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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.

Guaranteed Quality

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.

Curated Content

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.

Unsentimental Pricing

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.

If you have a love of watches, your local pawn shop is the perfect place to find all kinds of pieces at reasonable prices. From practical pieces to luxurious watches that make your outfit pop, there are fantastic finds at your local shop.

 

Five Signs You are Dealing with a Quality Pawn Shop

A pawn shop is not a second hand shop, a consignment store, or a money lender, but it is some combination of all three of those things. Above all, it is a business and so it should behave like a business, with the proper licenses and know-how, and you should feel as comfortable doing business with a pawn shop as you would with any other retailer in the area.

The signs that you are dealing with a quality pawn shop are:

1) They can provide you with a small loan

A pawn shop is mostly in the business of giving small loans for a short period of time, with a sellable item as collateral. If you need money in a hurry, you can get a loan from a pawn shop and they will hold onto your item for an agreed upon time, until you collect it by repaying the loan within that time and with interest. Most people do return for the items, but if they don’t the store can sell it for the full value. As long as you give a more valuable item as collateral, they will be willing to negotiate for a higher price.

2) They should know the value of the items and understand what they have.

A good pawn shop will know a good piece of jewelry from something gold plated. They will have appraisers on staff and people who can repair jewelry. They will know the value of what you bring in and what you want to buy.

3) They should have a licence

Pawnshops fall under the category of “payday lender” – but don’t confuse them with payday loan companies like CashCo or Money Mart. The distinction is for their classification of licence. Pawn shops in Alberta are legislated by the: Fair Trading Act, Payday Loans Regulation, Cost of Credit Disclosure Regulation and An Act to End Predatory Lending. Each shop must undergo the province’s licensing process to operate legally.

4) They should have good security

Since they are storing your things, they should have a method in place to make sure they are keeping your belongings safe.

5) They are well established in the community and well-liked

A pawn shop should make you feel comfortable in doing business with them. They should be in a good neighbourhood and have a good relationship with the community. You should feel good about any place where you are doing business. Talk to the staff, and go and visit a number of times before you bring in your item to make sure you and the shop can enjoy a great business relationship.

Call our quality pawn shop for info on our products and services, or come and see us today!

What Exactly Does a Pawn Shop Do?

We have all seen the depictions of pawn shops in the media: shady places where dirty dealings occur in seemingly broad daylight. The truth, however, could not be further from those common depictions. In fact, pawn shops today remain an important part of the world and business. If you have never been to a pawn shop, you may be missing out on some fantastic deals, opportunities, and people. This blog covers the things you need to know about pawn shops, how they work and what they can offer you.

You Can Get Some Quick Cash

Pawn shops offer a wide variety of services to people but one of their most common tasks is buying items from people and adding those items to their inventory. It’s a fantastic way to make some quick cash on things you have that you no longer need, especially if they are items that are in high demand. Recent versions of smartphones, recent electronics, and power tools in good condition are all viable items that can often make you some great money, and a pawn shop is the perfect place to trade them all in.

You Can Sell Jewelry

Most pawn shops these days have close working relationships with precious metal suppliers and jewelry experts. They can often give you top dollar for your gold and silver no matter the form. They can also help you find a home for any jewelry you no longer want, whether that’s selling it to someone who may want it or having it melted down for its metals. Either way, pawn shops can help you make some money off the precious metals in your jewelry.

You Can Get a Loan

People are increasingly turning to pawn shops for short-term loans. These loans are collateral-based, meaning that you have to offer something up for collateral in the event that you default on your loan. The process works differently than banks but your local pawn shop dealer will be able to walk you through the specifics. It’s an excellent way to get some cash that you may need without having to go through the bank.

You Can Find Something Fantastic

One of the best things about pawn shops has changed very little over the decades: the potential to find something amazing. These stores have been acquiring items for years and hidden away on those shelves are things you may have never guessed. Old records, books, items that you need for your home, even replacement phones and electronics. If you want it, there’s a good chance a pawn shop in your area has it, and has it for less.

Your local pawn shop is an excellent resource for everything from quick cash to loans and items that you may need. They are an important part of any community and a vibrant place where people can discover things they never knew existed. If you are in need of cash or are looking for something unique, a pawn shop may have exactly what you were looking for, and even a few things that you weren’t.

10 Rarest Coins in Canada

Coin collecting is big business for the truly passionate. Just like stamp collecting and record collecting, the true connoisseurs are always on the lookout for the rarities, whether those are limited releases, misprints, or limited runs. When it comes to Canadian coins, there are some that are more highly sought than all the others, ones that are worth more than just a pretty penny. Here are the top 10 rarest, and most valuable, Canadian coins sought by collectors around the world.

10. 1947 Maple Leaf Silver Dollar

Value: $300-$10,000

These coins were made because of some confusion between the Canadian Royal Mint and Britain, resulting in coins struck in 1948 that bore the 1947 year. The major change was a tiny maple leaf next to the year to indicate it was part of this run. There are roughly 1,000 in circulation.

9. 1948 Canadian Silver Dollar

Value: $1,000-$20,000

When India gained Independence in 1947, the reigning monarch’s official title was shortened due to not being the “Emperor of India” any longer. The change meant a different effigy, which the mint could only make a small number of due to the new dies. As a result, a small run of silver dollars were made, of which only 1,000 are thought to survive.

8. 1906 Small Crown Quarter

Value: $1,000-$50,000

Canada’s rarest 25-cent piece, made with a small crown instead of a large one. Of the rumoured 1,000 that were made, most are in poor condition, which is why their price changes so much according to grade.

7. 1921 Nickels

Value: $4,000-$100,000

When the mint decided to make nickels literally made of nickel, they gathered up all the silver 5 cent pieces and melted them down. As a result, any surviving versions of the last silver 5 cent piece can catch quite a high price with the right collector.

6. 1969 Large Date Dimes

Value: $10,000-$25,000

Probably the newest of the top rare Canadian coins, this 1969 dime has an unusually large date and thus quite valuable.

5. 1916 Gold Sovereign

Value: $15,000-$50,000

The equivalent of a British one-pound gold coin, these coins are extremely rare and thus quite highly valued.

4. 1921 Fifty-Cent Piece

Value: $40,000-$250,000

Almost all 1921 50 cent coins were melted down due to low demand. Any that survived are now quite the collector’s item and often referred to as “the king of Canadian coins.”

3. 1936 “Dot” Dimes

Value: $184,000

When King Edwards VIII suddenly abdicated the throne, his brother George became king. Besides becoming the subject of the popular film, The King’s Speech, the abdication caused headaches at the Canadian mint, who did not have an effigy of the new king. The result: a dime made in 1937 that says “1936,” albeit with a tiny dot.

2. 1936 “Dot” Penny

Value: $400,000

The “dot” penny was made for the same reasons as the “dot” dime, but is rarer and thus more valuable. Only three are known to survive.

1. 1911 Canadian Silver Dollar

Value: Almost $1 million

Coin collecting can be a very lucrative endeavour when done properly. It can also help people with coins they don’t need generate a little extra income. Whether you are on the hunt for coins or want to sell some you have around the house, your local pawn shop is an excellent resource. They can help you assess the value of your coins and provide a place to sell your Canadian coins.

How to Refinish an Old Dresser

Buying new furniture can be one of the more costly things you can do for your home, often more expensive than redecorating with a few new throw pillows and a fresh coat of paint. That is why more and more people are taking the DIY approach to refinishing their old wooden furniture. Not only can they breathe new life into an old piece of furniture, but they can also be in control of the new look and feel of the piece. Today, let’s go through how to refinish an old dresser in just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Get Your Supplies

Yes, refinishing old furniture saves money, but you have to spend money to save money in this instance. Your first step is heading to the store to pick up supplies. Basically, you will need the following:

  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Fine sandpaper
  • A paint or stain of your choosing
  • A standard kitchen sponge
  • Liquid soap
  • A paintbrush
  • Optional: a chemical stripping agent

Once you have your supplies, make sure you have a space where you can do your project safely. Since you may be using chemicals and sanding quite a bit, a well-ventilated area is a good idea. Outside is better.

Step 2: Prep the Dresser

Prepping the dresser essentially means taking a kitchen sponge and bucket of soap & water to the dresser. Gently wash away all the dirt and grime until the piece is crystal clean. Once that’s finished, let it dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Get to Sanding

The bulk of what you will be doing when refinishing an old dresser is sanding. Start with the coarse sandpaper and sand until you start to see the original wood poking through the paint, stain, or anything else that is in the way. Once that happens, switch to a finer sandpaper and sand away until all you see is the original wood.

If you are having trouble getting rid of the old finish, you may have to use a chemical stripping agent. Be sure to follow the instructions and safety guide when using these products.

Step 4: Paint or Stain

Once you are down to the original wood, it is time to give it a new stain or paint job, depending on your preferences. Paint is perfect for older pieces that still look a little worn, while stain can bring out the classic beauty of those old pieces. Despite your preference, the process remains mostly the same: use a brush to paint on your coating, let it dry, and put on another layer. If you are painting, be sure to start with a primer.

Buying brand new furniture can be very expensive, but refinishing old furniture is an excellent way to update old pieces and save money at the same time. Just remember: refinishing can be time-consuming and dangerous. Always follow the safety instructions of any products you use and wear all of the appropriate safety gear, including goggles and gloves. If you take your time and are careful, you could very well get decades of renewed use out of your old dresser, and have it fit into your current decor.

The Top Four Items to Pawn for Quick Cash

 

If you are looking to raise a little money very quickly, you can still turn to your local pawn shop. These stores are the perfect place to unload your unwanted items, but they will often only pay top dollar for the things they know will sell. So if you are looking to make some quick cash, consider selling these items at your local pawn shop.

Precious Metals, Diamonds & Gems

Most pawn shops are also in the gold and silver business, meaning they will buy your gold, silver, diamonds, platinum and other things simply for their weight in that precious metal. So if you have jewelry (or gold bars) lying around the house, these items will often fetch a surprisingly high value at most pawn shops.

Just be aware that most of the items you sell to a pawn shop will be melted down and used for new things, especially if the pawn shop has a good relationship with a local precious metal and diamond exchange. So if you have old heirloom pieces that you hope will end up as someone’s next favourite accessory, this is probably not what will happen. Less so with diamonds and gems, but most certainly with gold and silver.

Watches

Everybody needs a good watch and many fashionable people still turn to pawn shops for unique and beautiful timepieces. If you have some watches that you no longer use, you may be able to make a pretty penny off them at your local pawn shop.

In general, pawn shops are not looking for your battered Casio digital that you wore when it was in fashion in the eighties. They are interested in higher-end brands and watches that are meant for looking good and telling the time. Rolexes remain the standard but other brands may fetch you a surprising amount of money, too.

Power Tools

Power tools in good working order won’t make you rich for pawning, but they remain a consistent source of decent money. Take them in and see what you can get, just make sure they are working well. Maybe give them a bit of a cleaning as well, so they look even more enticing.

Electronics

Yes, even your outdated electronics could be something a pawn shop is looking for. Not your old television set, but if you have old video game systems lying around, your local pawn shop may be very interested. Smartphones are also popular pawn shop items since brand new ones can cost upwards of a thousand dollars while even the second-latest model can run for a quarter of that.

When selling items to pawn shops, it is important to consider what would be in local demand. Since almost all of these stores work on a local level, they are often after things that people in the area look for. It doesn’t hurt to go into a pawn shop and ask what people are buying and what the shop owners are looking for, but the above items are generally in high demand all over, meaning they are perfect for anyone looking to raise a little cash in a hurry.

Pearls: Different Types and What They’re Worth

A piece of jewellery can elevate an outfit, taking it from plain to flashy, luxurious or sophisticated. One of the most elegant and versatile pieces of jewellery is the pearl necklace. Most would agree that pearls are beautiful, classic and timeless, but what many people don’t realize is that not all pearls are the same. There are actually many varieties of pearls with different looks, sizes and value, catering to almost every taste. No matter what your sense of style is or how you want to elevate your look, there is a string of pearls out there to suit you.

Akoya Pearls

When most people think of pearl jewellery, it is the classic akoya pearl that enters their mind. Akoya pearls, a type of saltwater pearl, are known for being highly lustrous and nearly perfectly round. It’s the natural roundness of the akoya pearl that makes it such a popular choice for jewellery, as the uniform beads create a classic and quietly elegant look. The akoya pearl is typically available in shades of white and grey, with some subtle green and pink undertones.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls typically come from oysters that yield several pearls at a time, meaning one of their most appealing characteristics is their lower price; but lower price doesn’t mean poor quality. Freshwater pearls are just as beautiful as any other pearl. Freshwater pearls do tend to be smaller and asymmetrical, so the look is more fun and trendy, and not typically classic. Though available naturally in a variety of shades of white and grey, freshwater pearls are often given artificial colour treatments to make them available in fun, statement hues like pink or purple.

Tahitian Pearls

A favorite amongst fashionistas, Tahitian pearls are bold and exotic with their large size, shimmering, satiny surface and deep, rich colours. Some of the most famous Tahitian pearls are the black variety. These are the darkest naturally occurring pearls in the world, but they also give off a stunning iridescent shimmer, offering hypnotizing glimpses of deep greens and blues. Tahitian pearls are also available in a variety of other colours, including white and gold. If you are looking to truly make a statement, the Tahitian pearl is the way to go.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls are among the rarest in the world, as they have a very limited growth period and natural region. They are also some of the largest pearls in the world, and come in a variety of shapes, though truly round ones are less common.

South Sea pearls are typically available in white and gold, and they are noted for their soft, subtle shine. Because of their rarity, they come at a higher price point than most other varieties of pearls. They are the perfect choice for someone who values jewellery that is unique without being over the top, and timeless without being boring. They are a truly elegant choice.

Whether your style is classic, sophisticated, bold, trendy or somewhere in between, there is a pearl out there that is a perfect fit for you.

Why You Should Environment-Proof Your Guitar

Whether it’s acoustic or electric, your guitar is a finely-tuned system of wood, metal, glue, and other materials. Being primarily made of wood makes it vulnerable to extreme temperatures and humidity levels, as well as to rapid changes in environmental factors. If you live somewhere with extreme weather (like our fabulous City of Champions), or you plan to move your guitar from one environment to another, you want to keep it protected!

What Can Go Wrong

By themselves, extreme heat or cold can be dangerous to your guitar—too much heat can melt the glue, and cold can crack the varnish. However, you should also be wary of rapid changes in temperature, which might lead to some of your instrument components expanding or contracting at different speeds. This may result in severe structural damage, including cracked wood.

Moisture is the other threat to your guitar. Extreme humidity or dryness can warp the wood of your guitar, causing permanent damage. A warped guitar becomes impossible to tune—if the surface of the fretboard becomes uneven, your instrument may never sound right again.

What You Can Do

The most basic step you can take to protect your guitar from seasonal changes is to store it properly. First, never keep your guitar in a cold closet, a damp basement, near a window, or close t0 a heater—try to keep it somewhere with a fairly stable climate (like next to your bed). Look for temperatures within the 18°C to 23°C range and humidity levels between 45 percent and 55 percent.

Second, if you’re not playing your guitar every day, it’s best stored in a hard case. Guitar cases slow down the heat transfer, meaning that if your guitar gets hot or cold it will at least do so slowly, reducing the risk. You should also keep your guitar in a hard case when you transport it, and leave it in the case as long as possible in its new environment to let it adjust before taking it out.

Also good to note – never leave your instrument in a car! Cars, and trunks in particular, can reach extreme temperatures even in moderate weather.

Seasonal Maintenance

If you play your guitar every day, you will have a good sense of when it needs to be tuned, and when it needs taking care of. If you don’t jam on it daily, experts recommend you inspect your instrument every six months or so to perform maintenance on it. Otherwise, over time, the changing weather can cause lasting damage.

The biggest task for seasonal maintenance is to adjust the truss rod. If you’ve never done this before, take your guitar to a local store and ask a professional to show you how. Many guitar stores offer truss-adjustment as a free service.

The truss rod balances the stress of the guitar strings to keep the neck straight, but with changes in weather, the neck will gradually drift out of alignment. Adjusting the truss rod may take a few days, as you want to make small adjustments to avoid damaging the wood, and you want to give each adjustment about a day’s time for the wood to settle before making further changes.

Add a few cleaning and polishing tasks to your seasonal maintenance and you’ll keep your guitar in beautiful condition—and a well-made, well-maintained guitar can last a lifetime!

Call us for more info on our products and services, or come and see us today!

Obviously a pawn shop with integrity. A young lady got back her stolen property back when the thiefs tried to pawn it at this store.

- Non-Member