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Any tips for scoring deals at pawn shops?


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#1 alexdub

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:52 PM

I stopped into a local pawn shop today during lunch to see what kind of golf stock they had available.  While sorting through and endless pile of clubs that were older than my grandpa -- I spotted a gem: a *MINT* condition Ping JAS Tess.

It didn't have a price tag, and I figured there was no way on earth the camo-clad employee at the cash register would have any idea what a Ping JAS was...  so I offered him $15 for it.  He's like, "Hmmmm --- let me look it up."  He pulls up eBay and says that he would sell it to me for $200.  Hahaha.  My hopes were dashed.

My approach obviously failed here.  Anyone have any tips for scoring pawn shop deals?  Any negotiation tactics or ways to get around the "eBay lookup"?

Edited by alexdub, 12 October 2017 - 01:53 PM.

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#2 VNutz

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:55 PM

Cut their internet first?

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#3 Nessism

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:01 PM

Between ebay and paypal fees and the time to box and ship, the seller will be doing well to get 75% of the ebay "sold" price.  If you are looking for flipping fodder you will have to chop another 25% out of that too.
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#4 Yenamos

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:10 PM

Go back in 2 weeks and offer a decent low ball.

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#5 Mych

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:55 PM

Read through this thread. If you can follow their method of decoding the price tags, it'll let you make an offer really close to the pawn shop's break-even number.

http://www.golfwrx.c...ty-at-pawn-shop

Edited by Mych, 12 October 2017 - 10:55 PM.

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#6 Babalooie

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 09:48 AM

There are two kinds of pawn shops, A blows stuff out, high employee turnover, pricing guy in back is clueless . You can get deals/steals here. Usually high volume store, or multiple locations

B is smaller, mom and pop or same 3 or 4 employees all the time
They try to hit a home run on every item, waiting on an idiot with money. They gauge prices by highest internet price they can find. Once i figure out a shop falls in the B category, I quit going there.


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#7 Dpavs

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:43 AM

Educate them that listings are not selling prices... have them look up recent sales while you are there. Remind them that ebay is going to take 10% off the top and paypal another 3%.

Offer them a price you can live with and if they balk, have them write down you name and phone number and tell them to give you a call if they change their mind and will sell it for your offer. You know and they know it's not doing them any good sitting around the shop.

Edited by Dpavs, 14 October 2017 - 10:44 AM.


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#8 North Butte

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:57 AM

Guess it's not really surprising most people selling stuff for a living know how to do the same eBay searches we do.
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#9 RookieBlue7

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

Make them a somewhat reasonable offer to begin with and they don't jump on eBay to look it up. Bet you offered him $75-100 he'd have said sold

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#10 nitram

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:12 PM

Go to a minor league hockey game or better yet a MMA match to get the juices flowing and then go Monty Hall their a$$ with an attitude.

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#11 tnrts345

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:22 AM

I have had a few chances to check out pawn shops with high end gear. I have noticed a number of fake putters that they assured me were real. Also the sets of irons I have tried to negotiate always came back to eBay pricing. Some places are too dumb to realize the true selling price but if you can find a high volume shop you should have a good shot to find a deal!
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#12 North Butte

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:20 AM

There are only three ways you'll find a "steal" of a deal at a pawn shop.

1) The person you are buying from doesn't give a damn and just lets you have it cheap.

2) The person you are buying from just happens to make a serious error and mistakes the club for something it's not

3) You possess pricing information that the person you are buying from does not have access to

That third way is the age-old method of scouring pawn shops for valuable clubs which are being sold cheaply. It no longer exists in today's Internet-connected world. So you're back to hoping for a mistake or having the club given to you by a lackadaisical employee. Not good odds at all. And no skill involved whatsoever, just dumb luck.
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#13 Mych

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:25 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 27 October 2017 - 08:20 AM, said:

There are only three ways you'll find a "steal" of a deal at a pawn shop.

1) The person you are buying from doesn't give a damn and just lets you have it cheap.

2) The person you are buying from just happens to make a serious error and mistakes the club for something it's not

3) You possess pricing information that the person you are buying from does not have access to

That third way is the age-old method of scouring pawn shops for valuable clubs which are being sold cheaply. It no longer exists in today's Internet-connected world. So you're back to hoping for a mistake or having the club given to you by a lackadaisical employee. Not good odds at all. And no skill involved whatsoever, just dumb luck.
I'd add one... If you visit periodically and track how long an item has been in the inventory, that can give a little leverage for negotiating a better price. Floor space is limited, so anything that sits for months is an item that they will be more motivated to move.
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#14 North Butte

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:28 AM

Well, that's more in the category of a good way to get a decent price. I think the OP was more looking for the classic $200 putter bought for 10 cents on the dollar type of quick-flip special.
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#15 Mych

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 04:45 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 27 October 2017 - 08:28 AM, said:

Well, that's more in the category of a good way to get a decent price. I think the OP was more looking for the classic $200 putter bought for 10 cents on the dollar type of quick-flip special.
Fair point, it won't help much for quick finds. I find those are much more prevalent at thrift stores and yard sales where accurate pricing may not be prioritized as highly as moving volumes of merchandise quickly.

I was just pointing out that sometimes it's good to mentally file away those failed negotiation attempts. I've had good luck with circling back a couple weeks/months later.  When I see the same item still there, the employee is usually a lot more willing to negotiate.

Edited by Mych, 28 October 2017 - 04:51 PM.

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#16 sandtrap

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 05:32 PM

Best way is to talk with the owner and tell him you are a reseller and would appreciate a call when there are questions on golf stuff and you will buy it. Makes it easier for them to buy if they know they have a repeat customer waiting for it. Volume gets you a bigger discount

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#17 Babalooie

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 09:37 PM

View Postsandtrap, on 28 October 2017 - 05:32 PM, said:

Best way is to talk with the owner and tell him you are a reseller and would appreciate a call when there are questions on golf stuff and you will buy it. Makes it easier for them to buy if they know they have a repeat customer waiting for it. Volume gets you a bigger discount

Never, ever, ever do this.
IMHO of course.
I’ve spent close to 6 figures in pawn shops in the last 10 years, not golf clubs, buying stuff to resell.

If they say anything when they notice you purchasing large volumes, make it clear you’re a collector of whatever it is .

I buy mainly knives, sell the lower end stuff to make the hobby pay for itself.


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