The Best Item to Pawn or Sell to Get the Most Money

Did you know that only 37% of Americans have enough money saved up to cover an emergency that costs $500?

It can be difficult to build a savings account in modern America. With the prices of everything seemingly rising constantly and wages not increasing to match the cost of living, many Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of some fast cash, you might consider heading to a pawn shop. However, you might be able to make more money for the same item by selling it on Craigslist or another online marketplace. Do some research about your specific item so you can be sure to get as much for it as possible.

Whether you’re going to pawn or sell, let’s take a look at some of the items that pawn shops are willing to pay the most money for.

Power Tools

There is a consistently good resale market for power tools. If you’re looking to pawn off items for the most money, make sure they’re thoroughly cleaned and degreased as well as in good shape before you bring them in.


When it comes to pawning housewares, consider things like large mixing blenders or sewing machines. Housewares that you spent a good amount of money on might still have some value at a pawnshop. Some pawnshops might even take furniture, but you want to call first to double check.

Yard Equipment

Yard equipment like lawnmowers, blowers, or tractors can be pawned for a good amount of money. This is a good option for people who have a long service that no longer need certain machinery.

Precious Metals

Are you wondering “what can I pawn for $500?” Then you might consider bringing jewelry to a pawnshop. It’s easy to pawn precious metals because they are fairly simple to price out and can actually appreciate over time.


You can get a good amount of money for late-model Apple products such as iPads. You might be able to get $200 or $300 for your tablet, particularly if you still have the packaging, manual, cord, and charger.


If you’re wondering how to get the most money at pawn shops, firearms are another big ticket item. You will, however, need all of the legal paperwork in order to pawn a gun. It’s worth calling ahead to make sure the shop you’re planning on going to is licensed to buy and sell firearms, too.

Collectible Coins and Currency

If you have rare currency like collectible American coins, American Eagles, silver certificates, silver dollars, unique paper money, and federal reserve notes, you can get more than face value at a pawn shop.

Is it better to pawn or sell when it comes to coins? It depends. You might be able to make more money selling a collectible coin to a collector, but a pawn shop will be faster, easier, and more convenient.


What items do pawn shops pay the most for? The answer to this question isn’t easy to quantify, because it depends on the item, its condition, and the current market.

That being said, you can expect around $100 to $400 when you are pawning a smartphone that is popular. It’s important to have the original accessories if you want to maximize your value.

Sporting Goods

If you have used sporting equipment in your garage that your family doesn’t use anymore, you might be able to trade it for some cold, hard cash. Things like golf clubs, bikes, surfboards, snowboards, or skis are great things to pawn.

When it comes to general gym equipment, it is estimated that you can get about $100 per item.


If you have a current, working laptop that’s in good shape, you can probably get around $270 for it. If you have a fancier laptop, such as a new MacBook, you might be able to get up to $600.

Antiques and Collectibles

It’s possible that you have some valuable items in your attic that you don’t know about. Take a look around and see if there’s anything rare, unique, or potentially collectible items stored away.


Not all watches will fetch top dollar at a pawn shop, but some will. Brand and authenticity are the key factors. You’ll also need proof of authenticity, like the original paperwork for the watch.

Other Electronics

There are a number of other types of electronics that you can tell the pawnshop too. Things like videogame consoles, digital cameras, TVs, and current model desktop computers can all be pawned. If you have a GoPro you no longer use, or an Apple Watch or a hoverboard, you can probably get about $100.

Video game consoles will fetch variable prices depending on what you’re selling and the broker you sell it to. You can get much more for popular and newer consoles such as the Nintendo Switch. This is particularly true if they’re still in the original box.

Musical Instruments

If you have musical instruments that are lying around collecting dust, you might consider bringing them to your local pawn shop. Higher quality and more well-known brands will fetch higher prices, such as Fender, Yamaha, and Gibson.


Some pawn shops will even accept cars as collateral or even as an outright purchase. Your best bets include trucks, boats, classic muscle cars, motorcycles, and RVs.

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Are You Going to Pawn or Sell?

Using a pawn shop should be seen as a last resort, but sometimes it can make sense for your circumstance. When you head to a pawn shop, it makes sense to bring the items that you can get the most money for. When deciding whether to pawn or sell, consider whether or not you plan on getting your item back or if you’d rather just turn it into as much cash as possible right away.

Are you looking for information about free stuff you can get in Texas? Check out our helpful guides here!

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