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I happened upon this sweet pawnshop pickup from reader bradjustinen in the photo pool recently. Though it’s not a tool everyone needs, it does go to show that perseverance pays off in spades.  Brad said this about his find:

You have to find the right pawnshop. You’ll never be able to negotiate with a single-owner pawnshop. There are plenty of pawnshops around here that won’t budge. Look for chain stores. Around Seattle we have PawnXChange — they’re all over the place, and there’s no owner there to be stingy. Try to find 20 pawnshops in your area and then decide which ones are best. Even still, most tools are overpriced, but with frequent visits (1-3 times a week) you WILL find steals, and when you do, try to talk the price down. Make up some story about how there’s something wrong with it that you’ll need to fix, etc.

Remember, unsuccessful negotiations will eventually turn into a successful negotiation. Today I picked up a like-new Ingersoll-Rand Recip. Saw for $20, talked down from $30. ($90 Retail)

Don’t ask for a discount — tell them what your max price is, and let them decide. I told the guy I didn’t need it, but for $20 I’ll find a use for it. He took the bait. Well worth the breath that it took to say “I’ll give you $20, but that’s it, I really don’t need it”.

We’ve had similar experiences on the pawnshop circuit.  Like Brad said, the best thing you can do is find the best ones in your area — but above all, be patient.  You might not find deals your first few times, but much like going to the junkyard, once you hit it right, you hit it big.  Great find, Brad.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


5 Responses to From the Flickr Pool: Pawnshop Prowling

  1. Nick Carter says:

    That’s exactly the tactic! I will say that even with a one owner shop, if they get to know you as the guy who will buy things for some small amount of cash, they’ll sell you those items that have been sitting in the shop for a long time.

    I’m also noticing that with my current obsession, airguns, that because most pawn shop workers think of them as BB guns, thus not worth what “real” guns are worth, I can often get a deep discount. This also holds for esoteric machinists tools, etc. The less common an item, the easier it is to pick it up for a song. Demand plays a big part, in other words.

  2. I’m a big fan of deals like anybody else, but my experience with pawn shops just doesn’t seem to reflect the above sentiments. All I ever find at the pawn shops around me is beat to s**t tools that are priced at 90% of what I could buy a new tool. It just doesn’t seem worth the hassle for me.

    I’m not dissing anybody else’s experience though, if you can find deals at a pawn shop, my hat’s off to you.

  3. Josh says:

    Last experiance I had a pawn shop was a guy trying to sell me a B&D Firestorm Kit for right about retail saying the batteries where $80 ea. I told him well I only pair $129 for the exact kit on clearance and the batteries are 2 for $40 at Lowes the only place that sells them.
    I told him I would offer $50 for the kit since 1 it’s B&D and 2 they are cordless tools which is always a gamble from a pawn shop. He did’t even counter.
    The only decent deal he had where some sockets at .50 cents each and was marked “Twian Sockets” There where a few SK in there that would have been worth if you wanted to dig. Of course Craftsman he wanted $1/ea.

    But yeah sometimes you can run across paydirt. Especially expensive auto repair stuff they don’t really know the value of.

  4. R Tacoma says:

    Of course they’ll deal with you they are mostly stolen from the back of someones pickup any how.

  5. Evan N. says:

    At a pawn shop in the Las Vegas area (part of a chain) I got a Makita 3/8″ electric drill for $17. It was beat up but it still works just fine, and since I didn’t have an electric drill yet, only cordless, I went for it. I made sure to try it out in the store before buying it. Just found a plug and plugged it in–never sure if they want you to do that but I just did it anyway. I figured my $17 spent here on a decent yet used drill would beat the type of drill I could get at Harbor Freight for $17.

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