Top 7 Things You Should NEVER Do At Pawn Shop

Top 7 Things You Should NEVER Do At Pawn Shop

Follow these tips to keep yourself out of legal and financial trouble.

Last updated November 26, 2022

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Buying, selling, and pawning items at pawn shops can be fun and rewarding. Below we have organized a list of the top things you should never do when you are at a pawn shop. Doing some of the items listed below could like you banned from the pawn shop, or even in jail.

The important thing to keep in mind is that pawn shops are similar to other retail stores in the sense that they ask you to respect the people and merchandise. Common courtesy goes a long way when you interact with pawnbrokers and the staff at pawn shops.

Pawn shop loans are legal financial agreements. You should always be honest and provide valid documentation when you obtain a pawn shop loan.

If you like this post, we recommend reading Tips For Finding The Best Pawn Shop.

Tip #1: Never Lose Your Cool

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Pawn shops allow negotiating when you buy, sell, and pawn merchandise. While negotiating offers an opportunity to walk out the door with more money in your pocket, sometimes haggling can cause hurt feelings and anger.

You should always strive to keep calm and control emotions during negotiations - this holds true even if the other party loses their cool. Nothing good can come out of a heated argument in a pawn shop. Walk away or leave the store if you feel that discussions are becoming tense. You can always revisit the store later and restart the conversation.

Often pawn shop customers value an item more than what the pawnbroker offers. You should not get offended by lowball offers - instead, try negotiating the offer higher in a respectful and fun manner. Pawn shops value items based on resale value with some room to earn a profit - pawn shops cannot add extra money to an offer for sentimental value.

Tip #2: Never Open Or Use Merchandise

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Pawn shops own the merchandise on the shelves. This means it is their legal property and they face a loss if the property becomes damaged. You should always respect the property and ask before opening or trying out merchandise.

Often pawn shops have valuable antiques and collectibles that are fragile and can become damaged or ruined when handled improperly. You should always ask before touching and handling antiques and collectibles.

Breaking or opening merchandise in the store could make you liable for the damages. When in doubt you should ask the pawn shop store staff.

Tip #3: Never Buy Something Expensive Without Researching It

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Pawn shops carry a wide range of merchandise. Often the merchandise can be rare, obscure, and expensive. Illiquid markets like rare baseball cards often have a wide range in value that can change with non-obvious factors.

Always do your own research (DYOR) before purchasing. Some pawn shops do not honor returns, so the sale terms could be final once you make the payment.

If you find something that you really like and want to buy but want an expert’s opinion first, you can always ask the pawnbroker to hold the item for you. The pawnbroker may agree to hold the item for a given amount of hours or days until you are able to have an expert give you their opinion.

It is best to find your own expert to appraise the item. Be cautious if the pawnbroker recommends their own expert - the expert could be biased and inclined to act in the pawn shop’s best interest instead of yours.

Tip #4: Never Sell Or Pawn Stolen Merchandise

Selling and pawning stolen merchandise could land you in a lot of trouble. In most regions, it is a punishable crime to sell or pawn items that you know are stolen. Pawn shops typically record activity inside the store, so they will have video records and paperwork proof of the transaction.

Pawn shops do not want stolen items because they can cause financial losses and regulatory trouble. Pawn shops often work with local law enforcement to identify stolen property. Many pawn shops use database software to track stolen goods that have identifiable markings such as serial numbers.

Tip #5: Never Sell Or Pawn Fake Merchandise

Selling and pawning fake merchandise can also create a lot of trouble, too. Selling and pawning fake merchandise such as a fake watch or fake gold is classified as fraud and makes you liable for both criminal and civil penalties.

Pawn shops do not want to buy fake merchandise. Pawn shops are not able to sell fake merchandise because they are regulated by local, state, and federal laws. Designer brands often sue counterfeiters. If you find fake merchandise in a pawn shop, you should notify the pawnbroker. Chances are they mistakenly purchased the fake goods.

Tip #6: Never Misrepresent Merchandise When Selling Or Pawning

Similar to Tip #5, selling and pawning misrepresented items can land you in legal trouble. Lying about an item’s origin, specifications, and other details can be classified as fraud and result in civil and criminal charges. Pawn shop loans are financial agreements governed by laws. Lying to obtain a loan carries stiff penalties.

when you sell or pawn your property to a pawn shop, the pawnbroker will often ask you many questions about the item. Questions may include:

  • Where did you obtain the item?
  • How much did you pay for it?
  • Do you legally own it?
  • Is the item authentic?
  • Is the item damaged?

You should try to answer all questions truthfully. Tell the pawnbroker if you do not know the answer to the question. Keep in mind that all transaction details are recorded and can be referenced in the future. Courts and law enforcement can access pawn shop loan transaction information.

Tip #7: Never Pawn Or Sell For Less Than What Your Item Is Worth

Always DYOR and know the value of your item. No one ever will force you to sell your item. Sometimes pawn shops may not give you the value your item deserves - in these cases, you should walk away and try a different pawn shop.

Pawn Shop Map features a powerful tool to help you find pawn shops near you. Use our tool to find various pawn shops in your area. Shopping your item around can help you get more money.

Try to find a pawn shop that specializes in your item’s category - for example, visit pawn shops that sell watches if you are trying to sell your luxury designer watch. Pawn shops that carry inventory similar to your item are in a position to give you more money when you sell or pawn it.

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