A store with a neon "open" sign.

Avoid These Common Pawning Mistakes

When a Chicagoan takes a favorite guitar or tv to a pawn shop in the hopes of getting some much-needed cash in their pocket, it’s easy to make mistakes. The urgency of an unexpected life event can cloud your judgment in the short term, as too many folks only discover when it’s too late to reverse their decision.

The experts at Fullerton Pawners recommend avoiding these five pitfalls when using a pawn service.

Mistake 1: Working with a Disreputable or Inexperienced Pawner

Reputation matters in this industry more than in most places. Pawners are salespeople, but they need to be experts in many other areas to be worth your time and investment. Fortunately, there are several ways to scout out reliable businesses you can trust – before you sell your precious family heirloom:

  1. Google the broker’s name.
    • There should be some footprint online of their activities. What does that information reveal about the business?
  2. Check online reviews of the pawn shop.
    • What do former clients say about their experiences with the shop in question.
  3. How long have they been in business?
    • A newly opened shop might be a great place to get a temporary loan on a piece of jewelry. But if there’s no evidence the business is truly reliable, you may want to pass until they become a bit more established.

Mistake 2: Underestimating the Market Value of the Item You’re Pawning

One of the biggest mistakes a consumer can make by far is failing to understand the market value of the item they’re pawning. It’s an understandable error, considering that most people are not experts in determining the value of precious gems and other commonly pawned goods. That’s why this step usually requires some research. One approach is to contact an appraiser through the American Gem Registry or the Appraisers Association of America. You may even want to assess the monetary value of an item, and whether it’s worth the risk, before an emergency occurs.

Mistake 3: Regretting Your Decision to Pawn Something Sentimental

The same can be said for the sentimental value of a personal belonging. You may want to think long and hard before using your grandmother’s wedding ring as leverage unless you’re sure you’ll be able to get it back or don’t mind letting it go. Something that carries deep familial significance can’t easily be replaced.

Mistake 4: Taking Out a Loan Through an Untrustworthy Pawnbroker

Even if it’s a small amount of dough that you’re sure you can pay back, be selective. To be certain a pawned item will be given back per your agreement, you need to ensure you are dealing with a scrupulous broker. One way to do this is by checking with the credentials carried by the business. 

Are they affiliated with local pawning associations? A credible business should have ties in the industry. For example, Fullerton Pawners is a member of the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association and multiple other trade associations. 

Mistake 5: Not Understanding the Pawn Shop’s Terms of a Loan

Do you fully understand the terms of the loan you are considering – and what you risk if you can’t meet them? Someone faced with a medical emergency might be tempted to rush into an agreement to get that short-term $300 payment. In particular, loan applicants should pay attention to:

  1. Loan amount
  2. Loan deadlines
  3. Possible late fees or interest payments

Someone in a financial bind probably doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room if things don’t go as planned. So why not get the best possible deal? Take your time to review all of the terms and conditions of any contract before signing it. Also, consider calling a few different shops to compare the terms of the loan in question. 

Visit Best Pawn Shop Near You: Fullerton Pawners in Chicago 

At Fullerton Pawners in Chicago, our team of experts has a long history of providing helpful, reliable services to residents. We’re happy to answer all of your questions about how we do business.

Contact Fullerton Pawners at 773-637-9999, or stop on by to check out our goods and find out more about our popular neighborhood services.

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 sign that says "come in we're open."

Why Pawning Is a Growing Industry You Should Know About

Pawning may be an old industry, but the use of pawnbrokers continues to rise. Why? Because there’s a lot more going on inside of them than the sale of rings and watches (although those are certainly welcome services to those who need them). Some of the reasons for the growing use of pawners:

  1. Quick and easy access to cash
  2. Local alternative for repair services
  3. A way to secure jewelry, electronics and other goods
  4. Wide variety of valuable items
  5. Preservation of anonymity

The internet has made it easier for pawnbrokers to access new shoppers and expand their customer base. Meanwhile, modern shoppers are more savvy and flexible than ever as they look for new ways to secure loans, make sales of their own, and discover great deals on coveted, hard-to-find items. 

Quick Access to Cash Loans for Chicagoans 

No one expects an emergency, but sometimes life throws you a curveball. And when it does, pawn shops are a convenient, neighborhood way to secure funds on a moment’s notice when there aren’t other options.

Medill Reports describes the basic loan process of pawnbrokers this way: “Pawnshops are primarily financial services that give out cash loans in exchange for physical collateral, often electronics or jewelry. The borrower can then pay back the loan plus interest to get their item back. Or, if the loan is never repaid, the pawnbroker can sell the item in a storefront to recoup losses.”

The loan amount people can secure this way tends to be fairly small, enough to help cover an unexpected bill. It requires minimal documentation and no credit check, which is why so many people use the service.

A Simple Way to Buy & Sell Electronics, Jewelry & Other Goods

Do you have a couple cool rings you’ve been thinking of selling? How about that antique watch that you never wear – but you know someone else would love it? The great thing about a quality pawnbroker is the simplicity of the deal. No red tape or intrusive questions. As long as you work with someone who is knowledgeable regarding their merchandise and provides good customer service, you can find quality computer equipment, smartphones and other valuable electronics for much less than you would at a traditional store.

Wide Range of Repairs, Purchases and Specialty Items

There’s a reason thrift stores are more popular than ever. Young people, in particular, appreciate the value of high-quality, second-hand goods. And pawn shops are the perfect site for discovering antiques and specialty items you can’t get anywhere else.

Keep in mind: not all pawn shops are equal, so it pays to take your time and shop around. For example, an established business like Fullerton Pawners comes with a full stock of unique and valuable goods, as well as a long track record as a trusted neighborhood lender. 

At Fullerton, our customers are often surprised by the diversity of services we offer, including:

  • Instant Cash Loans
  • Estate Purchases
  • Jewelry Repairs
  • Antique Specialists
  • Computer Repairs
  • Free Loan Appraisals
  • Loose Diamond Sales
  • Diamond sales
  • Watch Repairs
  • Wholesale Jewelry Sales
  • Cash Purchases

That said, there’s a reason not every pawn shop has a stellar reputation. One telltale sign you’re dealing with an untrustworthy broker is feeling pressured into a loan or other financial agreement. You should be allowed to browse the goods available, ask questions, and get information on the terms of any loan you are considering. 

Contact Trusted, Full-Service Pawnbroker at Fullerton in Chicago

For access to any of the above services – and a broad selection of merchandise ranging from unique coins and jewelry to antiques and electronics – Fullerton Pawners is here for you. We have a reputation as a respected, family-owned Chicago business that provides quality and secure pawn and loan services. Our team is prepared to answer all of your questions about how we purchase goods and the process for exchanging items for a temporary loan. 

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

Illinois Pawn Association National Pawnbrokers Association Chicago Jewelers' Association IWJG
This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.