The Unique Skill Set of a Pawnbroker

Pawnbrokers have a very unique skill set. This fact has helped make the industry a point of interest in recent years, with several popular hit TV shows cropping up about pawning.
Pawnbrokers’ unique skill set includes:

Assessing the worth of items

Pawnbrokers do not have a predictable, rotating inventory. They see a wide variety of items, and never know exactly what will come through their doors. It may be a vintage diamond wedding ring, a classic guitar, or a brand new iPad. A pawnbroker must assess an item carefully to determine its worth and resale value. They may perform tests to determine the nature of the item, weigh it, in the case of jewelry, or use a magnifying glass to examine small characteristics. Learning to assess the value of items accurately is a unique and difficult skill.

Reading people

Pawnbrokers also have a broad variety of customers, as their different items appeal to different people. Additionally, people may be coming into the pawnshop for different services, such as a small loan, or to sell a unique item. Pawnbrokers must learn how to quickly read people that come into their shop and must be able to strike up a conversation with anyone.


Pawnbrokers absolutely have to be excellent negotiators. When buying an item, they must negotiate a price that the customer will be satisfied with, but that they can afford and turn around to sell it and make a profit. This is a core asset of the business.

Banking skills

They must also have solid knowledge of lending and banking practices. Pawnbrokers have to set loan rates, determine loan periods, and calculate interest. They also need to know the current market trends, such as the price of gold, in order to accurately price, sell, and buy items.

Investing in the community

Pawn shops are often family-owned businesses with a long history in the local community. For example, Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers is the oldest pawnshop in the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the largest store of its kind in New England. With this reputation, it has gotten involved in the local community, and has a strong reputation among local residents, many of whom are regular customers.

This broad set of skills helps contribute to pawnshops being known as a “recession-proof” business. Come in and talk to our talented staff today.