7 Things You Should and Shouldn’t Buy from a Pawn Shop

Unless you have a lot of money to spare, you’ll typically try to find the best ways to earn or save money. Going on the Internet to find products via comparison-shopping and getting online discounts is an excellent way to cut your spending. By shopping this way, you can get great deals and save boatloads of cash on car insurance, utility bills, groceries, everyday items, and much more.

Have you ever considered making purchases from a pawn shop? Believe it or not, this is an excellent way to get quality items at a low price. You will definitely save money this way, and you’ll save a lot more money in all areas, not just when you’re buying guns.

The Truth About Pawn Shops

First, let’s start with the myths….

The Major Myths about Pawn Shops

When thinking about pawn shops, most of you reading this have this glorified image of a fat guy wearing a wife beater with mustard stains all over the front standing behind the counter with the ciggy pressed against his lips. That’s what TV wants you to think at least. Even worse, they may have convinced you that he’ll have a dog and a gun on hand as well.

Guess what? While pawn shops like this certainly exist, there are definitely better options that come nowhere near this stereotype. Most of these establishments are very clean, very professional, and you won’t feel like you stepped into the latest episode of Trailer Park Boys when you walk through the door. Plus, you get to save a boatload of money to boot.

The below video is for your enjoyment!  

3 Great Buys at a Pawn Shop

  • Movies are really cheap to come by at a local pawn shop. In fact, you can pay as little as two dollars per DVD in a place like this. You do not have to buy anything sight unseen either. Open up the DVD case and look at the disc and see if there are any scratches on it before making a purchase. Even better, if your DVD doesn’t work for some reason, you can bring it back to the pawn shop and they usually have no problem letting you swap it for a different movie. Another cool thing is pawn shops typically have older movies and some of your favorites like a Caddyshack, The Deer Hunter, The Godfather, and more. At two dollars apiece, you’ll have a hard time turning these great deals down.
  • Buying tools from Sears or even an online retailer like Amazon can be very expensive. So if you’re looking to save money, you’re better off finding other ways to make these expensive purchases much cheaper. That’s where pawn shops come into the picture. You see, you can often walk into a pawn shop and buy gently used or even brand-new tools for a fraction of the cost that you’d pay at a home-improvement store or another retailer. And since most people typically buy tools for one or two quick jobs, paying top dollar is a mistake. Just save money and buy the tools from your local pawn shop instead.
  • Jewelry is another excellent choice to buy in pawn shops. Believe it or not, you could walk into a pawn shop and pay half the price that you would pay the typical retail outlet for gold, diamonds, and more. So visit your local pawn shop the next time you need to buy expensive jewelry and get a great discount in the process.

4 Things You Should Never Buy from a Pawn Shop

  • Avoid buying computers from a pawn shop. Why? They could be old, outdated, and have a lot of problems and you won’t know it until you’ve already made the purchase when it’s too late.
  • Small electronics like GPS navigation systems and digital cameras are also items to avoid. They could be broken and you might not know about it. Why put yourself at risk to buy them when something could be wrong?
  • No one should ever buy a television from a pawn shop either. TVs are cheap enough at this point when buying them brand-new. Buying a used TV is risky because it might not last that long.
  • Vacuum cleaners are another thing to avoid purchasing when looking to save money at a pawn shop. You could accidentally bring new allergens and germs into your home without even knowing it, so avoid this option.

More Things to Be Aware of

Remember, some pawn shops really are actually pretty shady so you have to be aware when buying. This is used merchandise that could actually break as soon as you pay for it. So definitely keep that at the forefront of your mind.

Also, when buying from a pawnshop they often have a no cash back policy in place just about everywhere. So you get what you pay for and they do not take returns for cash. You may get store credit in some cases, but you’ll obviously have to buy something else from their store in order to recoup your investment.

Final Thoughts

It’s certainly okay to buy stuff from pawn shops if you’re looking to save money. Just be aware of the potential downsides and take them into consideration. You may buy something that’s already broken and get stuck with it. So remember that this is part of the game so be aware if you’re going to play it.

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Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He started this website to share his expertise in using his Self-Directed IRA for alternative investments. His views on retirement investing have been highlighted in USA Today, Business Insider, Tech Times, and more. He invested with Goldco.