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Pawnshop or Garage Sale: Which is the Better Option?

Pawnshop or Garage Sale: Which is the Better Option?

Whether you’re preparing to move or just decluttering, a practical and smart move to consider is to sell or pawn the excess items so someone can use them while making some cash on the side. Here, pawnshops and garage sales are great options for disposing unused or pre-loved items.

When choosing an option, it’s important to know these pros and cons.

Pawnshop Pros

Here are the advantages of pawning items you no longer use.

Pawnshop transactions are quick

Pawnshop transactions are quick compared to garage sales, where you have to wait for potential buyers. Pawnbrokers only need to look over your items to assess their condition and value. 

Once the appraisal is complete, the pawnbroker will immediately offer you a price for your items. Then, it’s up to you to accept it or make a counteroffer. Either way, you can convert the things you own into instant cash.

Your items are professionally appraised

With pawning, your items are professionally appraised, allowing you to receive a reasonable amount. Typically, pawnshops assess the item’s condition and determine its value by referring to listing databases for a general idea of its current selling price.

Pawnbrokers use the base amount and adjust their assessment depending on the item’s condition while considering other factors like available accessories and packaging. Sometimes, they even take into account the customer’s circumstances when setting the price. 

You can get a free estimate online

Nowadays, some pawnshops offer a free estimate online, giving you an idea of how much they can provide for your item with just a few clicks. For example, PawnHero‘s free appraisal online makes your transactions faster and more convenient since you only need to check the list of pawnable items.

From there, you will know which brands, models, and types are acceptable to the pawnshop. Finally, the site will ask for your email address to receive the free estimate.

You can get a free estimate online

With pawnshops, you won’t need extra space to dispose of your items. Instead, you simply take your cash proceeds with no further obligation, as looking for space and storage for the pawned items is the pawnshop’s responsibility.

Pawnshop Cons

Like other means of generating cash, pawning also has some disadvantages.

The item’s potential value is pre-determined

Pawnshops rely on database pricing and the item’s current market value when appraising goods. They also consider economic trends and projections when determining prices, which are beyond your control.

Pawnshops only accept certain items

Unlike garage sales where you can sell anything, you can only pawn certain items in pawnshops. These include the following:

●       electronic devices like game consoles, laptops, and mobile phones;

●       precious metals, coins, and jewelry;

●       luxury bags, designer shoes, and watches;

●       high-end appliances like sewing machines and blenders;

●       musical instruments and gear from major brands;

●       antiques; and

●       sports equipment

If your item doesn’t fall in any of these categories, pawnshops will not likely accept it.

For some pawnshops, you have to leave home to complete the transaction

Some pawnshops still transact on-site, requiring customers to complete the process in person. Hence, you have to bring your item to the pawnshop and wait for the pawnbroker to appraise it. However, other pawnshops like PawnHero offer online pawning services.

PawnHero is the first 24/7 online pawnshop in Southeast Asia. As such, you can pawn your items from the comfort of your home via its online pawning platform. That means researching your possessions’ potential value and negotiating their price will no longer require extra steps from you.

Pawnshop Suitability

Pawnshops are an excellent choice if you need immediate cash. Pawning is also ideal if you don’t have enough space to sell your items. In addition, pawnshop services have minimal requirements since you only need to have your item appraised, and—voilà—you can get your cash there and then.

Garage Sale Pros

Garage sales can be an alternative to pawning if you have extra storage and space and need to dispose of a wide range of items. Here are some advantages of running a garage sale.

You set the item’s price

Unlike pawnshops where pawnbrokers determine the value of your items, setting up a garage sale means you can make all pricing decisions. Depending on their conditions, you can sell the goods at roughly half the original price or slightly higher. You might want to consider the amount you would be willing to pay if you were the buyer.

You have leverage in negotiations

You don’t always get the upper hand when pawning when negotiating prices. By contrast, when you hold a garage sale in the Philippines, you call the shots regarding counteroffers.

You are also free to drop the prices from their original value to encourage buyers. However, for items you aren’t willing to sell at a lower price, be sure to explain to potential buyers the reasons for the fixed price.

You can sell a wide range of items

With garage sales, you can sell a wide variety of items. You’re free to put up whatever you have for profit as long as their quality is intact. Just remember to check if you have slipped cash into a jean pocket or have some keepsakes hidden in drawers you’re putting up for sale.

Garage Sale Cons

Garage sales entail a lot of work. Although you have a good chance of selling pre-loved items, there are also disadvantages to hosting one that you don’t want to overlook.

You risk having your items stolen

Garage sales usually occur at yards, lawns, or parking spaces. Unfortunately, they might not have the proper safety and security system to protect your goods. As a result, stealing and pickpocketing can become a concern, especially when several people flock to your garage sales venue or you’re busy negotiating a price with a potential buyer that you don’t notice someone stealing small-sized items.

You may not sell all your items

When hosting a garage sale, there may be challenges in finding a buyer who’s interested or willing to pay for what you’re selling. For instance, outdated electronics may not appeal to buyers. Or perhaps your items aren’t exactly what they want or need.

Certain products may not be ideal for selling in a garage sale, too. These include:

  • souvenirs;
  • used skincare and other beauty products;
  • broken appliances; and
  • used undergarments.

These items may not be of good use to buyers, so consider repairing, restoring, or giving them to your close friends and family instead.

You need space and storage for your items

To host a garage sale, you need storage to prevent your items from getting stolen. You should also have ample space to display the items for sale. Here, an outdoor space is ideal to allow more people to see your items.

If space and storage are a problem, consider pawning to turn your items into cash you can use for your needs.

The weather may not always be right for your garage sale venture

Another downside of hosting a garage sale is the chance of inclement weather. When this happens, you might get fewer shoppers and make less money than expected. Unless you have contingency plans—like moving your items indoors and letting people browse them inside or selling via an online garage sale—your venture is not always weather-proof.

Garage Sale Suitability

Garage sales are viable if you have extra storage, lawn space, or a yard. They also present an opportunity for you to sell varied items.

A garage sale venture entails dealing with buyers looking for bargains and haggling over prices, even if they are already low. If you’re up for that and good at negotiating, this option might be right for you.

Pawnshop or Garage Sale?

When choosing between pawning your valuables or hosting a garage sale, consider factors such as your need for cash, space and storage, and the things you want to dispose of. Some items may be appropriate for pawning, while others are ideal for a garage sale.

If you’re looking to pawn an item for instant cash, check out PawnHero’s pawning services.


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