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Old 06-22-2016, 05:39 PM   #1306
xoxoxoBruce
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Enough to blow a hand off is enough.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:00 AM   #1307
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Steve excitedly sends along a bunch of photos of an item that came in this morning: a $7000, big name, 50 megapixel digital camera, along with a high quality macro lens.

The shop paid $500 for it.

"Medium format" as this camera maker was known for its camera that shot "medium format" film... and they are still using it to describe high-resolution digital cameras.

A buy-in like this is always very exciting. It will actually keep the shop alive.

The question is always "does the seller know what he has?" because sometimes they will bring something like this in and just say "oh i have a camera to sell" with the same excitement as if they had a $80 point and shoot from Walmart. But no, in this case the gentleman did know what he had. And refused to give ID. The shop explained that they have to take an ID in order to to buy it, so he found a random person in the shop to sell it for him. That person probably got $50 out of it and the small chance that they will be visited by the cops and will have to explain how they came to sell this item.

Which is, in case you didn't figure it out, very obviously stolen.
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:33 PM   #1308
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I guess it's also a given that the owner won't come looking for it? Is that because people don't know to look, or there are too many stores to check?
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:51 PM   #1309
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They could know for certain that their item was sold to the shop and the shop wouldn't tell them a single thing... in theory this is correct behavior... protecting privacy. Nobody should say anything unless the cops are involved. If the cops come around the store will reveal all.

People would constantly be looking for their stolen stuff. Some people think, or there is a conception out there, that when your stuff is stolen, you should ask at every pawn shop. No, the shop won't tell you anything...
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:12 PM   #1310
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I bet they'd speak up if you picked up your item off their shelf and started matching up serial numbers.

Or, they might not.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:14 PM   #1311
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I would guess that an item like that is going on Ebay, not a shelf.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:21 PM   #1312
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Yeah almost nothing is sold on the shelves these days, especially if it has value. Nobody coming into the shop is looking for anything over $100. Unless they are thinking about stealing it. Putting anything of actual worth on the shelves is pretty much useless!

The things that actually move from the shelves are: professional power tools, PA speakers, and TVs. The former, because they are actually in demand from workers. The speakers, because they are too heavy to move on eBay and people want PA gear in the hood. And the TVs because people love big TVs and they think the pawn shop ones are a bargain. And they are cos they can't be sold on the bay either.

Anything suspected to be hot is definitely eBayed.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:10 PM   #1313
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So if you knew the neighborhood but not necessarily the shop, you'd have to convince the cops to come with you to ask at each store? Won't they basically say no, we're too busy?
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:31 PM   #1314
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They will take your report.

They will ask if you have serial numbers, or what evidence you have, and they will check the serial numbers against the leads website that all pawn shops are required to enter data into. Sometimes they will compare their list of what's been stolen with what the shop is reporting in.

Sometimes they have a network of more serious thefts that they will investigate in detail. Recently there was a theft of a whole pallet of this one particular big boxy item, and the guy was caught and confessed to selling it to pawn shops, and knew how many at which shops, so the cops basically walked in and asked for it and knew they should have two of them.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:00 AM   #1315
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Does Steve know the value of this stuff off the top of his head? Or does he say "hold on a second," take the item in back, and look it up? Something like a high end digital camera drops in value pretty quickly as time passes. You could have a clean, well made, expensive looking camera that is only worth a hundred or so because it's got an old sensor. Seems like you would have to stay current with the models out there.

If he takes it in back to look it up, does the seller ever ask or try to see what the computer says? I wonder how awkward the interaction is?
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:32 AM   #1316
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There are a lot of things that the guys know the buy-in rate for just off the top of their heads. Handheld games, console games, low-level power tools, low-level point-and-shoot cameras, typical GPS units, 42" TVs. A locked iphone 4 with a cracked screen probably gets 10 bucks so often that they just know it.

Everything else gets looked up on eBay, and you look for the Completed listings, and you offer about a sixth of what the exact item has recently sold for.

Yeah a sixth. It's a ghetto pawn shop.

It used to be a problem that electronics would drop in value between when they were bought in and when they were sold in eBay. By law the shop has to keep everything in storage for 3 months before selling it out, so the cops have a chance to come around and retrieve it, etc. But these days the cops don't ever come around for stuff after about a month, so a lot of things are sold faster. This one will sit about a month before Alan can't resist the money that sits behind it. I know him.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:45 AM   #1317
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Oh yeah and there is never any awkwardness, because the screens are set up in such a way that the customer can't see them. You can say "I'm looking it up" and they won't know that means "on eBay".

More of the tale came out last night. When the camera came in, Steve was dealing with it, and another of the guys came over and dismissed it as "too old", thinking it was a film setup as it didn't look like any of the cams he was used to.

The customer knew exactly what it was, how much it was worth, and what the lowball price for it was likely to be. He knew the whole deal. Which is very rare. And he knew he was not going to give an ID; and he knew he could convince some random lady in the shop to give HER ID and signature for, get this, $15.

On a $500 buy-in, on a camera they will sell out for probably $6000.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:18 PM   #1318
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I'm a very regular customer at our local pawn shops.

I'm a buyer, though, not a pawner or seller. My most recent acquisition is Samsung Galaxy Tab S with 16 GB and no SIM card. It came with a Unicorn Beetle case and is in very good shape. It had a $249 price tag on it, he offered $150 plus tax, I asked for $150 including tax, we agreed to split the tax. So far, I like it.

I've gotten power tools, garden tools, a Stihl FS 90 R trimmer, *almost* got a Vox DC5, but missed it because I had to wait until payday... I also missed a Canon G10 for $40. I kick myself about that one... that's "one that got away".
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:27 PM   #1319
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Oh yeah and an item to be pawned or bought is never taken to the back. The customer has to see the item, in plain view, at all times, until the transaction is agreed upon.

Otherwise 1/2 of all customers would complain that something happened to the item when taken to the back. Because to them, we are utterly suspicious and not to be trusted at all. It's part racism and part that's often what is worried about at a pawn shop, a game, a scam.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:39 PM   #1320
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But it's one of those things that becomes obvious when you see it:

If they can get $1 more selling it online, they would be idiots to sell it to you in the shop. YOU can buy the item from them, sell it out on the bay, and make money on the deal.

So if the G10 is in reasonable condition, with nothing wrong, that's what you should do. But if it turns out there's a problem with the lens that you didn't notice until you got it home, you might figure returns at the shop are easier than returns on eBay.

Because this lookup takes ten seconds to do, completed listings in the USED category:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...p2045573.m1684

But if it's in the BROKEN/FOR PARTS category, you don't have to accept returns, so here are the values there:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...p2045573.m1684
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