If you're looking to buy or sell valuable collectibles, a pawn shop offers a convenient opportunity to jump into the right market. However, if you've never been to a pawn shop before, you might not be sure how best to get what you need while you're there. Here are some tips to prepare for your first visit, plus an overview of what to expect during the buying, selling, and pawning process.

How Does a Pawn Shop Work?

In modern establishments, a person can temporarily give a pawn shop their property in exchange for a cash loan. The loan amount is based on the current appraised value of the item, its condition, and the demand. The property serves as collateral, which the person will get back if they repay the loan and interest fees by the deadline. The timeframe is typically three or four months. If the loan isn't repaid, the shop can keep the property and resell it. 

If you're visiting a pawn shop, you can also buy or sell valuables based on the pawn shop's market appraisal. This can be especially helpful if you're looking to get rid of some old jewelry or find a specific collectible.

How Can I Get Ready for My Visit?

pawn shop

If you plan to pawn or sell items at a pawn shop, the staff might not value your property as highly as you do. That's why you should determine the lowest offer you'll accept beforehand, and keep your minimum price in mind during negotiations. To increase the odds of a better outcome, you can also bring evidence to prove why your property should be given a higher appraisal value. This includes certificates of authenticity from the manufacturer and independent appraisal assessments from reputable organizations. You should also clean the item, change the batteries, and keep it in an attractive container to make it more appealing.

Alternatively, if you're interested in buying a specific item, you should research it beforehand. For example, it's helpful to find out where the designer stamps and additional marks are on a piece of jewelry before you buy it. This will reduce the odds of purchasing a replica. You can also see if the pawn shop posts its policies online. For instance, you should know whether the shop guarantees the authenticity of pieces or has a return policy to make sure you always get the best value.


If you're looking to trade, pawn, or sell your property or find something new to buy, visit the family-owned American Trading Company in Cincinnati, OH. With over 50 years of experience, the staff at this local pawn shop will make the transaction as seamless as possible. Whether you want to sell gold and firearms or buy rare coins and jewelry, their knowledgeable team members will help you find what you need. Learn more about what items the company accepts online, and call (513) 661-3633 to speak with a team member.