If you are in the market for an engagement ring, congratulations! Take a moment to celebrate your good fortune in finding your soulmate. Then, take a deep breath, because you now face another significant decision: where to buy your engagement ring. There are many choices of where to get your ring, each of them with pros and cons. However, an option many people overlook is their local pawn shop, like Azusa Pawn.

A pawn shop of the size and community history of Azusa Pawn is bound to have a wide selection of engagement rings, of every style and type. From vintage rings to modern pieces, there’s bound to be a huge selection that can only be believed by visiting in person. Before you visit your local mall and wind up spending the exorbitant markup at a chain jewelry store, or taking your chances elsewhere, check out our guide to buying your engagement ring at your local pawn shop.

First, here are some excellent reasons to make your local pawnbroker your one-stop shop for your engagement ring:

  • You can save money by avoiding retailer markup. Start your new life on a healthy financial foot. This is especially helpful when planning a wedding because expenses will pop up and pile on before you know it.
  • You can negotiate with your pawnbroker. Retailers would laugh you out the door if you tried this one on them. Your local pawnbroker, on the other hand, is likely to work with you if you do your research and are willing to do the work to reach an agreeable price.
  • Your pawnbroker wants to help you; they are members of their community and are not beholden to the interests of a massive corporation like chain jewelry stores are. When you buy from your local pawn shop, you support your community.

Now that we have gone over some of the undeniable benefits of buying your ring from your local pawn shop, here is your step-by-step guide to finding the right ring at the right price.

1. Figure out what you are looking for before you visit the shop.

If you walk in hoping for inspiration to strike, you may be in for a shock. There are usually a vast variety of rings to choose from, and you could quickly find yourself overwhelmed. No matter how friendly and helpful your pawnbroker might be, he or she can’t help you if you don’t have an idea of what you want. Take some time to look at the types of rings your fiancé likes, or already wears, and proceed from there. You can even begin the process months in advance and ask questions to give you an idea of what they would want. For the truly bold, you can also visit the shop as a couple.

2. Do your homework.

Once you know what you are looking for, go online and find out what is an average price for the kind of ring you want. Learn about the different variations of the style you want, and how that affects the price. You want to know exactly what to look for when it comes time to handle the rings.

Extra credit: buy (or borrow) and learn to use a jeweler’s loupe. This might seem a bit overboard, but don’t forget that you are shopping for a piece of jewelry that your fiancé will keep for the rest of their lives.

3. Be prepared to negotiate.

This is where all your homework will pay off. When you know what you can expect to pay for the type and style of the ring you want, you will be in a position to negotiate with your pawnbroker to reach a deal that works for everyone. While many people shy away from settling on price, it does not have to be complicated.

4. Keep an open mind.

The longer an item sits in a pawn shop, the more willing your pawnbroker will be to negotiating a price. So, that means you should consider looking at rings that may have been sitting in the case for longer than others. In some cases, you may find the perfect stone, but in a less than ideal setting; if this happens, you can negotiate for a reasonable price and plan to use your savings to have the stone reset in a different setting.

Many times, especially in dated ring designs, the diamond or stone is beautiful and takes on a whole new life when reset in a design more suited to the wearer’s taste.

5. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

It’s understandable to want to get the ring taken care of right away. After all, you are no doubt excited to start this new phase of life with your loved one. However, if the ring or stone doesn’t feel right, or if the pawnbroker helping you is pressuring you in any way, don’t be afraid to give another local pawn shop a chance. One of the many great things about pawn shops is that they are as individual as the communities they serve. You will find a whole new set of pawnbrokers and inventory at each shop you visit.

It may be helpful to visit a few shops before you decide to purchase anything. Your community likely has a handful of quality shops to choose from. When you find the right one, you’ll know, just like you knew it was time to pop the question.

After you buy your ring, be sure to insure it and have it professionally cleaned before you get down on one knee and take care of business. When it comes down to it, buying an engagement ring at a pawn shop is a smart move. With a little preparation, it could be an enjoyable experience that you will remember forever. Come visit us today so we can congratulate you, then show you what we can do for you!