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What Do Pawn Shops Buy in 2024? (11 High-Demand Items)

What Do Pawn Shops Buy

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Pawning stuff for cash is one of the easiest ways to make quick money, especially if you’re in a fix. 

Getting a loan from financial institutions is an option, but a lot of formality is involved. You may also end up not qualifying for the loan. However, pawning is fast and very few formalities are involved. So if you have an emergency, consider pawning some items for immediate cash.

The best thing about pawning is you can pawn virtually anything as long as you can prove its worth. You may be surprised at the many valuables lying around your house that you can potentially pawn.

However, the secret to pawning is knowing what to pawn and how to do it. Avoid pawning items that won’t fetch a reasonable price or getting shortchanged by undervaluing your items.

So, what exactly do pawn shops buy, and how can you maximize your earnings? In this post, I’ve highlighted 11 high-demand items that pawn shops are interested in so you can make quick cash while decluttering your home.

What Do Pawn Shops Buy?

Pawnbrokers buy virtually anything as long as they aren’t illegal or stolen. If you can prove the item’s worth, pawn shops will gladly take it out of your hands. 

However, there are some items that pawn shops consistently buy. You can always fetch a good amount of money for these items. 

So the next time you’re stuck and need money fast, consider pawning the following items.

1. Electronics

Electronics rank among the top items pawn shops buy. The value of your electronic device depends on several factors, including its working condition, demand, and brand. 

You can easily earn a few hundred dollars from pawning recent models in good working condition.

Some categories of electronics pawn shops always buy include:

  • TVs
  • Laptops
  • Keyboards
  • Headphones
  • Sound systems
  • Computers
  • Gaming systems like PS5

You can earn top dollar from pawning the electronics mentioned above if they’re relatively new and can be resold.

You can earn even more if you have accessories to accompany the devices. For example, a device that’s complete with its chargers and cables will be worth more than one without.

2. Jewelry

One popular category of things you can pawn for up to $500 is jewelry. Quality jewelry is in high demand; therefore, you’re sure any pawn shop will be willing to make an offer.

Remember that to earn this much, the piece you’re selling has to be extremely valuable, and also that pawn shops won’t give you full price for it.

Some pieces you can pawn include:

  • Necklaces
  • Wedding rings
  • Bracelets

If your jewelry is made of precious metals like gold or silver or has precious gemstones, ensure they’re not imitations. 

Most pawn shops will have someone to authenticate the jewelry, but you can consider visiting a jewelry store beforehand to get information on the value of your piece. This way, you avoid getting your item undervalued.

3. Luxury Watches

Another item that’s always in demand at pawn shops is luxury watches. These items resell quickly, so pawn shops are always buying them. 

If you have a luxury watch you no longer need, how about pawning it for extra cash? You can earn more if your watch is from famous designer brands like Chanel, Rolex, Cartier, and Breitling.  

If your watch is a limited edition, it’s better because it can earn you more. You can earn as much as $1,000 if your watch is in good working condition.

Like other high-value items, ensure you have an accurate understanding of the value of your watch to avoid being shortchanged.

Extra Reading: The Best Places to Sell Watches for Cash

4. Designer Handbags and Clothes

Brand-name handbags and clothes are in high demand at pawn shops. If you have one of these items, it will likely sell well.

You must prove legitimacy to get money for your designer bags or clothes. Pawn shops may have experts to do that. You can also provide any documentation that proves value, like a receipt.

Some popular brands likely to earn you good money include:

  • Louis Vuitton
  • Chanel
  • Gucci

You must also ensure your luxury items are clean and wear and tear-free. It’ll also help if your handbag or clothes come with their original packing materials.

You can also consider selling your items online if you can’t fetch fair offers at pawn shops. Websites like Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace are great options to consider.

5. Antiques and Collectibles

Antiques and collectibles like Pokemon cards are among the most sought-after items at pawn shops. These items appeal to pawnbrokers because they have historical value or serious fanbases. 

Examples of antiques and collectibles to sell at pawn shops are:

  • Vintage watches
  • Trading cards like Yugioh cards
  • Antique furniture
  • Postage stamps
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Collectible coins
  • Sports cards, like baseball cards
  • Comic books
  • Collectible toys like Beanie Babies
  • Old Stamps

To know the actual value of your antiques, look at resources like LiveAuctioneers.

6. Musical Instruments

Another high-demand item pawn shops buy is musical instruments. If you have one you don’t mind giving up, consider pawing it for cash.

Common musical instruments you can pawn include:

  • Guitars
  • Cellos
  • Trumpets
  • Flutes
  • Clarinets
  • Violins
  • Harps 

Such expensive instruments fetch a reasonable price at pawn shops. The price depends on the condition, sound quality, and history.

The most popular instrument that will pawn quickly is the guitar. Others, like pianos and drum sets, may not sell quickly because of their size.

7. Precious Metals

Pawn shops readily purchase precious metals like gold and silver since they can easily resell them for profit. They’re, therefore, one of the best categories of items to pawn. 

Another reason for you to pawn precious metals is they’re rare and non-renewable. For this reason, they’re pretty expensive, and their value tends to appreciate.

The more applications your metal can be put into, the higher its value and the likelihood of selling at a pawn shop. For example, a metal like osmium has only a few uses. It may sell slowly at a pawn shop.

The much you can earn for your piece depends on its percentage purity and weight. You must know the real value beforehand. From there, you can bargain for the best price.

If you have bullion bars, selling them to a specialized buyer is better than a general pawn shop.

8. Tools

One category of things you probably didn’t know you could pawn is tools. You may think they’re worth nothing, but that isn’t the case.

Pawn shops are always willing to buy tools because they’re easy to resell. They can also earn you a decent amount of money if they are in good condition.

Here are some popular tools you can exchange for cash at a pawnshop.

  • Power saws
  • Drills
  • Grinders
  • Riding mowers
  • Chainsaws
  • Sanding belts

Pawning any of the above tools can earn you top dollar depending on the condition and brand. Popular brands include Milwaukee, Bosch, and Dewalt. 

Ensure you repair any damaged tools before presenting them to the pawnbroker lest you land a lower offer.

9. Cars

Cars are another option if you’re still looking for items you can pawn for a decent amount of cash. Depending on the brand of your car, you could earn more than $1,000.

You must show proof of ownership and insurance coverage to pawn a car. You also must have a driver’s license.

To increase your chances of getting a high loan amount, ensure your car is thoroughly cleaned before you take it to the pawn shop. If it’s damaged in any way, repair it first.

Like any other expensive item, it’s wise to research the value of your car before you pawn it. This way, you’ll avoid getting ripped off.

It’s crucial to consider storage options available at your chosen pawn shop before you leave your car with them. You wouldn’t want to risk your car getting lost or mishandled before you repay your loan.

Another critical point is that not all pawn shops accept cars, especially in small towns. However, plenty of them in big towns would be willing to give you cash in exchange for your car.

Extra Reading: The Best Places to Sell Used Tires for Cash

10. Guns 

Other items pawn shops buy are guns. It’s worth noting that not all pawn shops will accept firearms. However, finding one willing to take your gun will be worth it. 

A gun’s price depends on age, value, and condition. It’s imperative to find out as much as possible about the gun you want to pawn, including its make and model. 

It’s crucial to note that pawning a gun that doesn’t belong to you or an unlicensed one is illegal. You must provide documents that prove ownership.

Take time to research the actual value of your gun before you pawn it. You can do that on PriceMyGun or Blue Book of Gun Values.

11. Sports Equipment

Sports equipment is another popular category of items pawn shops buy. Examples of sports equipment you can pawn include:

  • Baseball bats
  • Archery sets
  • Rackets
  • Golf clubs
  • Beach cruisers
  • Cricket bats

These items must be expensive for you to earn a good amount of money for them. They also have to be clean and in good condition.

How To Get the Best Rates for Your Items

Pawn shops generally want the most profit when reselling your item. They may, therefore, not give you fair offers. 

Now that you know the high-demand items you can pawn, it’s crucial to understand how to get the best rates for them. 

Here are some steps you can take to ensure you’re not shortchanged.

1. Do Your Research

The first step to pawning an item is finding out the value of your pawn and what makes it valuable. This way, you’ll know if the offer presented to you by the pawnbroker is fair. 

You can look at selling prices of similar products on eBay.

2. Prepare the Item

You can earn more when you present a clean item to the pawn shop than when you do a dirty one. It’s, therefore, vital to ensure your pawn is in good shape.

If your item is damaged, repair it before you bring it to the pawnshop. A damaged pawn will fetch a lower price than one in good condition.

3. Be Confident

The more confident you appear, the lower the chances of getting exploited by pawnbrokers. The best way to appear confident is to know the true worth of your item.

Another way is to know every little detail about your item. For example, in the case of antiques, knowing the thing’s history may help you prove value and earn more. 

4. Close the Deal

You can always walk away if the pawn shop offers you a ridiculous amount. There are plenty of pawn shops you could transact with. Keep your options open. 

It helps to shop around for the best rates and terms. Compare offers from different pawn shops to land the best one. If the pawn shop offers you a fair deal, this is your chance to walk away with money; take it.

Tips for Pawning Items for Cash

Here are tips you can use when pawning items for cash. With these tips in mind, you’ll maximize your earning potential.

  • Find the right pawn shop. Choose a reputable broker.
  • Research the value of your items beforehand.
  • Be ready to prove the value of your pawn. Have the necessary documentation.
  • Be willing to negotiate
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything
  • Compare prices and offers from different pawn shops
  • Pawn multiple items if you can’t reach your target amount with one item
  • Check for interest rates and other fees

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Pawn Shops Buy Near Me?

Pawn shops will buy almost anything from you if it’s valuable. However, they buy some items more consistently than others.

Some high-demand items any pawn shop near you will likely buy include:

  • Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Antiques like old clocks
  • Luxury watches
  • Precious metals like gold
  • Sports equipment like bikes
  • Tools 
  • Musical instruments

All you have to do to ensure your chosen pawn shop picks your items is to clean them and ensure they’re in good working condition. If any of the items are damaged, repair them beforehand.

What Will Pawn Shops Pay Most for? 

Some items have good resale value. Pawn shops will pay good money for such items, especially if they’re in demand. 

Some of the items pawn shops will play most for include:

  • Expensive jewelry
  • Precious metals like silver
  • Luxury watches
  • Expensive electronics
  • Expensive tools like a riding lawn mower
  • Expensive sporting goods like bikes
  • Vehicles
  • Musical instruments
  • Designer handbags and clothes
  • Expensive antiques 
  • Firearms

You need to know their exact value to get the most money from pawning the items above. This way, you’ll avoid getting exploited. For such high-value items, you’ll need to provide proof of value.

You’re also likely to earn more if your items are in good condition and come in original packaging.

What Is the Difference Between Pawn and Sell?

While both involve exchanging an item for cash, you cease to own it when you sell it. With pawning, you can get your item back once you repay your loan.

When you pawn an item, you give it out as collateral for a loan. If you default payment, the pawnbroker resells your item to recover his money and gain profit. 

Also, you don’t get your item’s worth of cash when you pawn it because pawn shops need to leave a margin for profit when they resell your item.

This is different from selling because when you sell, you earn more than you would’ve if you decided to pawn the item.

It’s also worth noting that pawnshops charge interest on loans they give out.

What Are the Best Things to Pawn Around the House?

There are some household items that pawn shops are always willing to buy. Depending on their demand, you can pawn such things for a reasonable amount of money.

They include:

  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Vehicles
  • Household appliances like refrigerators
  • Firearms
  • Power tools 
  • TVs

What Can I Pawn for $100?

Items that you can pawn for $100 include:

  • Jewelry with precious gems like diamonds
  • TVs
  • Laptops
  • Musical instruments
  • Fitness equipment

What Can I Pawn for $500?

Here are items you can pawn for as much as $500.

  • Expensive jewelry
  • Precious metals like gold
  • Firearms
  • Vehicles
  • Luxury watches
  • Designer bags
  • Collectibles like Funko Pops figurines

Final Thoughts

It’s not always possible to cover all our expenses using your income. Sometimes, emergencies arise, and you may need to raise a certain amount of money as quickly as possible.

There are many ways to make fast cash. One of the best ones is pawning items. 

Conventional money-lending institutions usually require you to follow lengthy procedures before they grant your loan. This is not the case with pawning.

With the right items, you can earn as much as $1,000 or even more from pawning items. You only need to know what to pawn and how to do it. Always research the value of your pawn and have a minimum price in mind to avoid getting exploited.

You must also be willing to negotiate, as this is how pawnshops operate. Otherwise, you may end up getting shortchanged.

Open your options and compare offers from different pawnshops to land the best deal. With all this in mind, you can make quick cash by pawning items.

Want other ways to make quick cash? Check out:

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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