Best Things to Sell at a Pawn Shop (120+ Things You Can Pawn for Quick Cash)

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Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Rebecca Lake

Wondering about the best things to sell at a pawn shop?

Selling items to a local pawn shop can be an easy way to get money fast when you need it. Some of the most popular things sell to a pawn shop (or use as collateral for a pawn loan) include electronics, jewelry, power tools, and musical instruments.

Pawnshops can pay real money for valuable items that are in good condition. Taking your stuff to a local pawnshop can be an easy way to get fast cash when you don’t have time to host a garage sale or sell popular items on Facebook Marketplace.

If you’re in need of some quick cash, it pays to know which items are in high demand at your local pawn broker. Here’s a look at the best things to sell at a pawn shop, plus tips for getting the most money for your items.

What Is a Pawn Shop and How Do Pawn Shops Work?

Best things to sell at a pawn shop

A pawn shop is a business that buys valuable items for cash and makes pawn shop loans to people who need money quickly. A pawn shop loan is a short-term loan that’s secured by an item of value (i.e., your collateral).

If you’ve ever seen an episode of the reality TV show “Pawn Stars”, you might have an idea of how pawn shops work. And even if you live in a small town you’ve probably got at least one pawn shop near you.

Pawning items vs. selling them

When you pawn items, you borrow money based on the value of the item. The pawnbroker gives you a pawn ticket that includes the details of your collateral loan, including what was pawned, the amount received, and the date for retrieving your items.

Assuming you go back to the pawn shop and pay off the loan before the redemption period ends, you get your valuables back. But if you don’t, the pawn shop gets to keep your stuff.

Essentially, pawning is the same as getting a short-term loan or collateral loan. Selling, on the other hand, means you give the pawn shop your stuff in exchange for cash.


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Is it better to sell or pawn your stuff?

Whether it’s better to sell or pawn your valuables can depend on how much money you need and whether you want to keep your items. Selling can usually put the most money in your pocket but you don’t get to keep your property.

Pawning, on the other hand, gives you a chance to get your collateral back. Of course, that hinges on you being able to repay your pawn loan in the time frame set by the lender.

Pawnshop loan terms

Local shops can establish their own policies for pawn loans, including:

  • How much you can get for a cash loan
  • The number of things you can pawn at one time
  • What things you’re allowed to sell or pawn
  • Fees and interest rates
  • How long you’ll have to repay the loan amount and get your items back

Typically, pawnshops will make loans or pay cash for items at around 50% of their market value. That figure is based on what they’re worth when you bring them to the pawnshop, not the retail price you paid for them.

For example, say you bring in an old guitar that you paid $400 for. The pawnshop sets the value of the item at $200 and offers you 50% of that. That means your loan amount would work out to $100.

Most pawn shops give you 30 days to repay a pawn loan. So if you go to a local pawn shop today and get a cash loan, you’d have 30 days from today to pay it back.

If you don’t pay back a pawn loan on time, the pawnbroker keeps your collateral. They can then resell those valuable items to someone else.

Is a pawn loan a good idea?

A lot of people think of pawn shops as being seedy or dirty places. The reality is that most local shops are like any other small business, including thrift stores and consignment shops. They want to help their customers but they also want to make a profit.

Reputable pawn shop owners understand the importance of paying a fair price for pawned items. And they also run their businesses legally. For example, that means requiring a background check when someone is trying to buy or sell firearms.

Pawn shops will pay cash for a variety of items, which is great if you have a lot of different things to sell. They can be a great way to get a lot of money fast if you have an emergency expense.

It’s possible to get pawn loans with no credit check, which is usually required for a personal loan. And while pawn loans may have interest rates that are similar to credit cards, having bad credit won’t keep you from getting one.

Bottom line? The right pawn shop can provide you with easy cash for your old stuff when your bank account needs a quick boost.


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What Do Pawn Shops Buy?

Finding things to sell at a pawn shop is one of the easiest ways (and fastest ways) to get cash quickly. Local pawn shops can decide what items to buy–and which ones not to.

But generally, the list of things to sell at a pawn shop can include:

  • Authentic jewelry, including diamond jewelry, silver jewelry and gold jewelry
  • Luxury watches
  • Sports equipment, including golf clubs and weight benches
  • Silver coins and other coins made from precious metals
  • Collectibles, such as comic books or action figures
  • Antique items
  • Laptops
  • Musical instruments, including acoustic guitars and drum kits
  • Designer handbags and accessories
  • Stereo systems
  • Video games and video game consoles
  • Household items, including flatware or silverware
  • Cell phones
  • DVDs and videocassettes
  • Taxidermy (yes, some pawn shops buy and sell this!)
  • Unused gift cards
  • Firearms
  • Knives
  • Crossbows or compound bows
  • Dirt bikes
  • Bicycles

A lot of people are surprised to find that you can sell unwanted gift cards to a pawn shop. So that’s an option you might consider if you have unused gift cards you want to get rid of. You could also unload them at a gift card exchange kiosk for instant cash, which may offer more value than a pawnbroker.

Now, what’s on the list of things you can’t sell to a pawn shop?

Some of the things a pawn shop typically won’t pay cash for include:

  • Broken items
  • Stolen items or anything suspected to be stolen
  • Fake luxury items (think knock-off designer handbags, shoes or watches)
  • Medical equipment
  • Illegal weapons, including illegal knives and sawed-off shotguns
  • Clothing
  • Books

The good news is that unless all your stuff is junk, a fake or you’re hoarding a cache of illegal weapons you probably have some things of value around the house that you could sell to a pawn shop.

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Best Things to Sell at a Pawn Shop

Ready to get top dollar for your stuff? This list of items is a good starting point for things to sell to a pawn shop for the most money when you need extra cash.

Power tools

Pawn shops are always willing to pay good money for gently used power tools. That’s because these are high demand items that usually have a decent resale value.

Some of the power tools you could sell for easy cash include:

  • Drills
  • Impact drivers
  • Battery-operated screwdrivers
  • Sanders
  • Saws
  • Grinders
  • Concrete mixers
  • Jackhammers
  • Rotary tools and oscillators
  • Air compressors
  • Batteries and battery chargers
  • Ladders
  • Paint sprayers
  • Heat guns
  • Routers
  • Pneumatic jacks
  • Hand saws and other hand tools
  • Antique tools

Brand-name power tools will usually get you a higher amount of money. So if you’ve got some Bosch, DeWalt or Stihl power tools laying around, for example, you might be able to sell them for a great price if they’re in good condition.

Yard and lawn equipment

red lawnmower cutting grass

Pawn shops can also be a great place to sell lawn and garden tools and equipment for quick cash. Some of the best items to sell at a pawn shop relating to lawn care include:

  • Push mowers
  • Riding mowers
  • Edgers
  • Leaf blowers
  • Tillers
  • Sprayers
  • Weed eaters
  • Chain saws
  • Electric or battery-powered hedge trimmers
  • Mulchers
  • Pressure washers
  • Stump grinders
  • Tree trimming equipment

Again, you’re more likely to get a better deal on lawn care items from popular brands that are in good condition.

If you don’t have any of these things to sell at a pawn shop, you might still be able to pawn things like shovels, hoes, pitchforks, diggers and wheelbarrows.

ATVs and recreational vehicles

ATVs are big-ticket items that you could easily sell for a lot of cash. It’s important to note that not all pawn shops will pay cash for ATVs and off-road vehicles; it depends on their policies for what they buy or sell.

But if your local pawnshop does buy ATVs or recreational vehicles for cash, you might be able to collect a lot of money by selling:

  • 4-wheelers
  • Dirtbikes
  • Snowmobiles
  • Dune buggies
  • Golf carts
  • Go-karts
  • Jet skis
  • Side by sides
  • Trail bikes
  • Mountain bikes
  • Electric scooters
  • Segways
  • Hoverboards

Some pawn shops also buy motorcycles for cash. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a clear title to sell any type of vehicle to a pawn shop.

And you might also be able to get some quick cash for ATV equipment. For example, dirt bike helmets, shin guards, chest guards, gloves and riding boots are all great things to sell at a pawn shop if you have them lying around.

If you have a vehicle you own with a clear title, you could also get a title loan. Title pawns let you use your title as collateral and as long as you pay the loan back, you get to keep your card.


Best things to pawn

Jewelry is one of the best things to pawn as pawn dealers are always on the lookout for quality pieces.

Some of the best kinds of jewelry to pawn include:

  • Engagement rings
  • Diamond rings and diamond earrings
  • Diamond necklaces or bracelets
  • Pearl necklaces or earrings
  • Brooches and pendants
  • Lockets
  • Items made from pure gold
  • Loose precious stones, like diamonds, rubies, or opals
  • Luxury watches
  • Antique jewelry or antique watches

Costume jewelry may not fetch as much money as real jewelry items, but you could try pawning those as well. Just remember that if you’re trying to sell or pawn a family heirloom, the family member who gave it to you might be ticked if they find out.

If you’re specifically trying to sell a wedding ring or diamond engagement ring, there’s one more thing you might be able to unload at a pawn shop. Some pawn shops will buy gently used wedding dresses for cash.

Musical instruments

Did you try to encourage your son to learn guitar, only to have him ditch it for the drums?

If so, you could sell those items to a pawn shop cash. Some of the best things to pawn in this category include:

  • Electric guitars
  • Acoustic guitars
  • Basses
  • Guitar cases
  • Microphones
  • Drum kits
  • Brass instruments (like a trumpet or tuba)
  • Woodwind instruments
  • Violins or cellos
  • Amplifiers and amp cords
  • Music stands
  • Keyboards or pianos

Those are all things a pawn shop might be willing to buy. Pawn shops can also buy other music-related items like DJ equipment or a karaoke machine.

Sports equipment

Sports equipment is one of the best things to sell at a pawn shop because there’s always a parent out there trying to find a deal on cleats or shoulder pads.

Some of the things you might be able to sell at a pawn shop include:

  • Baseball mitts
  • Baseball bats
  • Cleats
  • Helmets
  • Skateboards
  • Shoulder pads, hip pads, or knee pads
  • Any type of ball
  • Basketball goals
  • Golf clubs and golf balls
  • Golf shoes
  • Hockey sticks, helmets, and pads
  • Practice goals
  • Hunting equipment
  • Camping equipment
  • Skiing equipment or snowboarding equipment
  • In-line skates and roller skates
  • Hoverboards and scooters

You can also try selling sports equipment at your local Play It Again Sports or online with Sideline Swap.

Toys and collectibles

Kids’ toys and collectible items can go for top dollar at pawn shops. Here are some of the best things to sell at a pawn shop if you’re cleaning your kids’ closet (or your own).

  • Funko Pops
  • Action figures
  • Dollhouses
  • Collectible Barbie dolls or G.I. Joe figures
  • Old comic books
  • Vintage children’s toys
  • Antique toys
  • Legos
  • Train sets
  • Baseball cards
  • Signed sports memorabilia
  • Vintage albums
  • Hard-to-find special edition toys

The better the condition and the more rare your items are, the more money you might be able to get for them.


Electronics are another hot item when it comes to the best things to pawn because they’re always in demand.

Some of the best things to sell at a pawn shop for electronics include:

  • Laptops
  • TVs
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Gaming consoles and games
  • Desktop computers
  • Computer monitors
  • Cameras
  • Car stereo systems

You could also try selling any of those things on Craigslist for cash.

Miscellaneous things to sell to a pawn shop

rack of kids clothes for sale

There are some things you can sell to a pawn shop that don’t fit neatly into any of these categories. To round out this list of things to pawn, here are a few more ideas.

  • Collectible coins or rare coins
  • Fur coats
  • Luxury handbags or designer bags
  • Designer shoes
  • Office equipment
  • Art
  • Vintage tech
  • Kids clothes
  • Refrigerators and other appliances
  • Outdoor grills
  • Designer glasses
  • Gold teeth
  • Holiday decorations
  • Furniture
  • Pet supplies
  • Treadmills and home gym systems
  • Free weights and weight benches
  • Books

The best way to find out what a pawn shop buys is by calling or visiting one near you. Your local pawn shop should be able to give you the full rundown on what you can sell for cash.


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What Can I Pawn for $50?

Earning a quick $50 can help when you need to pay your cell phone bill or buy groceries. If $50 is the minimum price you hope to get for your stuff, here are some of the best things to sell at a pawn shop:

  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Watches
  • Video game consoles
  • Sports equipment
  • Old phones
  • Blu ray players
  • Electric scooters
  • Musical instruments
  • Video games

Remember, if you’re using the 50% of value rule then any item you pawn has to be worth at least $100 if you want to make $50 in cash.

What Can I Pawn for $100?

If you need to get a quick $100 in fast cash, then you’ll need to have some items that are worth $200 or more. Here are some of the things to sell at a pawn shop to get the best deal when you need $100 in cash:

  • A valuable piece of jewelry, like a diamond ring
  • Tablets or laptops
  • Stereo systems and speakers
  • DJ equipment
  • Appliances
  • Window air conditioning units
  • Cameras
  • Designer items, such as bags, coats, shoes or other accessories
  • Firearms
  • Hunting and fishing equipment
  • Scrap gold, silver or other precious metals
  • Gaming consoles and equipment

You could also try selling your unique collectibles for $100 in cash or more. But keep in mind that unless your local pawn shop specializes in unusual or rare items (like Pawn Stars does) then you might have a harder time selling those items.

What Can I Pawn for $500?

Your local pawnbroker might be the first place you go when you need to get $500 in cash. Some of the items valued at $1,000 or more that you might be able to sell for $500 in cash include:

  • Dirt bikes, ATVs or motorcycles
  • Firearms
  • High-end electronics
  • Luxury watches
  • Gold jewellery
  • Authentic designer handbags
  • Musical instruments

Before selling these kinds of things to a pawn shop, consider how likely you are to be able to pay back a pawn loan. Remember, 30 days isn’t a long time at all.

The last thing you might want is to lose your valuable items because you can’t repay the loan on time.

best things to sell at a pawn shop pinterest image
Best Things to Sell at a Pawn Shop

How to Sell to a Pawn Shop and Get the Most Money

Having things to sell at a pawn shop can be the fastest way to get money when you need it. But even if you need money quickly, you don’t want to rush into a pawn loan without making an effort to get a higher price for your items.

The best way to avoid getting short-changed at a pawn shop is to do your homework.

Spend a little time online researching your item to estimate its fair market value. If you can back up your estimate with documentation, that’s even better, since it gives you a bargaining tool.

Before taking your item to the pawn shop, be sure to clean it up. The better the condition, the more likely you are to get a higher price.

Next, shop around and compare different pawn shops near you to see what kind of items they typically buy and how their pawn loans work. Also, consider what rules they have for selling or pawning items and when you’ll need ID or a background check.

Finally, be prepared to negotiate. A good rule of thumb is to let the pawn shop owner make the first offer. You can then use that as a starting point for haggling up the minimum price they’re willing to pay for your items.

Remember, the best pawn shop for you is the one that offers you a fair price for your items at reasonable loan terms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best things to sell at a pawn shop for the most money?

Some of the best things to sell at a pawn shop to make the most money include electronics, fine jewelry, collectibles, sporting equipment, and power tools. You could also make a lot of money selling ATVs and other outdoor vehicles if your local pawn shop buys them.

Is pawning items worth it?

Pawning valuable items could be worth it if you need money temporarily and have no other option for borrowing. However, it’s important to keep the interest rate and fees you’ll pay in mind. And of course, you should be sure you can pay your pawn loan back on time so you don’t risk losing your collateral.

What are some alternatives to pawning items?

Pawning items or selling them to a pawn shop aren’t your only options when you need cash. You might try any of these alternatives instead.

  • Charging purchases to a credit card
  • Getting a cash advance with Dave
  • Comparing personal loans to find a good fit based on your credit history and credit score
  • Asking friends and family to lend you money
  • Asking your employer for an advance against your next check
  • Selling things you don’t need on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
  • Starting a side hustle

Each one has pros and cons but they’re all worth a look if you don’t have any things to sell at a pawn shop, or you want to keep your stuff.


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Final Thoughts

A pawn shop can be the best place to get cash quickly when you have items to sell or pawn. One good thing about getting a pawn shop loan is that you can get your items back if you’re able to return the money you borrowed on time.

If you decide to sell items elsewhere, like Facebook Marketplace or a local bargain group, plan to meet at a secure location to exchange your items for cash. Your local police station is a great place to meet up if you’re selling items to a stranger.

Need more money tips? Read these posts next:

What do you think are the best things to sell at a pawn shop?

About Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, freelance writer and homeschooling single mom of two. Since 2014, she's paid off nearly $100,000 in debt and grown her net worth to seven figures. Her work has appeared online at top personal finance websites, including Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Investopedia, The Balance, and U.S. News & World Report. Find out more.

1 thought on “Best Things to Sell at a Pawn Shop (120+ Things You Can Pawn for Quick Cash)”

  1. You got my attention when you said that luxury watches and gold jewelry are some of the items that can be pawned and sold for $500. My best friend will find this tip helpful because she is in need of immediate cash. She mentioned over a 10-minute phone call that her paycheck is going to be delayed for two weeks, so I will ask her to consider your tips.

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