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Pawn Shops vs Flea Markets

When you’re ready to part with a few or many of your personal items, you may wonder what the best method of selling your items will be. Pawnshops and flea markets offer some really great opportunities for selling your items, making you some extra spending cash!

Pawnshop

Pawnshops are a great place to buy or sell items. When you walk into Utah pawn shops, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff inquiring about which service you’re interested in and if they can help you find anything. But like any buying and selling method, there are pros and cons. Pawnshops are no exception.

Pros

Pawning for Cash is Immediate

Selling at a pawn shop is a very quick process. Generally, you will bring the item you’re hoping to sell, and after speaking with a pawnbroker, you’ll have an offer on the table. Once you accept the offer and complete any required paperwork, you can be in and out in a matter of hours. Quick transactions at a pawn shop can get you cash a lot faster than selling online or at a flea market which can often take days, months, or even years if you don’t come across the right buyer.

You Can Trade Items

One unique perk of using a pawn shop is that you’re able to trade items directly. How handy is that to bring in something unwanted and walk out with something you will actually like and use!? When you have something to offer the pawnbroker, you can usually arrange a trade pretty easily if the item you’re interested in is of equal or lesser value. If you have built a good relationship with your local pawnbroker, they might even cut you a good deal by allowing you to trade for something slightly more valuable on occasion. You can’t beat a good trade!

Professional Appraisals

Pawn shops often accept a wide variety of used items, so they’re generally pretty experienced when it comes to popular items that are sold regularly and their current market value. With strange or unique items, pawn shops have additional tools to look things up, such as a “blue book” database or other value calculating databases, and get an idea of the current market value if they’re unfamiliar with your item. With most used items, you won’t get an offer that matches what you bought the item for in new condition but having a professional appraisal done at a pawn shop can help you determine what cash value you might be willing to accept.

Cons

Interest is High

You’re entering into a pawn loan agreement when you pawn something at a pawn shop. But don’t worry, you have no legal obligation to repay your loan, and it won’t affect your credit score or financial status. You can either walk away with cash or come back at a later date (usually somewhere between 30-90 days) and reclaim your item by repaying the money with interest. This is good if you’re worried you may regret selling your item because you can get it back, but if you plan to repay your loan, the interest rates can be higher than other traditional loans.

Potentially Lower Sale Price

This is quite an obvious con for most. If you thought you had an extremely valuable Rolex and came to find that it was a cheap knockoff during the appraisal process, we can see why you’d be disappointed. Say you bought a bike for $800 new, but during the pawning process, you only get an offer of $600. The potentially lower price is usually the price we pay for such quick and immediate results.

Flea Markets

Buying and selling at a flea market is another good option if you’re looking to find something second-hand or purge some of your unwanted items. 

Pros

Sell Your Own Items

Setting up a stand at a flea market is great if you’re interested in selling your own items. Doing it yourself can be rewarding if you’re willing to put in the extra leg work it will take for a potentially higher purchase price.

Unique Environment

Flea Markets are often outdoors and ever-changing as people set up new booths and attempt to sell all kinds of items, from used and refurbished items to homemade goods.

Long Term Opportunities

flea markets can be an excellent opportunity to learn and sell things long-term. If you’re interested in selling something long-term (especially if you have a surplus of this item, or perhaps you produce something in excess), test out the market to see if there’s a high level of interest.

Cons

Takes Longer

Because time and money go into selecting a tablespace or booth area, you can expect it to take longer to get set up for a day of selling items. You could also potentially lose money from renting your space and then failing to sell your items.

You Need a Lot of Supplies

This could vary depending on the venue, but it’s worth noting that you’ll generally be expected to bring your own supplies. It can be challenging to make your booth appear inviting and draw people’s attention from the many other sellers near you. Packing a pop-up shelter, tables, folding chairs, cords, and cash box is more effort than you might be willing to put in for a few unwanted items.

Lots of Competition

There’s no guarantee you’ll sell your items quickly or at all, and part of the reason is due to the high level of competition surrounding you. You won’t be the only one selling items at a flea market, and the interest and commitment of buyers can vary day to day. Someone nearby might be selling a similar product, causing you to miss out on a potential sale.

No matter where you choose to sell your items, both are great options with different perks. If you’re looking for something long-term with a higher return rate, opening up a flea market booth might be the best option for you! On the other hand, if you’re looking for something quick and low maintenance, selling your items at a pawn shop is an excellent alternative with a few small steps to success!

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