Pawn shops have a lot of cool stuff in them and they can be like discount treasure hunts—if you have reasonable expectations and know what you should expect out of a deal. If you've never wandered into a pawn shop before, here are a few of the fascinating things that you can find inside at bargain prices.
Used Diamonds and Gold
Everyone knows that pawn shops do some of their business in jewelry. They frequently make loans on jewelry and sometimes customers decide they don't want to pay the loans back and forfeit the price. Other times, they'll buy jewelry collections outright, especially if someone is trying to get rid of a large collection of gold and diamond jewelry as part of an estate.
Pawn shops usually take damaged jewelry and sell it for scrap metal prices—but pieces that are in good condition, have a significantly sized diamond in them, or are made by in-demand designers, will often find a home in the pawn shop's showcase. You can frequently find diamond rings, earrings, and bracelets for far less than full retail markup—which can range between 300% to 1000% of their actual cost in a regular jewelry store. It's similar with gold jewelry. Plain gold chains and hoop earrings, for example, never look "dated" so it's easy to find them in pawn shops for a fraction of what you'd pay for the brand-new item.
Guns, Bows, and Knives
Pawn shops are also great sources for guns, hunting bows, and knives of all kinds. People often sell off a piece or two of their gun collection either when times get tough or they simply want to take the cash and buy something else with it. You can also find some rare or unique weapons, particularly pistols and knives, that have come from estates after the heirs simply want to get rid of the items. If you're looking for something that doesn't seem like it's come from a "cookie cutter," a pawn shop may become your favorite place to look for weapons.
Pawn shops can save the day for parents whose kids need an instrument for band or budding musicians who are trying to slowly build up their inventory of band equipment as they prepare to take their show out of the practice garage and into the local music scene. A lot of instruments end up in pawn shops because people buy them for their children (or themselves) with the best of intentions—but the child either lacks the talent or the interest to continue. Rather than have the instrument sit around gathering dust, the barely-used items will find their way to the local pawn shop.
These are just a few of the things that you can find in your local pawn shops. It's important to note that not every shop buys or carries the same things, so it often takes a little legwork to find what you are after. However, if you're willing to put in the effort, you may find a real treasure trove waiting. For more information about pawn shopping, check out a company like Pawn World.