Here are 5 ways to get more money for your item when visiting a pawn shop.

1. Know what to expect.

If you’ve never been to a pawn shop, things can get a little confusing. Are you trying to get a loan on your item or simply looking to sell your item? In many cases, pawnbrokers offer more money to customers who sell, but if you’re not willing to part with your item, a loan will give you the fast-cash you need without having to say goodbye to it.

Make sure that you plan ahead. Decide if you want to sell or borrow. Determine how much money you hope to receive.

For more details about what to expect, visit our How It Works page.

2. Bring something they’ll want.

Every pawnbroker specializes in certain items, but, in general, it’s best to think small. Larger items require more storage space and aren’t always easy for a pawnbroker to resell. Items like antiques, gold jewelry, diamond rings, musical instruments, laptop computers and bicycles are sure to get the pawnbroker’s attention.

3. Do your homework.

Take the time to learn about your item. Research its retail value and its wholesale and secondhand value. Find out if your item is rare or common. Markings and serial numbers can reveal when it was made and by whom. You should explore your options and shop the item around before you visit a pawnbroker.

4. Clean it up.

Make sure your item is in the best condition possible. Remove dust, dirt, or tarnishes. Polish jewelry and stones. Scratched, damaged or broken items are not as easy to sell and are sure to lower the pawnbroker’s offer.

5. Be ready to negotiate.

Pawnbrokers appraise the value of items based on several factors: secondhand value, current condition, likelihood of reselling the items, the cost of storing and securing the items, etc. Pawnbrokers want to establish lasting relationships with their customers and work with them to offer the most cash possible.