If you're in need of funds, a pawnshop might be your best bet for getting a cash loan. The rates and repayment schedules are often more agreeable and flexible than what you'll find at a payday loan service, and you won't be stuck paying interest for months or risking your credit score the way that you would by taking a cash advance on a credit card. All that you need is an item of some value that you're willing to give up for a short while, and the know-how to get the best price for your item from a pawn shop. Take a look at some strategies that will help you get the most cash when you need it.
Scout Out the Stores First
Before you try to sell something to a pawn shop, take a look at the stores in your area to find out what they're selling. You'll have a better chance of getting a good loan if you're asking for a loan on an item they'll be able to sell easily if you decide to default on the loan.
Most pawn shops buy things like musical instruments, electronics, bicycles, tools, jewelry, and gold. Many pawnshops handle guns, but not all of them do, so if you want to pawn a gun, be sure that you take it to a store that can accept it. Not every store will buy things like historical items or celebrity memorabilia, but some will. Checking out the inventory of a few pawnshops in your area will help you get a feel for which stores will be most likely to make a good offer on what you're selling.
Clean Up The Item
If you can get some much-needed cash for a guitar that's been gathering dust in the attic or the computer that you keep around as a backup, that's great! But make sure that you clean off the dust and make your item look its best before you take it into the store.
Anything that you can afford to do to clean up the item should help increase its value to the pawnshop. Restring that old guitar so that it sounds good. Polish those old tools, so that they don't look like they just came off a job site. Boot up your old computer and make sure it works (and remove any personal data from the hard drive while you're at it.) Remove any programs that are slowing it down and defrag the hard drive. Then, reboot it to see if it runs a little faster.
Understand The Finer Points of Negotiation
Unless you happen to work in sales, you probably find yourself in the position of having things sold to you more often than you find yourself in the position of selling items to someone else. That can make it tough to negotiate a good price for yourself when you're trying to get a loan from a pawnshop. You may be tempted to just ask how much you can get for your item, and let them set the price. Resist that urge. You can – and should – let them make the first offer, but don't accept it – use that as a jumping off point to ask for a higher price.
What you don't say is almost as important as what you do say. Don't tell them that you bought the item for a few dollars at a garage sale, and don't let on that you know how much the item is worth (though you should know the worth of your item before you walk in the door.) Let them believe that you're attached to the item, even if you aren't. The more it appears to be worth to you, the more it will be worth to them.
Be a Repeat Customer
If it will help you out to be able to regularly get small cash loans, it's in your benefit to find a pawnshop that you like and become a repeat customer. Shop there when you're looking to buy, and take your items back there if you're looking to sell. You'll end up getting more money when you need loans if you're a familiar face.
After all, if the pawnshop employees see you on a regular basis, they know you aren't someone who's trying to sell all your items and move out of state. They'll be willing to give you a little more cash for your items because they know you'll come back – they won't have to try to sell your item to make their money back, and they'll make a little extra interest if your loan is higher. It's a win-win. Plus, they'll want to keep you as a customer, so they'll be willing to go the extra mile if that's what it takes.
Once you learn your way around your local pawnshops, you'll have a great source for fast, simple, short term loans. You may also find that pawnshops are great places to shop when you have some extra cash in your wallet. Your local pawnshop, a place like Desert Jewelry Mart & Coins, can turn out to be a terrific resource for you.