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Old 11-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #151
footfootfoot
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Crispy critters = stoned

Ingredient R = retarded
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:14 AM   #152
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Why can't UT just admit he wants to work in a psych ward?
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:24 AM   #153
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I'm curious about how pawn shops work. My experience with pawn shops is limited.

Let's say I have a widget that cost $300 new, and on ebay, they go for $100 used. What does the pawn shop pay me if I try to unload it? And I understand the pawn shop will give you a loan on something if you request it, and it's not crap. Is what they will loan me less than what they will pay me to buy it?

Is there any thought at all given to the possibility that stuff is stolen? If so, will the pawn shop turn it down, or does physical possession of something imply ownership? I suppose if records are kept of who drops stuff off, then if something is stolen the cops can track down the thief. Do people ever come in looking for their stolen stuff?

What are some of the most commonly pawned items, and what are your best sellers?

Does the pawn shop look for good deals and bargains, playing on sellers' lack of knowledge, or is it more like a financial institution that tries to determine the actual value of an item and everything is disclosed to all parties?

Lots of questions, I know! But I'd really be curious to hear how one of these places works.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:04 AM   #154
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It really depends on what the widget is, because the shop has to hold the item for at least 3 months in a buy, 5 months on a pawn. So we are taking a risk on some items, such as laptops, that the item will not lose value quickly. This is why the pawn shop is not the best place to sell things.

But on average we would probably buy it for $50, pawn it for $20.

My co-worker points out that if a large black man comes in with a iPad and it says "Brittany's tablet" and has a bunch of pictures of white girls at their sleepover, it's stolen. But we can't judge. We don't really know. We may use that kind of information to get a better deal for us and we might just buy it for $20.

What happens then is the person who got robbed files a police report, and the police regularly come around with items and descriptions and ask to see certain things. If they can identify it, the person can come around and buy it back from us at the rate we paid. Cops come around all the time with their lists and the system works pretty well.

First day I worked full time, there was a cop at the door looking for a PA system that a guy robbed from a church. He was positively delighted not only to identify the system, but we had video of the guy who pawned it. The cop took the video on his thumb drive, the items were recovered and the dude was arrested. It turned out he was on parole from being jailed for theft, and now they have a perfect evidence trail of this theft, and a judge will hear that he robbed this from a church and he'll go back in for a long while.

The most pawned item is jewelry. The ghetto folks treat their jewelry as their savings, their emergency money, their safety deposit box. It's good for us because the item is small, and we can quickly evaluate it, do a deal and put it in a massive safe.

We absolutely try to do the best deal for us and there are tricks to getting that done, which I'm learning. The opener is to ask what the person wants. If they have an expectation that their ring is worth $300, because they paid the massive markup at a department store, we often tell them we're not even close because the shop is only in it for the gold. Everything is melted down after 90 days or when it goes out of pawn.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #155
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I've only been in pawn shops a couple times, and both times I was looking for bargains. But everything was pretty expensive. I was expecting flea market prices, but the pawn shop had ebay or higher prices.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #156
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Yeah, if you think about it from the store's POV, if we can sell it and ship it on eBay and get more than we can fetch in the shop, why would we ever put it out for someone to buy? That would be monumentally ret- I mean, idiotic.

But here in the ghetto, we are selling to people (and buying from people) who don't even know what eBay is! Also, it's nice to have the items because it reminds people what they can bring us. And in cases like musical instruments, it's better to buy locally, because then you can test it out. We have a few interesting basses in right now and I hope to buy one for a backup instrument.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #157
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Musical gear, definitely looking for a unique item you can hold in your hands and evaluate. Anything less than retail is helping your pocketbook.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:36 AM   #158
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There's a lot to be said for buying local too.

ebay *can* be local, somebody's selling it from somewhere, of course. But I know where the pawnshop's storefront is. Or the Trading Musician. Or Dusty Strings. Or American Music. Or the Guitar Store.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:41 AM   #159
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Today is a good day because it's rainy out and that seems to keep the crazy people away. We've been open for two hours and so far no crazy people. Also, because there's less volume of people, I get to Cellarize in the down time.

Rain turns my commute into an hour and a half though, and I had to do some crazy driving to be here on time. I was hydroplaning it pretty bad.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #160
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scary! better late than dead, eh?
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #161
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No, the manager is one of those sorts who is really fixated on lateness. I figure I can't be late. Which is really a PITA because the commute is already a bitch and it's hard to know how broken the roads are.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:07 PM   #162
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ah.. good to know. then just adjust for the worst possible commute, add some constant and make that the baseline leave the house time any earlieness can be spent cellarizing or coffee drinking or sitting in the parking lot. whatever. knowing a manager's third rail like this is very valuable
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:07 PM   #163
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You got that right! Also I think the previous guy in this position started to become notoriously late, probably being passive-aggressive about it because it was a thing, so my guy is a little paranoid and I can see that this is something he hopes to avoid in people in the future.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #164
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Yabbut living a little far from the pawnshop is a good thing. You're less likely to bump into the crazies and get recognised by them when you're chillin' in your own 'hood.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #165
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I think I mentioned a double bass earlier but I can't find where. Today the pawner of the bass came in. It's the son of the guy who originally owned it, and he was a kinda well-known Phila bassist who was even on the Cosby Show playing jazz at one point. His son was so pleased to hear that a bass player was at the shop watching over the instrument.
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