Your Guide to Buying a Wedding Ring from a Pawn Shop

Your Guide to Buying a Wedding Ring from a Pawn Shop

If you are in the market for an engagement ring, congratulations! Take a moment to celebrate your good fortune in finding your soulmate. Then, take a deep breath, because you now face another significant decision: where to buy your engagement ring. There are many choices of where to get your ring, each of them with pros and cons. However, an option many people overlook is their local pawn shop, like Central Mega Pawn.

A pawn shop of the size and community history of Central Mega Pawn is bound to have a wide selection of engagement rings, of every style and type. From vintage rings to modern pieces, there’s bound to be a huge selection that can only be believed by visiting in person. Before you visit your local mall and wind up spending the exorbitant markup at a chain jewelry store, or taking your chances elsewhere, check out our guide to buying your engagement ring at your local pawn shop.

First, here are some excellent reasons to make your local pawnbroker your one-stop shop for your engagement ring:

  • You can save money by avoiding retailer markup. Start your new life on a healthy financial foot. This is especially helpful when planning a wedding because expenses will pop up and pile on before you know it.
  • You can negotiate with your pawnbroker. Retailers would laugh you out the door if you tried this one on them. Your local pawnbroker, on the other hand, is likely to work with you if you do your research and are willing to do the work to reach an agreeable price.
  • Your pawnbroker wants to help you; they are members of their community and are not beholden to the interests of a massive corporation like chain jewelry stores are. When you buy from your local pawn shop, you support your community.

Now that we have gone over some of the undeniable benefits of buying your ring from your local pawn shop, here is your step-by-step guide to finding the right ring at the right price.

1. Figure out what you are looking for before you visit the shop.

If you walk in hoping for inspiration to strike, you may be in for a shock. There are usually a vast variety of rings to choose from, and you could quickly find yourself overwhelmed. No matter how friendly and helpful your pawnbroker might be, he or she can’t help you if you don’t have an idea of what you want. Take some time to look at the types of rings your fiancé likes, or already wears, and proceed from there. You can even begin the process months in advance and ask questions to give you an idea of what they would want. For the truly bold, you can also visit the shop as a couple.

2. Do your homework.

Once you know what you are looking for, go online and find out what is an average price for the kind of ring you want. Learn about the different variations of the style you want, and how that affects the price. You want to know exactly what to look for when it comes time to handle the rings.

Extra credit: buy (or borrow) and learn to use a jeweler’s loupe. This might seem a bit overboard, but don’t forget that you are shopping for a piece of jewelry that your fiancé will keep for the rest of their lives.

3. Be prepared to negotiate.

This is where all your homework will pay off. When you know what you can expect to pay for the type and style of the ring you want, you will be in a position to negotiate with your pawnbroker to reach a deal that works for everyone. While many people shy away from settling on price, it does not have to be complicated.

4. Keep an open mind.

The longer an item sits in a pawn shop, the more willing your pawnbroker will be to negotiating a price. So, that means you should consider looking at rings that may have been sitting in the case for longer than others. In some cases, you may find the perfect stone, but in a less than ideal setting; if this happens, you can negotiate for a reasonable price and plan to use your savings to have the stone reset in a different setting.

Many times, especially in dated ring designs, the diamond or stone is beautiful and takes on a whole new life when reset in a design more suited to the wearer’s taste.

5. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

It’s understandable to want to get the ring taken care of right away. After all, you are no doubt excited to start this new phase of life with your loved one. However, if the ring or stone doesn’t feel right, or if the pawnbroker helping you is pressuring you in any way, don’t be afraid to give another local pawn shop a chance. One of the many great things about pawn shops is that they are as individual as the communities they serve. You will find a whole new set of pawnbrokers and inventory at each shop you visit.

It may be helpful to visit a few shops before you decide to purchase anything. Your community likely has a handful of quality shops to choose from. When you find the right one, you’ll know, just like you knew it was time to pop the question.

After you buy your ring, be sure to insure it and have it professionally cleaned before you get down on one knee and take care of business. When it comes down to it, buying an engagement ring at a pawn shop is a smart move. With a little preparation, it could be an enjoyable experience that you will remember forever. Come visit us today so we can congratulate you, then show you what we can do for you!

The Military Lending Act and Pawn Shops: What Vets and Active Service Members Need to Know

The Military Lending Act and Pawn Shops: What Vets and Active Service Members Need to Know

It is a sad fact of life that military members and their families are often targeted by predatory lending practices, sometimes paying up to 300% interest on various types of loans. However, there is a little-known rule, called the Military Lending Act, that seeks to protect military veterans and their dependents from predatory lending practices. If you are a veteran, active service member, or the family of one, keep reading to find out what you need to know before you consider taking out a loan from your local pawn shop.

What is the Military Lending Act?

Established in 2006, the Military Lending Act (or MLA) is a federal regulation that provides many protections for veterans, active service members, and their family. Protections include:

  • Capping annual percentage rate on consumer loans at 36%, including all fees, finance charges, and credit insurance premiums
  • Prohibiting prepayment penalties for paying loans ahead of schedule
  • Allowing service members to seek arbitration for disputes related to loans

Since the inception of the MLA, the Department of Defense has added additional rules that apply to credit cards and other types of loans, such as pawnshop loans. The rules are constantly evolving, and it is up to lending institutions, such as banks and pawnshops, to keep themselves up to date.

How does the MLA affect loans from pawnshops?

To stay compliant, your local pawn shop must confirm your military status before originating or closing your loan. This means that they must run an additional background check on you that they do not run for other customers. For example, a pawnbroker may confirm your status directly from the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), or one of the nationwide credit reporting agencies. However, your credit rating will not affect the status of your loan from the pawnshop, because your creditworthiness is based on the items you put up as collateral. Also, you can rest easy knowing that your pawnshop loan will not go on your credit report, nor affect your credit rating.

In fact, in all other respects aside from the additional information your pawnbroker must confirm before granting your loan, the process is precisely the same.

Here’s how a pawnshop loan works, for everyone:

Pawnshop loans are a great alternative to other forms of borrowing. Loans from banks, for example, go on your credit report and can take a long time to process. Plus, not everyone will qualify for a bank loan, especially as borrowing restrictions get tighter every year. Personal loans are always an awkward situation and are also not available to everyone.

With a pawnshop loan, quick cash is easily accessible. Even with the extra check of MLA compliance, you can walk out of the shop with cash in hand in minutes.

Loans from pawnshops are unique because they work on collateral. Meaning, the loan is secured by something of value that you own. If you happen to default on your loan, your pawnbroker takes ownership of your item, and you call it a day. However, most people tend to get their items back.

So, you would bring your item into the pawnshop, and your pawnbroker will evaluate it.
The amount of the loan varies depending on the value of the item.

Your pawnshops will base the value of your item on three things: its appraised value, current condition, and the pawnshop’s ability to sell the item. Pawnbrokers have lots of tools to help them determine the value of your item.

The appraisal process itself varies depending on the type of item you bring. For example, jewelry is evaluated differently than power tools. All items we buy or pawn at Central Mega Pawn are tested to ensure that they work correctly.

The amount of your loan will also be determined in light of other factors like local demand and condition of your item. Every pawn shop is unique and goes about the process in their way.

Then, they will make an offer of how much they can lend you against the value of your item. If you have a relationship with your pawnbroker, you can negotiate things like repayment terms and interest rates, even if the MLA already protects you.

If you pay off your loan by the end of the repayment period, you get your item back. If you don’t entirely pay it off or end up defaulting on your loan, your pawnbroker offers your item for sale, with no legal consequences to the borrower. A bank loan, on the other hand, comes with stiff penalties and punishments than can follow a person around for years, ruining their credit score and making it difficult to get jobs and even housing opportunities.

A pawn shop loan is also beneficial to borrowers because they make it impossible to go into debt. You will not be lent more money than you can afford to borrow. You will not overextend your credit with a pawnshop loan.

How does the MLA protect my family and me?

There are severe penalties for lenders who violate the MLA. In addition to fines, lenders in violation face damages and “appropriate” punishments, which mean that the consequences of violating the Act can be far-reaching.

As a vet, service member, or family of a service member, your pawnbroker must ask if you qualify for the MLA before getting your loan started. As we previously mentioned, they will run an additional background check on you, but it will not affect the terms of your loan, will not show up on your credit report, and will not affect your credit score in any way.

A short-term pawn loan can be a lifeline for anyone in need of some quick cash. Central Mega Pawn will always comply with all state and federal regulations. It is our honor to not only serve our communities but to also give back to our brave service members and their families. Visit us today and find out how we can help you.

Buying Selling and Pawning Tools: A Guide

Buying Selling and Pawning Tools: A Guide

Tools have far more uses than their intended purpose. In addition to being helpful resources around the home, garage and countless other places, they can also help you get some much-needed cash at your local pawn shop. Regardless of if you are looking to add or subtract from your tool collection, your local pawn shop is the one-stop location for all your needs. Below is our handy guide to everything you need to know to successfully buy, sell, or pawn your tools at your local pawn shop.

Start with research

Even if you have experience with buying and selling tools, it is vital to learn as much as possible about up-to-date pricing and trends. While prices on tools don’t fluctuate as they do for precious metals and jewels, the market is still vulnerable to changes and updates that affect prices. So, in addition to looking around on the websites for major home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot, to see prices on tools similar to yours, look at online auction prices like eBay to see what prices are like for new versus used.

If possible, you should even visit a few retail stores to see how the new models compare to yours in features and price. Huge advancements to new models can affect the price of older models in every market.


Your local pawn shop is an excellent place for your tool-buying needs. They will only buy high-quality items that are in demand; in this way, buying tools from your local pawnshop is much safer than buying used online or from a seller, because you know you are getting functional tools for a fraction of what you might expect to pay elsewhere.

Also, sometimes you need a specific tool for a job and don’t want to buy it or deal with the hassle of renting. Use your local pawnshop to get your job done. When you are through with it, you can even sell it back for a portion of the price you paid. Additionally, when you are curious about how a specific tool might work out, you can pick one up at your local pawnshop for a low-risk experiment. If you decide to keep it, you can rest assured that you did not pay full price and will have a great new addition to your toolbox.

When you get to your local pawnshop to buy, do the following:

  • Ask to plug it in, if applicable
  • Carefully examine all moving parts; they don’t need to be immaculate, but they should be free of residue and should be in good working order.
  • For electric tools, check out the cord and battery pack. There should be no corrosion on battery terminals, and the wires should be in excellent shape. There should be no fraying, and the cord should not be wrapped in an excess of electrical tape.
  • Look for damage to motors or vital parts. All well-loved tools will show some wear, but some types of damage may shorten its life span or make it less useful.


Name brand tools are always in demand at pawn shops across the country. You will get higher prices at your local pawns shop than if you’d tried to sell online or through a person to person app. Better yet, you will not have to pay shipping fees or deal with finicky customers or returns. In other words, it is hassle-free to sell your tools at your local pawnshop.

Pawning tools can get you a surprising amount of money. Depending on brand and condition, quality used tools can net anywhere between $50 and $150 for a single piece. If you were to sell these same pieces at a garage sale, it is unlikely that you’d get nearly as much for them. Also, pawn shops are in an excellent position to offer more money at certain times of the year or when demand is higher for your item. For example, around springtime, power tools, especially those for yard maintenance are going to go at a premium since more people, homeowners and workers alike, will be preparing for the summer season.

Another surprising benefit of selling power tools to your local pawn shop is that it helps the environment and your community by not only keeping a tool out of the trash but also giving someone access to a tool that they might not be able to afford otherwise.

Before you take your items in to sell, consider the following steps, and remember that condition is king when it comes to selling tools to your local pawn shop:

  • Clean it – Ideally, every tool would undergo regular cleaning to stay in top working condition. However, most tools could likely use some attention before being presented to sell. You will need a cloth rag and some kind of non-abrasive de-greaser. Bringing your pawnbroker clean tools will make it easier for them to resell, which may help you get a better price.
  • Find any manuals if possible or even the packaging. The more complete the item, the easier it will be for your pawnbroker to resell.
  • Know what to expect in terms of your offer – do your research

Top brands that are generally always in demand include:

  • Milwaukee
  • DeWalt
  • Makita
  • Bosch
  • Stihl
  • Snap-On

Brands that have a little harder time:

  • Rigid
  • Stanley
  • Festool
  • Dremel
  • Craftsman
  • Ryobi

The more you know about your tools, the better position you will be in when it comes time to negotiate.


Your tools can help you get quick cash in an emergency. They are actually among the most popular items people pawn when they need money. You can use them as collateral on a loan that won’t hurt your credit score or require a credit check. For lots of reasons, a pawn loan is a far better option when you need quick cash than bank loans, payday loans, or cash advances on a credit card.

With a little bit of research, you could pawn your tools to get you some cash during a time that your tools would just be sitting around and gathering dust and reclaim them once you’ve paid back your loan.


Whether you are buying, selling, or pawning your tools, a skill that will come in handy is the ability and willingness to negotiate with your pawnbroker. One of the best things about working with your local pawnshop to buy, sell or pawn your tools is that you may have room to negotiate the offer on your price or loan terms; his is where your research will come in handy – you will walk in knowing what it is a fair price and will be able to work knowledgeably with your pawnbroker to arrive at a price that works for everyone.

Pawnshops are members of your community. As such, they want to make connections with their neighbors and keep them happy. It may pay to become a regular customer at your local pawn shop, as they may be willing to extend very favorable loan terms to you or better offers on your tools. Visit us today to see how we can help you get great tools at amazing prices, or how we can help you get top dollar for your high-quality used tools!

Top 5 Reasons Pawn Shops Rock

Top 5 Reasons Pawn Shops Rock

Pawnshops are much more than what you see on reality TV or in movies. And they are much more than the merchandise they offer for sale. Each pawnshop is as individual as the people running them and the items they choose to stock. However, every pawn shop has a handful of things in common that make them special. Here are five reasons why your local pawn shop rocks:

1. Pawnshops are an ancient institution

For about as long as humans have been bartering, they’ve been using pawn shops. Pawnshops are first on record more than 3,000 years ago in Ancient China as a way to grant short-term-loans to peasants. Pawnshops and pawnbrokers had their first heyday in Ancient Greece and Rome when pawning was a way for merchants to get small shops up and running.

In fact, in the 14th and 15th centuries, short-term credit granted by pawnshops were what allowed businesses to get up and running. In the 18th century, public pawnshops even set up charitable funds in Europe to offer low-interest loans to the poor to curb debt. Pawning clothing and items was a common way for the poor of the 19th century to make it through the week.

Pawnshops also feature prominently throughout history; England’s King Edward III pawned his jewels in 1388 to help finance war against France. Queen Isabella of Spain is even theorized to have pawned her royal jewels to fund Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to the New World.

2. Santa is the patron saint of Pawnshops

Many people would be surprised to learn that the patron saint of pawnbrokers is one of the most beloved figures in the Western World: Saint Nicholas, AKA Santa Claus. In one tale about his amazing deeds, he rescued the daughters of a poor man from becoming prostitutes by giving the father three bags of gold to be a dowry for their marriages. He is said to have dropped the bags down the chimney at night so that no one could identify the benefactor.

3. Pawnshops work for the people

For the most part, pawnshops are there to serve their communities. They are beholden only to themselves and the people they serve, not some corporate interests. They are part of an ancient tradition and proudly carry on the service that has made them such an important part of a functioning society.

While people from all walks of life use pawnshops, they are especially popular and useful for those outside the financial mainstream. More than one-quarter of U.S. households are unbanked or underbanked, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Without the aid of financial institutions, many families turn to services like payday loans, and check cashing places that charge predatory feeds for everyday services that many take for granted.

Pawnshops are a helpful alternative to those outside the financial mainstream, as they offer low-risk loans that do not need a credit check. If someone in need can’t repay their pawn loan, they risk their item, but their credit will remain unharmed, unlike high interest.

Not only can a pawn loan be obtained without a credit check, but the debt is relatively low-risk. If someone can’t repay their pawnbroker, they lose the item, but there will be no black mark on their credit report. Compare that to high-interest payday loans, which can easily trap consumers in a spiraling cycle of debt.

For low-income or unbanked members of a community, their local pawnshop is a lifeline. Traditional big banks have done a poor job of meeting the needs of so many Americans. Increasingly, pawnshops are stepping in to extend a helping hand.

Also, because pawn shops are usually independent, they have the freedom to negotiate with their customers to arrive at prices and terms that work for everyone. The power to negotiate can be a valuable service for customers who take the time to educate themselves and is something that is simply unavailable to people who use mainstream financial institutions.

4. Most pawnshops are clean and friendly places

Pawnbrokers of today are savvy about how important it is to put their best foot forward. They are no longer the stereotypical places of the past and make an effort to maintain a clean, well-lit store stocked with high-quality, legitimate goods. Some even make use of social media like Twitter to post fun photos of their merchandise and other updates on the store that provide an idea of the people behind the shop. Your local pawn shop wants to welcome you and make you feel comfortable.

5. Pawnshops see value in almost everything

The most popular items to pawn are fairly constant: jewelry, electronics, tools, etc., but they are open to considering almost anything. Because a pawn shop is a reflection of the community it serves, the pawnbrokers are knowledgeable about unique items that they can buy.

The staff at your local pawn shop can offer honest advice to help you make the right decision on selling your items. Whether you have valuable jewelry or some unique item, there will be no pressure to sell, and they will be open to hearing your thoughts on your offer.

In fact, most pawn shops want to help people reclaim their merchandise. Because pawn shops are always well-stocked, it can be easy to assume that most people never manage to pay off their debt and reclaim their items. However, according to the National Pawnbrokers Association, 80% of pawned items are bought back by the original owners. This is a telling statistic that implies that pawnshop loans work and that the pawnbrokers are doing a great job of extending favorable loan terms and working with their customers to get them deals they can manage.

When you work with your local pawn shop to buy, sell, or take out a low-risk loan, you are dealing with a professional who cares about providing the best possible service at every transaction. Come visit us today to see how Central Mega Pawn rocks in its special way.

Designer Sunglasses: a Buyer’s Guide

Designer Sunglasses: a Buyer’s Guide

Sunglasses are a must-have accessory, especially if you live in a place like the Inland Empire, where the sun shines almost all-year round. High-quality sunglasses can provide the kind of quality and comfort that will make it easy to protect your eyes from the bright light of our Southern California sun.

Whether you buy them for style or for adventure, it is always worth it to invest in high-quality sunglasses. The kind that you can buy at gas stations or that you might receive as promotional items are cheaply made, and worse, do not actually protect your eyes, which can lead to pain and damage. Designer sunglasses are manufactured to scientific specifications and are built to last.

For many people, however, designer sunglasses are too expensive. That’s where we come in: at Central Mega Pawn, we make it easy to get high-quality designer sunglasses at a fraction of retail price.

Shopping for the perfect sunglasses can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a guide to help you find the perfect sunglasses for you, and how to get the most value for your money when it comes to buying designer sunglasses.

Eye Protection

Your first consideration should be on eye protection from harmful UV rays. It is a misconception that darker lenses mean increased eye protection; the truth of the matter is that the most protective lenses come in all shades. When you buy non name-brand glasses, however, you can never be sure that you are getting the protection you need. This is another reason to buy designer sunglasses whenever possible, as you can rest assured that the lenses provide the highest level of protection.


Next, you should consider how your new sunglasses will fit. Not every frame is created equal, which is a good reason to visit us in person to try on your new glasses. They should fit well but not sung across the bridge of your nose and should not apply pressure against your scalp. Remember that the best pair of sunglasses for you is the one that you will wear consistently.


You cannot ignore lens quality when choosing your new designer sunglasses, as they are what stands between your delicate eyes and harmful rays. Lenses can be made of a variety of materials, such as glass, or polycarbonate. Regardless of the material, lenses should be free of scratches. Scratches are not only distracting, but they could also expose your eyes to damaging UV light. If you find any damage to the lenses, find another pair or look into getting the lenses fixed before you begin wearing them.


The color or your lenses do not only affect the style of your sunglasses, but also affect how your eyes will detect contrast and differentiate between colors. Different lens tints filter light differently.

Depending on what kind of activities you want to use your glasses for, consider the following:

  • Gray lenses reduce light intensity without affecting how you see contrast, or distorting colors.
  • Brown lenses enhance contrast by blocking some blue light, which makes them ideal for snow activities, and hunting in bright light conditions.
  • Amber/yellow lenses significantly block most blue light, which makes them ideal for hunters but bad for any other activity that requires color recognition.
  • Copper sunglasses are favored by golfers, as they mute the sky and grass against a golf ball.
  • Blue and green sunglasses lenses enhance the contrast of brightly colored tennis balls.

Overall Quality

The cumulative effect of all these considerations will give you an idea of the overall quality. Designer sunglasses will give an impression of high-quality and durability in the way the lenses, frame and fit feel when you put them on.

Face Shape

Next, you should consider your face shape; the shape of your face is a helpful guide to finding the perfect the right pair for you.

  • Oval – If your chin is narrower than the forehead, you have an oval face, and are very lucky, because almost any frame will compliment this face shape.
  • Round – If the width and the length of the face are the same, you have a round face. Wearing wide and rectangular sunglasses will compliment this face shape, while round frames and colored lenses should be avoided.
  • Square – If your face has well-defined angles in prominent areas such as your jawline, forehead, and cheeks, you have a square-shaped face. Round and oval frames are the way to go in this situation, while angular or geometric frames will not do you any favors.
  • Heart-shaped Face – A broader forehead and narrow chin denotes a heart-shaped face. Round or cat’s-eye shaped frames are the most flattering options for this face shape.
  • Oblong – A narrow chin and a long face are the hallmarks of an oblong face. Try out oversized or wraparound style frames to not only flatter your natural shape but to make a bold style statement.

Of course, the best way to know for sure when you’ve found the right pair for you is to come visit us in person and try on some of our selections. We buy only the highest-quality items that come through our door and sell only top brand sunglasses that come with their original packaging, such as authentic cases and paperwork.

Pawn shops like Central Mega Pawn are reflections of their communities. As such, they will have things that their neighbors want and need. Being located in Ontario, deep in the heart of Southern California, Central Mega Pawn has a variety of high quality, name brand designer sunglasses for you to choose from.

We regularly stock many quality sunglasses from top brands like:

  • Armani Exchange
  • Dior
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Tom Ford
  • Oakley
  • Louis Vutton
  • Chanel
  • Coach
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Versace
  • Ray-Ban

But not to worry if you aren’t able to visit us in person – we offer an online shop with great prices, outstanding customer service and quick shipping.

Also, when you are ready to change up your style, you can always sell your designer sunglasses back to us and continue making the most on your investment.