Five Easy-To-Pawn Items

pawn items

(Photo by Jonathan McIntosh via CC BY-SA 2.0)

What items are easy-to-pawn?

Like many people, I have visited a pawn shop more than once in my life. I have pawned rings, various kinds of jewelry, and musical instruments on multiple occasions.

What struck me during each transaction was that the loan was of a lesser value than that of my pawn items.
That is the point for pawnbrokers, and pawnbroking is big business in the United States.

There are an estimated 13,000 pawnbroker shops operating in this country.

Over 30 million Americans try to negotiate financial value out of their pawn items annually.

The Pawnshop Economy

Pawnshop interest rates range from 30% to 300%, including additional fees. The pawnshop is usually the stop of last resort for people who need fast cash quickly.

Over 25% of Americans don’t have a bank account. Most banks make the personal loan process nearly impossible to navigate successfully.

Peer to peer online lending is more convenient. But pawnshops offer fast cash quicker than either option. However, such convenience works out strictly on the pawnshop’s terms.

The average pawn loan amount is usually $150. Also, pawnbrokers gauge value according to their own respective standards.

The value of pawn items can differ by as much as 258% from pawnshop to pawnshop. A diamond ring could fetch you $65 in one pawnshop and $1,000 in another.

So, how can you maximize the potential loan value of your items?

Here is a list of five easy-to-pawn items that pawnbrokers cherish the most. First, how does a pawnshop transaction work exactly?

Pawn Shop Basics

Pawnbrokers can buy items you want to sell. However, lending money at interest with additional fees is more profitable. Pawnshops basically extend collateral-based loan agreements.

Your item is the collateral and the pawnbroker assesses its value. If you are offered a loan, you will get a pawn ticket.
You will have one to four months to pay back the collateralized loan, including fees and interest, and get back your pawned item.

Otherwise, the pawnshop keeps your item and tries to resell it at profit.

Five Easy-to-Pawn Items


You must live in a state where open-carry laws or firearms sales apply. The gun must be registered to you. Pawnshops only buy particular brands and calibers of firearms, so you must know what they want.

For example, some pawnshops only want antique firearms. The average pawn loan for a firearm is about $300 but can be as much as $1,300,

Jewelry, Gold, Silver, and other Precious Metals

“Jewelry,” is a relative term. Costume jewelry and jewelry made out of alloys and non-precious metals have little value to most pawnshop.

Some will buy them but don’t expect to make a killing. Precious metals and jewelry made from precious metals are precious acquisitions to pawnshops.

They are easy to appraise, convert easily into cash, and accrue in value. As long as your precious metal jewelry can be appraised as being 90% pure or more, you can get $50 to $1,000.


Consumers have a psychological weak spot when it comes to material items like watches. Certain brands of watches convey status and style. Pawnshops love to sell them because they can charge more based on workmanship and brand appeal.

Also, its easier to buy a secondhand luxury watch from a pawnshop than pay thousands or tens of thousands firsthand.

You are not going to get much for a consumer-grade Seiko, Casio, or Swatch. If you own a luxury watch like a Breitling, Hublot, IWC, Movado, Omega, Panerai, Rado, Rolex, or Ulysse Nardin, you can get a few hundred and up to $1,000.


Video game systems, LCD TVs, smart devices, digital cameras, laptops, digital cameras, are very valuable to pawnshops. Electronics and gadgets are big sellers.

However, your items should be new-ish, aesthetically pristine, and in working condition. Include all power cords and accessories and power it up before arrival. You should be able to fetch a few hundred dollars.

Power Tools and Kits

Drills, augurs, chainsaws, and tool kits for construction workers, handyman, mechanics, and so on, are big sellers.

There is a thriving secondhand market for electronic and gas-powered tools because they are very expensive to buy firsthand.

You can get $50 to $150 per tool, or more, depending on the tool.

Increasing Negotiation Odds

Like a casino, the pawnshop always wins. Know the value of your items. Consider visiting several pawnshops to get the best quotes.

Ask the pawnbroker what goods they are interested in buying. You can also get basic estimates for various easy-to-pawn items at estimator sites such as Pawnbat.

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