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Seasoned collectors know that some of the most incredible, and often valuable antiques can be found in your local pawnshop. But it can be helpful to know how to recognize valuable items, and how to negotiate for the best price as a buyer or seller. Read on for inside tips about antiquing at your local pawn shop.

Antiquing: An Overview

In the simplest terms, an antique is an item of value that people collect. To be considered an antique, the item needs to be at least 100 years old. But not all old items meet the criteria for an antique. Antiques must showcase artisanship, and they must have value.

Examples of antiques include:

  • Clocks
  • Coins
  • Depress Glass
  • Flatware, tableware, serving utensils
  • Fountain pens
  • Hunting Decoys
  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments
  • Old cameras
  • Paintings
  • Perfume bottles
  • Pottery
  • Rare books
  • Sculptures
  • Toys
  • Typewriters
  • Watches

What Type of Antiques Should You Collect?

If you’re thinking of trying your hand at antiquing, you may not know where to begin. It’s best to focus your efforts on items that interest you. For example, if you’re an avid reader, you may decide to begin your antiquing endeavors with collecting antique books. If you’re looking to find high value items, you may want to learn about antique coin collecting. If you’re musically inclined, start your search for antique instruments. If you have a passion for home décor, you may look for unique antique pieces such as pottery or artwork. It doesn’t matter what you collect, but you’ll be more invested in your new hobby if you decide to focus on one or two specific types of items.

What to Know About Buying Antiques at a Pawnshop

There are several techniques and tips that can help you get the best deal on an antique at a pawnshop.

  • Offer less than the sale price, but don’t insult the pawnbroker with a lowball offer
  • Plan to pay in cash
  • Be willing to negotiate
  • Find a pawn shop that has good online reviews
  • Shop the pawn shop’s online store before going to the shop
  • Don’t be rude

Pawnbrokers are people just like you, who need to make a living. Don’t expect them to sell you a vintage Rolex for $20. They need to make a profit from the item. Be respectful and pleasant, for the best experience.

What to Know About Selling Antiques to a Pawn Shop?

Some pawn shops will buy antiques, others may not. But if you’re ready to part with an antique, or you need fast cash, some pawn shops may offer you a great price. You may get a better offer if you follow these tips:

Clean your item

Clean items will look better to the pawnbroker. If your item is smudged, dirty, or dusty, wipe it down gently before bringing it to the pawnshop.

Bring any appraisal paperwork

If you’ve had your antique(s) appraised bring the appraisal with you for additional bargaining power.

Have a budget in mind

You may not get exactly what you want, but you should have a bottom line. This will prevent you from regretting selling the item.

Research the antiques before taking them to the pawnshop

The internet has incredible resources available that can help you decide how much you should aim to get for your item. It may help you to know how rare your item is, which can help you negotiate for a better price. Being an informed seller will always work to your advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Antiquing for Beginners

Is an antique the same as a vintage item?
Items must be at least 100 years old to be considered an antique, according to experts. Items that are old, but do not exceed 100 years are generally deemed vintage items.
Why are antiques valuable?
Most of the time antiques are valuable because there are not many of the item in circulation. Other times antiques are valuable because they are collector’s items. Still others may be made of materials (gold, silver, etc.) that are inherently valuable.
How do you make money antiquing?
For most people, antiquing is a hobby. But some use their passion project to generate income. This typically takes experience, and an investment of your time. To turn a profit, you’ll need to be able to buy an item for a reasonable price, and then find a buyer who will pay more for your item.
Is it expensive to collect antiques?
It depends on the type of item you decide to collect. Some items, such as antique toys or postcards may be very inexpensive to begin collecting. Other items including antique jewelry or coins may be an expensive hobby to start.
How do I know what an antique is worth?
This is where things get tricky, and it’s also the reason that you should collect antiques for the sake of collecting them, rather than to turn a profit. It can be hard to know how much an item is worth until you can have it appraised. Even then, you may not be able to sell the item for its appraised amount.
Are antiques a good investment?
This depends on who you ask. If you find an antique item that you love, owning it may worth the investment. As far as a long-term investment strategy goes, it’s important to note that items are only worth as much as you can sell it for. Talk with your financial advisor about whether antiquing is a sound investment strategy for your unique goals.

Buy and Sell Antiques in the San Gabriel Valley

While we can’t speak for all pawn shops, we do buy, sell, and offer pawn loans for antiques in Azusa, near Covina and Glendora. As a top-reviewed pawn shop serving the San Gabriel Valley, Azusa Pawn is located near the 210 freeway and Azusa Avenue. We are easily accessible from Baldwin Park, Glendora, San Dimas, Covina, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, and West Covina. You can also follow us on Facebook to be the first to see added items when we get them.