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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

fun events in edmonton christmas

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!

Paws and Claus – More Info Here

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.

Movie Magic at The Legislature – Register Here

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.

CPR Holiday Train – More Info Here

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!

Last Dash to Christmas Market at Yellowhead Brewery – Tickets Here

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!

For more information on our current selection of treasures, send us a line today!

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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?

Check out our “Products Page” to see which types of items we buy and sell!

 

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.

 

Bottoms Up

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!

Check it out for yourself and download the app here!

 

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.

Learn more about our Pawn Loans and read our Frequently Asked Questions page to see if a Pawn Loan is right for you by clicking this link today!

We are always happy to answer any questions you have about Pawn Loans – we’re only a call away!

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.

Definitely the brightest if not the cleanest Ive ever been into. A wide selection of guitars which I wasn't looking for but tons of jewelry which I was.

- FOUNDMONEY