When you think of buying jewelry, does the image of an atmospherically lit, richly carpeted jewelry retail shop spring to mind? If so, you're probably in the habit of paying exorbitant prices in line with that cultured ambience. But before you draw up a shopper's "battle plan," listing all the upscale jewelers in town, take a moment to consider these four good reasons to consult another source -- local pawn shops.
1. You'll Pay About Half as Much (for Perfectly Good Products)
Buying a piece of used jewelry from a pawn shop can save you about 50 percent off the cost of that same (new) item at a big retail jeweler. One great thing about used jewelry is that it's just as good as the new stuff, assuming someone else's name isn't already engraved on it. Since jewelry doesn't have any moving parts or depend on warranty coverage for repairs, it's a more foolproof purchase than, say, electronic components that may have run through much of their usable lifespan by the time you buy them.
Another thing to consider is the fact that "new versus used" simply isn't much of a differentiator in the world of jewelry. When you think about how many precious, beloved, "timeless" items are handed down from generation to generation, the notion of paying full retail price just to own a brand-new one starts to seem kind of silly.
2. Buying Has Advantages Over Renting or Borrowing
Of course you don't have to buy that coveted piece of jewelry at all -- you can always rent or borrow it instead. There are a great many companies out there that offer monthly rental subscriptions or other such programs, sometimes for $35 a month or less. These are especially useful if you need to get your hands on multiple pieces or you only wear jewelry on isolated occasions. But buying at low cost from a pawn shop trumps renting or borrowing in a couple of key respects:
- When you buy a piece of jewelry, whether it's new or used, you now own equity which conveys a certain value. When you rent or borrow something, you're paying money out but receiving no lasting or concrete value in return.
- Jewelry rental houses may carry all the latest pieces by the most popular, current designers, but you're less likely to find something rare or unique through these channels -- while pawn shops routinely obtain fascinating one-of-a-kind curios and family heirlooms from bygone eras.
3. Some Pawn Shops Really Know their Stuff
If you're planning on making a major investment in a piece of jewelry such as a diamond engagement ring, it's understandable that you would only want to buy that item from people who really know their jewelry and will uphold certain professional ethical standards in selling it to you. But this requirement doesn't limit your options to the big chain retailers of new items -- you can expect it, and get it, from pawn shops as well.
Many pawn shops' employees hold certifications from trusted national organizations that help to ensure a high standard of industry knowledge and ethics. For instance, members of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graduate from programs that certify them as experts on diamonds, pearls or colored stones; they may also hold an Accredited Jewelry Professional diploma. Seek out pawn shops that maintain such professional affiliations to make sure you're getting a well-informed, honest salesperson.
4. You Don't Have to Get Into Any Bidding Wars
Many people looking for jewelry will find exactly what they're looking for at an auction house or online auction website -- but this isn't the place to get great deals. Auctions can quickly turn into bidding wars in which the most obsessed, aggressive or wealthy shopper usually wins. You may see what looks like an unbeatable price on an online item, only to see that price suddenly shoot skyward in a last-minute bidding frenzy.
If auctions aren't a good fit for either your personality or your pocketbook, you're sure to find buying jewelry at your neighborhood pawn shop a much simpler and more relaxing experience. The prices are set, the proprietor will let you take all the time you need to make a selection, and you won't have to shell out additional money in the form of auction houses fees or commissions (which may be billed at rates of up to 5 percent online and up to 25 percent at an auction house).
As you can see, there are some pretty compelling reasons to add your friendly neighborhood pawn shop to your list of jewelry shopping sites. Why not stop by there today just to see what affordable treasure you might discover?Share