Frequently Asked Questions
How does a pawn work?
A pawn is a type of collateral loan. Pawnbrokers lend money based on the value of the collateral. When a customer pays back the loan, their merchandise is returned to them. A customer may also choose to surrender their collateral as payment in full. Pawnbroker may also offer extensions and renewals as seen fit.
What are the benefits of getting a loan with to a pawnbroker?
Pawnbrokers offer customers a quick, convenient and confidential way to borrow money. There are no credit checks or legal consequences if the loan is not repaid. Pawn loans do not cause people to overextend credit or go into bankruptcy.
How much should I expect for a loan on my item?
Loan amounts vary according to the value of the item which is determined by factors of current appraised value, condition and demand. There is no minimum dollar amount on a pawn transaction, but the maximum amount may be set by state pawn laws.
How is the value of the item determined?
Pawnbrokers base the value of the item on current appraised value, current condition and the ability to sell the item. Pawnbrokers use research tools to determine an item's value and get you the most money for the item. The appraisal process varies depending on the type of item. All items are tested to ensure that it works properly.
How likely is stolen merchandise purchased at a pawn store?
Less than .001% of all pawned merchandise is identified as stolen goods. Customers must provide positive identification and a complete description of the merchandise. This information is then regularly transmitted to law enforcement, which dramatically decreases the likelihood that a thief would bring stolen merchandise to a Pawnbroker.
Are pawn shops regulated?
Yes, Pawnbrokers are governed by all of the major federal laws that are financial institutions. The federal laws that regulate the pawn industry are Patriot Act, Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, as well as Data Privacy and Safeguard of information as part of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Rules.
Pawnbrokers that deal in firearms are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). Pawnbrokers may also be Federal Firearms License holders. States have regulated the pawn industry for decades, and most Pawnbrokers are licensed and regulated by local authorities as well.
Are pawn customers under the same federal law protection as other financial institutions?
No. Pawn transactions are the only type of consumer credit that requires reporting to local law enforcement agencies. In many states, this reporting is required daily, and must include extremely sensitive personal information about the consumer (i.e. ethnicity, gender, address). Most of this information qualifies a "non-public personal information" under federal privacy law and is entitled to protection.
Are pawn rates affordable?
Yes. To provide services, all lenders must charge rates commensurate with the size and duration of the loan, collateral, risk, and recourse. Pawn transactions are small-dollar, short term loans with no hidden charges.
What happens if I don't repay my pawn loan?
Defaulting on a loan can never affect consumer's credit scores because the loan is based on collateral - that's a piece of property. The loan is considered paid in full when the item is handed over to the pawnbroker. On average, about 80 percent of all pawn loans are repaid.
How do you determine the condition of an item?
We test each item to ensure it is in good working condition, including but is not limited to, a visual inspection, plugging an item in and turning it on, and any necessary accessories (such as remotes or charger) and manuals are included. The better the condition of your item, the more money we can loan you.
How do you determine the value of jewelry?
We test metal to determines the karat of gold. This is done to ensure a clean test so there are no false readings on your item that may detract from what we can
Diamond testing includes a visual inspection using a jeweler's loupe, weighing the item, sizing (determining carat weight) any stones, and noting the cut, color, and clarity.
How do you determine the price of gold?
The price of gold is based on market values, the price for which is routinely reviewed and updated by our internal pricing department. Prices can vary greatly as the loan amount for 24K gold is significantly higher than that of 14K gold.
Can you give me a quote on an item over the phone?
No, to ensure you receive the highest loan quote we much evaluate your item’s condition in person. The better condition your item is the more money we can loan you.
For general merchandise, we test each item to ensure it is in good working condition. This includes, but is not limited to, a visual inspection, plugging in and turning it on, and noting if any necessary accessories and manuals are included.
For jewelry, the testing includes a visual inspection using a jeweler's loupe, weighing the item, sizing, any stones, and noting the cut/color/clarity. We also test the metal to determine the karat of gold.
Is my collateral safe while in pawn?
Yes, we will keep your items secure with 24/7 surveillance. It’s our responsibility to keep your items safe and in good condition while it's in our care until you come back to pay your loan in full and claim your item.
Can I sell my item instead of pawning it?
Yes. We will purchase most items outright. The item will need to be something that has value to be resold by us.
Do I need to bring identification?
Yes, we require valid identification when you're selling or pawning items with us. Forms of ID we accept include a Driver License, or ID card issued by any state, photo ID by a governmental agency, US Passport, foreign passport accompanied by another item of ID showing an address.
To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearm under the GCA?
A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his State, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may loan or rent a firearm to a resident of any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may sell or transfer a firearm to a licensee in any State. However, a firearm other than a curio or relic may not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(d), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]
From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA?
A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(b)(3), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]
May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-State source if the person arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s own State?
A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms may purchase a firearm from an out-of-State source and obtain the firearm if an arrangement is made with a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s State of residence for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from the dealer.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3)]
Are there certain persons who cannot legally receive or possess firearms and/or ammunition?
Yes, a person who:
- Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year;
- Is a fugitive from justice
- Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
- Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution
- Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa
- Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
- Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship
- Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner
- Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
- Cannot lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm.
- A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year cannot lawfully receive a firearm. Such person may continue to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information.
[18 U.S.C. 922(g) and (n), 27 CFR 478.32]
Do law enforcement officers who are subject to restraining orders and who receive and possess firearms for purposes of carrying out their official duties violate the law?
Not if the firearms are received and possessed for official use only. The law prohibits persons subject to certain restraining orders from receiving, shipping, transporting or possessing firearms or ammunition. To be disabling, the restraining order must:
- specifically restrain the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an “intimate partner” of the person (e.g., spouse);
- be issued after a hearing of which notice was given to the person and at which the person had an opportunity to participate; and
- include a finding that the person subject to the order represents a credible threat to the “intimate partner” or child of the “intimate partner” OR explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force against the partner.
However, the GCA has an exception for the receipt and possession of firearms and ammunition on behalf of a Federal or State agency. Therefore, the GCA does not prohibit a law enforcement officer under a restraining order from receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition for use in performing official duties. Possession of the firearm for official purposes while off duty would be lawful if such possession is required or authorized by law or by official departmental policy. An officer subject to a disabling restraining order would violate the law if the officer received or possessed a firearm or ammunition for other than official use. (See question on officers’ receipt and possession of firearms and ammunition after a conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The government exception does not apply to such convictions.)
[18 U.S.C. 921(a) (32), 922(g)(8) and 925(a)(1)]
May a non-licensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?
A non-licensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A non-licensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.
[18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]
May a non-licensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?
A non-licensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]
May a non-licensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?
Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.
May a person who is relocating out of State move firearms with other household goods?
Yes. A person who lawfully possesses a firearm may transport or ship the firearm interstate when changing his or her State of residence. Certain NFA firearms must have prior approval from the Bureau of ATF before they may be moved interstate. The person must notify the mover that firearms are being transported. He or she should also check State and local laws where relocating to ensure that movement of firearms into the new State does not violate any State law or local ordinance.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(4) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.28 and 478.31]
What constitutes residency in a State?
The State of residence is the State in which an individual is present; the individual also must have an intention of making a home in that State. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty is a resident of the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located. If a member of the Armed Forces maintains a home in one State and the member’s permanent duty station is in a nearby State to which he or she commutes each day, then the member has two States of residence and may purchase a firearm in either the State where the duty station is located or the State where the home is maintained. An alien who is legally in the United States is considered to be a resident of a State only if the alien is residing in that State and has resided in that State continuously for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of sale of the firearm. See also Item 5, “Sales to Aliens in the United States,” in the General Information section of this publication.
[18 U.S.C. 921(b), 922(a) (3), and 922(b)(3), 27 CFR 478.11]
May a person (who is not an alien) who resides in one State and owns property in another State purchase a handgun in either State?
If a person maintains a home in 2 States and resides in both States for certain periods of the year, he or she may, during the period of time the person actually resides in a particular State, purchase a handgun in that State. However, simply owning property in another State does not qualify the person to purchase a handgun in that State.
[27 CFR 478.11]
May a parent or guardian purchase firearms or ammunition as a gift for a juvenile (less than 18 years of age)?
Yes. However, possession of handguns by juveniles (less than 18 years of age) is generally unlawful. Juveniles generally may only receive and possess handguns with the written permission of a parent or guardian for limited purposes, e.g., employment, ranching, farming, target practice or hunting.
[18 U.S.C. 922(x)]
Are curio or relic firearms exempt from the provisions of the GCA?
No. Curios or relics are still firearms subject to the provisions of the GCA; however, curio or relic firearms may be transferred in interstate commerce to licensed collectors or other licensees.
What record-keeping procedures should be followed when two private individuals want to engage in a firearms transaction?
When a transaction takes place between private (unlicensed) persons who reside in the same State, the Gun Control Act (GCA) does not require any record keeping. A private person may sell a firearm to another private individual in his or her State of residence and, similarly, a private individual may buy a firearm from another private person who resides in the same State. It is not necessary under Federal law for a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) to assist in the sale or transfer when the buyer and seller are “same-State” residents. Of course, the transferor/seller may not knowingly transfer a firearm to someone who falls within any of the categories of prohibited persons contained in the GCA. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and (n). However, as stated above, there are no GCA-required records to be completed by either party to the transfer.
There may be State or local laws or regulations that govern this type of transaction. Contact State Police units or the office of your State Attorney General for information on any such requirements.
Please note that if a private person wants to obtain a firearm from a private person who resides in another State, the firearm will have to be shipped to an FFL in the buyer’s State. The FFL will be responsible for record keeping.