Do you know how to negotiate when buying at a pawn shop?

If you’re planning on going to your local pawn shop to buy something, you’ve likely tried several tactics to get a better deal. But do you really know how to obtain the best deal at a pawn shop? To do this, you may have to negotiate. Keep in mind, some pawn shops don’t negotiate.

In this article you’ll quickly learn some basic negotiating tips to get quality merchandise at better prices at a pawn shop. Then we will see how you can apply these tips when buying from a pawn shop.

Get the items you want at the price you need!

Why should you buy from a pawn shop?

If you’re looking to buy a vintage guitar, electronics, or jewelry – you should really consider buying something at your local pawn shop. You can find popular items in good condition at a pawn shop and save money too. From Apple devices to Zumba videos, pawn shops have all sorts of things for any price range.

I know that pawn shops traditionally have had bad raps. Partly due to how they’re portrayed on movies and TV. Today, pawn shops are beginning to compete with regular jewelry stores and other outlets that sell electronics, musical instruments, and tools, out of necessity. An so, more pawn shops are focusing on selling their items for good prices, providing clean and safe environments for their customers, and high customer service standards.

Why should you learn to negotiate when buying at a pawn shop?

You can get great deals at a pawn shop for both jewelry and general merchandise.

Pawn shops acquire most of their merchandise when people don’t repay their pawn loans. When this happens, pawn shops are left with merchandise at wholesale cost that they have to resell to recuperate the money lent for pawn loans and other business expenses.

By now you’ve likely searched what you are interested in purchasing online. Keep in mind pawn shops want to sell the item competitively compared to prices found online.

The art of negotiating with a pawn shop when buying something starts by realizing you aren’t negotiating if someone hasn’t said ‘no.’ Start by politely offering the amount of money you want to pay for what you have found. If that doesn’t work, follow this guide.

How to negotiate when buying jewelry at a pawn shop!

Item’s value

When it comes to buying jewelry, a pawn shop could save you lots of money. Consider this..

Pawn shops acquire most of the jewelry through pawn transactions. What that means for you, is jewelry at wholesale prices, sometimes 2 or 3 times less expensive than traditional jewelry stores. And let’s face it, precious metal, like the gold and platinum your jewelry is made of, is never new or old; it’s reworked, cleaned, and polished; it’s been around for a ginormous amount of time. And the same goes for diamonds.

     1. Research what traditional jewelry stores are selling their merchandise for so you can     shoot for a similar item and have a price (you don’t want to pay) to start with.

Once you know what you would pay at a jewelry store, you can expect to pay about 50% less at a pawn shop. So if the engagement ring you want is $5,000 at jewelry store, you can get the same piece with the same quality specifications for $2,500 at a pawn shop. Some pawn shops even have in-house jewelers that can make custom pieces at wholesale prices.

      2. Ask the right questions!

Ask for the price of the piece. Then ask to see if there are any special offers or discounts on jewelry merchandise and take your time. Listen to what the pawn broker has to offer.

Start negotiating with the price the pawn broker gives you. You should aim for 30-50% less than the amount quoted at a traditional jewelry store. And if you’re buying an engagement ring or Rolex for example, the bigger price tag means bigger savings for you.

How to negotiate when buying electronics, musical instruments, and tools at a pawn shop.

Electronics, musical instruments, and tools work a little different. The key difference being that most of these items depreciate quickly. There’s a new version of these items almost every year, and that causes things to drop in value fast. And if there is an exception on the list, it’s musical instruments when they are high end or collectible. But the math still works the same.

Pawn shops pay anywhere from 30-60% of an item’s used value during pawn. What that means for you, is that pawn shops are left with merchandise they have to sell and make a profit on. For example, if someone was lent $150 for a Playstation 4 Pro and they don’t pay it back, the pawn shop will be left with a PS4 Pro at a cost of $150 plus 10% for operating expenses, like paying employees and keeping the lights on.

If the PS4 Pro sells used for, let’s say, $229, the pawn shop is left with about a profit margin of 50 bucks. Remember the #1 goal of the pawn shop is to recuperate the amount lent on the item originally to someone else.

You can expect to pay somewhere between 20% and 30% less for newer merchandise, and roughly 50% less than new prices.

Ask for the price of the merchandise first. Then ask to see if there are any special offers or discounts on general merchandise and take your time. Listen to what the pawn broker has to offer. And if you research the item’s used value yourself, show the pawnbroker because they generally want to sell their items for a competitive price to that of other used retailers online.

Close the deal

To close the deal, be observant of the pawn broker’s emotional state. You can influence this by being polite, understanding, and don’t forget to smile. Negotiations generally go better when it doesn’t feel like a battle. It should feel more like a compromise.

Also remember to relax before you negotiate. If you’re anxious you can’t think straight and you will likely be influenced by your emotions. Reduce anxiety by being prepared.


Negotiating with a pawn shop can be fun. With a little knowledge and a relaxed demeanor, you could walk away with the items you want and the price you need.

I hope this guide helps to get you a better deal at a pawn shop and please share our posts with your friends and family to help this site grow.

Thank you!