Let’s face it, things cost a whole lot more today than they did a few years ago. From gas to groceries, to consumer products, we’re all paying significantly more for things we want and need. As millions of Californians struggle under the pressure of inflation, we are all looking for ways to put extra money in our pocket. We’re also looking for deals on products. If you’ve never bought or sold an item at a pawnshop, consider this your invitation to either earn money for your unwanted items or save money on purchases. Here’s how to haggle at a pawn shop to get the best deal.

Why Haggle?

The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of the word haggle is: “to attempt to decide on a price or conditions that are acceptable to the person selling the goods and the person buying them, usually by arguing.” Although haggling is not acceptable at traditional retailers in the U.S., worldwide, haggling is quite common. It’s also welcomed at pawn shops.

Why should you try to haggle at a pawn shop? The short answer is because you can often get more favorable terms. At a pawn shop this could mean more money for the item you wish to sell. It could mean a larger pawn loan, for an item you’re using as collateral, or it could mean that you get a better price on an item you want to buy.

Tips for Becoming a Better Haggler

Follow these seven tips to become more effective in negotiations at a pawn shop.

1. Do Your Research

Irrespective of whether you want more money for a collateral item, you want more money for an item you’re trying to sell, or you want to get a better price on a purchase, knowledge is power. So you should have a rough estimate of the value of the items you’re trying to pawn, sell, or buy.

2. Listen Closely

You may be inclined to try to do all the talking when haggling over a price at a pawn shop. But you’re likely to negotiate a better deal if you listen more than you talk.

3. Ask Questions

A good negotiator will ask questions, and then listen to the answers. Questions you may consider asking at a pawn shop may include, “how much flexibility do you have in the price?” Instead of asking if they are open to being flexible, when you assume that they have some flexibility, it gives you a bit of leverage.

4. Be Prepared to Walk Away

If you’ve done your research and you feel confident that you can secure a better offer on the same item elsewhere, don’t be afraid to walk away. Confidence in your ability to secure the deal you want shows the pawnshop staff that you know what you’re doing.

5. Be Respectful

Launching insults virtually guarantees that you will not get the offer or price that you want. Being respective rather than combative will work in your favor if you’re haggling at a pawnshop.

6. Stay Calm

If you feel yourself getting emotional, remember to pause and breathe. You’re more likely to make rash decisions or behave poorly when feeling emotional. Staying calm is a key to successful negotiation.

7. Try to See Things from the Other Side

Being able to see both your position and the position of the pawn shop can make you a more effective negotiator. For example, say you’re haggling over the price of a gold chain. You know that the price of gold has recently increased. When you’re haggling over the price of the chain, make mention of the fact that you know that prices are up, but the shop probably bought it when prices were low. Yet, you understand they need to make a profit. Stating you understand their needs, while showcasing your knowledge can go a long way.

8. Avoid Unreasonable Demands or Offers

A surefire way to show a pawn shop that you’re not serious about selling or buying an item is by making an outrageous demand. For example, if you walk into a pawnshop with a gold chain that you paid $400 for, and demand they buy it from you for $400, you’re going to leave the shop without money.

Pawn shops make offers based on a percentage of the value of the item. Likewise, if you find a diamond engagement ring for sale at a pawn shop for $1,000, don’t insult them by offering $500. They are not going to cut the price in half. You should be reasonable. Consider offering 10-15% less than the price tag. If they make you an offer for your item, ask for 15-20% more. But outrageous counteroffers won’t do you any favors.

Should You Haggle Even if You Don’t Need to?

There is no need to haggle over a reasonable price. But should you try anyway? At a pawn shop, it frankly can’t hurt (unless you’re prone to losing your temper). Learning to become comfortable with negotiation is a beneficial skill that may help you in other aspects of your life. Because pawn shops welcome negotiation and haggling, it’s not a bad place to try to improve your skills.

However, if you find something that is an incredible deal, there’s no need to pursue drawn out negotiations. Consider offering $10 less than the price tag. You may get the additional discount, you may get half of the discount, or you may fail. But it certainly won’t hurt to ask.

Azusa Pawn: We Welcome Haggling

At Azusa Pawn we are happy to entertain all reasonable offers. We’re never offended by haggling. We invite you to shop, sell, or use your items to secure a short-term collateral loan seven days a week.

Azusa Pawn is located minutes from Glendora and Covina in downtown Azusa, CA. As the San Gabriel Valley’s top-reviewed pawn shop, we buy, sell, and lend on items including jewelry, antiques, electronics, musical instruments, gold, silver, coins, power tools, sporting goods, and collectibles. We are happy to answer your questions. Send us an email or call 626-334-2274 Monday – Sunday from 9:30 am – 6:00 pm.