What Decides Pawn Shop Prices?


Skye Parker


August 25, 2021

There are many things that can impact the price offered for any given item at a pawn shop, ranging from appraisals, a big book of numbers, an online database or the quality and availability of an item.

How an Appraisal Works

An appraisal is what decides pawn shop prices in certain instances. This would be where someone will take your item during the time you intend to sell it. They will look at the general economy to see what an item might be worth. An appraisal can take many things into account such as how “sellable” your item is based on how many of these items they’ve sold in the past. They will also look at what they already have in stock to see if it would make sense to purchase your item. Looking online to see the market value of your item is another possible influence that will affect the outcome of your appraisal. Over all they will determine price by looking at all these things in addition to the quality of the item you have to sell.

What is a Value Database?

Before the internet was so widely available, pawnbrokers used to rely on published columns of “blue books” (think Kelley Blue Book for cars) which would provide a baseline number for the value of almost any item. Most recently online databases have been implemented such as “Orion Blue Book”. These can be updated regularly which is extremely helpful in our ever changing economy and the ease of checking up on things via the internet giving pawnbrokers very accurate and real time results to decide their pawn shop prices.

Something worth noting is that there are some pawn shops that have taken the path of developing their own internal database. This provides the employees the opportunity to help with assessments when determining pawn shop prices. These personalized data bases are an advantage for many reasons, one being the step by step instructions provided on how to judge the condition of an item to help keep things consistent throughout the pricing process that occurs between many separate employee, customer exchanges.

Specialist Consultations

When a pawnbroker wants a particular item, but doesn’t have the slightest clue of what it might be worth, they will generally call in an expert to consult on the case. This will often be the case when pawning a historic item or antique of any kind. These are the most common interactions you see on television shows like Pawn Stars where the pawnbroker has the item inspected to determine what decides their pawn shop prices.

Considering Sentimental Value

Unfortunately for those long kept sentimental items, most pawn shops won’t consider sentimental value to be a part of the monetary value during a sale. This is simply because a pawn shop is a business like any other and does need to make sales to keep afloat. Sentimental value does have an advantage however; when attempting to receive a loan for your item, you may be able to receive more cash for your item because it ensures that you will want it back and be more likely to repay the loan.

Building a relationship with your local pawnshop can actually help you secure better deals as well. Generally a pawn shop owner will be more likely to give better loan prices to people who work with them often or have built a good reputation and personal standing. This is because pawn shops are small businesses and the owners can work under their own discretion.

Pawn or Sell Something Today!

Once you understand what decides pawn shop prices, you may find you want to give it a go and sell or pawn something yourself! 

Call us at (801) 876-1673 or come into Xtreme Pawn today. We’d be happy to give you an estimate for your items and be there to make an offer if you decide to part with them. We buy and sell a variety of items, including Gold & Jewelry, Guns & Ammo, Sporting Goods, Instruments, Electronics, Movies & Games, and more!