When you’re thinking about the best place to buy jewelry, pawn shops may not be at the top of your list—but maybe they should be! Buying jewelry at pawn shops is a great way to get a good deal on unusual, valuable pieces.
You’ll still need to do your research, of course—and have a good sense of what you’re looking for—but when you know what you want, buying jewelry from a pawn shop can be a great way to get what you want for less. Here are our best tips for buying jewelry from a pawn shop:
- Know that you’ll have to go to several stores: Unlike traditional stores, pawn shops require patience, research and time. You’re usually going to need to go to several stores in order to find the exact kind of piece you want. That means that you shouldn’t leave pawn shop jewelry browsing until the last minute—unless you want a grumpy gift recipient or to be frustrated yourself.
- Figure out what you want: Next, you should have a decent idea of what you want. For example, perhaps you’re looking for a budget engagement ring. While you should always keep your mind open for potentially surprising options, it’s good if you can say “I’d like a size 6 diamond solitaire” to start off with. In short, know your ring size and know the general style, as well as the metals and stones you’re interested in trying.
- Make sure there are certifications or appraisals available: Unless you’re a gemologist yourself, you might not be able to tell the real thing from a fake. Ask to see any certifications or appraisals available for your chosen piece—especially if it costs in the thousands of dollars. If the pawn broker refuses, ask them to write all the pertinent details on the receipt. If it’s an authentic piece, they should be happy to provide you with documentation.
- Budget plenty of time: When choosing a piece from a pawn shop, you’re probably going to spend a lot more time than you would if you went to Tiffany & Co. and picked out a ring from their regular line. Make sure you plan so you have enough time to hunt through different pawn shops.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate: When in doubt, negotiate. The piece of jewelry you’re interested in might be listed at one price, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth that much. Study your negotiation techniques and be prepared to offer less.
- Have a firm monetary budget in mind: Even if you’re negotiating, make a firm budget for yourself and stick to it. It’s easy to get distracted—but if you want a good deal, you’ll need to know what you can afford and not go over.
- Trust your gut: Finally, make sure you trust your gut. If a pawn broker seems shady or less than forthcoming, move on to the next shop.
When you’re ready to buy jewelry from a pawn shop, call or visit Harrison Street Pawn today.