5 Reasons Why Buying Jewelry from a Pawn Shop is a Good Idea

5 Reasons Why Buying Jewelry from a Pawn Shop is a Good Idea

In recent years, buying pre-owned jewelry has become easier than ever before. As a result, when you are looking for a fine piece of jewelry, you have many options. From online stores to even high-end jewelers, you can find quality used jewelry almost anywhere. Before you visit your local retailer, however, there’s another option you should consider: your local pawnshop. Your local pawnshop is an underrated resource for pre-owned jewelry. At Central Mega Pawn, we’ve made it our mission to let our community know that we are here to help them. To that end, we have compiled five reasons why buying jewelry from a pawn shop is a good idea:

Finding a Pawnshop in Ontario That Buys Broken Jewelry & Loose Gemstones

Finding a Pawnshop in Ontario That Buys Broken Jewelry & Loose Gemstones

If you have broken jewelry or loose gemstones lying around, you might be wondering if they have value, and if so, where you can sell or use them to obtain a quick and easy cash loan. You have many options, such as jewelry stores, auction websites, or person-to-person sales apps, but your best bet is a pawn shop. This is because pawn shops are valued members of their communities. Unlike chain retail stores, whose primary goal is to make the most profit for their corporation, or impersonal website, pawn shops are valued members of their communities. Pawnbrokers have a vested interest in helping their neighbors and have the flexibility to do so.

Finding a pawn shop in Ontario, California

Not every pawn shop is created equal. It is always the best bet to visit your local pawn shop, not the one with the most advertising that is far away or those that appear on popular television shows. No matter what kind of community you live in, there is a pawn shop near you.

For example, if you live in or near Ontario, California, you have many options because the Inland Empire is a relatively populous area. In fact, you might become overwhelmed by all of your options. However, there is an easy way to find the pawnshop for you in Ontario that is interested in and will buy your broken jewelry and loose gemstones.

First, do your research – google terms like “pawn shops near me,” and see which ones top the list. Then, look them up on Yelp or other review sites to see what people tend to say about working with them. If you notice a pattern of positive or negative experiences, that can be a good indicator of what you might expect from the shop. Use your info to make a shortlist of potential shops.

Then, contact the top contenders – any pawn shop worth your business will be glad to hear from you. You can call or email or even visit in person to see about their policies and if they would be interested in your broken jewelry and loose gemstones.

Lastly, go to a shop with expertise – many pawn shops specialize in particular types of items. For example, some tend to buy lots of antiques, while others specialize in tools. At Central Mega Pawn, we are proud to say that jewelry, precious stones, and metals are among our specialties. We have been serving our Inland Empire community for more than a decade, and we are one of a few pawnshops nationwide that employ an in-house jeweler. This means that we are a great place to sell or pawn your broken jewelry and loose gemstones.

Selling or pawning broken jewelry

Broken jewelry retains a lot of its value and can help you obtain a quick cash loan when you need a little financial boost. Unlike many other items found in a pawn shop, such as electronics or musical instruments, jewelry does not typically lose value as it ages.

The precious metals market determines the value of your broken jewelry. Although the market tends to have fluctuations, the value of precious metals and loose gemstones generally increases over time.

Our in-house jeweler will determine what kind of precious metal comprises your jewelry, including its purity. Then, they will weigh, measure, and assess any accompanying jewels. Based on the information they generate, your pawnbroker will make you an offer. You are free to accept the offer, decline the offer, try at another shop, or negotiate for better terms.

Loose gemstones

At Central Mega Pawn, we are always interested in buying your loose gemstones, from precious diamonds to more common but still valuable other types.

Although most loose gemstones will retain their value, not all gems are valued equally. So, as you consider selling or pawning your loose jewels at Central Mega Pawn, keep the following in mind:

  • There are four significant types of precious stones: diamond, ruby, blue sapphire, and emerald. These are the most valuable types of gemstones that we often see. They will always command a high price because they are stable in value and considered significantly precious.
  • Any other stone not mentioned above will be considered semi-precious. While they are still valuable, they will not fetch as high a price like a stone classified as precious.
  • Size matters, The larger your loose gemstones, the higher price you can expect.

How to get the most money for your broken jewelry and loose gemstones in Ontario

Now that we know some basics of how Central Mega Pawn will evaluate your broken jewelry and gemstones, here is how you can maximize your offer:

  • Gather all your pieces – no matter how many parts your jewelry has broken into, the more you can bring in, the better your chances of getting a fair offer for your items.
  • Do your homework – learning even a little bit about how jewelers appraise precious metals and stones will help you understand how much you can expect. Plus, it will help you be more confident when it comes time to negotiate.
  • Clean your items – do your best to clean every item you have. Generally speaking, for any item you wish to pawn or sell to a pawn shop, a good rule of thumb is that the cleaner it is, the easier it is for your pawnbroker to evaluate and resell, if necessary.
  • Have realistic expectations – this is where your homework will come in handy. Once you have an idea of the value of your broken jewelry or loose gemstones, understand that your offer will likely be a fraction of that amount, usually around 40-60%. Pawnbrokers are unable to offer an even exchange of any item.
  • Negotiate – The more homework you do, the more leverage you will have when it comes time to negotiate the best deal for everyone involved. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away if you are unable to reach ideal terms. Your jewelry will not decrease in value, and we are not going anywhere! You can try again later, or even at a different shop.

Put your broken jewelry and loose gemstones to work for you! Now that you are armed with the knowledge that Central Mega Pawn is your best bet for selling or pawning let us turn your unwanted broken jewelry and loose gemstones into cash in hand in minutes.

The Ins and Outs of Pawn Loans in California

The Ins and Outs of Pawn Loans in California

Imagine this: after one or two unanticipated expenses pop up, your rent or car payment is due, and you are short $100. What should you do? You might consider a bank loan, but not only is the amount too small, but the hit to your credit report also isn’t worth it. Plus, getting your money could take weeks.

You might think about asking a friend or a family member. Still, the chances are good that they are facing similar financial troubles, not to mention that borrowing money from friends and family can be a tricky situation. Some might even think about potentially dangerous solutions like getting a cash advance on a credit card or obtaining a payday advance loan, both of which charge astonishing interest rates and trap many unsuspecting people into a vicious cycle of debt.

If you have an item of value, you could think about selling it online or on one of the many person-to-person sales apps out there. This can be a good option but comes with many compromises that make it troublesome. For one, you are at the mercy of demanding buyers who may try to lowball you at every turn, not to mention the fact that to list items cost money, which immediately eats into the funds you can expect. Also, waiting for your money to transfer over to you may be too slow. Worst of all, once you sell your item, it is gone forever. Selling something you treasure can be painful.

If this scenario sounds at all familiar, you are not alone, and you are not out of options. The solution you are looking for can be found at your local pawn shop. Pawn shop loans are fair, short term collateral cash loans, and they are designed to work with you, not against you.

At Central Mega Pawn, we believe that getting the emergency cash you need should not be a grueling and possibly heartbreaking experience. We are here to help. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about pawn loans in California.

How Pawn Shops Work

First, we will go over how pawn shops function in the first place. Since ancient times, pawn shops have been a resource for their communities for quick, easy funding. Today, the spirit is essentially the same:

  • You bring in something that you legally own, and that has value. (We will discuss how to determine if your item is valuable shortly)
  • After inspecting the item, if the pawnbroker is interested, he or she will offer a loan, usually in the amount equal to a fraction of the item’s value.
  • Once all the loan terms have been discussed and agreed upon, you receive your cash and leave your item at the shop.
  • You will receive a pawn ticket, which you should keep track of! It is the receipt for your item, and it contains all of your loan terms, like fees, repayment date, etc.
  • If you repay your loan plus interest in the agreed-upon terms, you will get your item back.
  • If you do not repay your loan plus interest, you surrender the item to the pawn shop. They will then put it up for sale to recoup the loss. You are under no further obligation, and your credit score is unaffected.

Getting a pawn loan in California

As stated above, it is a reasonably straightforward process to obtain a pawn loan in California. However, there are other things you should know:

  • Look for a reputable pawn shop. Your local pawn shop should have its certification prominently posted in the shop and website.
  • Be prepared to identify yourself. You will need to show your driver’s license or state ID, provide a thumbprint, and in some cases, have your photo taken. You may also be asked to provide detailed information about the item being pawned. While this sometimes feels excessive for first-timers, this is one of the many ways that pawn shops take care not to deal in stolen items, which is suitable for everyone.
  • In California, the loan period is generally 120 days, plus a ten-day grace period to repay your loan and accrued interest and fees.
  • Pawn interest rates and fees tend to be very fair and are regulated by the state. However, they can vary depending on the size of the loan and can add up, so look over your agreement carefully before signing.

What can you use for collateral?

We will now discuss the kinds of things you can use for collateral to get your pawn loan! The good news is that you can pawn just about anything. The bad news is that not everything will have a monetary value. Below are some things to consider before choosing what to use for collateral.

  • Keep in mind that no matter your item’s sentimental value, and regardless of how much you paid for it when you first purchased it, it may not be worth as much as you think. Your pawnbroker must use its current market value to determine its worth. Then, you can only expect about a percentage of the determined value.
  • Remember that pawnbrokers tend to specialize in items particular to their community. For example, pawn shops in farming communities will have many farm-related items, while urban ones will specialize in other things. Some specialize in things like gold, jewelry, or electronics.
  • Don’t be too intimidated to negotiate with your pawnbroker on things like amounts or even loan terms. We have a handy guide to help you conquer your hesitation, available here.

Why Central Mega Pawn?

At Central Mega Pawn, we want your business, not your merchandise. We love to help our community get the cash they need, and we love assisting first-time customers to become repeat visitors. Our goal is to go above and beyond for you every time. The next time you need quick cash for bills, emergencies, or any reason at all, visit us and find out why we are Southern California’s leading resource for pawn loans!

Antiquing at Pawnshops: 5 Things You Should Know

Antiquing at Pawnshops: 5 Things You Should Know

By any measure, antiquing is an underrated pastime. However, with the popularity of television shows about antiques, house flipping, and interior design, the hobby is taking off. And it’s no wonder – the best thing these shows have done is to help people develop an appreciation for older, well-loved items. Finding, cleaning, and having that first, or next, unique item seems to provide a level of fun and satisfaction that can’t be beaten. It is certainly not hyperbole to say that antiquing is the closest most of us will ever get to real-life treasure-hunting!

If you are interested in antiquing, you might be wondering where to find your next great acquisition. If you follow the recommendations of the popular shows and channels about antiquing, your first instinct might be to spend countless hours scouring every flea market, garage sale, and run-down antique store in your area.

However, there is a resource in every community worldwide for fun, high-quality antiquing, including your own neighborhood: the local pawn shop. Your local pawn shop is likely a treasure trove of unique items that would thrill any fan of antiquing, from beginner to veteran. If you are surprised to hear that a pawn shop might have what you are looking for, it is understandable. Pawn shops are the secret weapon of many smart shoppers. However, as with everything else, it is a good idea to arm yourself with helpful knowledge before you begin your search.

At Central Mega Pawn, we want to help you get the most for your money and to enjoy the fun of antiquing. To that end, we have put together this helpful guide to get the most out of your pawn shop explorations. Keep reading to find five essential things that you should know about antiquing at pawn shops.

How do pawn shops work?

First, let’s look at why and how a pawn shop is a great place for antiquing. For starters, pawn shops have long been valuable members of their communities. They provide everything from emergency cash loans to a place for people to easily and quickly sell unwanted valuables. People bring their valuables to their local pawnshops to either sell or pawn, which is how your next great antique found its way to the shelves.

For the purposes of antiquing, pawn shops are valuable to you because they only purchase and stock high-quality items. Unlike places like garage sales, where you must sift through piles upon piles of useless things, your local pawnbroker has already done a great deal of the hard work of deciding what is valuable and what is not.

1. How to Start Your Search

Pawn shops are reflections of their communities. So, before you choose a pawn shop to check out, study its community. For example, in farming communities, you will likely find farmhouse-style antiques at that area’s local pawn shop. This is perfect if your goal is to find a great farmhouse or farm style antique, but it is not ideal if you are looking for something unrelated, such as a vintage typewriter or globe. The more distinct a community, the more likely it is that you will find related items.

2. How to Spot Valuable Antiques

Spotting valuable antiques is vastly different than how people evaluate other items. For example, human imperfections and minor wear often make an antique more valuable than pristine items. You can also know where to look for designer marks on a particular item and use a magnet to determine sterling silver vs. silver-plated metal.

3. Become a Specialist

If you are just starting out in antiquing, you might be in the middle of figuring out what items genuinely speak to you and what your goals are. Below are some popular types of items for antiquing. Each has its own rubric for determining its rarity and value. Some are even more likely to have documentation on its origins and history.

  • Wood
  • Rugs
  • Art
  • Silver
  • Porcelain and ceramics

Becoming knowledgeable about what to look for in a particular type of item will arm you with a valuable resource when looking for genuine antiques.

4. Trust Your Gut

Always trust your gut when deciding on buying an antique, regardless of the circumstances. If something seems a little off about an item, it is usually the right decision to walk away, even if you feel conflicted. Sure, you might miss out on a unique item, but your peace of mind is not worth sacrificing. Plus, one of the great things about antiquing is that there is always something new and different around every corner. Also, keep in mind that trusting your gut goes for good feelings as well! If you have a great feeling about an item, be sure to pick it up!

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

Sometimes, people are too intimidated to haggle or negotiate at a pawn shop. This might be because pawn brokers are professionals, or due to what people see in the media, but dealing with a pawn broker does not need to be a stressful experience. After all, unlike many sellers at flea markets or garage sales, pawn brokers do not overvalue their items. Also, pawn brokers are used to haggling! They will not take it personally and will not be offended if you decide to walk away.

At Central Mega Pawn, we love taking the difficult part out of antiquing! You can rest assured that every item you find in our shop has been verified to be authentic to the best of our professionals’ abilities. We run a clean and well-organized shop so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for, which is unlike most antique stores that charge a premium for their items. We are picky about what things we purchase and sell and are proud to offer you a great central location in the Inland Empire for all your antiques, relics, and collectibles. Visit us online or in-person and see how we can quickly become your secret weapon for your antiquing!

Fake Vs. Fact: How to Avoid Buying Designer Knockoffs – Louis Vuitton Edition

Fake Vs. Fact: How to Avoid Buying Designer Knockoffs – Louis Vuitton Edition

Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited designers out there. Scammers know that there is a massive demand for their bags. With all the different lines that have come out through the years, including canvas monogram, epi, vernis, damier azur, making sure you are buying a genuine article has never been more challenging. Luckily, at Central Mega Pawn, we’ve put together a guide to help you make sure you are spending your hard-earned dollars on genuine Louis Vuitton bags. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to avoid buying knockoff material.

An authentic Louis Vuitton bag always has the following characteristics:

  • High-Quality Materials: Louis Vuitton bags are expensive, partly because they are made out of genuine, costly materials such as top-tier leathers made from boa, crocodile, lambskin, and camel skin. Knockoffs, on the other hand, are easily recognizable by their use of pleather or vinyl, or other material that feels rough or stiff to the touch. A genuine Louis Vuitton bag feels smooth and soft to the touch, thanks to the expert craftsmanship that goes into its construction at every step of the process.
  • Trim: Louis Vuitton trim tans naturally as it ages because it is genuine material. Fakes, on the other hand, have tags that do not age or tan. If you encounter a so-called gently used Louis Vuitton bag with trim that looked worn but not aged, you have not found an authentic piece.
  • Careful Monogram placement: On genuine Louis Vuitton bags, monograms are always consistent. There will be no misalignment or incorrectly cropped monograms, and you will never encounter a seam in the middle of the genuine Louis Vuitton bag.
  • Separate Tags: These are never attached to a genuine Louis Vuitton bag. Keep in mind that even when tags are part of the purchase, they are placed within the purse itself or in the accompanying dust bag. Tags are never attached to genuine Louis Vuitton bags with plastic pins!
  • Genuine Hardware: the hardware on a Louis Vuitton bag is always an indicator of authenticity. Fake purses will very often have painted or decorated plastic tags. In contrast, an authentic piece will have gold, or sometimes, brass metal hardware engraved with Louis Vuitton bags’ trademark logo.
  • Dust Bags: All genuine Louis Vuitton bags come with a soft dust bag. While imitators may try to throw you off with nylon or plastic dust bags, real articles will come with a bag in a soft tan leather that features the trademark LV log in the center.

Do Your Research

As a savvy buyer, you should know about some basic features about the bag you are buying. For example, if you are looking for a bag in the “Speedy” line, you should know that no genuine bag has metal or gold feet on the bottom.

Whenever possible, do your research on the type of bag you are interested in. A knowledgeable buyer will be able to spot the tiny additions or changes that make knockoffs so hard to discern by other buyers.

Beware of Extra Accessories

Many Louis Vuitton knockoffs attempt to con people by throwing in fake accessories along with their counterfeit bag. To this day, authentic Louis Vuitton bags do not come with extra accessories. However, while lines like the Neverfull have the option to add a shoulder strap, it is never included as a standard purchase.

Examine Details Like Handles and Stitching

The high-quality workmanship of genuine Louis Vuitton bags is easy to spot on genuine articles. The handles and stitching are precise and durable. If your potential bag has any loose threads, the chances are good that you’re dealing with a knockoff.


The lettering on your bag is another clear indicator of a knockoff or an authentic Louis Vuitton bag. Lettering done by scammers is hasty and sloppy. On the other hand, genuine bags proudly feature clear and precise lettering that gives all their bags their signature quality. Thankfully, there are some signs you can look out for to ensure that your Louis Vuitton bag is authentic:

  • The “O” in Louis Vuitton should be perfectly round, not oval.
  • The horizontal line in the “L” should be very short.
  • The name Louis Vuitton is almost always spelled out in all capital letters. However, even on models where the brand name is not capitalized, it is done in a distinctive script that is difficult to replicate.

Don’t Fall for “Certificates of Authenticity”

Some scammers try to fool buyers by providing certificates or cards of authenticity. While genuine bags sometimes come with a white or cream-colored card on the inside with the model name and a barcode, real bags do not come with cards or certificates of authenticity.

Look for Date Codes

Since 1980, every Louis Vuitton bag comes with a date code that indicates where and when it was made. The codes are usually stamped on a leather tag on the bag’s interior or into the lining itself. However, the codes can be difficult to find, depending on the model. The codes’ structure can vary as well – some have all numbers; some have a combination of letters and numbers. Scammers try to fool buyers by sloppily stamping a serial number on the inside.

Commonly Replicated Louis Vuitton Bags

One of the many things that not only make Louis Vuitton bags so beloved but also susceptible to fraud is the fact that there are so many innovative styles and types of bags in the Louis Vuitton collection. While some styles are more frequently knocked-off than others, below is a list of the most commonly replicated bags on the black market:

  • Signature Monogram Canvas
  • Takashi Murakami Collection
  • Damier Graphite Canvas
  • Speedy
  • Neverfull
  • Alma

At Central Mega Pawn, we take every step possible to ensure that you will find only genuine articles in our shop. When you’re in the market for a genuine Louis Vuitton bag, you can rest assured that ours will be the real thing. Visit us today to see what bags we have in stock!