All your questions about Azusa Pawn and pawnshops, answered here
What is a pawnshop, anyway?
Pawnshops are retail stores that are qualified to provide collateral-based loans against the value of any type of item. As such, pawnshops are a valuable resource for those in need of a quick cash loan.
Pawnshops are also a place where you can buy used but heavily discounted merchandise or sell your unwanted goods for cash outright or for store credit. Azusa Jewelry & Loan is a fully licensed, locally owned and operated pawnshop in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley.
Pawnbroking has been around in one form or another since antiquity. The history of pawn or collateral lending goes back for thousands of years. Queen Isabella is even said to have pawned her crown jewels to fund the voyage of Christopher Columbus. So, while the pawn business has changed over the years, the principle remains the same: using collateral to obtain the cash you need to meet your goals.
Why would someone go to a pawnshop for a loan?
People use pawn loans for a variety of reasons. Some need to pay bills, want spending money for a trip, need money for necessities. For people who do not have access to traditional banks or financing, pawn loans put cash loans in reach. Many others favor pawn loans because they are easy, quick, and do not put credit scores at risk.
Still others understand that pawn loans can be safe, because they are not able to borrow more than a percentage of the worth of their pawned item. In other words, pawn loans keep them from overborrowing and winding up in a cycle of debt.
How do pawn loans work?
A pawn loan works the same way many other types of loans work: you get a certain amount of money based on your collateral, then you have a specific term to repay the loan with interest. Pawn Loans tend to be small, around $80.00 – $100, but can go much, much higher, depending on the item being used as collateral.
Pawn Loans are subject to California state law, which states that a pawn loan can be $5-$50,000. The standard pawn loan term is 4 months with a 10-days grace period. At Azusa Pawn, we want to help our community, so in cases where a borrower is unable to repay their loan in time, we offer several lifelines, including a loan extension or renewal. And, as always, borrowers can always surrender their collateral item to fulfill the loan.
What do I need besides collateral to get a pawn loan?
You will need some form of current, valid identification. This can include:
- A driver’s license or ID card from the U.S. or Canada
- Military ID
- Other government-issued ID from the US or abroad
Additionally, you will need to prove your current address, which can be business mail. That’s it!
How do I get a renewal on my pawn loan?
If you are unable to repay your loan in full within the agreed-upon time period, California law allows to obtain a replacement loan. A replacement loan requires you to pay the accrued interest on your loan in full. Then, a new loan with a new due date is created, with the same rates and principal amount as the first loan.
How often do pawn customers lose or forfeit their merchandise?
According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, the average collateral forfeiture rate is about 20%. Here at Azusa Pawn, we see a very low forfeiture rate, as the majority of our customers repay their pawn loans and reclaim their merchandise. However, when a customer stops paying their loan, shows no intention to repay, or declines to extend or renew their loan, the merchandise is forfeited.
How does a pawnshop calculate the value of my collateral?
Here at Azusa Pawn, we calculate the value of an item based on a few factors, including the condition of the item, the appraised value, and its current market value. We have several research tools at our disposal, and always do our best to give the best prices available.
That said, customers should understand that every item is evaluated differently. For example, a gold coin can be appraised based on the value of the gold, or on the value of rarity of the coin itself. Also, jewelry will be evaluated differently from an iPhone, which will be evaluated differently from, say a power tool, and so on. Some items like collectibles and antiques can gain value over time, while electronics tend to quickly lose value. As you can see, many factors influence how your item will be valued.
How is the condition of an item determined?
The condition of an item plays a significant role in how its value is determined. For example, a dingy, scratched ring can easily be cleaned and polished, and fetch a similar price to a pristine ring of similar components. However, a television that is scratched or cracked beyond repair will be valued at a much lower amount than a television without blemishes, even if it is in fine working condition.
At Azusa Pawn, we generally determine condition based on the following attributes of an item:
- Its working order: for items like electronics or power tools, we will plug it in or turn it on to ensure it functions as expected.
- Its appearance: dings, cracks, and dents will reduce value.
- Salability: items that come to us complete, such as with remotes, manuals, cables, etc., make it easier to sell.
At the end of the day, better the condition of any item, the more money we can loan on it.
How is the value of jewelry determined at your pawnshop?
Because jewelry is such a popular item at our pawn shop, we take determining the value very seriously. With every piece of jewelry that comes to us, we test the precious metals and stones to make sure that they are high-quality, as well as authentic. We are proud to always have an experienced appraiser on staff, who will use their expertise to determine your jewelry’s weight, cut, quality, and clarity, and who will help us determine its value to get you the most for your loan.
How does a pawnshop determine the value of precious metals?
The type of item being pawned determines how we, and other pawnshops, appraise its value. For instance, a standard bar of silver, gold, or platinum will be valued based on its weight and current market value. However, if the same item has additional intrinsic value such as rarity, design, shape, composition, desirability, color, favorable market conditions, etc., it can be valued at more than just the spot price of the metal and its weight. Jewelry and rare coins are a great example of this stipulation.
Can I get a quote on a loan over the phone?
Because pawn loans are based on the quality and salability of an item, most pawn shops, including ours, generally do not give quotes over the phone. A thorough inspection of every item must be completed before we can provide a quote. This can only be done in person; not even photos are enough to give an accurate depiction of the functionality and quality of an item to be used as collateral.
What happens to my item when I pawn it?
Most pawn shops will store your item in an area of the shop only accessible to authorized employees. Jewelry, precious metals, and coins are usually kept in a safe. At Azusa Pawn, safety is our top priority. We have 24-hour surveillance equipment throughout the store, our safe is secured to our building’s foundation, and we have a process to ensure that every item in our shop is locked up safely before we close our gates at the end of each day.
Who regulates pawnshops? Are ALL pawnshops regulated?
Pawn shops are regulated by federal, state and local authorities. In California, pawn shops are regulated by the California Department of Justice, and licenses are administered by local sheriff, chief of police, or in some areas, a police commission. All pawn shops are also subject to federal laws such as the Truth in Lending Act, The Patriot Act, and the Federal Trade Commission, plus many more. Pawnshops that carry firearms are also regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
How much merchandise in a pawnshop is stolen?
Criminals who think that a pawn shop is a good place to sell stolen goods are in for a rude awakening. As mentioned in the previous FAQ, pawn shops are heavily regulated, and would face severe punishment if caught dealing in stolen goods. Generally, less than 1% of all items attempted to pawn or sell is identified as stolen, and the authorities are always alerted ASAP.
At Azusa Pawn, we work closely with local law enforcement to ensure that we only deal in legitimate items. We extensively train our staff how to identify stolen items. Everyone behind our counters is dedicated to the highest level of service and fairness for everyone in our community.