Most Asked Questions When Going To A Pawnshop

If you haven’t been to a pawnshop before, not knowing what to expect can be quite a daunting prospect. You might think going there is intimidating because of the stories you have heard from people that you know or the few episodes you have seen about it on reality TV.

You will be surprised to know that in reality, going to a pawnshop is really not that bad at all. If you want to go to a pawnshop and have a great experience, all you need to do is arm yourself with the right knowledge. 

That is why we are here. We will help you understand what a pawnshop is and what you can do to get the best value when pawning your valuable items. 

How does a pawnshop loan work? 

To get a quick loan from a pawnshop, you just need to bring an item with perceived value as  collateral. The pawnshop will offer you a certain amount of cash in exchange for your valuable item. Terms and conditions will be set for the loan and you as the customer would have to pay back the loan in order to reclaim your item. If you fail to pay the full amount on the date set on the terms and conditions, the pawnshop will gain ownership of your item. 

Why do some people prefer a pawnshop loan over a traditional loan?

As you already know, getting a traditional loan is complicated and time-consuming. A pawnshop loan, on the other hand, is very fast and easy. Unlike a traditional loan, it does not require a credit check and will not affect your credit score. 

Perhaps the only consequence for not paying the full amount of pawnshop loan on time is the forfeiture of your collateral. Pawnshop loans do not allow overextension of deadlines or declaration of bankruptcy on your end. To prevent your item from being forfeited, you need to repay the loan on or before the deadline. 

How much will a pawnshop pay out for loans?

It will depend on the item or items that you will present to the pawnshop. The pawnbroker will not set a minimum amount for your items however, a maximum amount must be set in compliance with government regulations. Further, the pawnbroker will thoroughly inspect your item, check out its overall condition and determine its desirability in the market. After that, the pawnbroker will offer you an amount based on the perceived value of your item. 

Do not be surprised if the pawnbroker offers you an amount that is below the retail value of your item. They need to make a profit out of your loan by taking into consideration its resale value. In general, pawnshops may offer 20 to 60 percent of the resale value of your item, with 50 per cent as the average. 

Even though the amount is low, you can easily get the cash on the same day. On top of that, you can claim your item back as soon as you repay the pawnshop loan in full and on time. 

How is the pawnshop loan amount calculated? 

There are many factors that determine the pawnshop loan amount. Mainly, it is influenced by the value of the item for collateral. This is determined by knowing how much they can sell your item for in case you aren’t able to reclaim it. In addition, the overall condition, age, current market value, cost of holding or storing the item and demand of the item on the market will also determine the loan amount. 

If you need more cash, you are welcome to bring more than one item in. The value of each item will be determined individually because the value of your items cannot be done as a whole. For instance, your Rolex will be evaluated on different criteria than your jewelry. 

In most cases, the experienced pawnbroker will determine the desirability of your item by inspecting the item but in some cases, they need to do a bit of research before offering you a loan amount. 


What are the things that I should know about pawning jewelry?

Before pawning your jewelryjelwelry, you have to know its value before you even set your foot in the pawnshop. As we have mentioned earlier, you will not get the full value of your item when asking for a pawnshop loan but knowing in advance how much it’s worth will give you the bargaining power to settle for an amount of your choice. 

Once the pawnbroker offers you an amount, you don’t always have to accept it right then and there. Try to negotiate for a better deal. Start by negotiating with a higher value so you can try to  settle on an amount that you and the pawnbroker can both agree on. 

If you intend to pawn your jewelry, it should be presentable, attractive and clean. If you are not sure how to clean your jewelry, you can ask a professional to do it for you. Different gems and metals require different cleaning methods and this is something that you should take into consideration. Using the incorrect cleaning method might damage your item and drop its resale value.

They say that first impressions last. This is also true when pawning jewelry. If you present a tangled and dirty necklace, the pawnbroker might think you have no idea how valuable your item is and might offer you a low amount. Do not let this happen to you.

If possible, present your jewelry in a way that will give the best impression. If the jewelry comes in a box, make sure you bring it along to keep it clean and undamaged. If the jewelry comes with a warranty card, certificate of authenticity and receipt, bring it all as well. Jewelry in its complete package will increase your likelihood of getting the best possible value out of your collateral. 

If you are planning to pawn your gold pieces, it is essential that you know the current market price of gold. The price of gold changes every day so find out the current prices before going to the pawnshop. If it comes with diamonds or other precious stones, its value will be added on top of the gold price so make sure you take note of that too. 

How to pawn a phone in 2021?

If you are wondering if pawnshops accept smartphones as collateral, yes they do, in fact smartphones are actually one of the best selling items in pawnshops. Just keep in mind that they will thoroughly inspect it and determine its ownership before offering you a loan amount. 

You have to take note that pawnshops do not accept stolen goods as they are considered worthless to them.  If a pawnbroker suspects that your item is stolen, do not be surprised when they turn down your item and not offer you a deal. 


Always remember that the value of your smartphone depreciates, so manage your expectations when haggling for a better deal. If your item is more than 2 years old, do not expect to receive a value that is close to the price you bought it with. As with jewelry, when you are looking to pawn your smartphone, if you have the original box and accompanying parts then make sure you bring these in with you too, as well as making sure your phone has been cleared of any personal information and reset to the factory settings.

How to sell a laptop to a pawn shop? 

If you want to get the best deal out of your laptop, you need to backup all files and remove them from the system. A simple way to do this is to save all files to an external drive and perform a factory reset. Make sure the device is thoroughly clean too. Vacuum or wipe dust, smudges or fingerprints away. Before going to the pawnshop, take note of the following details:

  • Brand
  • Series or model
  • Screen size
  • RAM
  • Dents, scratches or other issues if present

There are certain laptop brands that fetch the best prices. These brands include: 

  • Alienware 
  • Apple
  • Dell
  • Sony
  • Toshiba

How much would I get if I pawn my laptop?

Just like jewelry and smartphones, the amount you can get for your laptop will depend on a lot of factors:

  • What is the overall condition of your laptop?
  • What is the brand of your laptop?
  • Is it a recent or old model?
  • What is its current value in the market?
  • Is the demand for this particular model high?

After considering these factors, you might walk away with anywhere from a dollar to more than a thousand dollars in cash. 

How can I sell my watch to a pawnshop?

If you are interested in selling your high-end watch, make sure it is clean and functional. If it needs to be cleaned, better leave that with the cleaning experts to prevent damaging it. Just like jewelry, it is better to bring it along with the box it came with. If you can still find the extra links, tags, warranty card, authenticity card and receipt, the better! 

The offers you will get will depend on the value of your watch. You could get as low as $5 or as high as $14,000, with $200 as the average offer. 

Finally, if you are ready to get the best deal you can, visit Gem Pawnbrokers today! We have been in the pawnshop industry for more than 70 years and we have 24 branches scattered across New York City.