Pawn Shop Bargains?

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Been considering another scrollsaw, to stick in my backroom, for when I want to make a few small cuts, for something I'm putting together in the house, rather than going out in the shop.
As I don't want to sink a lot into a duplicate scrollsaw, and because I was out near a pawn shop today, dcided to see what they had.
Well, didn't see any scrollsaw there, but I doubt I would have bought one there anyway. Of the prices I looked at, I think all of them were as high, or higher (most), than new prices. And, most of the stuff was far from new. Wile I was there, I also looked at a .303 Lee-Enfield, with a hacked stock. They were asking just shy of $300 for it. For that price I could have a dealer order one fron an on-line dealer, of collectable quality, and probably wouldn't cost half that, even after shipping, taxes, dealer cut, and all, is figured in. When I said it was way too high, I was asked how much I would offer. They turned down my $75 offer. With the stock hacked up like it was, I figure that would have been fair. Actually, if I'd really wanted it, I would have gone as high as $100.
Pawnshops buys ain't no bargains anymore.
JOAT A rolling stone gathers no moss...unless it's a hobby he does on the weekends.
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.

<snip>
I don't even bother anymore. It seems that they are geared to the unlearned and the desperate (nicer word than 'stupid').
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J T wrote:

When the gambling boats came to town, pawnshops sprung up around them like dandelions after a spring rain. I used to drop in once in a while expecting to find a bargain or two. My experiences were much the same as yours. Worn-out tools for nearly new prices. I don't even bother going in anymore even though there's practically one on every corner. I don't know much about how the pawnshop business operates, but they must be making their money some other way.
DonkeyHody "There, but for the Grace of God, go I."
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Trick is to know what you are looking at. I bought a Remington 552 Speedmaster (rifle) Monte Carlo grade for $90. Value, a lot more.
I got a Tad pool cue for $30. Sold it for $1130.
I got a $2,500 welder for $300. Still have it.
Deals can be had, you just have to know what you're looking at.
But, by and large, 99.9% overprice thoroughly used goods.
Steve
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wrote

I have gotten some good deals on slightly used tools. I have two Porter Cable routers I bought at different times, both were like new. The first one they were asking about 80% of new, plus it had $100 worth the carbide cutters in the case with it. I offered them$125 for it and got it. It was all worth around $300 retail, and like I said, it was pristine, like new. The other was a big PC router, the model number I can't recall right now, but they were asking $175 for it. Over a two week time I would stop by every few days and offer $125 for it, and get refused! Last trip in I set it on the counter along with a Craftsman 16 gauge brad nailer that needed some work, but was like new, and offered $150 for them and got it. the router sells new for over $300. The nailer needed a couple of fifty cent screws and works fine. But for the most part deals are hard to come by. When I am in the market for something I hit all the pawn shops in town about once a week. Rarely I find a deal, but once in a while something comes by. Also don't let the asking prices run you off. It seems to me that pawn shops are used to haggling over the price a bit, so there is usually some room for negotiation in the price. Greg
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Sat, Dec 17, 2005, 8:48am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@cableone.net (GregO) doth sayeth: <snip> Also don't let the asking prices run you off. It seems to me that pawn shops are used to haggling over the price a bit, so there is usually some room for negotiation in the price. Greg
Most of the prices I looked at, a fair negotiation price would start at about half what they were asking, or less. I'll admit, you "can" still get a bargain in a pawn shopl, but they're few and far between, and you'd have to visit a lot of places, very often, before you're gonna run across many.
If you want a bargain, I think you'll find better ones, more often, in your local bargain papers, newspaper classified ads, by visiting second hand shops, yard sales, or word of mouth. I'll probably still check out the occassional pawn shop, but only when I'm in the area, with nothing better to do. I won't expect to see anything I actually want to buy.
JOAT A rolling stone gathers no moss...unless it's a hobby he does on the weekends.
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(Greg O) doth sayeth: <snip> Also don't let the asking prices run you off. It seems to me that pawn shops are used to haggling over the price a bit, so there is usually some room for negotiation in the price. Greg
Most of the prices I looked at, a fair negotiation price would start at about half what they were asking, or less. I'll admit, you "can" still get a bargain in a pawn shopl, but they're few and far between, and you'd have to visit a lot of places, very often, before you're gonna run across many.
If you want a bargain, I think you'll find better ones, more often, in your local bargain papers, newspaper classified ads, by visiting second hand shops, yard sales, or word of mouth. I'll probably still check out the occassional pawn shop, but only when I'm in the area, with nothing better to do. I won't expect to see anything I actually want to buy.
JOAT
If you ebay, when you do a search, use the drop down that reverses the order. Look at newly posted items. Sometimes the seller doesn't know the value of what they have and put a too low buy it now price. Like a good deal at a yard sale, first guy that sees it grabs it.
Steve
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Sat, Dec 17, 2005, 11:16am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (SteveB) hath said: JOAT If you ebay, when you do a search, use the drop down that reverses the order. Look at newly posted items. Sometimes the seller doesn't know the value of what they have and put a too low buy it now price. Like a good deal at a yard sale, first guy that sees it grabs it.
Yes, you "can" get some great deals on eBay - I've gotten a few, including some using the Buy-It-Now option. BUT, at the same time it is "essntial" that you check the shipping cost, because that can absolutely kill an otherwise great deal. I've passed on bidding for a lot of items on eBay, because the high shipping cost being charged would have jacked the total way too high to make it worthwhile, even if I was the only bidder.
Most of my eBay bidding is for items I can't track down anywhere else. For example - out-of-print books.
JOAT A rolling stone gathers no moss...unless it's a hobby he does on the weekends.
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..

I frequently list an item for $1, even when I -think- it will sell for several hundred. To date I have yet to be surprised and see it sell for almost nothing. Once something sold for 10X what -I- thought it was worth, the bidders explained that it was now a "collectable" and worth a lot.
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Local pawnshops here in Eastern Washington are about the same as the original poster explained. WAY overpriced on junk. Offers of half would be generous and were always declined so I stopped making them and just walk out now.
However, in coming back in a couple of months the junk is gone so apparanetly there are some dumb ones locally. But I suspect the layaway policy of pawn shops sells a lot of the equipment, make a couple three payments and then pick it up.
I recently missed a minty millers falls no 7 rabbet plane for under $40 at a local pawn shop that sold on Ebay.
Alan
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Quite true. I spent a day some time ago cruising the Seattle pawn shops. Was highly disappointed at their prices.

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Greg O wrote:

Maybe pawn shops in your neck of the woods are different. I can't escape the feeling I need to carry my gun when I go in . . . and take a shower when I leave.
DonkeyHody "Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get muddy, but the pig likes it."
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Sounds about the same to me! Greg
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wrote:

Last time I was in a pawn shop I was trying to recover several nail guns that were stolen from us on a job site. It wasn't going too well on the first attempt but on the second trip we brought a sheriff's officer with us. Things went very smooth after that.
Mike O.
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On Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:50:04 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I asked a pawn shop owner a few months back why his prices were so high on some things. He said EBAY. Says he can get his prices there if it doesnt sell in the store. He no longer dickers over pricing. Basicaly pay his price or someone else will. I havent been back.
skeez
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I was waiting for someone to use the "Ebay" word.
Yes Ebay has changed the way pawn shops operate....forever.
All pawn shops that I used to visit use Ebay for their pricing information. Their thinking is that if someone will pay that price on Ebay, then they are likely to get that price too...and they are right.
Next if the locals won't pay the price ....then Ebay it. They do and again they get their price.
Finally many pawn shops today let an item sit on a shelf for a certain amount of time and then it automatically goes on Ebay...if you think you can wait them out for a lower price you are sadly mistakened.
If one factors in the time and effort in covering the pawn shop circuit, the rare finds that you come across are no bargains.
If you want the bargains, you need to find the item before it lands in the hands of the pawn shop dealer. The problem is that your competition has figured this out too. Anyone else notice the increased competition at garage sales, estate sales, adds in the local paper, auctions, etc. also?
The day of finding bargains easily and consistently has passed.
TMT
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Here in Oregon there is an ongoing story about pawn shops, stolen goods and eBay. It appears the Portland police were not looking very closely at a number of pawn shops which were getting new-in-the-box (NIB) items which had been stolen from retailers. (There's a picture of a half-dozenish NIB Husqvarna chainsaws from one of the pawn shops.) Well, the FBI ended up taking on the issue and doing a 20 month investigation and crackdown.
In Sunday's Oregonian, there's a front page article about how eBay has transformed the pawn industry and the shoplifter's selling risk. This stuff doesn't sit around long as it goes on eBay ASAP. SInce sellers are faceless and without a store that a customer might judge by looks to determine acceptability, they can rack up great and glowing reviews as long as they answer emails and ship promptly.
One woman who bought a Brita water filter seemed disturbed and somewhat surprised at never having considered the possiblity that it was likely stolen. A farmer from S. Dakota seemed almost unmoved by the knowledge the merchandise could well be stolen - just as long as he got a bargain.
Here's the article: <http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1134798908 252870.xml&coll=7>
Oh yes, one more thing, eBay's spokesperson doesn't come off sounding very supportive of law enforcement.
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That's the catch, of course. The pawnshops pay next to nothing for most items. But how are you going to "intercept" the stuff you want before it ends up there?
Too_Many_Tools wrote:

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"That's the catch, of course. The pawnshops pay next to nothing for most items. But how are you going to "intercept" the stuff you want before it ends up there? "
Pawnshops pay between a maximum of 10 -20% of retail on anything....and with loans/convert into cash the percentage is usually less.
To "intercept" the stuff you have to make the used equipment circuit...rummage sales, garage sales, aucitons, run want ads, etc....and this all takes time, space and money.
If your time is worth anything (and it is worth minimum wage), most of this stuff is not worth chasing. If you are honest about the time it took to find that "gloatable" tool, you would realize that you have likely wasted alot of time that could have been spent better elsewhere. You are further ahead earning the money and buying new....or if you want the old, risky stuff...buy it off Ebay than to chase that $100 Unisaw that will never happen to most of us.
I also have noticed that the competition for stuff at garage sales and such has gotten substantially tougher. Since many folks think they can sell it on Ebay, they are out in droves looking for the next sellable item. Many private individuals also are pricing their stuff at Ebay prices and are getting it...so why would they sell it to you for less?
Like I said, those who used to make money off buying low and selling high from unknowledgable or desparate sellers need to find something else to do to make their pocket money these days.
TMT
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You're right there! I recently moved to a new town and found a pawn shop that had pretty reasonably priced machinist's tools, old but good quality. I bought quite a few over the next year, then walked in one day to find all the prices quadrupled. They wanted $12 for a tubing cutter that costs $3.50 new on any hardware store. The guy killed the goose. I haven't been back since. Bugs
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