Last Updated on January 14, 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 to sell at 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. Today, I’m sharing a rundown of the best things to sell at a pawn shop, plus tips for getting the best deal when pawning items.
Related post: Pawn Shop Near Me: How to Find Area Pawn Shops That Pay
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What Is a Pawn Shop and How Do Pawn Shops Work?
A pawn shop is a business that buys valuable items for cash and makes pawn shop loans to people who need money quickly. If you’ve ever seen an episode of the reality TV show “Pawn Stars”, you might have an idea of how pawn shops work.
When someone needs money, they can take items of value to a local pawn shop and sell them for cash or get a pawnshop loan.
A pawn shop loan is a short-term loan that’s secured by collateral. Your items serve as collateral for a pawn shop cash loan.
When you pawn items, you receive 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.
If you want to get the item back, you’ll need to keep this pawn ticket. You can then go back to the pawn shop before the date marked on the ticket to return the money you borrowed and collect your items.
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.
What Sells Best at a Pawn Shop?
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
- 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
- Crossbows or compound bows
- Dirt bikes
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
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.
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.
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:
- Impact drivers
- Battery-operated screwdrivers
- Concrete mixers
- Rotary tools and oscillators
- Air compressors
- Batteries and battery chargers
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
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
- Leaf blowers
- Weed eaters
- Chain saws
- Electric or battery-powered hedge trimmers
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
Not all pawn shops will pay cash for ATVs and off-road vehicles.
But if your local pawnshop does, you might be able to collect a lot of money by selling:
- Dune buggies
- Golf carts
- Jet skis
- Side by sides
- Trail bikes
- Mountain bikes
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 and riding boots are all things to sell at a pawn shop if you have them lying around.
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
- Video game consoles
- Sports equipment
- Old phones
- Blu ray players
- Electric scooters
- Musical instruments
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 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
- Window air conditioning units
- Designer items, such as bags, coats, shoes or other accessories
- Hunting and fishing equipment
- Scrap gold, silver or other precious metals
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 pawn broker 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
- 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.
How to Get a Good Deal When Selling Items to a Pawn Shop
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 research.
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.
Final thoughts on things to sell at a pawn shop
A pawn shop can be the best place to get cash quickly when you have items to sell. And 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.
Got a suggestion for an item to add to the list of best things to sell at a pawn shop? Share it in the comments.
And if you need more ideas for ways to get money fast, read these posts next:
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