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Do Pawn Shops Accept Broken Items-At Common Exchange, we find that our clients are full of great questions. This week, we were asked whether pawn shops will accept items that are broken. The short answer is, yes, pawn brokers will accept some items in, shall we say, less than perfect condition. The larger question, however, is why would a pawn shop buy or loan money on a broken item. Here’s the answer:

broken-itemsFirst, there are no instruction manuals dictating which items a pawn shop should accept and how much they should offer in exchange. The reality is that every shop has a different approach and evaluates each item based on their unique viewpoint. This is a good thing for clients! Why? Because where one shop may see something that’s useless, another may recognize an opportunity. And savvy pawnbrokers, the ones who can look past the superficial and see your item’s true value, are great at striking a deal and putting cash in your pocket.

Also, while this may come as a surprise, a pawn broker isn’t necessarily concerned with an item’s original condition or retail price; he or she is focusing on its realistic resale potential given the current market. So while your item may be cracked, fried, or shattered, that doesn’t mean what you have is worthless. Jewelry is a great example. A bent bracelet or broken necklace may not be of a lot of use to you but the precious metals and gems used to create your piece have significant value on their own. In fact, unless your broach or ring has some unique characteristic (for instance, it’s an antique piece crafted by a famous designer), you may be offered just as much for your jewelry in its current state than you would if it was intact!

Finally, some pawn shops specialize in dealing with certain types of merchandise, such as televisions or computers. Often, that means that they either have the know-how to refurbish the item on-site, or they have forged relationships with other local businesses, like electronic repair shops, that may be interested in your item regardless of its current state. In other words, the pawn broker has developed a way to help you get maximum value for your item, even if it’s broken.

Now does this mean that pawn shops will accept any item in any condition? Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, before you put those old power tools or your cracked iPad in the wastebasket, consider this: you could be throwing away a chance to make some money.

Want to know if your broken item is worth something? Stop by any of our 8 BC locations today and find out.