What’s the Difference Between a Pawn Shop and a Buy-Sell-Trade Store?

If you need money and you’ve got valuables you’re willing to part with, you may be on the lookout for a pawn shop. Milwaukee residents seeking pawn shops may also find themselves looking at a buy, sell, and trade store like Record Head. Is there a difference between pawn shops and local buy, sell or trade stores? There is, and if you’re looking to convert your valuables to cash, it’s important to know the distinction.

What Is a Pawn Shop?

A pawn shop is essentially a loan-granting business. Federal or state governments license pawn shops to offer loans. When you go to a pawn shop in West Allis with your emerald ring, you’re not typically selling it to the pawnbroker — you’re using it as collateral, the same way someone taking out a home improvement loan might use their house as collateral. If you default or cannot pay the loan in the specified period of time, the lender takes possession of your collateral to pay your debt. A pawn shop in Milwaukee might buy certain items outright, but that is not their main business. Their main business is giving out loans as interest, and your valuables are simply something used to secure the loan. The pawnbroker expects to return your item once your loan has been repaid.

Pawn shops also sell valuable items. These are mostly items that were used as collateral. The borrower defaulted on their loan, and the pawnbroker is trying to recoup the loan amount and interest by selling your collateral. Once you have defaulted on your loan, you may still repurchase your item if no one has purchased it, but you may end up paying more than you would have if you simply paid your loan on time. You are free to pawn an item and then use the money you receive to buy another item for sale at the pawn shop. However, this is not really a trade, as you are still expected to pay back your loan and rescue your collateral at the end of the loan period.

What Is a Buy-Sell-Trade Store?

A buy-sell-trade store is a different matter entirely. Here you are selling your items outright at a price agreed upon by the buyer and seller. This is not a loan, and you should not expect to rescue your item. If you are hoping to retrieve your item, you should go to a pawn shop, as trying to buy back something you have sold in a buy-sell-trade store will probably cost you more than the interest on the loan against the item that the pawn shop would offer. There’s also no guarantee that the buy-sell-trade store’s proprietor won’t turn around and sell your item the moment they buy it from you.

On the plus side, anything you see that you like in a buy-sell-trade store like Record Head in West Allis, you can buy it immediately. You don’t have to wait until a loan period expires like you would if you were interested in an item you saw in a pawn shop.

There is also the trade option available at a buy-sell-trade store. If you opt for trade, the store will usually give you store credit for the items you sell, which you can then use to buy the items in the store that interest you.

Which Is Better: A Buy, Sell, and Trade Store or a Pawn Shop?

Whether you will opt to take your valuables to a buy-sell-trade store or a pawn shop will depend largely on what your needs are with respect to your items. If you are simply trying to liquidate some old items, the buy-sell-trade store is for you. One big advantage of a buy-sell-trade store is they will give you a price on just about anything. If they think they can sell it, they will buy it from you. Pawn shops tend to be more selective. They want something they can sell quickly to recoup your loan amount if you default — things like jewelry, rare coins, or high-end electronics. Buy-sell-trade stores will buy high-end electronics, but they’ll also buy smaller items like video games, musical instruments, computers, and computer parts and DVDs.

If you need the money for a short time, to get you through to the next paycheck, for example, and you want to get your valuable items back, a pawn shop is what you’re looking for. You’ll pay some interest, but you’ll have your valuables back in the end. On the other hand, if you’ve got stuff you really don’t need anymore and want to turn it into cash that you don’t have to pay back or pay interest on, a buy-sell-trade store is definitely for you.

Where to Go to Sell Your Items

If you’ve decided you need a buy-sell-trade store rather than a pawn shop, head on down to Record Head at 7045 W. Greenfield, Ave. today. For over 40 years, Record Head has been in the business of buying, selling, and trading your unwanted items. Today, Record Head will sell just about any electronics you can think of, from DJ gear, MP3 players, and other small devices to video game systems. And if you’re there because you think your computer is a lost cause — you may not want to act so fast. 

Even if you’re parting with them, your valuable items are important to you. When it’s time to convert them to cash, whether it’s at a pawn shop or a buy, sell and trade store, be sure to take them somewhere where they will be treated with the respect that they — and you — deserve.