If you are interested in buying or selling at a pawn shop but are unsure where to begin or are feeling intimidated by the idea of haggling and negotiating, we can help. As longtime members of the pawn shop community in the Ontario Ca area we have years of experience to draw on to guide you to success when it comes to negotiating with pawn shops.

How to negotiate when selling

First, understand the difference between selling and pawning items at a pawn shop. To pawn an object is essentially to take out a short-term loan against the value of that item. When your pawnbroker makes an offer on your item, you have a set number of days to repay and reclaim your item. If you do not pay, the shop can sell your item. There is usually not much room for negotiation when it comes to loans.

On the other hand, selling to a pawn shop is just that – you receive cash for your item with no agreement that you will reclaim your item, and without needing to repay anything. There is plenty of room for negotiation.

Before you visit the shop, do the following:

Prepare your item – before you visit the shop, make sure that whatever you’re selling is in the best condition possible. Clean it up, attach and adjust any accessories or strings and collect any paperwork that goes with your item.

Do your researchknow the value of your item. Even if you think you have a good idea, look at completed sales on online auctions, and see what people are asking (and receiving) for similar items on Craigslist. You may be surprised.

Then, when you visit your local pawn shop, you can begin negotiations with the following in mind:

Have realistic expectations

Do not get offended if your pawnbroker can only offer around 50% of the value of your item. A pawn shop cannot purchase goods at full value because they will need to make a profit on everything they have on hand. They cannot take into account any item’s sentimental value, history, collectability.

Listen more than you speak

Unless they ask directly, your pawnbroker does not need (or want) to know where you found your item, how long you’ve had it, or how much you originally paid for it. In fact, disclosing too much information like this may only hurt you. What you’re really saying by sharing information like this is either that the item doesn’t mean much to you and that you aren’t really invested in how much you get for it, or that you are emotionally attached to it and are expecting to get an unrealistic price.

Additionally, although you’ve done your research beforehand and have a good idea of your item’s value, do not disclose it to your pawnbroker. It is up to them to determine that for themselves, as they must take into account the likelihood that it will sell.

Haggle gently

Let the pawn shop make the first offer. Even if they begin by asking you how much you want for it, insist on them going first. After the shop makes an offer, it’s acceptable and expected to ask for a higher price. However, don’t overdo it or you might end negotiations before they really begin. At most, you might get closer to 60% of the value of your item. If your pawnbroker can get close to that number, take the offer. But, if they are dead set on 50%, that may be the maximum. It’s okay to be confident and assertive but know when to back down. You can always decide to walk away and try again at another pawn shop.

How to negotiate when buying

As a bonus, here are 4 tips for negotiating when purchasing from a pawn shop. Buying at a pawn shop is a slightly different process. You hold more power when you are buying, but you should still do your due diligence and negotiate.

Do your research

Even when you’re on the other side of the transaction, you should still do your research on the type of item you’re interested in, or at least be knowledgeable about how much it usually goes for. Most pawnbrokers price their items fairly, but it is still a chance for negotiation.

Inspect the item

In most pawn shops, all sales are final, so you should ensure that the item is in excellent condition. Make sure that moving parts do so efficiently and that all the vital parts of the object are functional.

Make your offer and begin negotiating

A good starting point is around 80% of the asking price. On some items, especially things that they have a lot of stock of, you can also ask what the lowest price is they will accept and offer $5 – $10 less. They will come back with a counter offer, which you can take, or you can try to whittle down even further.

Pay with cash whenever possible

If you visit your local pawnshop ready to buy with cash, you’ll have better results at negotiating than if you pay with credit or debit. There are even still many pawn shops out there that operate on a cash only, or mostly cash basis. Almost all, however, will be interested in having plenty of money on hand to buy items and to make loans, i.e., to keep their business running smoothly.

Also, paying with cash will help you stick to your budget and makes good financial sense.

On either side of the equation of buying or selling, using these tips can make negotiation simple and maybe even enjoyable. If you have a positive attitude, are respectful of your pawnbroker and understand the fact that they are a business, not a charity, you’ll come out happy and ahead. You will either get some extra cash by selling something you no longer need, or you will get a reasonable price for something you wanted and will use. Visit our shop or call us at (909) 627-9622 today and see just how easy it can be to negotiate with a pawn shop.