So, I recently started getting into shows like Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn (which, represent, is located in Detroit, all up on 8 Mile) – which are about pawn shops, naturally. Now, I’ve been in pawn shops, but I’ve never bought anything in one of them, and I’ve never utilized their services. Having finally learned that not everything my TV says is 100 percent true (shock, right?), I decided I better look up some true facts. If you’re curious too, then here are some things you might not know about pawn shops.
1 The Logistics of Loaning
In retrospect this seems a little dumb of me, but if we’re at all similar, then one of the things you might not know about pawn shops is that they primarily deal with loans. When you pawn something, that item is actually collateral for a loan. They give you money, and take something from you as collateral in the event that you don’t pay it back.
2 Ethical Behavior
A lot of people maintain stereotypical beliefs about pawn shops, namely that many of them deal in stolen merchandise. They assume that you can just walk in off the street with a stolen item, pawn it, and get money for nothing. In truth, less than one percent of the transactions that occur in pawn shops deal with property that’s been stolen.
Rather than pawning an item for cash, you can also trade it. Say you want to pawn off an old engagement ring from an ex-boyfriend. Rather than getting money for it, the pawn broker can appraise the ring, and you can instead exchange it for something of equal or lesser value. This is sometimes the best option, if you find something you like, because the things you pawn are rarely worth what you think they should be worth.
4 Selling It off
You can, of course, simply sell off your positions at pawn shops as well. One of the things you might not know about pawn shops, however, is that they aren’t automatically interested in everything. For that matter, you’re probably not going to get what you expect to get. Pawn brokers value things fairly, but they’re also running a business, and thus have to consider what kind of profit they can get on an item if you don’t want it back and they go on to sell it.
5 Crazy Interest
Pawn shops are a great way to get cash quickly, but you need to watch it if you plan to get your item back. Most of these shops have extremely high interest rates. If you have to pay back on your item for a year or more, you can end up paying upwards of 200 percent interest over that time period.
6 Treasure Troves
Some people think all pawn shops are kind of dark, drab, and depressing, with nothing good for sale. On the contrary, one of the things you might not know about pawn shops is how much neat stuff you can find! These places are virtual treasure troves, and you can find some really interesting things. For the most part, you can also rest assured that you’re getting a fair price.
7 Quick Cash
As briefly mentioned, pawn shops are a way to get fast cash when you need it. This is a plus for the many people out there who have no bank account to speak of, although it definitely comes at a price. When there’s a legit emergency, however, and you need funds, it’s nice to know this option is available.
8 Reclaiming Your Stuff
Just because you pawn an item doesn’t mean you can’t get it back. As I said, it’s considered collateral, so you have different options. You get a pawn ticket when you turn in an item, which you need in order to reclaim it. If that’s your choice, you make payments on the item – plus interest. If you pawned a necklace for $400.00, then you have to pay that back at the agreed interest rate, or you can pay it back all at once. You can also simply leave your item in the shop. If you can’t or don’t make payments on it at the agreed upon time, that is what will happen anyway, and it will be sold.
9 No One’s Trying to Cheat You
There may well be sketchy pawn shops out there, but for the most part, no broker is trying to cheat you. Many of them go to great lengths to get the items appraised for a fair value. Even when you pawn an item, most brokers are going to give you the best deal they can.
I hoped you liked reading about all these things you might not know about pawn shops. I kind of want to check out a few of them now. Have you ever pawned an item?
Top Photo Credit: CRUSTINA!
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