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Pawn Shops
Old 11-14-2005, 10:09 PM   #1
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Pawn Shops

There are about 20 pawn shops in the town where I live. And they seem busy all the time, so they must be doing something right.

I have never been to a pawn shop and I'm nearly 58. I have no thought or desire to hock something or get a payday loan, but I am curious as to whether or not good bargains exist, especially in the jewelry department. Have any of the forum members had any experience with pawn shops?

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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-14-2005, 10:20 PM   #2
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Re: Pawn Shops

Several years ago my DW and I discovered that really nice Southwest native jewelery (silver, turquoise type of stuff) was sometimes a great deal in pawn shops near reservations. You need to really know what your doing, though. Because there was also a lot of worthless junk. I also bought my first guitar at a pawn shop many years ago. Again, I think you have to know what you're doing or you could get junk. The same thing is probably true of shopping garage sales.
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-14-2005, 10:23 PM   #3
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Re: Pawn Shops

I bought a guitar (as a gift) in one, but only because I knew the guy who worked there, and had him looking out for a good deal for me.

I searched all (4-5) the pawn shops in town after my digital camera and car stereo were stolen to see if I could find them. Didn't, but I did see that most of them have a pretty uninteresting collection of junk unless you're interested in guns.
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-14-2005, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: Pawn Shops

I bought a quality conga drum at a pawn shop, cheap. I have also seen good drumsets cheap. They are big, and the pawn shops gets tired of giving up the floor space.

When my first son left home, I put together a nice set of sockets and a few ratchets for him from pawn shops. A lot of quality hand tools get pawned. Also, if you like "Wild One” type leather jackets, you'll find plenty in a pawn shop.

Additionally, I find the social atmosphere pleasingly lacking in cant.

Ha
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-14-2005, 11:18 PM   #5
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Re: Pawn Shops

One thing I know about pawn shops in our area: They buy gold jewelry off the street for about $3-4/gram which amounts to about $100-120/oz. They sell it to the melters at about 90% of value. But first they try to sell it in their shops for more than the price of gold. Decent mark up for them. But they're not getting rich.

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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-15-2005, 12:27 AM   #6
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Re: Pawn Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
One thing I know about pawn shops in our area:* They buy gold jewelry off the street for about $3-4/gram which amounts to about $100-120/oz.* They sell it to the melters at about 90% of value.* But first they try to sell it in their shops for more than the price of gold.* Decent mark up for them.* But they're not getting rich.
--Greg*
Greg, do you mean they pay $3-$4 per gram of fine gold, or $3-$4 of typical 14K jewelry alloy?

If it is $4 per gm of .999 fine gold, that is sure a steal. They should buy every bit they can get their hands on.

Ha
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-15-2005, 02:10 AM   #7
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Re: Pawn Shops

There is a difference between metal and jewelery. Jewelery involves an artistic effort as well as significant labor to turn raw metal and gemstones into beautiful jewelery.

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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-15-2005, 07:52 AM   #8
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Re: Pawn Shops

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Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
There is a difference between metal and jewelery.* Jewelery involves an artistic effort as well as significant labor to turn raw metal and gemstones into beautiful jewelery.* *
Perhaps a good way to look for jewelry in pawn shops is to know what you're looking for, or bring a friend who works in the jewelry industry to help sort out the garbage from the quality.

My limited experience with pawn shops is that they don't have very good deals on the things I need periodically. If I need industrial-strength tools, musical instruments or guns, then maybe I'd frequent them more often.
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-15-2005, 08:48 AM   #9
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Re: Pawn Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor
There are about 20 pawn shops in the town where I live.* And they seem busy all the time, so they must be doing something right.

I have never been to a pawn shop and I'm nearly 58.* I have no thought or desire to hock something or get a payday loan, but I am curious as to whether or not good bargains exist, especially in the jewelry department.* Have any of the forum members had any experience with pawn shops?
Heck, yeah, it's about the only place in town to get a good VHS VCR (we own five of them) & cheap DVD players. Some specialize in TVs & monitors (although they take up a lot of room and don't hold their prices for long). They're stuffed with electronics after Christmas and the prices are way better than the retail stores. Some of the prices are better than eBay.

Our kid checks pawnshops for DVDs, game cartridges, & VHS cassettes before she buys retail. I find a lot of tools there (especially battery-operated ones when the new higher-power ones come out) and the occasional surfboard. It's about the only place you can buy replacement pieces from a socket set or specialty screwdrivers (torx). I've also found SCUBA equipment.

Musical instruments are tough. If you know exactly what you're looking for then you should make friends with the pawnshop owner and ask them to give you a call if they see it. But you'll probably find what you're looking for faster on eBay or Craigslist.

I'm sure that there are people arbitraging pawnshop merchandise onto eBay, especially Disney videos or cheaper costume jewelry. And if I was a pawnshop owner I'd be doing the same thing...
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-15-2005, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: Pawn Shops

I've never used the pawn aspect of a pawn shop, but I used to browse them periodically. I found some decent deals on (35mm) photographic equipment, but you needed to know what things were worth. Some shops specialize in hobbies like radio-controlled planes, and I used to look but didn't buy. I wasn't interested in guns then, but many shops had quite a collection. I never saw anything but junk in the electronics/PC areas, but I don't think I've been during the age of DVDs and HDTV; there may be more quality selection now due to feature turnover. From the buyer side, pawn shops are just second-hand stores such as Goodwill or Salvation Army stores, except I got the impression pawn shops generally knew what things were worth.
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Re: Pawn Shops
Old 11-15-2005, 09:28 AM   #11
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Re: Pawn Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Greg, do you mean they pay $3-$4 per gram of fine gold, or $3-$4 of typical 14K jewelry alloy?

If it is $4 per gm of .999 fine gold, that is sure a steal. They should buy every bit they can get their hands on.

Ha

Haha:
They pay for the gold content only on all the cheap jewelry they get. So a one oz. 14K necklace has about 17 grams of gold=$75 for the seller. I was in a pawn shop once where this happened. A girl brought the necklace in after a break up with her boyfriend. When she heard the price she complained, saying he paid over $700 for it. She stormed out. She came back about five minutes later for the money. Most, but not all, gold jewelry exchanged at a pawnshop is purchased solely at its gold content price ($3-$4/gram) and sold near or above its full gold price (about $16/gram right now). Each pawnshop owner is different though, obviously, and reads your desperation/desire to buy the same way he reads the seller's. If all else fails, when the piece hasn't sold for some time, he throws it in the melt bucket. A gold wholesale buyer comes round and offers 90% of the gold value for the contents of his bucket. This is then sold to the refiner with a small mark up. All that old K-Mart jewelry--poof--gets recycled into new Wal-Mart jewelry. Now you know the 'dicker range' if you have that interest.

--Greg
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