What's my stuff worth??

March 27, 2019

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!"

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