork or designs from a specific era, such as Art Deco or Art Nouveau, and are highly sought after by collectors. They often feature vibrant colors and unique designs and can be used to decorate a room or to add a unique touch to a collection.

Valuable prints

Picasso print
Source: Chairish

A valuable artwork print is a piece of artwork that has been professionally printed onto a medium such as paper, canvas, or metal. It is typically a limited edition print, meaning that only a certain number of copies have been made. Valuable artwork prints are often highly sought after and can be quite expensive. They are usually created by a well-known artist and are considered to be a valuable investment.

Cleaning Your Pictures

  • Start by using a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe away any dust or dirt from the surface of the photograph.
  • If the photograph is still dirty, use a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris.
  • For tougher stains, use a cotton swab and a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to gently remove the stain.
  • If the photograph is very old and delicate, use a cotton swab and a small amount of distilled water to clean the surface.
  • Once the photograph is clean, use a soft cloth to dry it off.
  • If the photograph is still not clean, you may need to take it to a professional for further cleaning.

Inspecting The Frame

A picture frame is a decorative item used to display a photograph or artwork. Picture frames come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The most common materials used to make picture frames are wood, metal, and plastic.

The purpose of a picture frame is to protect and enhance the artwork or photograph it contains. It also adds a decorative touch to the piece, making it look more appealing. Picture frames come in a variety of styles, from ornate to modern, and can be used to match the decor of a room.

  • Look for solid construction. A good-quality picture frame should be made from solid wood or metal, and the corners should be tightly joined with no gaps.
  • Check the finish. A good-quality picture frame should have a smooth, even finish with no scratches or blemishes.
  • Look for sturdy hardware. Good-quality picture frames should have strong, durable hardware such as hinges, clasps, and brackets.
  • Inspect the glass. A good-quality picture frame should have thick, clear glass that is free from scratches or distortions.
  • Look for secure backing. A good-quality picture frame should have a secure backing that will keep the frame from warping or shifting.

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