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There are times when you cannot or would rather not ask for a loan from a friend or relative. Experience tells you that it is easier to negotiate with a pawn broker for a loan than with a friend or relative.  This may not always be true.


If you find yourself needing emergency cash and you have something of value to take to the pawnshop, visit several pawn shops first.  Ask for an assessment of your item then ask for a price. Try not to appear too eager to agree. Thank the broker and proceed to the next pawn shop. Do the same in at least 4 pawnshops to get the best price for your valuable.


If it’s jewelry, try to get an appraisal from a couple of jewelry stores. If it is a piece of antique, do some research or get an antique expert to appraise it. First clean the item up to make it look good and test-run it to be sure that it works.


Choose a licensed pawnbroker.  Do not hand over your jewelry or other valuables to an unverified pawnbroker. Visit the National Pawn Brokers Association website for the list of member stores in each state. Check online marketplaces such as Craig’s or eBay to find out what similar items are selling for. (You could sell it at a better price in any of these online marketplaces, if there is no urgency for the cash.)


Negotiate with each pawnshop to get the best price if you are selling it or the best loan value if you are pawning it.


Tell the pawnshop how much you would like to get for the item. After all, you already know how much it is worth because you’ve done your research. Be direct and confident, and polite and reasonable at the same time.


Consider  applying for a payday loan instead if you don’t get a good offer for your item.  With the pawnshop, you will get only what the pawn broker is willing to give you; but with the payday loan, you will get the exact amount you need and you don’t have to offer collateral such as jewelry, cellphone, camera, etc. You simply apply and provide proof of age, employer, and bank account. Then you get your money.


With the pawnshop, you put your property at risk. If you cannot redeem by paying back your loan and the interest charges, your item will become the property of the pawn shop. It will be sold for much more than the loan you received.