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pawn shop protocol

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by permagrin, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Not sure if this is where to post this, but...

    Is there any general 'Rule of Thumb' as to how much to pay/offer for something at a pawn shop?

    That is, if you ask how much and the guy says, say, 100 bucks, does the 2/3 rule apply here? Half?

    The reason I ask is because I was passing by a pawn shop, went in, and they had a little mini Squire Strat (cute, obviously a kid instrument). I think it'd be fun for my boy (7th birthday coming up), but with that real short scale will it keep itself in tune, will the strings be floppy? Anyone know the good/bad/ugly on mini guitars? Any idea what one is worth (didn't pick it up, appeared to be in pretty good condition). Any help appreciated, TIA.
  2. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Most pawn shops go by the Blue Book for pricing instruments. That will give you an idea of what they paid for it and how much they want to make off an instrument.
  3. look up the little kings. its a midget rock band. they have have mini guitars and basses, i rember reading at there web site there insturemnts stay in too better then most full size guitars.

    the drums are full size but its a custom kit.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The internet ruined pawn shops IMO.

    The times are gone when you could get great deals.
  5. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    during my drug using days which i am not proud of but now that i have been a good boy for about 4 years i dont mind sharing some of my research.:rolleyes: when a pawnshop buys an item from someone the rule of thumb for a brand new item is this,the person selling the item will get usually 1/3 of the price tag(if the owner of the pawnshop does'nt smell a desperate drug addict in need of a fix).he will then try to sell it for 2/3 of the retail price if possible, but he should still haggle unless its a hot item(hot not meaning stolen but in public demand like a video game etc).on a used item he will give about 1/4 of the new price if its in good shape if you are lucky,so if for example you have a mexican bass worth 375.00 new he will give you about 75.00-90.00$ on a good day.i live in CT. and all the pawnshops around my state are fences for stolen or hot bottleg items(fences meaning they buy stuff knowing its stolen or purchesed w/ a stolen c/card), so dont feel to bad about the pawn buisness being "hurt" by the net,thats not happening. now they sell there stolen stuff on e-bay leaving it off the shelves in their stores out of the watchful eye of johnny-law.
  6. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    I bought one of those little mini Squire Fender Strats for my daughter. It's a really cool instrument. I play with it once in awhile. It does stay in tune, and the string tension is fine. It also has a really cool tone.
    Bought it new for around $145 if I remember.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    What I meant was that everybody is now able to find out a approximate market value for an item, no matter how obcure it is.

    So bargain deals are pretty much a thing of the past.
  8. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Thanks y'all!

    Especially to geezer, that's what I was wondering kind of what I thought.

    FWIW, checked it out yesterday and it's a bit messed up, bad tone pot, and the bridge is missing a mounting screw and the five remaining strings are pulling it off the body. But the guy wouldn't budge past $90, so I passed. Saw a couple on the bay for the than that in better shape. Thanks again.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I just ran into a friend of mine today. He just bought a Renard bassoon... for $120. The pawnshop thought it was a clarinet. They're selling for $2500 on eBay. I told him to wait and check the value before selling it but he took it to Washington Music Center and sold it for "only" $1000.
  10. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    IME you can still get the occasional deal, they are just not as common. I know someone who recently bought a violin bow worth $2000 at a pawn shop for $125. Last year I got a near-mint Juno-60 analog synth for $30 - my best score to date.
  11. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    You guys are lucky. I have never seen a good deal at a pawn shop. Everytime I go in one I see some poor soul who is down on their luck trying to get some money to get them by. The pawn shop people always berated their items and give them a lot less than it is worth. If it winds up on the wall they want a fortune for it. I am sure there are exceptions, but I haven't seen them yet.
  12. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I agree that the instances where you can score a great deal because of the pawn shop operator's ignorance regarding what they have are now few and far between. There are just too many resources available for the average pawn operator. They're much better educated than they used to be.

    Moreover, they don't seem to as willing to deal as they used to be, again because they are more awsare of what they have and what it's worth. That's my take, anyway.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Depends on the pawnshop.
  14. I saw them live like 2 years ago...good band!:bassist:
  15. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I got a Sunn Coliseum 300 head and a Hartke 4.5XL for $200 at Cash-America
  16. Mr. Blue Sky

    Mr. Blue Sky

    Oct 25, 2003
    As a former pawn shop employee, I would like to add a few things.

    The days of the "pawn shop as fence" are pretty much gone. Pawn shops are required to report all pawn transactions to the police. A shop that wants to stay in business will have savvy employees who would rather turn away a customer than risk taking in stolen merchandise. If they have any sense, they won't merchandise without a serial number (on items that have them).

    As for dealing with shops, don't be afraid to haggle. If you see a bass for $200, offer $150. If they balk, walk away. Go back a week later and if the bass is still there, make another offer. Ask for the manager, if you really want it. Just like any other store, merchandise that just sits there is worthless.

    Ask to play the instrument. If they won't let you, definitely walk away. This applies to most anything you could find in a pawnshop. If they won't let you test the item, find another shop.

    Look for a locally owned shop. The franchises suck.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Figured this was as good a place as any to put the latest pawnshop finds;)

    Picked up a like new Polk PSW250 powered sub for $85 today. That completes the front end of a home theater system with RT25 mains and a CS400i center channel. Took a couple of months but $265 for all four pieces is a pretty good deal. All in excellent condition.

    Then I found a set of Magneplanar MG-IIB speakers. For those not familiar, they're bipolar planar speakers, less than 2" thick...

    and 6' tall.

    Got the pair for $150 which is a stupid deal. Been listening to them all evening and I'd forgotten how nice these things sound. This is my second set of Maggies, I bought my first set (MGI's) new, back in 1978:eek:. For testing I'm running them with another steal, my Soundcraftsmen PCR800 amp (205wpc, $80), an Adcom GTP-500 tuner preamp ($49) and my wife's ultra-compact Sony D-CJ01 portable CD/MP3 player ($20)

    Also stopped by Goodwill and got an HP Laserjet 4 printer with a new cartidge AND the Jetdirect ethernet interfact... for $25. Hung it off the router/access point and now the wireless laptops are happy. Complete overkill for home use but way cheaper to run than an inkjet.

    I love used stuff. Depending on the area, there's some very nice used gear floating around.

    BTW anyone want a Verdine White Ibanez 4 string w/case for $350. Saw it last weekend at a pawnshop.

  18. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    My brother ran a pawn shop for a few years. One of the big reasons that many pawn shops are so hard to deal with today is, like almost everything else in America, they have gone corporate.

    Most of the larger pawn shops in the mid-sized to larger metro areas are actually chain shops. They have corporate board and are ran by directives from the home office like most other retailers. The margians for loans and sale of default goods are driven by corporate policy rather than some guy trying to make his business feed his family.

    As Brad has shown, you can still get a deal, you just have to be more persistant.

    I used to buy Craftsman sockets and wrenches at pawn shops all the time. 25 cents for the sockets and a 75 cents for the wrenches. If/when they break, I take them back to sears for brand new ones. I have a whole chest of craftsman tools that I have about 50 bucks in at the most.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    The main shops I deal with are all part of the same chain. I still get crazy deals at three or four of them. The rest, as most people would say, suck.
  20. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    The most a pawn shop in this area will give you for something is $100. They then mark it up 300%. Most here wont knock more than $50 off the price.