Why do people sell guns to a pawn shop?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by cyclesarge, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Well-Known Member

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    I was in a pawn shop yesterday and a guy comes in trying to sell what I recognized as a $600+ gun. They offer $3XX something and then they start haggling, the guy is trying to get $400 for it. I lurk around for about 30 minutes hoping the guy will leave so I can tell him about THIS and other gun forums where he might be able to get a fair value. But he just sticks around so I am assuming they "got him", which I'm sure they also knew when he wouldn't leave.:cool:
    I also picked up from what I heard, that they'd sold him a different gun and he'd tried to trade in the gun that he was now trying to sell, and they'd offered him $400 trade in, but now that it was a straight "buy" from him the value was less.
    Has anyone ever sold at a pawn shop and why? It just seems like a bad deal for the seller.
  2. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Well-Known Member

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    Why do people sell guns to a pawn shop?

    It's quick.
    You walk in, get what you want, and leave. No waiting, no taking pictures or posting ads, no meeting in parking lots, etc, etc. Sometimes people want instant gratification, other times people just need money in a hurry. The speed at which you sell an item is directly related to how low you set the price at. If you want full market value, it will probably take longer and more effort than if you're willing to sell it cheap.

    Pawn shops have a decent amount of overhead. They are out of pocket cash for every item in their store, and more in the back that are still on pawn. Not to mention their rent, payroll, insurance, utilities, and other expenses. If a gun or other item is worth $600, then that's what the pawn shop is hoping to get when they sell it. If they paid $600 and sold it for $600, they'd be out of business in a week.

    I've personally never bought or sold a gun at a pawn shop, but I can see the trade-offs that make it appealing to some people.
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  3. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Well-Known Member

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    Pawn shops are in biz to make money, they buy low and sell high. The only reason I can think of to sell your gun at a pawn shop is the rents due or you need a fix.
  4. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Well-Known Member

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    I think one reason is when people actually intend to buy the gun back. It just does not end up that way for them because things never take that upward turn for which they were hoping.
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  5. clearconscience

    clearconscience Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of people need money fast, and they just don't know how, where, or if they can sell guns online or in person.

    I sold a mini 14 once to a gun shop for about a third of what I bought it for just two years later. I was young and didn't know I could sell it to anyone. And needed the money soon.

    I've tried to tell a lot of people about NWFA and places like gunbroker to sell guns rather than takin them to a pawn shop or gun store.
  6. nubus

    nubus Active Member

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    Pawn shops exist for a reason, and although they are not predatory, it may seem that way.
    I am friends with people who work at or own pawn shops and it's an excellent business model.
    Most of the guns they get are from defaulted loans, but you do get the occasional straight sale.
    And seriously, what most of them pay are about what a dealer would give you anyway.
    If a guy needs money and has a gun I'm not specifically looking for I won't give him 90% of value.
    Now some shops are a bit scandalous in what they will pay, but that goes for all business!
    And a pawn shop is just like any other FFL, when they sell it gets paper and a background check.
    Some people actually feel more comfortable knowing the firearm will be transferred out of their name.
    So I think the guy got his money fast with no hassle and went on his way.
    Now guess who gets screwed if the gun gets reported stolen!
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  7. clearconscience

    clearconscience Well-Known Member

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    I posted a discussion about pawn shops and gun prices,
    nubus, do you have any insider info about maybe buying guns at pawn shops and what they are willing to go down to on prices?
    I went to a pawn shop here in Lex and the prices were like brand new prices for some beat up guns. I wouldn't mind a used gun but I would offer about half of what they were pricing those guns at.
  8. nubus

    nubus Active Member

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    Clearconscience,

    Really varies quite a bit shop to shop, but being friendly with the staff helps a lot!
    Some shops really are just dirtbags and have no idea how to sell.
    Most guys are selling at double what they paid, at least 50% markup.
    Some places just look up value and tag them at that for a starting point.
    Unless someone really goofed up they are typically in them MUCH less than marked.
    Offering 75% of what's marked is a good starting point, but I shy away from "rough" looking stuff.
    You can say "out the door cash" and get them to pickup the tax most times.
    If you're tight enough you can even ask them what's coming out soon.
    Even on a buy they have to hold it a period before selling.
    Hopefully that was helpful and not just rambling!
  9. CavVet

    CavVet Member

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    I sold ONE gun to a pawnshop. I had won a LUSA in an online raffle. The gun was a total piece of smoldering crap. I sent back to try and get it to work. It also had proprietary mags.


    The value of the LUSA was supposed to be $900. I listed it online for a month or two "OBO" and got NO nibbles. I went to a pawnshop I had bought more than a few guns from. **** when they got out of reloading I bought 75% of their inventory.

    It was LNIB. IIRC they offered me 600 for it. They had a Kimber for 799. I think I paid $100. Tax and $20 or so.

    I was more than happy to get rid of the LUSA. I think I got the deal I got from my relationship with them. Normally I would strongly advise against selling a gun at a pawnshop, but it doesnt always have to be tragic.
  10. Brown

    Brown Member

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    I have never sold anything to a pawn shop and I hope I am never in a place where I have to. I have stopped and looked at a couple around the greater Portland area and was pretty seriously put off by the prices and crappy attitudes. I do not see myself hanging around one long enough to have a relationship. Just my opinion and experience, please do not think I am putting anyone down.
  11. clearconscience

    clearconscience Well-Known Member

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    Cool when I get in the market and see what I can get. They had some nice kimbers, but had a decent amount of wear. But theywanted like $1300 for it! I looked online and for a used one in good cond was like $900-$1200
  12. Asp

    Asp Active Member

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    to the OP:
    People sell their guns, because they want money and are unwilling to use the gun they're selling to obtain it (desired money) in extra-legal activities. :D
  13. DERGLOCKINMEISTER

    DERGLOCKINMEISTER Member

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    Most people are un skilled in dealing with used items or bartering over price . Many times a better price could be negotiated if they had any experience . Also , many items are pawned with the intention to pick the item up later - it just doesn't happen . Most gun shops aren't very generous with buy bids on guns either, they have to be able to make a fairly significant profit on the items they sell to stay in business too !
  14. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

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    Most people don't get price concessions because they don't ask. My attitude has always been "What's the worst they can say?". I've received discounts on suits at Meir and Frank simply by saying "I like the suit, but it's more than I want to spend.". Granted the mark up on clothing is way more than on firearms, but you get the idea. Make them a reasonable (and I emphasize reasonble) counter offer and you will be surprised how many times it gets accepted. It also helps if you do it out of earshot of other customers. They don't want everyone in the store hearing them cave on a price.
  15. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Well-Known Member

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    I understand the need to mark up a gun, for the pawn shops and second hand stores. And I guess I have seen the results of the store NOT buying right (i.e. an overpriced gun that sits there FOREVER), it just seems strange to me in this day and age of the internet that people would be willing to take the beating for a quick sell. I can't imagine a Sig Sauer P220 in decent condition NOT going fast for $400 on a website like this one.
  16. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When I was a college student, I sold a shotgun at a pawn shop for money to pay my utility bill.
  17. WAYNO

    WAYNO Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Some folks just don't know any better. They may not be connected with gun-savvy folks that could help them out. They may not be knowledgeable in the gun trader world, and would not know how to weed thru the abundance of flakes on these forums. A pawn shop is their bird in the hand.

    WAYNO.
  18. MAVRICK60

    MAVRICK60 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Bought my first rifle at a pawn shop in downtown Portland
    1954 Winchester Model 94
    Paid 75.00 for it in 1978 on my 18th Birthday
    Still have it
    Back then there was no wheres near as many places to buy guns and very few places to buy used
  19. rodell

    rodell Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    By definition, pawn shops are dealers. Some are better than others but I fail to see the difference.
  20. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Well-Known Member

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    Of course, any pawn shop is in business to make money. Buy low, sell high, pay the overhead, make profit and retire someday. But caveat emptor.

    As a musician for decades, I'm pretty hip on instrument prices, especially guitars and amps, usually on prominent display in the front window. It's like a car crash... I can't not look! My general impression is that pawn shops sell used gear for brand new prices - or more. Most of it is off-brand stuff you'd find in Target, not a music store. Junk.

    Perhaps savvy players frequent the pawns and negotiate quick deals on good stuff that most of us never see (then go line up at Bi-Mart to buy all the ammo).

    The economy sucks right now and people often must take desperate measures to pay for necessities. So pawn shops definitely serve an immediate purpose, allowing you to avoid running ads to sort through honest people, flakes, morons and felons. But it would have to be an emergency for me, and I hope none of of us here ever must resort to that - unless we just feel like it.
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