5 Unique Edmonton Summer Festivals You Can’t Miss 
Edmonton International Cat Festival
MacEwan Robbins Health Centre Downtown
June 1, 2019
Celebrity cats, kitty play pens, robo-cat and kitty cat yoga… what is there not to love?!
The best part? This fun festival donates 100% of it’s profits to local cat rescues working to improve and save the lives of our friendly felines!
Porkapalooza BBQ Festival
June 15 – June 15, 2019
We’re drooling already! Spend Father’s Day weekend with Dad sinking your teeth into delightful juicy pork. Live music, cold drinks and an all-out hunt for Alberta’s best pork – what is there to not love?! Don’t miss this delicious event!
Grand MacEwan Park
June 23, 2019
For all the Edmonton lads and lassies looking for some good old Scottish fun, this festival is the one for you! Enjoy a Scottish drumming competition and cheer on your favourite studs in the traditional heavy events.
Have you ever tried haggis? For the adventurous foodies, Scottish fare will be available to enjoy and exciting strong man events for watching. Oh, and don’t forget the cold beer!
Edmonton Burlesque Festival
Royal Alberta Museum Theatre
Date TBD (set for last week in August)
Interested in inspiring your inner seductress? Enter the Burlesque Bunny Competition, or just sit back and watch these exciting entertainers do their thing.
Edmonton Water Lantern Festival
August 31, 2019
Customize your very own paper lantern with inspiring messages and your hopes for the future, then release your glowing lantern into the water at sunset. Watch your wishes dance upon the water with other festival attendees and enjoy an awe-inspiring and uplifting ambiance.
6 Amazing Tips for Negotiating a Deal at a Pawn Shop
1. How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?
Plan on walking into the pawn shop with your negotiating gloves laced up already?
Think again, champ.
Before you set your heart on negotiating a hot deal, be sure to ask the obvious question – “Is the price on this item negotiable?”
While the guys behind the counter at a pawn shop typically expect a bit of back and forth haggling on most items, the fact of the matter is that there are some items that are just so unique or high-value that there simply isn’t room to budge.
2. Start High
Want to snag a sweet deal on a used turntable?
Just like poker, it’s wise to ‘keep your cards to yourself’ in negotiations, too!
If $100 is the price you’d be happy paying, start by asking if they would take $75 for the item.
This allows for bargaining room, and allows you to appear as though you are being flexible when you agree to consider an asking price higher than $75.
3. Know Your Comps
Ensuring you’ve educated yourself on what the market is actually valuing an item at at any point in time is a crucial step to becoming a strong negotiator.
Interested in one of our rare guitars?
Researching online or asking experienced professionals in a music shop for an estimate of how much the piece should go for allows you to come to the bargaining table with the right facts.
4. Money Talks
As the saying goes, cash is king.
Being able to shell out some cold, hard cash holds much more value than a promise to pay at a later date.
5. Know Your Limits
It’s no fun for anyone when you get caught up in the heat of the moment and over-promise on just how much you can actually pay for an item.
Before you step foot into a negotiation, it’s important to take a moment to genuinely decide what the maximum you’ll pay for the item is, and how much you can truly afford to pay.
Plan on blowing your lid if the deal doesn’t go your way?
You’d better not.
If you aren’t confident you can’t keep your cool while negotiating at a pawn shop, it’s better to just avoid the situation all together.
Everyone deserves a little respect.
If the decision maker at the pawn shop declines an offer that they feel is too low, they reserve the right to do so, and that doesn’t give you the green light to raise your voice, use profanity, or make threats.
At the end of the day, negotiating a deal should be fun for everyone involved – you get a steal on an item you’ve been pining after, and the pawn shop owner gets to sell some of their inventory.
Buying items from a pawn shop truly can help you save a pocketful of cash, but in the same right, it should only ever be done with respect.
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7 Reasons Pawn Loans are Better than Payday Loans like CashMoney
Are you considering a payday loan from one of the giants like CashMoney? While it may seem quick and easy, you may not have considered that our pawn loans may actually be a much better option when you need a quick dollar. Today, our experts share 7 reasons why our pawn loans are better than payday loans like CashMoney.
Why Pawn Loans are Better than Payday Loans like CashMoney
1. Fast Cash
Have you ever tried getting a loan from a bank?
By the time you book an appointment, provide all of your financial records and go through all of the checks and balances a bank requires, you can count on having to wait a good 2 to 4 weeks.
If you need money, and you need it now, our Pawn Loans are the perfect solution.
Simply bring your valuable item in to our Edmonton pawn shop and walk out with cold, hard cash within 15 minutes.
2. No Credit Checks
Credit score not-so-great? Chin up, friend.
At Loan Star, we do not perform a credit check and, in fact, don’t consider your credit score at all when it comes to our instant Pawn Loans.
3. No Wage Garnishment
Have you ever taken out a loan, only to be unable to pay it back right away?
When a loan isn’t paid back, many lenders will resort to garnishing your wages, which means they can actually get an order that forces your employer to withhold part of your earnings, and give it directly to the business that holds your debt.
At Loan Star, this isn’t the case. If worse comes to worse, we simply keep your valuable item and sell it to make up for the amount of the loan.
4. Loans of All Sizes
Big or small, we’ve got ’em all. Our loans start at $10 and range all the way up to $20,000. Whether you are in a tight pinch, or need a larger sum of money, our Instant Loans are very flexible.
5. We Pay in Cash
While many other lenders including payday lenders like CashMoney dole out the dough on pre-paid cards, at Loan Star, we pay your loan out in cash, right away.
Gone are the limitations of yesterday!
6. We Cost Less
Considering a payday loan?
Stop right there!
Did you know our loans are easier, faster and cheaper than payday loans?
Our typical 30 day + 7 day grace period Instant Loans have a much lower interest rate than the alternative, and simply end up costing you less.
7. We Won’t Sue You
Loan lovers, beware. Did you know that depending on the lender, if you default on your loan or are unable to pay it back, you could end up with a lawsuit on your hands?
Not so at Loan Star.
If you can’t pay your loan back, we just keep the item you provided as collateral.
It’s really that easy!
Your Trusted Edmonton Pawn Loans
9 Amazingly Easy Songs To Learn on Guitar Today
Are you trying to learn the guitar, but getting frustrated because you’re not making any progress? 9 times out of 10, this frustration is due to beginners taking on songs that are simply unsuitable for them. Finding the right song is difficult for most beginners, as they don’t know how to tell what song will be easy or which will be too difficult. Here are 9 easy songs to learn on guitar that are perfect for beginners:
1. Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Bad Moon Rising”
As CCR’s second gold single, this song has been recorded by at least 20 different artists, in styles ranging from folk to reggae. This song is a great start to learning some basic chords (D, A and G) and chord switching.
2.Foster the People: “Pumped Up Kicks”
This breakthrough hit and was one of the most popular songs of 2011. It’s simple to learn with one easy chord progression using downstrums on open chords.
3. Cracker: “Low”
You only need four chords (D, C, E and G) to get through “Low,” the 1993 single from Cracker. The song was a hit, reaching No. 3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart the year it was released.
4. Sublime: “What I Got”
The 1996 single, “What I Got,” was included on Rolling Stone‘s list of “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.” It only has two chords, D and G, through both the verse and chorus.
5. X-Ambassadors: “Renegades”
“Renegades,” was released as the second single from the band’s debut studio album VHS in 2015. It found its way inside the top 10 in 10 different countries. With just a few chords to learn, you’ll be playing it in no time!
6. John Legend: “All of Me”
This piano driven song became the second best-selling song of 2014 in the United States with 4.67 million copies sold. “All of Me” sounds equally fantastic on the guitar, and is simple to play. The intro and verse consist of just 4 chords (E minor, C, G, and D) with A minor coming in during the chorus.
7. Delta Spirit – “California”
This 2012 breakout single, earned Delta Spirit some of their first radio airplay. All it takes if four chords (A minor, C, G and D). If you’re looking for easy songs to learn on guitar, this is it!
8. Coldplay – “Clocks”
Coldplay’s massive 2003 hit, “Clocks,” won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Master your picking skills while playing this catchy piano melody on the guitar.
9. Bon Iver “Skinny Love”
If you’ve watched “The Voice” over the past few years, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard a contestant sing Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love.” The song’s beautiful old school sounds are easy to play while practicing 8th note strumming and switching between A minor, C, D minor and G/B.
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Buy Used Musical Instruments in Edmonton
9 Expert Tips for Buying A Used Electric Guitar
For music lovers, nothing quite compares to the joy of picking up a brand new electric guitar.
Buying A Used Electric Guitar
The reality for some, however, is that the sky high price tag on a new stringed beauty isn’t always a realistic option.
Luckily, there are a number of places, like our Edmonton-based pawn shop, where you can buy used electric guitars for a steal – sometimes for even less than half the regular retail price of a new guitar!
Let’s dive right in to our top tips for buying a used electric guitar now.
1. Set a Budget
What are you willing, and able, to spend on your used electric guitar?
Like anything in life, different models and brands of guitar come at varying price points.
By choosing a budget for your used electric guitar before you start shopping, you will be able to get a good idea of which models you may want to consider.
Did you know? An added benefit to buying a used electric guitar from a pawn shop is that it’s completely acceptable to negotiate when it comes to price!
2. Make Sure it Fits
Hands, arms and bodies come in all different shapes and sizes – just like guitars.
When buying a used guitar, always be sure to pick it up and try it out.
Wrap your hand around the neck – do your fingers reach the strings comfortably?
3. Choose a Body Style
Electric guitars come in a number of different body styles from solid body to semi-hollow, and hollow body.
If you’re considering buying a solid body style used electric guitar, choosing a body style within that category will be important.
If you plan to play metal or hard rock, a super strat is a great option to consider.
More into the soulful swoon of folk and country? A telecaster guitar is most likely your best bet.
Each of the body styles produce slightly different types of sounds and it’s best to do some research in advance to decide which type of body will be best for you.
4. Check for Rust
Do a general once-over of the musical instrument; is there any visible rust?
Minor rusting on the frets or fretboards is no cause for alarm and can be remedied at a low cost, but other parts that been rusted may be cause for concern.
5. Check for Dents and Dings
Of course when buying a used musical instrument second hand, there will undoubtedly be some signs of wear and tear.
However, note if there are any chunks missing or significant dents or scratches on the guitar body and in particular, along the back of the neck.
Larger defects could mean that the guitar has been dropped, which could lead to the integrity of the instrument being seriously affected.
6. Check the Neck
Take a look down the neck of the guitar – it should look fairly straight.
A twisted guitar neck may be difficult to repair and it’s a safer bet to try your luck with a different guitar if you notice this.
7. Check the Frets
If you look at the neck of the guitar, you will notice small metal strips that run across the piece. These are the frets of the guitar.
When buying a used guitar, be sure to check that the frets aren’t damaged or dented in.
Visible divots or indentations in the neck of the guitar where the frets are could be a sign of excessive wear and may not be your best purchase option.
8. Check the Hardware
Try adjusting each of the dials including the tuner, and ensure that they are all working and aren’t noisy.
9. Check the Jack
Ideally, a used electric guitar in great condition would have a nice, tight jack that does not make any noise when tapped or bumped.
However; that’s not always the case.
Try plugging in to the jack, and give it a bit of a wiggle – the cord should stay in, and stay put.
Buying a used electric guitar can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you’re able to snag yourself a sweet deal.
Be sure to do your research beforehand, and give yourself enough time to try out a few different styles.
Come prepared to not only ask questions about our used guitars but most importantly, to have fun!
For more information on our current selection of used electric guitars, get in touch with us or come stop by today.
7 Fun and Cheap Christmas Events in Edmonton
1. Furry Holiday Fun
Don’t leave your doggies out this Christmas season – instead, bring them to Bonnie Doon Centre on November 24th for photos with Santa. This is one day only event, so don’t miss it!
2. Movie Magic
Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas for at the Alberta Legislature on November 29th for a fun festive night.
This event is completely free and you can even bring your own favourite snacks – just be sure to register beforehand at the link below to ensure your spot.
3. All Aboard!
Enjoy the sweet sounds of Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott as they serenade kids and adults of all ages aboard the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Holiday Train.
Entry to this wonderful event is free but CPR does ask that you bring a donation for the food bank to help those that truly struggle during the holiday season.
The CPR Holiday Train travels all throughout Canada and the US, but will be in Edmonton and surrounding areas December 9th and 10th this year.
4. Beerify Me
One of the best places in Edmonton to find unique and affordable Christmas presents is at one of our fun Christmas markets!
Pop into Yellowhead Brewery to browse through over 40 local vendors selling their Christmas crafts on December 22nd at the brewery itself.
Admission is $5 and includes a pint of beer – win, win!
5. Holiday Treasure Hunt
Now you didn’t think we were going to leave ourselves out of this fun list, did you?
Of course not!
Why not stop in to Loan Star Exchange for some holiday treasure hunting – you may just find a steal of a deal on a killer Christmas gift!
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7 Easy Ways to Make Cash Fast That You Didn’t Think Of
Short on cash this month? Gas tank too close to empty? Put some extra cash in your pockets with some of these simple ideas to make money in Edmonton today!
Get Paid to Drive Around and Listen to Music
Why not cash in on the ‘need it now’ economy of today?
Applying to become a Skip The Dishes driver is simple, quick and easy way to rack up some dough. Enjoy a flexible schedule, listen to your favourite songs and make money while you’re at it.
Try a Kijiji Search with This Special Keyword
Need money like yesterday?
Hop on over to Kijiji and select “jobs” then type in “urgent” – you’ll be faced with a long list of employers who need help now – many who may pay in cash on a daily basis.
Many construction sites will need general labour help, parents will need babysitting and restaurants need servers. The list is really endless – try your luck and see which types of fun job opportunities pop up today!
Turn Your Basement Bobbles into Cash
Do you have a box of old baseball cards? An amp from your high school rock band that’s just collecting dust in the corner downstairs? That power sander you bought for that DIY project years ago but haven’t touched since?
We accept all types of items including gold and silvery jewellery like rings, necklaces and bracelets, electronics like laptops and cell phones, power tools, golf clubs and other sporting equipment, musical instruments and collectibles.
If you’ve got items that you aren’t using, why not turn them into cash by popping into our store today?
Dust off Your Bookshelf
Did you know many used bookstores, like the Wee Book Inn on Whyte Avenue accept used books and will pay you cash on the spot?
Finally, a useful application for all of those Jane Eyre reads!
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Oops – accidentally overspend again?
Many large retails like Wal-Mart, Superstore and Winners may not require the tags to be attached or a copy of your receipt – they simply offer a satisfaction guarantee.
That blouse you bought but can’t actually afford that doesn’t quite fit right?
The area rug you brought home from Costco that doesn’t actually look so great in your living room?
As long as it’s within a reasonable time frame, pack it up and bring it back for, many times, a full refund.
Bag up your recyclable bottles and drinking containers and head over to your local bottle depot to trade them in for some cool cash.
Bag of bottles a little empty? There’s no shame in heading out to one of the large outdoor shopping complexes nearby to pull bottles that could be recycled from the garbage.
The empty bottles will otherwise be added to our landfills so you can even think of it as a generous way to help out the community and environment, too.
Pay Less for Pizza, Perogies and Pasta
Download the Flipp app to look up grocery items and see which grocery store they are cheapest at in Edmonton.
Many large grocery stores like Superstore and Save On Foods will actually honour the discounts that their competitors are advertising so you do all of your shopping in one place.
Simply take a screen shot of the item in the Flipp app and show the cashier to pay less for your groceries every day!
Your Quality Pawn Shop in Edmonton
Loan Star Exchange is Edmonton’s trusted, quality pawn shop.
If you just can’t wait and need a quick and easy way to get cash today, we offer options.
Our Pawn Loans hold on to valuable items as collateral and offer short term loans for when you find yourself in a desperate situation.
Get in touch to learn more about out short-term loans today.
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Why You Should Choose Pawn Shops Over Yard Sales
Fall yard sale season can be tempting for many people looking for a deal, yet most of those deal hunters haven’t realized that there is a place with better deals and better products that is open year round. That place is a pawn shop. Here are a few reasons why you should choose your local pawn shop over a yard sale.
Anyone who has been to a yard sale knows that the items available can vary quite widely in terms of quality. Broken items can be placed next to board games with missing pieces, beautiful clothes hang next to jackets with missing buttons and holes in the pockets. When you go through a yard sale, you can often find products that seem amazing, only to discover they are falling apart a week after you bring them home, and you can’t do anything about it except throw it in the garbage.
A pawn shop owner understands that carrying poor quality merchandise will ruin their business and reputation, so they quickly become experts in finding quality pieces. Heading to a pawn shop instead of that yard sale can not only get you better quality items, it means you can buy with confidence.
When you go to a yard sale, you can often find everything from broken furniture to VHS tapes and worn out paperbacks. The actual products for sale are based mostly on two factors: the person not wanting it anymore or them really needing to get rid of it. This means the range of items available and their quality varies dramatically. By contrast, a pawn shop is curated. Items are there because the pawn shop operator knows they will sell. This means a narrower selection of goods that are at a quality that makes them sellable. It’s easier to find what you need and want in a pawn shop.
Yard sales are sometimes a mixed bag. You can find pretty decent deals on stuff, but more often than not you can find items that you love that are priced with sentimentality in mind. A person putting on a yard sale is in complete control of the pricing and while they may be open to haggling, they are often too personally involved to price competitively. They have also rarely considered actual market value, meaning you could end up paying more than what the item would go for at a pawn shop.
Pawn shop owners by contrast, price things according to previous sales experience and their expertise on the products. They do not price things because of the memories associated with them. They price them to sell. That means better, fairer pricing for you and less hassle trying to haggle down someone who doesn’t understand why their pricing is too high for an item they love.
When it comes to finding quality used items, it’s best to head to a quality and reputable pawn shop like Loan Star Exchange. With curated items that are high quality and priced to sell, it can be the perfect place to find something unique for less.
Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Pawning
Pawning is a great way to make money but only if you avoid common pawning mistakes. Here are five such pawning mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Misunderstanding Gold
Gold is one of the most common items that come through the doors at a pawn shop, yet gold itself is one of the least understood items on the planet. You see, the price of gold doesn’t operate like regular fluctuating stocks. It’s remarkably stable and, as a result, pawn shop owners understand the worth of an item mostly by placing it on a scale. Many people who try and pawn gold items try to over-negotiate when the pawn dealer understands just how much they can make by selling it to be melted down.
2. Being Sentimental
Sentimental value is important to some people, but your love of an item isn’t a big factor in pawning. In fact, it works against you when buying and selling. For buyers, they will often pay more than they need to for something they really want. For sellers, they will hold off on a fair price because they are convinced the item is worth more when it really isn’t.
The best way to avoid getting sentimental is to seriously assess whether you want to part with items you are pawning, and to not get overly-invested in items you want to buy before you make your offer.
3. Extreme Negotiating
There is rarely an item in a pawn shop that has a 300 per cent markup, yet many people buying things will try and lowball to save money. Negotiation can be part of the pawn shop experience but assuming large profit margins will shut down negotiations before they get you a stellar deal. The same applies when you are pawning items off. Understand the value of your items and negotiate from there.
4. Not Doing the Research
If you walk into a pawn shop with some items to sell and you haven’t done any research, you will often leave with those items still in your possession. The reason? Pawn shops don’t buy just anything. Be sure to head online and figure out what pawn shops are usually looking to buy and, while you’re there, do some research on what to expect in terms of cash in hand for those items.
5. Breaking Up Collectible Sets
Collectibles are a large part of the pawn shop market, but many people do not understand how to sell their collectibles to make the most amount of money. The best example is collectible sets. Too often, people will try and sell collectible sets as individual items, not understanding that they can often make more for the entire set. After all, not having to hunt down the individual pieces is a major convenience that many people will pay for.
If you are looking to pawn some items, it is in your best interest to do some research on what you want to sell. By taking the time to learn about pawning and your items, you can actually negotiate a better deal and sell more things. Also, be sure to always go to a reputable pawn shop for your pawning.
Counting Down the Most Expensive Watches Ever Made
Watches are the one piece of men’s fine fashion where you are encouraged to go all out.
In a world where plain-coloured suits and modest ties are dominating board rooms, watches are the place to show off.
While watches are expensive, some of the best, most eye-catching pieces can be found at your local pawn shop.
If you love the flash of a great watch, check out these pieces. They rank as some of the most expensive watches ever made.
7. Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 Oyster Albino- $4 million
As the most expensive Rolex ever sold, the Daytona Oyster Albino had a run of just four watches.
The watch features unique white chronograph sundials.
For a company that is synonymous with fancy watches, this piece remains its most expensive and possibly most notable watch.
6. Louis Moinet Meteoris– $4.6 million
Just like the Rolex Daytona, there were only four versions of this watch made, and for good reason: the watch contains an actual moon rock.
Each of the pieces are truly unique for what’s hidden inside. These pieces are really out of this world!
5. Hublot Big Bang– $5 million
With 1280 diamonds, the Hublot Big Bang is a total lesson in luxury.
Each diamond is cut by the same jeweler in New York to ensure complete consistency.
The entire piece is a seamless band and watch of diamonds that takes lavishness to a whole new level.
4. Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in Stainless Steel- $11 Million
Patek luxury watches are known for their extravagance but they made a big splash with the Philippe 1518 because of its casing.
Instead of rose or yellow gold, this piece features a stainless steel casing.
Only four were made, which is another reason for its high price tag.
3. Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch- $18 Million
While not worth billions itself, this watch is expensive enough to only be afforded by the ultra-wealthy.
Made with 230 collective carats of diamonds, each emerald cut, this piece has a skeleton face that is as striking as its diamond band.
2. Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication– $24 Million
Created exclusively for Henry Graves Jr., the famous banker and watch collector, the Supercomplication is named for its 24 complications.
It also features a perpetual calendar, minute repeater with Westminster chimes, times for sunrise and sunset, and a celestial chart based on the night sky above Graves’ New York home.
1. Chopard 201-Carat Watch- $25 Million
201 refers to the total number of carat diamonds on this watch, which includes a 15-carat pink diamond, a 12-carat blue diamond, and an 11-carat white diamond – 163 carats of white and yellow diamonds make up the rest.
Edmonton Pawn Shop
Do you love watches and other collectibles? Pop on in to our shop to take a peek at the unique and exciting watches we have for sale.