Six Things to Look for on Your First Shopping

Pawn shops are becoming increasingly popular places to save some very substantial money on top quality items. Jewelry, home electronics, tools and collectibles are just a few examples where items can be purchased for 30% – 60% less than even the prices at the “Big Box” stores.

So what does the savvy shopper need to know when making their first pawn shop shopping expedition?

1) Before your visit: Does the pawn shop have a strong Internet presence? A quality, well maintained website with useful information is a great indicator of a first-class shop. Does the shop have an online store? This is a great way to sample the selection at the shop before you make a visit.

2) Does the staff acknowledge you as soon as you come through the door? First impressions are critical in virtually everything and if you get a friendly acknowledgement within the first few steps inside the store, then that’s a pretty accurate indicator that the store is very customer focused.

3) Are there others in the store shopping or getting loans? While every pawn shop has the occasional “Down time”, having other people in the store is always a good sign. Make two visits and never see anyone else? Drive by several times and never see a car in the parking lot? These could be signs that the pawn shop is not very focused on their customers or the local community.

4) Is the store clean and well organized? Many people look for this in a shop as their first priority and it is certainly important. Any store can get a little messy after a sudden influx of customers, but most first class pawn shops hold themselves to a very high standard of cleanliness and order.

5) Are there a lot of items for sale on the shelves and floor of the showroom? This is always a good sign. Lots of items indicate that the store is vibrant and healthy within the community. Contrary to popular belief, a large percentage of items for sale may not be from defaulted pawn loans as many people see the local shop as a hassle-free way to turn unwanted items into cash by selling the items.

6) Now this last item might seem a little unusual…but does the pawn shop have a good “feeling”? Are there a lot of smiles from the staff? Do you hear other customers laughing and saying something to the effect of, “Wow, I’ve wanted one of those…(Insert item name here!)… for years?” Pawn shops should be fun places. One of the fun aspects of these shops is the highly unusual, rare and dare we say, “Funky” treasures that you can score, for not a lot of money. Do you see a lot of things that you absolutely adore, but are a little concerned as to what people would think if you were displaying something like a complete set of brass animals playing musical instruments? Well, sounds like you found a really good pawn shop!