A person examining a ring.

Top Qualities Pawners Look for in Merchandise Appraisals

Giving proper appraisals for merchandise is one of the most important services a pawn shop can provide. But how do they come up with their appraisals – and how do you know you can trust them? It starts with an appreciation for the process itself. Some appraisals stem from a comparison against an identical or near-identical item. If the shop doesn’t have the exact item on hand, they must familiarize themselves with the goods that come in their door so they can do their best to provide an accurate dollar amount when buying and selling goods.

Shoppers are sometimes surprised when they get a different appraisal when shopping around. Before selling your grandfather’s watch or buying a beautiful antique brooch you saw in a window, take a closer look at the process so you can understand how appraisals are done. Just like pawn shops look for certain qualities in products, the customer is also seeking out qualities in the appraiser

Details Pawn Shops Look for to Make Appraisals

If you’re thinking of selling something, it will help to find out for yourself as much about the item as possible. If it’s a family heirloom, have a conversation with someone in your family to discover more about the background and condition of the watch, artwork or piece of jewelry you’re having appraised. Talking to an older relative may provide you with unexpected details that can give a more accurate picture of the item. 

Meanwhile, the pawner will also examine a range of details aimed at assessing every aspect of the item in question. Some things they may look for include:

  • Condition
  • Age
  • Size
  • Distinctive features
  • Where it originated
  • Market value of product or materials

Since there is not always going to be a highly similar item against which to compare your belonging, they will do their best to come up with an assessment based on the above factors to make a determination.

Specific Appraisal Expertise

The appraiser should have expertise in the area of your particular item. For example, to have your antique Tiffany lamp appraised you want to talk to an antiques appraiser with knowledge in that specific area to get an accurate assessment. It’s easier to appraise turn-of-the-century sterling silver pocket watches when they have done so multiple times in the past. Industry certifications, designations and licensing can be helpful in letting customers know that they’re dealing with someone reliable who is able to make informed and accurate appraisals.

Carat Levels of Gold and Silver Jewelry

Jewelry is one of the most common items to be brought into pawn shops. And the carat level can be measured to tell you the purity of the piece of jewelry being examined – for gold, silver, copper and even zinc. There is a different composition of gold at different carat levels, so the pawner may take a look at the percentage of gold to determine the value of the jewelry.

Understanding the purity of what you have, as well as something you may want to buy, is important because it helps you know whether you’re engaging in a good-faith transaction with the business. 

Do You Have to Visit the Pawn Shop in Person?

Find out what the process is of the pawn shop in question. If you call or contact them online, some pawnbrokers may request photos to come up with an initial estimate or determine whether there is potential for the item to be sold at all.

Fullerton Pawners In Chicago Is Trusted to Make Reliable Appraisals 

At Fullerton Pawners, our team of professionals is prepared to answer all of your questions about how we come up with appraisals at our shop. With 30-plus years of experience in the neighborhood, you know a few things about us already:

  • We are a trusted local business.
  • We have a history of merchandise appraising expertise.
  • We have a good reputation in our industry.
  • We take our time making accurate appraisals.

In addition to buying and selling goods, we can also exchange them for loans. Reach out to Fullerton Pawners online, or call us at 773-637-9999 today.

Illinois Pawn Association National Pawnbrokers Association Chicago Jewelers' Association IWJG
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