What's my stuff worth??

Besides providing customers with an exciting way to discover appealing products, pawn shops allow clients to receive quick payments for their unwanted goods. The convenience and ease of bringing an item in, receiving a quote, and leaving with cash in-hand cannot be understated. This process is a lot simpler and more straightforward than the in-depth steps associated with selling online!

With that said, anyone who's considering selling an item to a pawn shop should develop an idea of said item's value beforehand—that is, before entering the shop. Negotiation is a fun and engaging part of the pawn shop experience, but unreasonable negotiation—negotiation wherein one party pushes a price that's far outside of the market value—will put a damper on the process and reduce the odds of a deal being made.

In short, the best way to turn unwanted items into cash (and/or wanted items) is by researching their value prior to heading to a pawn shop.

To help pawn shop customers receive the best value and have positive selling experiences, let's take a look at some effective ways to determine the value of today's hottest goods!


Today's jewelry market is going strong, but there's so much variety and diversity—in style, materials, and quality—that it can be hard to figure out precisely how much a piece is worth.

For newer pieces, it's recommended that a jewelry valuation website be used. By calculating the value of an item's precious metals and stones, these sites can provide a ballpark pricing estimate. Importantly, these estimates don't account for aesthetic quality; certain jewelry items are worth significantly more than their materials.

To expand upon this point, many vintage jewelry items can fetch a sizable sum on the free market. It'd be wise to market these pieces as antiques—not raw materials. For noteworthy products, a quick Ebay search—filtered to show "sold" items—should produce a reliable pricing model.


Firearms are a bit harder to pinpoint, in terms of value, because they cannot be sold on as many online marketplaces. Geographic considerations affect the value of firearms, but generally, the bluebook of firearm values can help pawn clients to develop their bottom line.

Like vintage jewelry, vintage firearms are a different story; perform ample research before letting an old firearm go.


Electronics are perhaps the easiest items to value. Search for an item on Ebay, filter the results to "sold," and a rough estimation of said item's market value will be produced.

Remember that Ebay sales are subject to 20 percent fees, though, and be sure to verify that a listing's condition matches the condition of the item that will be sold at a pawn shop. Obviously, used items fetch lower prices than new items.

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments can be difficult to price; an item's value is determined almost exclusively by its appeal to other musicians. As such, it's up to the seller to know what his or her item is worth.

Forget about how much was paid for this item—musical instruments are always depreciating—and perform a quick online search to learn about the base instrument's—meaning without considering its extras and modifications—value. Then, factor in condition and any improvements, attachments, or repairs that have been made, each of which will boost the value.

Use these factors to think of a fair sales price, but don't lose sight of the fact that musical instruments' pricing is subjective.

Sporting Goods

Last but certainly not least, the value of sporting goods is fairly easy to figure out. Ebay's sold items section is once again the best way to do so, but with sports equipment, condition is everything. Don't think of well-used baseball glove as two notches below new, condition-wise; think about how interested another player will be to use it in a game!

These tips are sure to make selling at a pawn shop easy, straightforward, and fun. Remember that pawn professionals will need to pay a bit less than an item's market value in order to turn a profit. Also, bear in mind that bargaining for goods—not just cash—can sometimes be more rewarding than attempting to sell an item outright.

And don't think twice about visiting Vista Pawn for all your buying, selling, and trading needs! We have locations in Boise, Nampa, and Mountain Home, and we'd be honored if you would "Come explore with us!"

Getting Top Dollar for Your Electronics

Getting Top Dollar for Your Electronics

Selling some of your electronics is a great way to earn some extra cash. Vista Pawn carries gaming consoles and equipment, TVs, DVD players, cameras, and more. Parting with your belongings is sometimes hard and we understand that you want to be sure that you're getting top dollar in exchange. Follow these five steps to get the most money for your electronics.


1.) Give them a thorough cleaning

Cleaning your electronics before bringing them into a pawn shop will always allow you to walk out with more money. The resale value of an item is higher when the item is sparkling clean. Exercise caution when cleaning your electronics - many of them will get damaged if you attempt to clean them with household cleaners. Using a dry microfiber cloth will successfully remove dust, dirt, and other debris from most electronics. For LCD screens and monitors with more buildup, try this simple process.


2.) Include all peripherals and accessories

Everything that came with your device should be cleaned and included. For gaming consoles, don't forget about controllers, AC power cords, audio and video cords, and any other hardware devices that came with your initial purchase. It's difficult for shops to sell an electronic with missing parts or accessories. If you bring in electronics without their accessories, you might not receive an offer. If you do, the offer will be for less money than you'd be able to net if you bring in all of the accessories.


3.) Clear the data from your devices

Remove all personal data from your devices before bringing them in. Depending on the type of electronics you have on-hand, this process takes a different amount of time. Phones and game consoles can be wiped of all data with a simple factory reset. Computers will require a little more work. You'll need to do perform a secure wipe on the device, preferably at least three times over. Be sure to back up any data that you want to keep before wiping a device. Remember that erasing your data doesn't mean that someone won't be able to retrieve it later. Clearing the data from your devices saves the shop time because they won't have to do it themselves, boosting your payout.


4.) Keep them in great condition

This might go without saying, but the better your item looks, the more money you'll get from it. Shoppers are drawn to items that look well-kept and properly maintained. Keeping electronics in good condition improves the likelihood that they'll run smoothly for their next owner. By storing your electronics correctly and keeping them in tip-top shape, you can expect a better resale value at the shop.


5.) Bring in your more recent models

Newer models will fetch more money and will work better as collateral for a pawn loan. If you have two phones to sell, the newer model will have a much better resale value for the shop. This means that you'll receive a larger dollar amount for it than you'll get for the older phone. Unless you're talking about vintage electronics, customers will always be more drawn to the newest, best model.