A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pawn Shop Circuit: Making a Deal

Today, I stopped by Neil's shop. He had already sold the little Norinco copy of a Browning 22 that I had used as trade fodder. Nothing new or interesting was on Neil's pistol shelves.

I traveled on over to Dave's place. Dave still had the S&W 686 for $399. He also still had the Security Six for $189.

Finally, I went to see Amber. Yep, the Walther TPH was still there.

Several people have asked me about the pawn shop buying secrets. There really are none, but there are a few rules.

First, treat the owner and employees with respect. Do not belittle them in any way. Be cheerful. They see people who are on their last dollar every day. It gets depressing. Pawn shop proprietors are immune to poor mouth haggling. Don't even try it. If you think the price is to high, make one reasonable offer. If your offer is refused, hand the gun back. Nobody gives a jerk a deal. If you act like a jerk, you lose for good. If the price is OK, then just pay the price. Not everyone enjoys the banter of a good haggle. Some people find it down right annoying.

Next, find a pawn shop that makes money off loans, not guns. Some pawn shops are owned by gun and junk collectors who do loans as a way of enhancing their own collections. Those places are worthless. Pawn shops that are managed properly make money from loaning money. Guns and other goods are simply collateral in securing the loans. So, how do you tell the difference? Simply by the number of guns on display, and their prices. A case full of $150 suicide specials is a sure sign of a collector. A pawn shop with a sideline of new HiPoints and Lorcins is not making money on loans. A shop that makes money off loans will have electronics, tools, musical instruments, jewelry, and the stock will be modern, clean and priced to sell. You might have to go in several shops until you find a good one, but they are out there.

Finally, build a friendly relationship with the person who prices the guns, and/or the person who can negotiate prices. This does not include every employee. Usually it's only one. Let them know you want to buy guns. Ask if they will page you anytime an old Smith & Wesson goes up for sale. If they don't want to page you, ask them if they would mind you stopping in a couple of times a week just to check their stock. Remember their names. Don't waste their time. Have fun, and enjoy what you are doing.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Josh said...

Great guidelines for pawn shopping. Funny thing is, today I actually found a great pawn shop in my area, and it had all the attributes you describe a good shop as having. Plus, there were some interesting guns on the shelves. Like the Model 19 - pinned and recessed - I saw in there today.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Cool! In California? Double Cool!

6:31 AM  

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