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Old 03-08-2012, 08:44 AM   #16
sexobon
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I enjoyed perusing pawn shops near stateside military installations while I was in service. They had the usual fare plus individual soldiering equipment (e.g. uniforms, canteens, backpacks...etc.) which was nice for civilian pursuits like camping and such. My co-workers and I; however, would periodically check them out in search of military issue professional equipment.

Some GIs figured out that they could arrange to "lose" professional equipment while on local field training exercises. It could "accidently" happen in rough terrain, during parachute drops, water crossings and other higher risk operations many of which are performed under cover of darkness. The GIs would cache the equipment, note its location, report it as lost, retrieve it later and pawn it. If the GIs could come up with a convincing story, it would be chalked up as an operational loss and they'd get away with it. If the loss was determined to be due to negligence (their story wasn't quite good enough), the cost of the equipment could be deducted from their paychecks. To them it was worth the risk whether it turned out to be a freebie; or, a lump sum cash advance now from a pawn shop against military payroll deductions later.

Once the loss was settled, no one was looking for the equipment. The pawn shop could sell it and it was perfectly legal to buy as long as it wasn't a restricted military item. I've purchased some military issue medical equipment/instruments that way and got great deals. I've seen military issue specialty equipment in pawn shops where the staff didn't even know what it was let alone what it was worth. They just bought and sold the items as novelties. Good times.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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And people bitch about welfare fraud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Today was guitar day at the pawn shop. eBayed five guitars and one bass. I felt 'specially proud to do it, since I could write a really good evaluation of them.
Are you successful selling on Ebay? I've tried, with little success. I really really want to be successful.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #18
jimhelm
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what kind of guitars are they? link to the auctions?
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:46 AM   #19
Undertoad
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There were some kind of shitty ones, then there there was a really nice Ibanez hollowbody:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ibanez-hollo...#ht_809wt_1043

An Ibanez "acoustic electric" almost new, which had a lot of nice pearloid inlays:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ibanez-EWC30...#ht_638wt_1043

Here are all of the pawn shop's current auctions. Many things sell immediately:

http://www.ebay.com/csc/diversifieda...mplete=1&rt=nc

Quote:
Are you successful selling on Ebay?
Yeah. The trick is to sell things Buy-It-Now, with Best Offer. To set the price, you go into Completed Listings for what you're selling, determine the "going price", and offer it at $5-$50 lower (depending on how pricey it is).

Then, if it still doesn't move after a while, and there are no offers, lower the B-I-N price over time.

In some categories, people are actively seeking items priced a little too low, and they set up and watch feeds for certain things and pounce on them. iPhones, for example, sell almost immediately. An iPhone 3G 16GB will fly if it's under $100. Even if it's listed as "for parts/not working", doesn't hold a charge, the sim card door is broken off, the bezel is rusty, and the back is cracked and broken.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...#ht_547wt_1043
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Yeah. The trick is to sell things Buy-It-Now, with Best Offer. To set the price, you go into Completed Listings for what you're selling, determine the "going price", and offer it at $5-$50 lower (depending on how pricey it is).
This is exactly how I buy things. Find the going price and then look for newly listed buy-it-now items that are a little under the going price.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #21
Spexxvet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Yeah. The trick is to sell things Buy-It-Now, with Best Offer. To set the price, you go into Completed Listings for what you're selling, determine the "going price", and offer it at $5-$50 lower (depending on how pricey it is).

Then, if it still doesn't move after a while, and there are no offers, lower the B-I-N price over time.

In some categories, people are actively seeking items priced a little too low, and they set up and watch feeds for certain things and pounce on them. iPhones, for example, sell almost immediately. An iPhone 3G 16GB will fly if it's under $100. Even if it's listed as "for parts/not working", doesn't hold a charge, the sim card door is broken off, the bezel is rusty, and the back is cracked and broken.
Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:34 AM   #22
Undertoad
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And now you know -- it's fair game to make offers too...!

One thing I really enjoy is when a pawn item has no going price. It's unique and there are no Completed Listings, or it's a few years older and no online retailer stocks them. Then it becomes my job to make up a price.

This week there was a pool cue and nobody knew anything about it. I researched it and found out it was made by a guy who only makes like 80 cues per year. We put it up at $599 because that was what some guy on a forum somewhere paid for his. The damn piece of wood went on an offer of $355.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...#ht_544wt_1043
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:44 AM   #23
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The guy that made the cue bought it for $355, and then sold it for $1,200

Win win win
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:18 PM   #24
HungLikeJesus
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I saw this pawn shop article on CNN.

Quote:
Pawn shops' popularity rises with TV shows, down economy

For years, pawn shops have had a seedy and hopeless connotation: people pawning items for short-term loans because they can’t get a loan from a bank or don’t qualify for mainstream credit. But over the past five years or so, pawn shops have had a whole new light shed on them.
In this down economy, especially with high credit-card and bank-loan interest rates, pawn shop business is up. Pawn popularity also is up because of reality shows like the History Channel’s "Pawn Stars."

"Pawn Stars" features the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas and its owner, Rick Harrison, who says pawning is banking at its most basic.
"You give collateral on a loan; (if) you don’t pay it back, you lose your collateral, and that’s the end of it," Harrison said. "There is no turning you into a credit reporting agency. There’s no suing you, no garnishing your wages. It’s just that simple."

...
This part might be in error:

Quote:
Still, pawn shops can charge much more. In New York, pawn shops can charge up to 4% per month in interest, which would come out to a 48% APR,
If it's not compounded, then it is 48% APR, but if it's 4% compounded monthly, that's about 60% per year.
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Last edited by HungLikeJesus; 03-09-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:46 AM   #25
ZenGum
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Hush now, you don't want the po' folk hearing that.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:32 AM   #26
Sundae
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I pawned my Tag Heuer watch a number of times.
This was in the days before internet "payday" loans.

On one occasion it was days before my friend got married in Tuscany and I found out that my passport had expired. Bloody idiot.
I had to go to Peterborough to get my passport renewed by same-day service; about 70 I think. What with the return rail ticket and fees I was wiped out. I was also waiting for the Evil Ex's cheque to clear; he sent a cheque by post, rather than transferring the money - made no difference to him, completely fucked me up the arse budget-wise (money he owed me, not a gift)

I had four hours to kill. That's a long time in Peterbro'.
So I pawned my watch.
This was the most frivolous time I admit.
I got 50 (it was all I asked, I'd been paid 120 before) and was able to buy various travel items including a guidebook to Siena to peruse it over a long slow lunch.
I posted (mailed) them the fee when I got back from the wedding and they posted me the watch.

I can't remember what I paid, but for me that day, with no debit or credit card and no chequebook, it was a great deal.

I still have the watch. I just can't afford to have a battery fitted these days
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:36 AM   #27
richlevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Black dude: "You gotta give me five more dollars. I'm Jewish."
Jewish staffer: "Really? OK... what's the word we say before opening the Torah?"
Dude: "Uh..." (and he makes the throat-clearing sound, you know, the bit between the L and the Chaim in "l'chaim".)
Staffer: "Not good enough. Not good enough. Everybody knows it's a phlegm-based language."
It would have been simpler for him to ask him for the secret handshake...oops, I've said too much.

Of course he could have also asked for the guy to prove that he was circumcised. A lot of non-Jews are, but it might have been worth five bucks to see the reaction.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:02 PM   #28
ZenGum
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Quote:
I still have the watch. I just can't afford to have a battery fitted these days
So pawn the watch and buy a battery, silly.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:14 PM   #29
Rhianne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
I still have the watch. I just can't afford to have a battery fitted these days
Do you know what type of battery it uses?

Play.com do them. The cheaper ones are 1, dearer types about 3 - and even the postage is free in the UK!

http://www.play.com/Search.html?sear...earchtype=ELEC

Fitting couldn't be easier.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:58 PM   #30
Undertoad
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Today was a nice day and the shop was relatively event-free. During the afternoon there was a long transaction with an ancient Italian woman. I was present for the last part of it, in which she spent a good two minutes thanking the store owner for his patience with her English.

I asked him whether that isn't more than a little heart-warming, when this old woman is so thankful. But he said no, he's seen enough people trying to warm up to him in order to play some scam of some kind.

The store owner is a patient guy indeed, unless you suggest he is fraudulent or unfair, and then he has no time for you. Last week there was a long transaction, too long to document here, where an onlooker began interrupting and saying that the shop was going to underpay no matter what. The onlooker was just having some keys made, but he was thrown out, his money given back, no keys made.
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