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Gun Reform – How Will It Influence The Pawn Industry?

If you’re a gun owner, then chances are you’ve heard about the new gun restrictions that may be put in place as part of an Executive Order  by President Barack Obama. If you’re a gun collector though, you’re probably wondering how this affects your ability to build, trade, and sell your collection of firearms. While there are many things to consider about the new rules, here are some things to think about when buying and selling firearms through a pawn shop:

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Why Are We So In Love With The Electric Guitar?

22236157942_de80d856af_mBaseball, apple pie, and ‘57 Chevys are American icons that are ingrained into

our culture. That is a simple fact that no one can debate, but not far behind on that list is the electric guitar. America has a love affair with the electric guitar and all things rock’n’roll. But why?

The electric guitar’s origin is the subject of debate, but there are examples of solidbody guitars from as far back as the early 1930s. Les Paul came up with his first electric guitar, dubbed “The Log”, in 1940. This was the beginning, and his creation of an “electrified” solid body guitar, along with his prominence in the music industry, paved the way for what was to come.

America’s, and subsequently the world’s, infatuation with the electric guitar began in the 1950’s when images of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens came flickering into the living rooms of impressionable youth on their families’ black and white televisions. The electric guitar had arrived. Moreover, rock’n’roll had arrived, and nothing has been the same since. Kids all over the United States, and soon the world, would be asking their parents for electric guitars. Allowances would be saved, lawns would be mowed, and papers would get thrown all in the name of rock music. In 1957, the retail price of a new Fender Stratocaster, just like the one Buddy Holly played on tv, was $275.00. That was A LOT of money then, and so what happened? The market responded and within a few years every major department store had their own brand of electric guitar, so parents everywhere could give their kids that little slice of rock’n’roll on a budget. The Silvertone, Harmony, and Kay guitar brands were born. These, among others, would be found under Christmas trees for years to come.

But why do we “love” the electric guitar? What is it that ignited that passion and turned it into the icon it is now? Well….it is a lot of things. The U.S. was just coming off of WWII, and the youth were ready for a change. Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Little Richard came on the scene and were putting out something that the kids were latching onto by the thousands. The door for rock’n’ roll was opened and more artists were walking through it every day, and much like the pied piper, the kids were following. Everything about it…..the beat….the sense of abandonment and “danger”…….the rebellion. The kids wanted it, and the electric guitar was a way to get it. They could make it their own, and all they had to do to get it was order it out of the Sears catalog.

From there, the sky was the limit. The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin took the electric guitar to another level. Muddy Waters went electric, and to everyone’s  shock, so did Bob Dylan. The Byrds turned the electric guitar into a thing of beauty, while Pete Townsend turned the guitar into a weapon. All of these different artists were making groundbreaking music in one of the most vital times in modern history and they all had one common denominator: the electric guitar.

I try to remember this now when I sell a family their kid’s first electric guitar. I have even tried to explain it to parents, about how their son or daughter is looking for something that is theirs, and theirs alone. I tell them that their kids are going to start locking themselves in their rooms, playing their guitar for hours, and turning their music up too loud. I also tell them that it is going to be okay. A fourteen year old kid can take a Fender Strat into the bedroom, turn the amp on, and feel like he or

she is on top of the world. It’s not that different than burning down the highway on a motorcycle or hitting a home-run. Turning up the volume and hitting a power chord can be a sublime moment when nothing else exists. You can forget your homework or your mortgage,  and for a few minutes, you can go “somewhere else”. As long as people get this feeling from the electric guitar, it will remain relevant, no matter what shape or form modern music may take. And that is why the electric guitar is an icon.

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Step by Step Guide to Dealing with Pawn Shops

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I Need Some Money! What Do I Do?…
A Step By Step Guide To Dealing With Pawn Shops 

We all find ourselves a little short on cash from time to time, but many people don’t consider pawn shops as a solution to their financial problems. Here are some pointers to walk you through your first pawn transaction.

There are a lot of unknowns: 

How does one go about getting money from a pawn shop?
How much can I get?
How does the process work?
Am I going to get taken advantage of?

Don’t let these questions scare you away from a pawn shop! 

1. Pawn shops make collateral loans.

What does this mean? It means pawn shops loan money based on the value of an item. You don’t have to have a priceless collectible to get a loan. Gold and silver jewelry, diamonds, musical instruments, and firearms are all commonly pawned items. Electronics such as smartphones, gaming systems, and computers are also items of value that can be used to obtain a loan.

2. How much can I get?

Now that you have decided on an item (or items) to get a loan on, the question of value comes into play. A basic rule of thumb for “everyday” items such as computers, smartphones, or tools is that a pawn shop is going to loan between 25 to 30 percent of the new retail value. While this seems low, consider that the item is now a “used” item and the shop has to assess a value based upon the ability to recover the funds in the event that loan is not repaid. Items such as quality musical instruments and firearms can command a higher percentage and garner higher loans. Jewelry is in a category of its own, and since the majority of its value is based on the weight, it makes it harder to have a good idea of the value before you go into a pawn shop. Your best bet is to go to a reputable shop with a longstanding history.

The best way to get the loan you need for the AMOUNT you need is to develop a relationship with a pawn shop. If a shop sees that you have a history of getting loans and repaying them, they are going to have the confidence to bump up the loan amounts and give you the money you need.

3. How does the process work?

Once the loan amount is agreed upon, it is simply a matter of a couple of minutes of paperwork and you are on your way. Pawn regulations vary from state to state, but in Texas, the pawn loan is good for one calendar month, with an additional grace period of thirty days, with the option to extend your loan out as long as you need to repay it, as long as the monthly interest is satisfied. You need valid state or government issued ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or a US Passport to obtain a loan. The interest assessed for the loan is regulated by the state, and is the same for all pawn shops. The ticket you sign and receive a copy of outlines and serves as a claim ticket for the item. If you are physically unable to come back, anyone that is 18 years of age can retrieve your item, as long as they provide the original ticket and have valid ID. Lost your ticket? Don’t worry… the original loan recipient can always reclaim the item with valid ID. As you can see, the process is simple and hassle free. Additionally, should you default on your loan, everything about your loan is confidential and has absolutely no negative impact on your credit score.

4. Am I going to get taken advantage of?

There has been a long-standing stigma about pawn shops that they are only going to “rip you off”. As with any industry, there are probably some unscrupulous businesses out there. The best way to protect yourself is to go to an established pawn shop that looks like they have a steady stream of customers. A business can’t stay open very long taking advantage of people, and with yelp, google reviews, and facebook, it is pretty easy to investigate the reputation of a business. Remember, the pawn industry is highly regulated, with strict rules put in place to make sure that the customer is protected.

Hopefully, this simple outline of what to do and what to expect has helped to “de­mystify” the pawn process for you, and the next time you find yourself in need of little extra cash to bridge the gap, don’t hesitate to take your items of value to your nearest reputable pawn shop.

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Pawning Electronics: 4 Tips on Getting the Best Deal

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One of the more common categories pawned are electronics. If you’re looking into pawning something, chances are it falls in this category. If so, here are 4 tips to get the best value out of your electronics pawn loan.

1. Pawn items in good condition

The desirability of an item is significantly affected by its condition. Dropped your tablet and cracked the screen? Be sure to get it fixed first or pawn another item. Is it missing parts, or does it have a glitch causing it to malfunction? An item in excellent condition, with all its parts, is likely to be an asset to the pawn shop and will get you a much more agreeable deal.

If you have the original box, go ahead and bring your item in that. If you bring a TV, be sure to also bring the remote. Bringing a laptop? Charge it beforehand and be sure to bring the charger. This is important not just for the item’s value, but also because having a power source is necessary so that your broker can test the item and assess what condition it’s in.

2. Don’t Bring Unaccepted Items

Often, there are certain things pawn shops don’t accept. This can be due to a combination of factors, such as how commonly (and easily) some items are stolen, or other factors that might create liability. At McBride’s, for example, we do not accept cell phones or car audio equipment. Be sure to do your homework ahead of time when deciding what to bring to your pawn shop.

3. Know what items go for more

Being aware of the market value of one item versus another will help you narrow down what the best candidates are to bring into the shop. This, in turn, will help you get a head start on finding a better deal instead of simply learning by trial and error. A resource like this one can be a good starting point.

4. Be willing to negotiate

A pawn agreement is a kind of partnership between you and the pawnbroker, which means that it’s important to find a deal that makes you both happy. This means you may need to go back and forth a few times until you reach an offer that satisfies both parties. Don’t be afraid to do this — a pawnbroker expects this, and it’s actually part of winning your business. You’re more likely to come back to a shop that you feel treated you fairly, so don’t be afraid to haggle a little. (We’d rather have you recommend us to others and come back yourself than have it be a one-time affair.)

Conclusion

In short, be sure to know your items before you bring them in. This will allow you to spend your valuable time more efficiently, and your pawn shop will appreciate that you’re a customer that brings good-quality items to the table. This all goes toward a better deal for all involved.

We hope you’ll come in and see us soon!

Image Credit: Pixabay.com
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5 Tips To Maximize Your Pawn Loan

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Wouldn’t it be helpful to be able to maximize your next pawn loan amount? Below are five simple ways to help you get the most out of your next transaction with us.

1. Know the Market

We all know this: some things fetch more money than others. Even though you’re not selling, the loan amount you will get for your pawned item is partially based off of its total expected value on the market. If you know what things are currently more desirable, you can select an item to pawn that will get you a better loan. Remember that known brands are likely to fetch more than off-brands.

2. Know Your Pawn Shop

A pawnbroker has an interest in taking things into his or her shop that will be popular among tclientele. There’s always a chance a pawned item will not be redeemed, so a pawnbroker needs to assess how likely an item is to sell quickly (and for how much). So know your pawn shop’s particular specialties and clientele: what is hot on this pawn shop’s market? Talking to your pawn broker is a great way to get a sense of this.

3.  Avoid Problem Items

Some things are undesirable for a broker. This typically has to do with value: old technology, for example, isn’t likely to fetch much and therefore probably won’t be something you can get much (if anything) on. Avoid fast-depreciating items and focus instead on items that appreciate or retain the same value: antique gold jewelry, instruments, and guns being really solid examples. Items that are often stolen, such as GPS units, are also likely to be undesirable.

4. Good Item Condition

The better condition the item is in, the more you can get. If there’s anything you can do to improve its condition before taking it to be appraised, do it — clean it up, make sure it works, and check for any missing pieces.

5. Repay by Original Date

This may seem less intuitive, but indirectly you will maximize the value you get out of a loan by minimizing how long you pay interest on it. If you can redeem the item and all interest by the original agreed-upon date, your loan will be of more value to you. If you can’t redeem the item by the original date, consider whether you expect to redeem it at all before renewing your loan term length. It may be better for you and your broker to simply allow the pawnbroker to go ahead and take possession of the item: this way the item can be put up for sale, and you aren’t paying unnecessary interest on something you won’t redeem anyway.

Conclusion

Hopefully these five simple tips will help you get the best value out of your next pawn loan. We do hope you’ll stop in and see us soon — as always, please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions. See you soon!

Image Credit: New York Loan Co.

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How Do Pawn Loans Work?

A pawn loan works on a similar principle as other loans, with a few differences in terms of how the particulars work. As with any other loan, you’re taking out a specific sum of money, to be paid back within a given period of time with interest.

However, a pawn loan involves a different process when it comes down to the way you procure the loan and the terms of repayment. Allow us to walk you through the process below.

Starting Out

The first thing that you will need in order to obtain a pawn loan is collateral: that is, something to pawn. In the case of most loans (such as a credit card, student loan or mortgage), the thing you’re putting at risk over against the loan is your credit score. Should you fail to repay, you’ll be pursued by the lender and the numbers on that score will drop. This will affect your ability to take out other loans later.

However, taking out a pawn loan does not require that you have a good credit, nor will your credit be affected should you be unable to repay it. Instead, the item you pawn serves as backup — collateral — against your loan. The agreement is that you will either repay the loan according to the terms of your contract, or forgo repayment and relinquish ownership of your collateral. You will not be pursued for repayment.

The Pawn Agreement

When you decide to take out a pawn loan, you’ll find an item you’re interested in pawning. When you come in, you will see the pawn broker, who will do two things: first, he will assess the range of value the item might fetch on the market as well as how likely it is to be a valuable item to him as a broker. Then, if he thinks this is an item you’re likely to redeem, he will offer you a loan amount based on a percentage of that value.

If you decide this is a fair transaction, you will agree to the terms of the loan. You will be issued a ticket enumerating the loan and its terms. This includes interest rate, repayment deadline, and any other important terms. Typically, you’ll be expected to repay in full or pay the interest to-date by the agreed date in order not to relinquish ownership of your collateral.

For many people, a pawn loan can turn a dire financial situation into a win-win situation,  providing not only the means to secure funds in a time of need, but the ability to do so without the hassle of credit checks. In addition, when you redeem your loan and reclaim your property, you are building a relationship with us, with the confidence that you can turn to us again in a time of need. You can get more information at the National Pawnbroker’s Association and Pawn Shops Today websites.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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