Pawn Shopping


January 9, 2003, 06:43 PM
Asside from the fact that you may have to rub elbows with some of the dregs of society, there are bargains to be had there, if you carry cash.
Case in point. Lunch time today found me at a local Pawn shop. Lots of potential on the used gun shelf. Finally took interest in a S&W 64-3. Looks like it had rolled around in the bottom of a truck box for a while. Mechanically it is excellent. Not perfect, but certainly excellent.
$200 ... $100 $175 ... $110. (they're giving gound faster than I am.) $150 ... $125 ... Long pause. $130 ... Done.
They also have what appears to be a 4 screw pre Mod10 with the full round front sight. And a Colt of the same vintage. Neither are in pristine condition, but both have potential. Just not for me.

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January 9, 2003, 06:55 PM
Sometimes it works:scrutiny:

January 9, 2003, 06:56 PM
I may take a Saturday afternoon to browse some of the area pawnshops in Pittsburgh. Not sure they're allowed to transact in firearms, though. Guess I'll find out. If I happen across a bargain, great. If not, well, the exercise is good.

January 9, 2003, 07:20 PM
I picked up a colt offical police 38spl revolver in at lease 90+ condition for $139.00.Turns out it was made in 1946 and i later sold it to a collector for $350.00:p

January 9, 2003, 07:47 PM
In Florida, cash & CCW can make pawn shopping worthwhile.

"I give you $X for it and take it off your books today!"

I got a S&W 586 down from $319 to $250 that way.

Neal Bloom
January 9, 2003, 09:02 PM
Gotten a couple good deals at pawn shops. Some pawn shops are higher than MSRP. It takes some patience but deals can be found. Don't know about the pawn shops on the online auction houses.

wild billz
January 9, 2003, 09:03 PM
I bought a Norinco SKS from a pawn shop for 80 dollars, it was in 90% condition

January 9, 2003, 10:11 PM
Two of my last three purchases were from pawnshops. Sometimes silly prices listed but as above cash can cure that to a dramatic extent ;) Also found some of them are very good to do transfers from.

January 9, 2003, 10:23 PM
Pawn Shops are my favorite hangouts for bargains. Picked up my Model 28-2 (in 98+% condition) for $250. Original price was $310.
I ask the owner "What would you take for it?" He said "What will you give without backing out on the deal?" :D

January 10, 2003, 12:17 AM
... and going toward the end of the month is often better as the shop's bills are coming due... :D

I just bought a Ruger KP-97D to play with (have owned the KP95s, and KP90s, but never shot a 97), sticker price was $300, like new in the box with both mags and papers.

I paid $255 out the door... :D

Double Naught Spy
January 10, 2003, 12:47 AM
My family business was the pawn business when I was growing up. charleym3 is absolutely right that cash offers a special purchasing power. While you can haggle over prices in a pawn shop, impasses in negotiation often result when the broker won't come down further on a price and the customer won't come up. Even worse tends to be when a price is negotiated, sometimes for quite a while, and the customer then says he doesn't have money and will go get it. Probably 8 times out of 10, they don't return. In short, our time was wasted. The customer often had no intention in buying. He just wanted to see how low he could get the price as a sort of game. This really sucked when somebody was dead set on negotiating the absolute bottom dollar on some knick-knack $20 item and then didn't buy it.

One thing that I saw work from both sides of the counter was the issue of cash. Sometimes we would agree to a price if the customer had cash money right then and there for the product. No checks, no credit cards, and no layaway, just payment in full with cash. As such, many got good deals. The other side of the coin was to have a customer make a final offer lower than our previous offer, but punctuate his offer by counting out the cash and laying it on the counter. This shows that the customer is negotiating in good faith and will back up his offer with cash. Such a display, especially for higher ticket items, was often very convincing.

The reasons why this ploy tended to work well is that it showed the transaction could be settled immediately and would put cash money into the till that would be readily available to use as loan money to other customers wanting to pawn items. So as long as we could still make some profit, and if it was at a time when our cash flow might not have been too good, a large ticket cash sale could work out well for both us and the customer. Few things worse can happen business-wise in a pawn shop than to not have money on hand to loan to customers.

To this I would also add that often the very best deals in a pawn shop are when the broker does not have a full appreciation or understanding of the product for sale and puts it out for sale well below market value. No doubt the broker will still profit on the item, but no where near as well as he would have if he had known the true value and had customers to buy it at that high value.

Frenchy brings up another good point. I don't know of any pawn brokers who will immediately tell a customer the absolute lowest amount they will take for an item just because the customer asked for the bottom dollar amount. By asking, "What's the lowest you will take?" the customer basically is telling the broker that he doesn't want to pay the asking price (which is fine), but that he also isn't willing to come up with an offer himself. Essentially, the guy is fishing and probably isn't all that serious as a potential buyer. The other problem is that if the broker does tell what his bottom dollar amount is (real or not), it will almost always be countered by a lower number from the customer. In other words, the customer is trying to negotiate a better deal than what the broker has already told him is the bottom dollar amount. What this shows is that the customer isn't willing to operate in good faith on the deal and that he obviously does not believe the broker because he offers an amount less than what the broker already said was bottom dollar. How this breaks down is that the customer sees the asking price, but does not want to make a counter offer. He instead asks for a bottom dollar amount. Essentially, he is asking the broker to negotiate against himself to lower the amount with ZERO commitment on the customer's behalf.

So as in Frenchy's example, the counter by the broker making the customer place an actual $$ offer then becomes what is actually the counter offer to the original asking price. The nice thing about this is that if the customer offers what they are actually willing to pay, they make get lucky if that amount is within the broker's window of acceptance. If there is additional counter offering until a price is finally settled, it will quite likely be for less money than whatever the broker would have immediately told the customer was his bottom dollar amount. And the reason why the bottom dollar amount that would have originally been quoted would not have actually been the bottom dollar amount the broker would take is because the broker knows the customer is going to counter with some amount less than the broker's stated bottom dollar.

As said, "Money talks and bullstuffing walks."

For more information, see

January 10, 2003, 01:13 AM
I have had no luck at all in pawn shops. Even out of state (I live in CA) there are no bargains. I was in Reno NV last year and the pawn shops ALL sell their guns to a single source. That shop then sells the guns. I don't know if they are forced to sell that way or not, but none of them would violate their agreement under any circumstances.
I have never seen a good gun deal in a pawn shop. Maybe it's just bad luck. I' m not sure how much cash means in CA because of the weird gun laws.
When CA pawn shops could sell guns they were mostly junk and overpriced. I do have respect for the trade of pawnbroker, they are an essential part of modern society.

January 10, 2003, 07:10 AM
I shop at a local pawn shop all the time. In my area he has the best selection of used firearms and everyonce in a while a great price. They will not dicker on the price (they don't know enough) but they will accept a return on a defective USED gun.:)

Kahr carrier
January 10, 2003, 09:35 AM
Never had much luck at the pawnshops in the Prk usually overpriced.:(

January 10, 2003, 12:01 PM
Frequently they are over priced. $300 for a beat up mod10. Come on. $600 for an scratched up 686? Yeah right. Don't be scared off by the sticker price. It's just a starting point. Again when you wave green backs at them, or in some cases, drop your platinum visa on the counter, they are willing to negotiate.
I realize that I could and should have done better on the Model 10, but I can live with the deal.

January 10, 2003, 03:32 PM
Best thing I saw up to now: a well worn Lyman single stage press with a price-tag of over $ 140.00.

You can buy it new at MidwayUSA for $ 88.28 + shipping. I just laughed and left the shop.

January 10, 2003, 03:40 PM
The local "big" pawnshop has a list of prices, along with pictures of the firearms.
List: Ruger Redhawk $400
Picture: Ruger Blackhawk

January 10, 2003, 03:58 PM
Anybody have any idea if any firearms sold in some Maryland pawnshops? Down near the D.C. area I've never seen any guns in pawnshops,at least not if view. I thought I saw a guy carrying a long gun case into a Baltimore pawnshop a couple of months back. I'd visit a pawnshop quickly if I knew they had firearms for sale,but this being Maryland,:neener: you never know.

January 10, 2003, 05:34 PM
I've always have had alot of luck from pawn shops. I buy quite a bit from one.:)

January 10, 2003, 07:47 PM
Cliff, Phone call will tell.
And don't be afraid to low ball. All they can do is say no.
BTW. The 64 is dead on at 15 yards and shooting small groups.

January 10, 2003, 09:19 PM
Ive bought every gun ive owned from this guy I like at a pawn shop. I competative shop the dude and he has never tried to screw me yet. From the very first purchase.


January 11, 2003, 12:02 PM
sometimes they ain't

I travel a pretty wide area so I go into about 8-10 different shops.

Got a NIB Marlin .22 mag laminated stock with scope and sling for $90 OTD. New Russian SKS w/ 30 round mag for $120 OTD.

I have an unfired 700 Sendero 7 Mag, 1.75x6 Leo V-X III, Butler Creek caps, Harris bi-pod, Leupold Q-D 1 piece mounts and rings on lay-away...$750

Then again, they have a used Glock 29 they want $550 for...way high. Some of their stuff is higher than new prices. Their problem is that some of the newer counter people don't understand they have to make a mark-up to stay in business and end up putting too much into the gun up front.

As above, don't have the guys take all 30 guns off the shelf, then say "I really can't afford anything, I was just looking". The counter people in the store know me and know that I WILL buy if I see what I want at the right price.

Some guys get upset at the prices...hey, nobody's twisting your arm

January 11, 2003, 01:55 PM
"Asside from the fact that you may have to rub elbows with some of the dregs of society, there are bargains to be had there"

........just like my rare trips to Wal*Mart

I scored a beautiful Dan Wesson two weeks ago from a pawn Shop for a price to low to post online. I did the wait til the end of the month/year thing and the good deals were a-plenty!

January 11, 2003, 02:54 PM
Not meaning to sound ignorant, but how do pawn shops work? When someone is strapped for cash, they bring an item to the pawn shop to sell to the broker or use as collateral towards some cash, right? Is that person allowed a certain time to go back and pay with interest for their item again? Is that the basic way it works?

January 11, 2003, 04:20 PM

Yeah, that's about right I think


January 11, 2003, 04:39 PM
The way I've seen it work...

A guy brings in a Smith & Wesson 4 inch blued .357mag
in 99% condition. The pawnbroker asks if the customer wants to pawn or sell. Either way the person customer will get $40 to $60
for the gun depending on how many that pawn chain has in inventoryor how many have been collecting dust.

Once the pawn ticket expires they place the gun in the display case with a price of $419 and will let it go for about $375.

Sometimes they will give you an out the door price if you are
a regular customer.

The other great thing about pawn shops is you can negotiate
the period in which they will allow you to test the gun and can
bring back with no questions asked.

This saved me when I bought a French MAS 49/56 converted to .308 which wasn't done right and a Argentine single shot
.22mag target pistol that couldn't hit a 20 inch target from 10 feet.

January 11, 2003, 06:11 PM
I've seen some good deals at shops in the Phoenix area; mainly in North Phoenix and the West side. I saw a nice Ruger P90 with Hogue wood grips tagged at $295, which means someone could probably get it for $250. That sounds like a pretty decent deal to me.

After having read comments on TFL about pawn shop buying I don't haggle on price unless I'm ready to buy. If I am interested I will ask if the shop can go lower on price, but I don't want to waste the employee's time and effort - especially if they may get commission.

The same rule about paying in cash also applies to regular gunstores as well. I bought a factory refurbished Glock 22 with two 15-round magazines for about 475 out the door. Not a startling deal but it was below the pre-tax (about 8% in Glendale, AZ) asking price. I had my cash out and was counting it out and thinking about how long it would take to get to an ATM and back when the shop owner said, "Let's see what we can do."

January 11, 2003, 06:35 PM
Most prices in my neck of the woods aren't the best, a little high. But, when I was living in Reno I picked up a HK P9S 9mm for $400 bucks. They had it listed at $600.:D

January 11, 2003, 10:35 PM
speaking of phoenix area pawn shops i was checking out one and most pistols were over priced,SS 3" GP-100 for $450.00,old S&W M&P and model 10's for $300.00 to $350.00(well used & abused).Just when i was losing interest i spoted a S&W 12-2 4" tapered barrel in the factory box with all of the factory papers and the wax paper wrap.There's no apparent blueing wear and tight as new.I'am thinking $375.00 to $400.00 based on the other prices,i get the clerk to pull it out cause i could not see the price.I thought i was going to pass out,it was priced at $275.00 :what:,i offered that OTD and they took it.Now i have that 38spl pliker i've been looking for.

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