Since it first hit the internet in 1995 as “auction web,” eBay has grown to become one of the web’s most prominent websites. Each day, more than two billion transactions take place on the site. That is why, all these years later, it is understandable that when most people want to sell something from their home’s safety and comfort, or when they want to find a good deal, they think of eBay.

After all, in addition to the name recognition, eBay promises safe transactions and fair deals. But there are better alternatives out there that will help buyers and shoppers alike get great deals and get more for their money: their local pawn shop. Pawnshops exist in nearly every community worldwide and have been helping their neighbors buy and sell goods and obtain short-term credit for centuries.

Keep reading to find out more about why your local pawn shop is probably the better option for you, regardless of if you are buying or selling.

First: What you should know about pawn shops

If you have never worked with your local pawn shop, you might have outdated perceptions of pawnbrokers and what they do. Despite common depictions in film and television of pawnshops and pawnbrokers, most characterizations are inaccurate. Part of this inaccuracy may be because there are over 11,000 pawn shops across the country, serving over 30 million people annually. There is just no way to build a fair description of such a thriving industry. The truth is that your local pawn shop is likely a bright, clean space and staffed by friendly and helpful people.

Pawnshops work by selling used goods at reasonable prices and buying and pawning items of value from community members. When you bring an item to your local pawnbroker, you have two options: selling or pawning.

When you pawn, you are basically taking out a collateral loan against the value of your item. Your pawnbroker appraises your item and gives you a percentage of its worth in a loan. When you repay your loan, your item will be returned to you, and you can repeat the process if necessary. On the off chance that you do not repay your loan, your pawnshop keeps your item and resells it to recoup the loss. Your credit is not affected, and there are no further obligations.

Pawn loans are often a lifeline for the millions of traditionally unbanked Americans and allow them access to the cash they need without resorting to payday advance stores or bank loans, both of which are financially treacherous.

Meanwhile, when all you want to do is sell an item quickly, pawn shops offer huge convenience and safety. Unlike selling online, where you can encounter increasingly creative scammers, your pawn shop is a secure place to do fair business. No matter if you want to sell to clear out clutter or save for an upgrade, you can sell pretty much anything to your local pawnbroker.

Top three reason why buying is better at a pawnshop

  1. You can see your items before you buy – when you buy from a pawn shop like Azusa Pawn, you are welcome to examine any merchandise before you buy. When you buy on eBay, you are dependent on the quality of photos and the seller’s description.
  2. No shipping or handling fees – the days of free shipping on eBay are long gone. Many sellers these days must charge for shipping and handling, and in some cases, insurance. So, even if you manage to score a good deal on an item, you may wind up paying extra to cover shipping.
  3. No waiting – when you buy from a pawn shop, you get instant gratification. On eBay, sellers have up to a week in some cases to ship their item once you’ve paid, and then you must wait for it to arrive. When you buy from Azusa Pawn, you walk out with your item in minutes.
  4. Top three reasons why selling is better at a pawnshop

    1. You will not be slammed with fees at your local pawn shop! It is no secret anymore that eBay tends to be a more favorable place for buyers and not sellers. Sellers face lots of fees on everything from the final price of their sold item to including too many photos. In fact, in some circles, especially for those dealing with collectibles like baseball cards, the site is referred to as “fee-bay.”
    2. No wait – when you list an item on eBay, you are in for a long wait every step of the way. You must wait for your auction to end, then wait for the seller to complete payment, then wait for the item to be marked as received, and then wait even longer to get your money digitally transferred. Not to mention, you have yet another wait in store if you want to have cash in hand for your item, since you will need to transfer your money to your bank account, then go to your bank or an ATM to withdraw your cash. When you sell to a pawn shop, the entire transaction can take mere minutes. You will leave with money in hand without all the trouble of shipping and waiting.
    3. Much easier – when you sell on eBay, you have many hoops to jump through. After carefully researching your item’s value or similar items on the site, you will need to take, edit, and upload photos and then write a detailed description. And that’s just to get your item listed! Once it is active, you must manage your listing, answer questions, then finally pack and ship your item. Once it is out of your hands, it is up to the buyer to be honest and report your item as received and in good condition. For some, this can be a fun and rewarding experience, but when you want to sell your item quickly and get cash in hand in minutes, a pawn shop is a superior choice.
    4. At Azusa Pawn, we pride ourselves on our professional, customer-oriented operations. Pawnshops have been around for much longer than eBay, and we are proud to continue the tradition of helping our communities. Visit us online or in-person today to experience the difference!