What do pawn shops buy? Things pawn shops always buy include jewelry, electronics, power tools, video games and DVDs, clothing, accessories, and more, putting some cash in your pocket in exchange for your unused or lightly used items. Continue on to find out more about what you can sell at a pawn shop, and how much money you could get for your items.
How the Pawn Shop Process Works
Pawn shops, or pawnbrokers, as they’re sometimes called, do not operate the same way as a regular store. A sale to a pawn store is actually a collateral loan — the pawnbroker is essentially lending you money in exchange for your item.
When you sell to a pawn shop, you can choose to either pay back the money and get your item back, or keep the money and allow the pawn shop to resell your item at a profit. In either case, a pawn shop loan or item sale does not negatively affect your credit score.
Be aware that if you choose to pay back the money and get your item back, the loan term at pawn shops is usually very short. Typically, you’ll have around 30 days to pay off the loan. You may be able to extend the loan, but will pay further interest and may end up in a cycle of debt. Note, as well, that interest rates at pawn shops can be high. If you’re unable to pay back the loan by the end of the initial term and don’t extend your loan, the pawn shop can keep and resell your items, whether or not you intended to get them back.
Pawn shops purchase items and lend money through cash transactions. In other words, when you sell an item to a pawn shop, you receive cash in return. In general, most pawn shops will pay you 40 to 60% of the price they believe the item can be sold for.
The Most Popular Items Pawn Shops Buy
Pawn shops vary widely on the types of items they will buy and sell, but there are some items you can sell at just about any pawn shop. These include:
When it comes to phones, most pawn shops will consider buying iPhone 5 models or newer, as well as newer Android smartphones, particularly the Samsung Galaxy. However, pawn shops generally do not buy older model cell phones or flip phones.
On average, pawn shops will pay between $30 – $110 for newer-model smartphones, depending on brand and condition, with new iPhones selling at the highest end of the range.
Most pawn shops will buy your DVDs and Blu-ray discs, provided they are free of scratches. In general, the newer the release, the more the shop will pay for your DVD or Blu-ray. You will get more money for movies in their original cases. DVDs and Blu-rays typically sell for between $.50 and $2 each.
Note: See our article for information on whether you can also sell your DVDs to GameStop.
Some electronics that pawn shops often buy include:
- iPods and iPads: Pawn shops will often pay cash for newer model iPods or iPads in good condition. Generally, iPods can be sold to pawn shops for $20 – $60, and iPads often sell for $50 – $150 or more, depending on whether they have cellular capabilities. You can expect around $50 more for iPads with cellular capabilities.
- Computer peripherals: Most pawn shops will not buy computer printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices, but you can call your local pawn shop to find out for sure. However, don’t expect much money for these, since brand new peripherals are already cheap.
- Digital cameras: Many pawn shops will buy digital cameras. The amount you’ll get depends on the original retail price and the condition of the camera. For example, a camera that originally cost $100 may be sold to a pawn shop for $5 to $10, while more expensive high-end digital cameras in good condition may sell for $75 to $300.
- VCRs and DVD players: The majority of pawn shops will not buy VCRs, but a few will consider DVD or Blu-ray players. Because of the low cost of these at retail, don’t expect to fetch more than $5 – $20 for your DVD or Blue-ray player.
- Televisions: Don’t try to sell your old television to a pawn shop — they will typically only buy newer flat screen and 4K models. However, there are a few places you can sell your TV (even broken) for cash or recycle it. See our article for information on where to sell your broken TV or how to recycle it.
Guitars are popular items at pawn shops. Most pawn shops will buy guitars in good, working condition. The amount you’ll get for selling your guitar will depend on the brand and the condition of the instrument. Guitars sell to pawn shops for a wide range of prices, from $15 to $1,000 or more for highly desirable brands.
Jewelry and Watches
Pawn shops will pay you cash for jewelry and watches. The amount you can get depends on the value of the piece, the designer name, and many other factors, including the current market value for the type of jewelry. In general, pawn shops will pay 40 to 60% of the assessed value of the piece.
- Diamonds: Most pawn shops will buy both diamond jewelry and loose diamonds. Some pawn shops may not be interested in very small diamonds at all. The amount you can sell loose diamonds for depends on the carat (weight), clarity, color, and cut of the diamond. Pawn shops are generally looking for round or princess-cut diamonds.
- Gold: Most pawn shops will pay cash for your gold. The amount you’ll get will depend on whether you’re selling jewelry or coins, as well as the quality (karat), weight, and current market value of gold. If you know the weight and karat value of your piece, you can use the Karat Kalculator to determine the estimated value in dollars. A pawn shop is not your only option if you want to sell your jewelry; you can check out our article for more legitimate stores that buy gold.
- Semi-precious stones: Most pawn shops do not buy gemstones other than diamonds, such as rubies or emeralds. However, some pawnshops will consider paying cash for high-quality gold, silver, or platinum jewelry set with semi-precious stones, depending on the overall value of the piece.
- Silver: Some pawn shops will buy silver, whether it’s sterling silver jewelry or silver coins. The amount you can get for your silver depends on the fineness, weight, and market value of the piece.
- Watches: While pawn shops will not buy cheap, common watches, they will generally pay cash for high-end or designer watches. Watch brands you can usually get money for at pawn shops include Rolex, Casio, Seiko, Fossil, Panerai, TAG Heuer, Chopard, Patek Philippe, IWC Schaffhausen, Movado, and Breitling. According to recent data from PawnGuru.com, the average pawn shop offer for watches in 2016 was $288, with a range from $5 to $14,500. If you are interested in selling your high-end watch, you can check out our list of local and online places that buy watches.
If, for some reason, you are not satisfied with the price a pawn shop is offering you, check out our article on jewelry stores that buy jewelry and see if you can get a better deal at a jewelry store near you.
And don’t forget that even if your gold, silver, platinum, or diamond jewelry is damaged, it could still be worth a pretty penny. In fact, there are plenty of places to sell it. See our article for places that buy broken jewelry.
The majority of pawn shops will buy power tools for cash since they’re in high demand. As with all items, you’ll get the most cash for newer, brand name power tools in good, working condition.
When it comes to selling power tools, the brand is often the most important factor in getting a good price. The best power tool brands for cash at a pawn shop include DeWalt, Bosch, Snap-On, Stihl, Milwaukee, and Marita. Brands that may sell to a pawn shop for less money include Stanley, Craftsman, Dremel, Ryobi, Ridgid, and Festoon.
Video Games and Game Systems
Most pawn shops will consider paying cash for video game systems like Xbox and PlayStation. You will get more money for the newest systems, such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, while older systems like the PlayStation 2 and Wii sell for less. For the best deal on selling your game system to a pawn shop, make sure all cords and controllers are included, and everything is in working order. Pawn shops pay, on average, $40 – $100 for game systems.
Video games, like DVDs, can be sold to pawn shops for cash, as well. The newer the game, the more it is worth. For video games in good condition with the original case, most pawn shops will pay between $2 – $20, depending on the game’s age and popularity.
What Other Items Will Pawn Shops Buy?
In general, pawn shops are looking to buy items that are in good, clean, working condition and have a relatively high public demand. There are many types of items pawn shops will consider buying, and the amount of money you’ll get for your items depends on factors like condition, brand, and the age of the item.
Here are some additional items you may be able to sell for cash at a pawn shop, along with tips on how you can get the most money for your items.
Some pawn shops will pay cash for crystal glassware, vases, bowls, cups, and sets. However, they will generally only buy brand name crystal in excellent to brand new condition, such as Waterford, Steuben, Tiffin, Lalique, Baccarat, Swarovski (crystal jewelry and figurines), Fostoria, and Saint Louis.
The money you may get from your crystal at a pawn shop depends on the brand, condition, and age — but unlike most items, when it comes to crystal, the older pieces often sell for more than newer items.
If a pawn shop can verify the validity of your gift card and the amount left on it, they might buy it from you. If they do, you can expect an offer of around half the value loaded onto the gift card, since they won’t be able to resell it for the full value either and will still want to make some profit. Since not all pawn shops accept gift cards, you may want to call your local pawn shops first to ask, so you don’t waste a trip.
For other places to sell gift cards, see our article on where to get cash for gift cards.
While movies may make it seem like pawn shops are the easiest places to buy weapons, the truth is that not many pawn shops deal with these weapons. Pawnbrokers need a special license in order to buy and sell weapons, and there are concerns about buying and selling stolen firearms or selling items that are later used in illegal activity. Many pawn shops simply don’t want to deal with the hassle.
It’s not common to find a pawn shop that will buy weapons, although there are a few. However, most pawn shops in rural areas will buy and sell some types, since they are commonly used for hunting and sporting in those areas, rather than criminal activities.
The amount of money you can get for a firearm at a pawn shop varies widely, depending on the make, model, and condition of the item. Common brands in fair condition may sell for as little as $15, while high-demand brands in excellent condition can bring you $1,000 or more. On average, pawn shops pay $100 to $300 for various types.
IMPORTANT: Never bring a loaded weapon into a pawn shop! Always ensure that the weapon is completely unloaded before you attempt to sell it.
Some pawn stores will buy purses. However, like shoes, there are a variety of factors that decide whether or not a pawn shop will buy purses or handbags. One of the most important factors here is the location of the pawn shop. Pawnbrokers in large, urban centers such as New York and Los Angeles are far more likely to pay cash for designer purses than those in smaller, rural areas, where brand-name handbags are not as important to their customers.
The amount you can sell your purse to a pawn shop for depends on the brand, age, and condition of the purse. Designer handbags like Gucci or Chanel are likely to yield the most cash at a pawn shop. To get the best price, make sure your purse is clean, empty, and in great condition — and, if possible, bring your receipt or other verifying documentation to the pawn shop to prove that the handbag is authentic.
Selling shoes at a pawn shop can be tricky because there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not the pawnbroker will pay cash for shoes. However, pawn shops may consider buying brand name shoes in very good to excellent condition that are currently in high demand.
The best way to know how much money pawn shops will pay for shoes is to check online auction sites such as eBay and find out how much they are selling for there, including the model and condition of your shoes. Keep in mind that pawn shops are likely to pay around 40 to 60% of what they believe they can sell the item for. This means, for example, a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes that may sell for around $100 in used condition could bring you $40 to $60 if you sell them to a pawn shop.
You can get the most money from a pawn shop for shoes that are clean with little to no wear and include the original shoe box. Pawn shops will not buy dirty, heavily worn shoes.
Some pawn shops will offer pawn loans for vehicles, allowing you to borrow money against the value of your car. This can be repaid, and your car will be returned to you. In some cases, you may even be able to continue driving your vehicle while you repay the pawn loan. You can also sell your car to a pawn shop for cash, although the return is generally lower than what you might get selling your car directly or through a dealership.
You must own your car outright, with no liens or payments remaining, in order to sell your vehicle to a pawn shop.
Wondering where else you can sell your car? See our article on whether CarMax buys old vehicles.
What Do Pawn Shops Buy for the Most Money?
How much money do you want to make from your items? Here’s a quick look at how much cash you can get when you sell your items to a pawn shop.
What can I pawn for $50?
- A collection of DVDs or video games
- Slightly older video game consoles, such as the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360
- One or two brand name power tools
- High quality, brand name shoes or handbags with receipt and original packaging
- A decent quality guitar
- Samsung Galaxy or smartphone in good condition
- iPod or iPad
What can I pawn for $100?
- Newer game systems such as the Xbox One or PlayStation 4
- High-end DSLR camera
- Brand name guitars such as Martin or Les Paul
- Gold, silver, or platinum jewelry
- iPhone 5 or higher
- Large screen LCD or plasma television (typically 42 inches or larger)
- Name-brand power tool sets
- New laptop computers
See our article about what you can pawn for $100.
What can I pawn for $200?
- Silver, gold, or platinum jewelry
- Some advanced SLR digital cameras
What can I pawn for $300?
- High-end Gibson or Marshall guitars/equipment
- Silver, gold, or platinum jewelry
- Very high-end digital cameras
What can I pawn for $400?
- Some gold, platinum, and diamond jewelry
- Some guitar brands and models (Gibson, Epiphone)
- Used vehicles, such as motorcycles, ATVs, or slightly older cars
What can I pawn for $500 or more?
- Very high-end Les Paul or Gibson guitars
- Fully owned vehicles in good condition
- Jewelry with large, clear diamonds
- Very large, high-end 4K television
- Gold jewelry with at least 35 to 45 grams of gold
- One ounce or more of 24 karat gold coins
See our article about what you can pawn for $500.
What do pawn shops buy? Now you know — and even what pawn shops buy for a lot of money. Many pawn shops will consider buying just about anything that’s in good, clean, working condition and in public demand. We hope this article inspires you to take a look around your house for items you can exchange for cash at a pawn shop.