Whether you are on a tight budget or simply like to search out good deals, a pawn shop may be the perfect place for you to make your next jewelry purchase. Many pawn shops feature a wide selection of jewelry, from classic and vintage pieces to those with a modern flair. The following tips will help you make the right decision.
Tip #1: Research before you go
Generally, pawn shops are priced to sell when compared to traditional jewelry stores, but you can't always be sure that the price is fair. This is because most pawn shops willingly negotiate on prices, so items may initially be priced high in anticipation of said negotiation. If you know what you want, do some research before you head to the pawn shop so you have a price in mind for negotiation. For example, if you are looking for a gold tennis bracelet, find out the average price for this item. If you aren't sure what you will be looking for, you can at least research the current prices on popular items, such as signet rings or single stone pendants, so you have an idea of a fair price.
Tip #2: Avoid most plated items
Although a gold plated item can be beautiful to look at, it has several drawbacks. First and foremost is that the plate will likely wear off with repeated wearings, which means the less attractive base metal will show. Another issue with rings is that you can't have a jeweler later resize the ring so that it fits better. Often, plated jewelry is marked as such, generally with a P in the stamp (GP for gold plated or SP for silver plated). You can also bring a magnet with you. Only plated precious metals will stick to a magnet.
Tip #3: Check the store policies
It's not uncommon for a pawn shop to insist on a no-return policy, which is what you want to avoid with a jewelry purchase. Make sure the shop you purchase from offers some sort of quality assurance, even if it is limited. For example, a popular guarantee is that the pawn shop will accept a return on jewelry if after an outside appraiser decrees that the piece is not what you thought it was – for example, the stones are not real but the pricing was for real stones. Although you may not be able to return a piece if you change your mind, you do want the ability to make a return if the jewelry isn't as valuable as you thought.
For more help, contact a pawn shop, such as Pomona Pawn Shop, in your area.