There are many benefits to buying jewelry from a pawn shop. You can often get great prices on used jewelry, often paying 50 percent of what a jewelry store would charge for a similar piece. Another advantage to buying jewelry at a pawn shop is that you may be able to find vintage, antique or unique pieces of jewelry. Many jewelers carry similar styles of jewelry at one time, which can make it hard to find something different.
But, since pawn shops buy jewelry from different time periods, you can often find something that you wouldn’t be able to find in retail jewelry stores. However, buying jewelry in a pawn shop is different than buying jewelry in a traditional retail store. Learning what to expect and preparing yourself will help you get a great deal on a piece of jewelry you love.
Familiarize Yourself With Jewelry Markings and Retail Prices
Before you set foot in a pawn shop to look for jewelry, take the time to familiarize yourself with jewelry markings and retail prices. A pawn shop can set any price on a piece of jewelry that they like. Sometimes they may underestimate the value of a piece of jewelry, and other times, they may overestimate the value of a piece of jewelry. Taking the time to learn that a 14 k stamp means you have real gold, whereas a 14 GP stamp means you are looking at something that is gold plated, can be invaluable as you shop at a pawn store.
Learning markings allows you to identify what it is you are looking at and then compare the price to what other retailers and pawn shops are offering. This can help you find a bargain or avoid paying more because you thought you were getting something different than you were.
Ask for an Insurance Appraisal
When a pawn shop buys a piece of jewelry, they may get it appraised for insurance reasons. If the piece goes missing, is stolen or is lost in a pawn shop fire, the insurance company will reimburse them the cost of the jewelry. As such, most pawn shops will have the insurance appraisal paperwork for the piece of jewelry. This can be a wealth of information. It typically discloses the type of metal the jewelry is made from, the type of stones used in the jewelry, and the cut and clarity of those stones. Lastly, the insurance appraisal gives an estimate as to the value of the jewelry. If you are considering buying a piece from a pawn shop, ask if they have an insurance appraisal on the piece and review it.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
When you have found the piece of jewelry you wish to buy, be prepared to negotiate. You wouldn’t dream of doing this in a retail jewelry store, but it is acceptable and normal at pawn shops. The sticker price is not the final price. Keep in mind that pawn shop employees have a lot of experience negotiating so you need to be savvy when it comes to negotiating.
Set a maximum amount that you are willing to pay for the item in your head and don’t pay more than that. If you reach the maximum amount during your negotiations, tell the employee this is your final offer and walk away if need be. Deciding where to start negotiations can be challenging. You want to start low, but not so low that you offend the employee and they won’t even negotiate. Most pawn stores buy the items for around 33 to 50 percent of the cost that they are marked. Keep this in mind as you start your negotiations.
Buying jewelry in a pawn shop can help you get a great price on a unique piece. However, buying in a pawn shop can be different than buying in a jewelry shop. Not all employees are trained to know the specifics about a piece of jewelry. As such, you need to be prepared to inspect a piece of jewelry yourself and know what you are getting. Asking for an insurance appraisal can also help clarify exactly what it is you are getting should you purchase the jewelry. Also, you can negotiate with a pawn shop, helping you to further reduce the price of the jewelry. Being prepared can help ensure you get a great piece at a fantastic price. For more information, contact pawn shops like Advanced Pawn Shop.