Everything You Need To Know About Pawnshops

Have you got a rare and precious item to sell? Maybe a designer hand-me-down you want to let go of for collateral? 

Or maybe, you're looking for a gadget upgrade? 

If you are in the market for a quick buck and have an item you are willing to let go of permanently or for a short period of time, pawnshops are the answer! 

Pawnshops are one of the best and most convenient ways to sell an item when you're in a tight spot. They offer fair prices (which you can bargain for) and make sure you still turn a profit! 

If you haven't tried pawning off an item to a pawn shop, you may be apprehensive because of the ‘pawnshop’ image you see on TV and movies. To rid you of the impression Hollywood is so keen to show, here's a quick guide on what pawn shops tend to look out for, how to get the best prices for your stuff, and how everything works, so you know exactly what you're getting into! 

Are you looking for a pawn shop in your area? Visit Gem Pawnbrokers today! 


If you are looking for a reliable pawn shop in the New York City area, Gem Pawnbrokers have your back. With 24 branches and over 70 years of experience - our customers always have a stress-free time. Give us a call in advance for more precious items you might have to expedite the process! 


Now that we’ve peaked your interest, it's important to understand how pawn shops work and operate before engaging in a transaction. It's a good way to manage expectations and place these expectations in the right places. 

Pawning or loans against an item

The first thing to note: pawn shops are not only about buying items. Many of their repeat clientele seek loans against an item of value. You can place the item in question up as collateral, which needs to be repaid in about 30 to 60 days, depending on the terms. If you decide not to repay the loan, they keep the item and resell on their terms. 

So what does this mean for you? 

If you're strapped for cash, pawning off an item could be the way to go, especially if you want the item back. 

For example, you have a family heirloom that is both rare and has precious gems. You currently have no use for it at the moment but want it back later on. A bill is coming up and you need the cash quickly. 

What can you do? 

Visit one of Gem Pawnbroker stores in New York and get an appraisal for your item. Once a loan is approved with a specific time and date, you can get your cash and then get your item back, as long as the initial payment is made, with interest. 

There is no need to submit your credit score or fill out bank forms - just get your money and go! 

What about selling items?

If you want to sell off an item quickly, going to a pawn shop is also the easiest way to do so.

When you decide to sell your item, pawnbrokers are the ideal first stop. They appraise your item for a particular value based on a variety of factors. These may include the object itself, its condition, the demand for that item and how much they can sell it for if you decide not to repurchase the item. 

A good pawnbroker will use various research tools and experiences to determine the worth of your item. 

But you can also come prepared to answer questions your broker will have in order to fetch a higher price. The more you know about the piece, the better you can negotiate your asking price. 

Here are some of the things you should know about your item: 

  • Manufacturer
  • Date of creation
  • Date of purchase
  • Type of materials the piece is made of (for example for jewellery, knowing the type of setting and material was used for it, including what gems were used)
  • Historical events the piece has been through
  • Previous owners (the more famous the previous owner, the better!)

You can also bring in papers of authentication and original receipts to prove your item is legitimate. 


You might now be wondering, what can be sold at a pawnshop? Pawnshops seem to have everything you expect and things you don’t expect from a store! 

A variety of items can be sold at a pawn shop. There are fewer things you cannot sell. 

Let's look at what pawn shops tend to buy - things you can get a hefty price for! 


Pawn shops almost always purchase the following items: 

  • Any genuine/real jewellery (gems, rings, necklaces, watches, coins, precious metals)
  • Electronics (gadgets such as laptops and phones)
  • Sports equipment
  • Video games
  • Musical instruments 
  • Tools and yard equipment 

Some items are deemed valuable to a pawnshop, but require a bit of research by the pawnshop before a fair price can be offered: 

  • Comic books (the rarer, the better)
  • Clothing (especially vintage designer items)
  • Animals (highly dependent on the location)
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles 

Remember, higher quality items will fetch a price. The more vintage and better quality they are, the higher the price!


If you are looking for the best and most reliable pawn shop in town, Gem Pawnbrokers have what you are looking for. 

Drop by the largest pawnbrokers in New York. We have various branches that are conveniently located on the busy streets of the city. Get the best and most reliable service with decades of experience in the field.

We guide you from start to finish, making sure you have the best experience with us.  

Gem Pawnbrokers offer free appointments, convenient pawn calculators, and you can even shop at each of our stores online. 

Get the most out of your buck with Gem Pawnbrokers today!