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24 May

Experts Reveal The Truth Behind Pawnbroker’s Valuation

Pawning items can be a quick and convenient way to secure cash. Thousands of people use pawnbroking services to cover emergency expenses and get much-needed cash on the spot. But how pawnbrokers value the items can be a little confusing.

Often, individuals bring their valuable items to pawnbrokers hoping to use them as collateral, but the pawnbroker offers them significantly lower than they were expecting. People get surprised to learn that their asset doesn’t bring as much money as they’d imagined, while others become convinced that the pawnbroker has simply undervalued the item. But what’s the reality? How do pawnbrokers assess the value of an item?

Pawnbrokers consider many variables when figuring out how much they want to pay for an item a customer brings in.¬†To avoid discrepancies and give you a more realistic idea,¬†we have discussed the various factors that help pawnbrokers determine an item’s value.

10 Ways In Which Pawnbrokers Price Your Items

1. Check the Market Value

The most common misconception is that all items have an intrinsic or inherent value. The amount you paid for a particular item while buying it doesn’t refer to its market value. In reality, the Market Value is the price a willing buyer is prepared to pay for that particular item when you decide to sell it.

The market value is crucial in determining the amount you’ll receive from the pawnbroker when you pawn an item. This can be a little confusing and frustrating if you’re a seller, as you might have paid top price for it, or the product holds sentimental value. If the item you want to pawn is currently in low demand, it may drive a lower value and vice versa.

2. Consider the Materials, Gemstones & Workmanship

Jewellery pieces are made from different materials, metals and gemstones and hold different values. Gold is far more expensive than platinum or silver. Pieces with diamonds and other precious gemstones like sapphire and ruby are worth more. The reputable pawnbrokers hold in-depth knowledge about jewellery items and will consider every minute and intricate detail of your item to give you a great deal.

The carat of the gold, the quality of the gemstones, the brand, and the craftsmanship all play crucial roles in determining the item’s worth. To arrive at a fair value, they determine the value of diamond pieces based on the diamond’s cut, colour, clarity, and carat.

3. Check the Condition of the Item

The condition of any item, whether a luxury watch or a piece of jewellery, plays a vital role in determining its value for a pawnbroker. The product can be new from a well-known brand, but if it’s damaged or in poor condition, it will impact the value considerably. So, before you take your item to a pawnbroker, don’t forget to check its condition properly.

If you’re pawning a watch, check its case, bracelet, dial, and crystal to ensure they’re clean and well-maintained. Similarly, if you have a piece of jewellery, consider cleaning and polishing it before taking it to a pawnbroker. Items in better condition will fetch a higher price.

4. Online Value Databases

It’s exactly what it sounds like. There are online databases that provide details of items and what they are worth. The databases help pawnbrokers find out what an item is worth. Pawnbrokers have access to online databases listing common items’ current market values. If an item isn’t included in the databases, they check out other online platforms to see what other customers are paying for that particular item or at least get an idea for the same.

5. Check their existing inventory

When a customer brings an item to pawn, the pawnbroker first checks their existing inventory and sees if they already have something similar. While they don’t have the exact match in most cases, they will at least be able to identify what type of watch or jewellery it is. They can then estimate how much the item is worth and how much their customers would most likely pay for it.

Of course, this isn’t possible for custom-made items like engagement rings or family heirlooms. In such cases, pawnbrokers determine the item’s worth by comparing it to similar items in their inventory.

6. Consult Experts & Specialists

In most cases, pawnbrokers accept all kinds of valuable things. However, some things are more challenging to evaluate than others. For example, jewellery, historical artefacts, and antiques may require a special appraisal by an expert. So, pawnbrokers approach experts in different fields to determine that item’s value and set a potential profit margin. The specialist may work in the same store or be a third party. Their knowledge and expertise help establish the item’s legitimacy and determine its worth accurately.

7. Using their Knowledge & Experience

Most pawnbrokers use their in-depth knowledge and experience in the pawnbroking industry as a tool to establish the best price for an item. If the pawnbroker you’ve chosen to deal with has many years of experience, they may know the item’s value well. They also know how long the item will sit in the store, which means less money.

8. Check Documents & Authentication

Pawnbrokers consider whether the item you’re pawning comes with its original documentation and paperwork. Providing a particular item’s original documentation or proof of authenticity can substantially affect its overall worth. For instance, having the original box, papers, certificate or receipts helps attest to the legitimacy of a watch, jewellery or any other item you own, further instilling confidence in the pawnbroker. If you have a GIA certificate for your diamond, bring it in. Documentation proves price, authenticity and workmanship, thereby increasing its value.

9. Consider Local Market Factors

Regional preferences, economic conditions, and the local consumer base influence how the pawnbroker assesses the value of your item. Understanding these unique dynamics helps them price the items competitively. 

10. Using Negotiation Skills

Experienced pawnbrokers are skilled negotiators; their initial offer may reflect that well. Pawnbrokers usually expect the borrower to negotiate, so don’t hesitate to do it. No one ever gets the total value of what they are pawning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the most out of it. Be polite and informed to make fair negotiations for both parties.


Even though we covered a lot of ground in the blog, you must deal with a reputed pawnbroker to determine the exact value of your item. If you have an item you wish to pawn, look no further than Luxbrokers. As a leading pawnbroker in the UK, we have built a solid reputation for competitive prices and exceptional customer service.

You can start with a free, no-obligation loan offer for your item. Fill in our online form here. Alternatively, visit us in-store with a prior appointment. Call 0207 123 5081 to book an appointment.

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