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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.

So – how do pawn shops work in Canada?

Are Pawn Shops Regulated?

Yes. The Province has regulated the pawn industry for decades, and most Edmonton pawn shops are licensed and regulated by local authorities as well.

Are pawnshops stocked with stolen merchandise?

Less than 1 percent of items are identified as stolen goods.

Pawnshops are actually the worst place to try and get rid of stolen merchandise, despite what you see on television or in the movies. Pawnshops are highly regulated, work very closely with local and federal law enforcement officials, and train their staff to be on the lookout for and identify stolen property. In addition, Loan Star pawnshops all utilize an Internet-based crime-fighting tool called BWI, in which every pawn transaction is shared with police departments nationwide on a daily basis.

Pawn Shops Give You 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.

Can you give a quote on an item over the phone?

Unfortunately, we cannot give quotes over the phone because loan amounts vary greatly depending on the condition of an item.

Pawn Shops Buy Jewellery

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.

Pawn Shops Give Loans

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.

Pawn Shops Sell Stuff at Great Prices

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.

1. Old Electronics

Do you have a laptop that’s just collecting dust? The last generation of iPhone that you don’t use anymore? An extra tv no one ever watches?

As long as they still works properly, and are a current style, electronics are a great item to sell when you need some cash, like yesterday.

2.  Pow-Pow-Power Tools

Remember that table saw you bought for your home renovation last year? Or the pressure washer you don’t quite get around to using as often as you should?

Why not turn your stuff into cash? Clean, functional power tools and the like often times get purchased for one-off jobs, then end up all by their lonesome in a cold, dark corner.

3. Musical Instruments

Musical instruments and equipment like drum sets, guitars and amps are another excellent item to bring into a pawn shop for a quick buck.

4. Jewellery

Jewellery… just like wine, it gets better with time.

…Or something like that!

The fact is, gold is a global currency that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

If you’ve got precious metals or jewellery with valuable stones, these items could seriously end up paying out.

5. Collectibles

Did Great Aunt Sally just hand-you-down a golden antique vase? Is there a unique piece of art lining the walls of your dining room that you never really loved anyways?

The truth is, you never know how much the unique items around your home from yester-year may be worth to the right person.

If you’re sitting on a collectible or rare item, come on in to our pawn shop today to test your luck!

 

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.

6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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.

More Interesting Articles about Pawn Shops

4 Simple Items to Pawn for Quick Cash Today

7 Reasons Pawn Shop Loans are Better Than Payday Lenders

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!

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.

More Interesting Stuff on Money

 

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.

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.

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!

Pawn Broking is one of the oldest trades in the world, tracing all the way back to almost 3,000 years ago. While the trade of pawn broking has evolved over time, responding to contemporary needs, it remains a strong and valued part of today’s society. Here is a brief history of the trade.

What is a Pawnbroker?             

A pawnbroker is an individual or business (colloquially known as a pawn shop) that offers secured loans to people with personal items as collateral (jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, sporting equipment, clothing, antiques, power tools, etc.). Once an item is pawned to the broker (the pawnbroker), it’s called a pledge or a pawn.

While pawnshops are virtually ubiquitous in many of today’s societies, not many people realize that the history of the trade dates back to ancient times.

International Origins

The origins of pawnbroking can be traced all across the world, from China to Greece to Italy. Indeed, evidence of pawn broking has been located in ancient Greece, Italy, France, England, Bavaria, and China, dating from Roman times to the Middle Ages. Pawnbroking is not only one of the oldest trades in the world; it’s also one of the most international! In the late 19th and 20th centuries, there were nearly as many pawn shops as there were pubs in Britain, indicating the level of the trade’s popularity and necessity.

Many ancient cultures from Greece to Rome had set rules and regulations for pawn brokers. Even the Mosaic Law in the Torah has rules laid out for pawn broking. Pope Leo X was a notorious pawn shop customer for his frequent pawning of palace furniture and silver to cover the costs of play tickets. He was also the pope when the Catholic Church gave the official okay for pawn shops to operate.

The earliest pawnbrokers have been located in 5th century China. These early pawn shops were established, owned and operated by Buddhist monasteries before moving into secular and mainstream society. In some cases, wealthy laypeople would enter in the pawn broking business with the monasteries, forming partnerships that allowed them to open pawnshops, and subsequently avoid certain property taxes that Buddhist monasteries didn’t have to pay.

The Discovery of the (New) World

Pawn broking soon spread to other parts of the world, truly establishing itself as an international trade. In England, the history of pawn broking is tied to England’s monarchical history. The pawnbroker came in with William the Conqueror. In 1338, King Edward III actually pawned his jewels to the Lombards to raise money to finance the war with France. Henry V followed a similar strategy in 1415. Pawnbroking has a long and illustrious history of financing great moments and developments in history!

According to the National Association of Pawnbrokers, pawnbroking played a part in the discovery of the Americas, as the voyages of Niña, Santa Maria, and Pinta (led by no other than Christopher Columbus) were partially funded by Queen Isabella of Spain’s pawned jewels.

Pawn Shops around the World

China – Pawnshops existed in China as far back at the 5th century and were run out of Buddist monasteries. Occasionally wealthy entrepreneurs would form partnerships with these monasteries and help run the pawnshops.

Italy – Ancient Roman law allowed pawn shops, however items such as clothing and furniture were restricted from being pawned. In addition the Catholic Church mandated that all interest rates charged to poor people be reasonable.

England – Originally forbidden from charging interest, pawn shops in England survived on funds from the state. When that idea eventually failed many different iterations of pawn shops were tried until the government settled on allowed the shops to charge a yearly interest rate of 20%, or 1.6% a month.

America – Modern pawn shops are widespread across the United States with the average store charging 4% interest per month for a period of 4 months.

Russia – Pawn shops in Russia are only allowed to sell gold, silver and other precious metals and gems.

Canada – Pawn shops have been around in Canada for a long time. They are required to hold an item for a set amount of time which is regulated by the provincial government and will be agreed upon by the seller and pawn broker. You must also be over 18 to sell something at a pawn shop in Alberta.

The Pawnbroker’s License

The pawnbroker’s license was established in 1785. In London, the duty for a pawnbroker’s licence was fixed at £10 in London and £5 in the country. In 1790, the interest rates on advances in England rose to 15 per cent. After many repeals and amendments, the pawnbroker’s license came to resemble (at least in the UK) shortly thereafter what the modern pawn broking industry looks like. Restrictions on interest rates and licensing costs vary from region to region and country to country. The rates in the US will not, for example, be the same as pawn broking rates in England, Canada or Spain.

In Canada, our first laws regarding pawn brokering appeared in 1886 with the Federal Pawnbrokers Act. The act still exists today, with additional rules and regulations about pawn shops laid out by provincial governments.

The Patron of Pawn broking

Did you know? Pawn broking is such an esteemed and long-standing trade that it even has its own patron saint – Saint Nicolas (sound familiar)? Saint Nicolas is a rather busy guy, as he is not only the patron saint of pawnbroking, but also of children, sailors, broadcasters, archers, and fishermen, just to name a few!

Keeping your home organized can seem like a formidable chore. Everyone gets busy, life makes you lose sight of a neat home and it seems like you have too much stuff and not enough space to put it. This is especially relevant to working parents. Starting today, follow the decluttering tips below, make a routine out of your decluttering and organizational efforts and you will notice the clutter disappear!

Go Through the House One Room at a Time
Tackling the task of decluttering your home can be overwhelming. Focus on one room at a time, strategically working on the rooms you use most.

Clean Out Your Closets First
The first spot you should organize and declutter in each room is the closet. It’s where everything gets put out away haphazardly when you need to clean up in a hurry and it can accumulate a lot of junk.

Use the Four Box/Pile System
Set up four boxes or piles; one will be for items you intend to throw away, one for items you will give away or donate, one for storage and lastly for those things you will find a place to put away neatly.

Buy Organizational Supplies
Take a trip to the dollar store and buy plenty of containers, bins, boxes and file folders that will help you organize your cupboards, drawers and closets.

Get Creative with Organization
There are so many ways to be imaginative when organizing and decluttering your home. Look at online solutions for ways to personalize your organization in ways that work best for you and your family.

Use a “Lost and Found” System
Does this sound familiar: you walk in the door at the end of the day and you see a bunch of items belonging to members of your family strewn about the house? Save yourself time putting these things away by having designating “lost and found” bins for each person in the family.

Use Vertical Space
There is only a limited amount of space to set up shelves, desks and organizational tools. Utilize vertical space on the wall, the backs of doors and cupboard to maximize your space and decluttering capacity.

Use Spaces Nobody Thinks to Use
Measure your cupboards and the height of the space under your bed and buy containers and bins that will fit in these spots so they can be utilized for storage. Winter sweaters, crafting supplies, wrapping paper and more fit well into these spaces.

Label and Use Pictures
Sometimes a label or visual reminder can demonstrate how great a space looks when it’s organized and clean. Take a snapshot of your cupboards and closets when they are clean and organized. This method can work especially well with kids.

Make Organization a Routine
You home will stay organized and clutter free if you make it a part of your daily life. Ensure you keep on top of organization by scheduling a time to complete it and make your organizational system easy to use. Get your kids on board too by teaching them how to organize and reward them for cooperating.

Have too much stuff? We might be interested in buying it. Call us today: 780-424-2274

Working in at a pawn shop, we see all sorts of people come in, and talk to Edmontonians on a daily basis about what we do and how we do it. There are definitely many misconceptions about pawn shops that we’d love to clear up. After all, we aren’t in a movie –this is real life with real customers… People who we love building relationships with and working with as long as possible. Check out some of the most common myths circulating about pawn shops today:

Pawn shops deal in stolen goods. What many people don’t know is that we actually have a license to buy, sell and provide small amount, short-term loans. We don’t want stolen goods in our shop! We work very closely with the police to make sure that there is no movement of stolen goods through our premises. We also verify EVERYTHING with each customer: name address, phone number, serial numbers, etc. Our reputation is at stake and we wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that.

Our pawn shop is a “last resort”. Loan Star provides quick and easy loans to people without credit checks or late fee penalties. If you can’t or don’t want to pay your loan back, we keep your collateral. There aren’t any legal consequences if a loan isn’t repaid, so some people would just rather deal with that than a bank!

We also buy and sell high quality merchandise and have a full operating store with a great variety of objects. People of all income levels shop here because we have wonderful things at great prices.

Pawn shops want to rip people off. This is not the case. We love it when people come and pick up their items again after a loan –we don’t want to make that impossible. And we always love to purchase high quality items from people. But the reality is, we can’t pay you retail price for your items, even if they’re in original packaging and unused. When items are purchased from retail outlets, they are already majorly marked up so when we buy them we have to judge what would be a fair price to you but also leave enough room for us to turn a profit because we are similar to a retail outlet. This is how pawnshops make money and are able to lend money. But rest assured that at Loan Star we will always give you the best deal we can give.

Now that you know some of the misconceptions about Edmonton pawn shops, why not come in and see what pawn shops are supposed to be… Call us today.

Nice clean store. Friendly helpful staff. I went to 2 other pawn shop before stopping in there, this place made the others look like junky garage sales.

- John Doe
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