Attention bargain hunters: Massachusetts pawn shops are filled with affordable finds! Jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, collectibles and other merchandise can be found for deep discounts!
Why are prices so low? Pawn shops buy merchandise, or lend money based on a percentage of its used retail value. By paying less for goods than retailers do from manufacturers, pawn shops are able to pass considerable savings along to consumers. While retailers mark up their merchandise by as much as 100 to 200% or more, pawn shops have merchandise well below retail prices. Flat screen TV’s, digital cameras and other electronics are checked when they come in to insure they work properly. Reputable Massachusetts pawn shops will also give you a warrantee on merchandise they sell. The warrantee generally offers anywhere from 14 to 30 days to return an item if there are any problems.
With gold, diamond and silver jewelry, pawn shops typically lend and purchase merchandise based on the scrap value of the items. They are then highly selective about which items are kept for retail sale vs. pieces that are considered scrap. A gold ring, for instance, can be melted down at a profit by the pawn shop or it can be put out for retail sale for a profit. Either way, pawn shops get their merchandise for a fraction of what a jewelry store or department store might pay. That’s great news for bargain hunters looking for quality merchandise at deep discounts. And because most Massachusetts pawn shops allow no-hassle refunds and returns, consumers can enjoy pawn-shopping with confidence.
For special one-of-a kind pieces you won’t find at a typical retail store and an exciting selection of quality items at below retail prices, look no further than your friendly local pawn shop.
When you need money for an emergency, an unexpected expense or just to make ends meet, you need to decide if you should sell your items, or use your merchandise as collateral to get a loan. Most people think they have to sell something to get cash, but pawn shops in Massachusetts can give you a pawn loan for the cash you need and let you retain ownership of your merchandise.
If you sell your merchandise, you’ll probably get a little more money than you would from a loan, but you won’t have a chance to get your items back. The difference can be anywhere from 10 – 20% more for selling items, but the important consideration is this, “do you want your things back or not?” If it’s a single earring, a gift from an old flame, or just something you never wear, then by all means, sell it and maximize what you can get for it. Even broken and damaged jewelry can get you cash for a sale.
On the other hand, if it’s an item you want to keep that has special sentimental value, take a loan against its value instead. If you take a loan based on the value of your merchandise, you’ll get a little less than you would for selling it, but you will retain ownership and get it back by simply paying off the loan within the specified time period. Even broken and damaged gold and diamond jewelry can be pledged for a pawn loan. Pawn shops in Massachusetts will give loans on a wide variety of merchandise — ranging from gold and diamond jewelry to electronics such as flat screen TV’s, digital cameras and laptop computers, as well as musical instruments and collectibles, among other things.
Reputable pawn shops in Massachusetts will give you the cash you need and keep your valuables stored in a safe and secure location until you are ready to get them back. Should you sell your valuables or use them to get a loan? It depends upon your needs. There are advantages to either approach. The decision is yours.
By Beth Healy
Boston Globe | Globe Staff
May 08, 2013
Kevin Kish chatted with regular customer Sherry Kelly at his consignment store, The Closet, on Newbury Street in Boston.
Kevin Kish is holding court at a sunny table outside his Newbury Street consignment store. Friends and neighboring business owners shout hellos from the sidewalk while he does paperwork. Customers drop off Coach bags and Prada shoes, hoping to sell them and split the proceeds with Kish.
One day soon, Kish may be required to photograph his upscale customers for the police, along with every black dress and designer bag they bring in for him to sell. It’s a prospect the 35-year owner of The Closet is dreading — and pushing back against.
“I want to build customers,’’ Kish said. “I feel like this policy could hurt me.”
He has the backing of other consignment store owners, and sympathy from officials who say the stepped-up scrutiny of secondhand stores was aimed at pawn brokers, and seems to have mistakenly ensnared consignment shops.
“It was really geared to pawn shops,’’ said City Councilor John Connolly, who cosponsored a city ordinance that has not yet passed, calling for some of the measures police are already implementing. “There are some people out there who are trafficking in a lot of stolen goods, and it’s just no questions asked. That’s what we’re trying to change,’’ said Connolly, a candidate for mayor.
‘I want to know that they are legitimately selling their own clothes and that there is nothing stolen.’
Kish was one of 90 secondhand store owners in the city who received a letter from the Boston Police Department in early April informing them of the new rules: Photograph each customer and their identification, as well as their goods, and describe each item they’re selling on an online database. About 40 owners showed up at a meeting late last month in Hyde Parkwith a police lieutenant to go over the requirements. There were plenty of questions.
“Generally speaking, most of the dealers seemed to understand the new rules,’’ police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca said in an e-mail. But “some raised concerns regarding taking photos of customers and maintaining electronic files for three years,” she acknowledged.
Taking information from clients in the secondhand goods business is standard practice for many merchants.
Kish, for instance, keeps all his consigners’ names and contact information on a computer, as well as the clothing and accessories he is selling on their behalf. (He has not, he confesses, filled out old “blue sheets” listing items by hand and turning them over to the police in about a decade.)
As for potential thieves trying to fence stolen goods, Kish said he goes by his gut. He knows his clients personally and has turned away strangers who appeared to be selling items lifted from another store. He feels that taking clients’ photos would be offputting to them, as well as a burden to his employees.
Michael Goldstein, owner and chief executive of Empire Loan, one of the largest pawn businesses in the Boston area, takes a different view.
He said that for 20 years he has snapped pictures of customers who come in to borrow money using their belongings as collateral, or to sell jewelry and other goods.
He keeps the photos on file, in case the police come looking for someone. But he does not like the idea of turning them all over to authorities automatically.
The Closet, a consignment store in Boston, may be required under law to photograph customers and items they sell.
“I am a little troubled thinking about police looking through pages and pages of people selling things or borrowing money,’’ said Goldstein, who also attended the Hyde Park meeting.
Indeed, there could be legal challenges to the proposed practice. David Yannetti, a criminal defense lawyer in Boston, said, “What right do the police have to conduct an essentially warrantless search of the records of consignment shops and pawn brokers?” He added, “It seems absurd on its face.”
Yannetti said people should be mindful of not giving up their civil liberties following the Marathon bombings and resulting heightened security in some areas.
While the new secondhand store rules predate the bombings, police may be mindful that the mother of alleged attackers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested and accused of shoplifting last summer. She also was a consignment store customer, according to two people familiar with her shopping habits, who asked not to be named for fear of worrying other customers.
Chris Cassel is owner of The Garment District, a secondhand clothing store in Cambridge. Though he works and lives in the neighborhood where the Tsarnaevs resided, he said he never saw the mother in his store.
Cambridge is not subject to the Boston rules, but Cassel said he requires an ID when people sell their clothes to his store. “I want to know that they are legitimately selling their own clothes and that there is nothing stolen,’’ he said.
But he considers taking pictures of people and their clothes as another matter. “That would seem to be very difficult,’’ he said. “I don’t even know how you would physically do it.”
Fiandaca said, “The aim of the rule change is to give police timely, accurate information about the property for sale or consignment and the people offering the items to pawnbrokers and secondhand article dealers.’’
Goldstein of Empire Loan said police sometimes find store records, cataloging items for sale, useful in their investigations of home and apartment burglaries. They can check inventory that shows up in shops soon after a break-in to determine whether it was freshly stolen.
But Goldstein said that out of fairness, consignment stores should follow the same rules.
If stricter measures are being applied to people in less affluent neighborhoods with lower economic means, he asked, “Are they being implemented with people on Charles Street and Newbury Street?”
Beth Healy can be reached at email@example.com.