It’s no secret that the pawning industry is blowing up and getting a lot more positive attention from the media and the public eye. Pawning used to be a niche industry targeting specific individuals, but has evolved to something much broader. Reality television shows such as Pawn Stars, Posh Pawn, and Beverley Hills Pawn amongst others  have invited a new spectrum of people to participate in the buying, selling, and acquiring loans in this industry. Whether you need some quick cash for personal or business reasons, or wanting to buying some really cool items pawning or looking at selling some cools items then a Pawnbroker just may be the place to go

What to Look For When Finding a Pawn Broker


Pawning can be tricky business, so if you’re new to the industry the very first thing that you want to do is “homework”. Check online to see what reviews your local Pawnbrokers has been getting.

See what former patrons have to say about the people that own the business and make sure they are good, honest pawnbrokers—in an industry like pawning, it can be easy to be taken advantage of, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Make sure you go in prepared.

You could even check to see if there a member of the  NZLTA “New Zealand Licensed Traders Association”  if they are a member, chances are there pretty good, Proffessional and run a tight ship!  and will be working within the law of which Pawnbroking comes under “Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act.


If you’re looking to get a temporay loan—meaning you are planning on getting your item back—it is important to know how much the percentage rates are. In other words, it’s important to know how much money you will be loaned and more importantly how much you’re going to have to pay to get your item back. Now, Pawnbrokers all work on different percentages but they could loan anything from around 20 – 60% of the market value of the item you’re pawning, the same with the redemption fee (interest) this well may differ from Pawnbroker to Pawnbroker and can be anywhere from 6.95% – 40% interest per month, so’ do your homework and make sure you know what the Pawnbroker’s policies and averages are before you go in.


Since some people often resort to pawning items when they are having an unexpected financial emergency, speed and convenience is perhaps the most important aspect of pawning. You will find that you could have cash in a matter of minutes!!

How to Get the Most Money for Your Item


Make sure you know whether you are planning on loaning or selling. This matters because typically pawnbrokers are more likely to give you more money as a loan than if  just selling.

This is cool because, if you later decide you don’t want or need your item back, you are under no obligation to pay the loan back and it won’t have any effect on your credit score. How cool is that, can you imagine the bank saying “Hey dont worry about that loan you have with us” I dont think so do you?


Know everything about the item that you’re pawning or selling. Check reselling websites like eBay, Trade Me  to see what your used item is worth and then check various pawnbrokers to see their percentage rate. Don’t be afraid to call around for estimates before deciding where to pawn or sell your item.


Regardless of what pawnbrokers advertise as their percentage rate, ultimately pawn shop prices and loans depend entirely on the pawnbroker. This means that the value of your item is flexible so don’t be afraid to negotiate! Before going into appraise your item, know in your head what your bottom line is so you don’t end up peer pressured into a decision you’ll regret. Chances are, if you’re being realistic and have proof of the value of your item, there is a pawn shop out there that will give you a fair deal.

Looking to Purchase an Item? Getting the Most for Your Money

When it comes to buying at a pawn shop, you should be just as prepared as if you were going to sell an item.


Chances are if you’re shopping in a pawn brokers shop you’re looking for a deal. To get the best deal on that, diamond ring or Watch, Tablet, make sure you know the market value of those items both used and new. If you know what you’re doing, you should be able to get exactly what you want for a fraction of the value price.


Nothing is final. No price tags are etched in stone. Start low and be persistent! Even the best pawn shop owner can be swayed to lower a price. Remember that ultimately, they just want someone to buy the item for more than they bought it for, so it’s wise to do the math and figure out what they bought it for and start from there!

Getting Your Item Back

This is the easy part of the pawning process. If you just needed a temporary loan, you more than likely want your item back. Keep in mind that pawn shops only agree to hold your item for a certain amount of time before it becomes for sale. As long as you return for your item before this time period is up and have the loan repayment plus the agreed Redemption fee (interest), you can get your item back in no time (and maybe buy a few other cheap goodies while you’re there).

The Best Things to Pawn

Unfortunately, you can’t just pawn anything. No one wants your partially torn Split Enz  poster that you’ve had since the 80’s and, sorry folks, Teletubbies aren’t quite worth what we thought they were going to be. But the good news is there is still some good money to be made pawning common items you have in your home right now. Check out this list below:


This is one of the most popular things that people usually pawn because, well, gold and diamonds and other prestigious metals typically don’t depreciate all that much—and some actually appreciate! A ring you bought twenty years ago will more than likely still have some substantial value. Some shops even specialize in giving loans or money for jewelry items made of gold.


Both electronic and gas-powered tools are popular in the pawning industry, so if you have a really nice power drill that you haven’t used since you moved into your house five years ago, consider selling it if you’re in a bind.

CARS and Motorbikes

Yes you read that right! you can actually pawn your car and the Harley! as long as they have a value!! Most Pawnbrokers will look at them, however some Pawnbrokers are now just specialising in these.


Yes! there is money in those designer Bags, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Coach Prada, etc you will be suprised what value these can have, again Research, Research, if you do have a designer bag, Pawnbrokers tend to offer more if they come with original proof of purchase, and all the original packaging.


Electronics, including laptops, tablets and gaming consoles, are also great for an easy pawn because a lot of people have old and unused ones lying around. The only downside to pawning electronics is that they are always being outdated by newer versions, which means they depreciate rather quickly. So if you’ve had that tablet for a year and you’ve never used it, pawn it before it’s too late!

If after reading all of this you’re thinking “Wow! Pawning is amazing! I have so many things I want to read and learn about it! This is my new hobby!”  Don’t worry, there’s more!

  • Pawning can be a hobby, an entertaining TV show, or a great way to get out of a tricky situation—we hope these tips help you on your next pawning adventure.

The Pawnbroker

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