A sign that says "yes, we're open."

Why Reputation Matters in the Pawning Industry


Chicago-area pawn shops are a great source of many things – not just pawning. To name just a few:

  1. Get a temporary loan against collateral
  2. Sell a personal item
  3. Find a great, unique gift 
  4. Repair jewelry and other products
  5. Scout out valuable merchandise

Yet these familiar neighborhood shops don’t always have the best reputation. This is unfortunate, as the above services are highly valuable, and you never know when you might decide to use this popular neighborhood service. With so many different pawning businesses around, it’s vital to know a little about the one you choose to do business with. That way you can be sure you’re getting a good deal, as well as access to high-quality items and trustworthy loan services.

To Help You Find High Quality Merchandise in Chicago

Typically, all of the merchandise in a pawn shop once belonged to someone else. An experienced and reputable pawner will take time to determine the value of the items brought into the store. Doing so requires having a good eye and a fair amount of expertise in assessing the worth of a whole range of belongings, from precious gems and vintage jewelry to guitars and gaming consoles. 

Some of the varied merchandise you might be able to find under one roof include:

  • Valuable watches
  • Family heirlooms
  • Artwork
  • Antique jewelry
  • Musical instruments
  • Electronics
  • Gaming equipment
  • Curiosities

Has there been any damage or repairs needed? Because the merchandise has been owned or used by a previous owner, you may want to know more about it to conclude what a fair price would be for you. 

To Accurately Evaluate Jewelry, Watches and Other Valuables

One misconception is that products at a pawn shop aren’t very valuable. However, you might be surprised at how many folks will want to sell precious gems and other valuables they have inherited from family members. For this group, selling to a pawner is often more desirable than finding a buyer online. Therefore, those products can go for less since they didn’t come in at market price. 

All of which is to say: it’s important to vet a pawner the same way that they vet the products that come through their door. What would the item have originally sold at? What would it go for now if new? Most consumers aren’t also experts in assessing value, and that can leave them vulnerable to being taken advantage of by disreputable players. 

Be sure you’re doing business at an establishment with a solid track record and great reputation in the area where it operates. 

Contact Established, Trusted, Full-Service Pawnbroker at Fullerton in Chicago

To avoid fly-by-night pawners, work with a highly reputable business such as Fullerton Pawners, which has a proven history of excellence in the neighborhood where we have been doing business for decades. We provide cash loans – but also do much more:

  • Diamond Sales
  • Cash Purchases
  • Inventory Assessments
  • Repairs of Jewelry, Watches & Other Items
  • Sales on Broad Diversity of Merchandise 

Contact us online, or call us at 773-637-9999 for more information on what we can do for you today!

Various dollar bills on a surface.

Pawning in the New Year: How Do Loans Work at Pawn Shops?


When an unforeseen event in your life requires an immediate payment to be resolved, pawn shops can be a great source of financial assistance. They’re especially helpful for people who don’t have access to other means of acquiring fast cash – but won’t have a problem paying the loan back within a few months or so. While the amounts tend to be minimal, they are often sufficient to cover minor but urgent expenses.

Common terms that show up in loan agreements include:

  • Cash amount borrowed
  • Pledged item as collateral
  • Interest rates
  • Prepayment
  • Payment due date
  • Other financial terms

The Benefits of Pawn Shop Loans

There are other sources of loans – namely, large banking institutions. But they have loan requirements that not everyone qualifies for, nor has the time to fill out paperwork and then wait to find out. They may want to know:

  1. Personal financial information
  2. Credit score/report
  3. Social security number
  4. Other details, depending on type of loan

It can take weeks for someone to get back to you with a response. And when you need money soon, you may prefer not to waste time if there’s a good chance you’ll be turned down. 

How Do Pawn Shop Loans Work?

To be considered for a loan, all you have to do is visit the pawner with an item of value you want to temporarily trade in as collateral for a small cash loan. Jewelry, gemstones, watches and electronics are common forms of loan collateral. One option is to sell the item outright. But with a loan you can get your property back as long as you pay back the loan per the terms of the agreement. 

These are the basic steps of a pawn shop loan:

  1. Bring in your item
  2. Resale value of item is determined
  3. Pawner gives you an offer
  4. You agree to terms in writing
  5. You pay back the loan and get your property back

Be sure you understand and have fully considered your payment deadline, as well as any interest included in your agreement. The loan amount will likely be a percentage of the resale value of your belonging. For example, if your watch is valued at $100 and they only lend up to 60% of the resale value, you might be offered a $60 loan. 

Redeeming the Loan: The Leveraged Item Still Belongs to You

Before paying back the loan, the item typically still belongs to you as long as you’re meeting the terms of your agreement. Once you’re able you may redeem your debt by paying back the loan, which may include interest or a fee on top of the loan amount. 

What Happens If You Can’t Pay Back Your Loan?

Each loan agreement should be considered individually, as the terms may vary, even at the same location. That said, if you can’t pay off your loan, the pledged item no longer belongs to you. Generally, the pawner can sell it on or after an agreed-upon date in your contract. 

If there is a possibility you won’t be able to pay back your loan on time, you may risk being charged interest rates and even storage fees, which is why it’s so important to be aware of the terms, as well as the potential risks, of any loan agreement.

Get a Loan at Fullerton Pawners, Chicago’s Safe & Reputable Full-Service Pawnbroker 

At family-owned Fullerton Pawners, we believe in transparency and are more than happy to explain how our loan services work. This is one of the reasons we’ve developed such a solid reputation in the more than three decades we’ve been providing loans and other services on Chicago’s north side. 

Among our many available services, we handle:

  • Cash Loans on the Spot
  • Free Loan Appraisals
  • Cash Purchases
  • Sales of Wide Range of Items

Contact Fullerton Pawners online, or call us at 773-637-9999 to discuss taking out your next loan.

A gift with a light blue bow. There are ornaments and pine cones near the gift.

Get Original Holiday Gifts from Your Local Pawner


If you have a lot of holiday gift shopping to do, have you considered visiting a pawn shop? Local pawn shops tend to carry items you won’t find anywhere else, and typically at a reduced price. Some pawn shops even partner with other businesses on popular inventory. 

While you’re there, you can also bring in your merchandise for a temporary loan to cover all of your holiday needs. For example, Fullerton Pawners, which is located in dozens of Chicagoland neighborhoods, can handle many services for their clients:

  • Loan appraisals
  • Jewelry sales
  • Cash loans
  • Watch and computer repairs
  • Much more

But this time of year, a trusted pawner is also your best bet for unique, inexpensive gifts you won’t find anywhere else. There are a few reasons people should do their holiday shopping at pawn shops:

Diversity of Gift Options

Are you in search of beautiful, antique earrings for your girlfriend? How about a cool gaming console for your nephew that you can’t find anywhere else? From nice watches to televisions and other electronics, pawn shops have some of the most unique inventory around. And you can pick up your gift items at a lower cost than what you would have to spend somewhere else. 

Better Prices Let You Buy More Presents

It goes without saying: the better prices at pawn shops leave more dollars in your pocket. This year, forget the overpriced items. Save your cash and get something special for yourself, as well. You might end up spending just half of what you would on a similar item somewhere else. 

Vintage Gifts Rule

When shopping for loved ones, there’s always the risk that they have the item you bought – or that they might get something similar from someone else. With so many shoppers heading to the same big box stores and websites, it can be difficult to find original items

Holiday gifting should be special! And vintage items are always popular, now more than ever. Find out what vintage items are available. That retro-loving friend on your list will thank you. 

Buy Back Something You Hawked – or Get a Loan for Holiday Shopping

The holidays can be an opportunity to buy back that item you hawked that you need back, perhaps as a gift to someone else. But mostly, pawn shops give you an opportunity to sell something temporarily for a small loan you need around the holidays. When a bank isn’t an option, pawners are a great alternative for someone needing a loan of $500 or $1,000. Some reasons for this:

  1. No credit history needed
  2. A temporary financial solution
  3. Easy access to cash
  4. Pay it back with no questions asked
  5. No bank account necessary

Skip the Crowds. Pawn Shopping Is Fun!

Each pawn shop is unique, and in today’s world, that says something. But around the holidays, especially, shopping can be a nightmare. The holiday season should be about enjoying yourself and supporting neighborhood businesses, not waiting in lines or haggling over expensive products. 

Skip the crowds and the headache. Visit small neighborhood shops instead, and remind yourself what originality looks like.

Talk to Full-Service Pawnbroker at Fullerton Pawners In Chicago

Just like with the gifts themselves, there’s a broad variety of pawners out there, from trustworthy ones to those that should be avoided. 

Do some window shopping this season! Stop and have a conversation with the salespeople about what they’re offering, eye-catching displays, and any good deals they may have. An experienced broker will know about the item because they vet what comes in the door. You might want to find out:

  • How old is it?
  • Was it gently used?
  • How do they test the conditions of items?
  • What is the market value (vs asking price)?
  • Are there any other selling points?
  • Are there other comparable items in store?

Contact Fullerton Pawners online, or call us at 773-637-9999 for more information on what we can do for you this holiday season!

Illinois Pawn Association National Pawnbrokers Association Chicago Jewelers' Association IWJG
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