Pawning their personal items isn’t exactly something people advertise. Heading to the local pawn shop to get a pawn loan isn’t, either. There’s this looming misconception pawn shops are sneaky, dirty, up to no good. In reality, though, pawn shops are more ethical than you think. Here’s why.

1. We’re Regulated by Local and State Laws

Because of the nature of our businesses, pawn shops are often considered part of the financial service industry. This means we have to abide by specific laws when it comes to things like:

  • managing money.
  • handling transactions.
  • obtaining and storing customer information.
  • setting our fees and rates, such as interest rates and storage fees.
  • how long we can hold items.

Furthermore, officials at the local and state levels do indeed keep an eye on us to ensure we are behaving in accordance with the law. Under the law, we’re not all that different from banks.

2. Pawn Shops Get State Inspections (With No Notice)

Generally speaking, regulators will show up on behalf of the state to inspect pawn shops at least once a year — almost always by surprise, too. This number can fluctuate state to state — some might hold inspections more or less frequently. However, knowing a surprise visit is always a possibility usually means pawnbrokers run a tight ship.

3. Stolen Goods Don’t Get a Spot on Our Shelves

Admittedly, many years ago, stolen items did end up in pawn shops more frequently. “Back in the day,” pawnbrokers didn’t have the technology and software we have today. Identifying and tracking stolen items was far more difficult, if at all possible.

This is no longer an issue for the following reasons:

  • We work very closely with law enforcement specifically to keep stolen goods out of our store.
  • All information is digitalized.
  • These days, most items have their own serial number, especially expensive electronics. This allows us to identify the rightful owner in the case of a stolen item.
  • The benefit of selling stolen goods is far, far outweighed by the consequences for doing so. It’s simply not worth it to a pawnbroker.

4. Pawn Shops Have a Method for Determining the Value of Your Item

Ah, yes. It’s one of the biggest questions people have when it comes to pawning an item or getting a pawn loan: How does the pawnbroker determine the value of my item?

Rest assured it’s a lot more complex than taking a quick look at your item and throwing a number out there. Look at jewelry, for instance. A pawnbroker will examine a number of factors, including:

  • what the jewelry is made of.
    • Is the metal durable or soft? Is it scratch-resistant or does it get easily damaged? Will it tarnish?
  • what stones it has.
    • Precious or semiprecious? One large stone or several smaller stones?

Keep in mind, too, that if pawn shops were looking to take advantage of you, they would accept everything and anything, but they don’t. Most shops will share on their website or over the phone what you can and cannot pawn.

While pawn shops are a lot more ethical than you might think, it still helps to work with one you really trust. John’s Pawn Shop has been in business since 1975 and above all else, we value honesty. Stop by and see us or call us at (702) 213-3331.