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Wednesday, May 13 2020
Should You Buy and Sell Luxury Watches at a Pawn Shop or an Authorized Dealer?

Rolex, Cartier, Patek Phillippe… those are just a few of the most highly-sought after brands of watches. Having one on your wrist commands attention. Not only do they look good, but they convey status, luxury, and a sense of taste.

They’re also incredibly valuable, of course.

Whether you’re in the market for a luxury timepiece or you’re looking to sell your current one, you want to get the most for your money.

Many buy and sell watches from authorized watch dealers, but pawn shops are another option. Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of buying and selling watches at each type of store.

Authorized Dealers

Selling

The main advantage of selling your watch at an authorized dealer is you’ll likely get a higher price. Authorized watch dealers operate exclusively in the timepiece business, so they’ll be much more interested in getting you the right price when you’re buying.

Buying

However, authorized dealers will charge a lot more for a luxury watch than a pawn shop would. Plus, you won’t be able to negotiate much with them. Maybe you can score a small discount, but you’ll still be paying close to full price.

Pawn Shops

Selling

There’s little chance you’ll get your watches full market value at a pawn shop — pawn shops have to make money, after all. Additionally, pawn brokers can’t be experts at everything. They may not be able to determine the value of your watch with 100% accuracy.

However, the selling process is a lot faster. You can walk in with your watch and walk out within the same day.

With that in mind, you’ll get a more fair offer on watches a bit below the high-end, as those have a large market. A pawn shop can more easily profit on something more “affordable” like a Fossil watch. More people can afford that watch, meaning the market is larger.

Pawn shops also let you use your watch to take out a loan if you don’t want to sell but need cash. As long as you pay back the loan plus interest in 30 days, you get your watch back.

And if you don’t, no applications or credit score dings — the pawn shop just takes possession of the watch if you don’t pay back the loan.

Buying

You can likely snag a good deal on a luxury watch from a pawn shop. Now, don’t expect to get a Rolex for a few hundred — everyone knows how much those are worth.

Lesser-known brands, however, can be had for a steal if you spend some time browsing pawn shops in your area.

Whether you’re looking for a Philadelphia pawn shop to sell your watch or buy a new one (or both), Cash Express Pawn Shop would be happy to help. Bring your watch in today, and browse our current selection.

Posted by: AT 02:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 13 2020
How to Tell If Your Diamond Is Real or Fake

Diamonds are beautiful and valuable — making them the perfect target for people who want to make fakes for profit.

Fortunately, there are some tests you can run to see if a diamond is real or fake. They can be done at home and cost you a few bucks at most.

None of these tests are conclusive, but failing several of these tests is a strong indicator that you should get a diamond test kit or bring the piece to a gemologist to learn the truth.

The Loupe Test

A loupe is a magnifying glass used by jewelers to see the fine details of jewelry. Since diamonds form in nature, there are bound to be imperfections. A perfect diamond is likely fake.

This isn’t always the case, though — you may stumble across a real, perfect diamond. Lab-created diamonds are also generally flawless, yet they’re real.

However, the loupe test can still indicate that further inspection is required.

The Black Light Test

Another initial screening test you can run is the black light test. Turn off all the lights and shine a black light on your diamond. You should see a bluish fluorescence. Green, yellow, and other colors could indicate a fake.

The Heat Test

Diamonds are incredibly strong. High heat will not damage them.

To perform the heat test, fill a glass with cold water. Using plyers or fireproof gloves, heat your diamond with a lighter for about a minute, then promptly drop your stone into cold water. A fake diamond will shatter, as its components will not be able to stand the rapid expansion and contraction of heat.

The Water Test

If the heating element of the heat test makes you uncomfortable, you can still use the other half of the test to determine if your diamond is real. When dropped in water, a diamond’s high density will cause it to sink to the bottom.

If your diamond floats, however, then it isn’t a diamond at all.

The Fog Test

The fog test uses condensation to determine diamond authenticity. Condensation doesn’t stick to the surface of a real diamond.

All you have to do is hold the diamond in front of your mouth and breathe on it as if you were trying to fog up a mirror. If the condensation immediately disperses, the diamond is real. If not, it’s fake.

The Sandpaper Test

Again, diamonds are made of tough material. It’s quite hard to scratch them.

Scratch the stone in question with sandpaper. Scratches indicate your diamond is actually something else, whereas no damage indicates authenticity.

Did your diamond pass this battery of tests? You can fetch a pretty penny by pawning it. If you’re looking for a pawn shop in Philadelphia, stop by Cash Express. We love diamonds and jewelry here — we’ll get you a fair price for your piece and have the money in your hands the same day.

Posted by: AT 02:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 17 2020
Reasons Why You Should Pawn or Sell Your Items This Spring

The weather’s warming up, which means it’s about time to knock out some spring cleaning. Many clean out their houses either by throwing things away (and losing out on a ton of cash) or having a yard sale (better, but takes a lot of time and resources).

Instead of going one of those two routes, a pawn shop would be your best option. Down below, we’ve made a list of why you should pawn or sell your items this spring. Read on to learn the benefits.

1. Great Deals on Tools for Spring Cleaning

Pawnshops carry many of the tools you need for spring cleaning. These tools can be had for a lot less than the full retail price at pawn shops than at retail stores.

Knock out two birds with one stone. Declutter your house by pawning or selling stuff you don’t need, then use your money to buy discounted supplies like vacuums and brooms from the same pawn shop.

Even if your local pawn shop doesn’t have the stuff you need, you now have money to spend on cleaning supplies at another store.

2. High Demand for Certain Items

As the weather gets warmer, more people will be ready to do yard work and outdoor home improvement projects. If you have any power tools you don’t need, that could mean big money for you.

Depending on the brand name and condition of your tools as well as your location, you could earn a couple of hundred dollars for a single tool.

3. Stock Your Summer Vacation Fund

Looking to fund a summer getaway? No better time to do it than this spring — and no better way to do it than by pawning or selling your items. 

Items like jewelry and precious metals will get the best prices at many locations, but pawn shops also take electronics, musical instruments, antiques, video games, and more.

4. It’s Easier Than a Yard Sale

Let’s face it: yard sales can be a hassle. There’s a lot of work involved, and local laws may prevent you from holding one at all.

It’s much easier to turn your old stuff into cash by bringing it into a pawn shop. All you have to do is research the value of your items beforehand — no setting up tables of your items, no setting up signs, no hoping that it doesn’t rain when you’re holding the sale.

Looking for a pawn shop in Philadelphia where you can ditch your items for cash this spring? Come to Cash Express. We love jewelry, antiques, and high-end watches, but if your item isn’t one of those, don’t hesitate to bring it in anyways! We’ll see about getting you a fair price for your stuff — you’ll have your money in your hands the very same day.

Visit our store today!

Posted by: AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 17 2020
5 Secrets You Never Knew About Pawn Shops

There’re a lot of falsehoods and misinformation surrounding pawn shops. Many think they’re seedy places full of people looking to rip you off. Others think they only deal in super valuable items like jewelry and gold coins.

In reality, pawn shops are a lot more mundane than portrayed. They’re in the business of getting people small amounts of cash quickly. That’s it.

But if you’ve never been to a pawn shop before, you might be in the dark about how a place like Cash Express works. Read on to clear up the rumors and learn the truth.

1. It’s Nothing Like TV

Your average pawn shop is nothing like Pawn Stars, where exceedingly rare collectibles show up on every episode.

They aren’t like Hardcore Pawn, either, where people are always getting in verbal fights over price.

Instead, most pawn shops have your regular items — antiques, electronics, some precious metals, etc. Pawn shop owners and employees are generally friendly and helpful.

2. Stolen Goods Are Very Rare

A common belief is that pawn shops are a haven for stolen goods — but this is not so. Stolen property makes up less than 1% of items that pass through pawn shops. 

Pawn shops run every item they get through a stolen item database. They also maintain strong working relationships with local law enforcement should stolen goods come to their store.

3. Many Use Pawn Shops as Lending/Income Alternatives

Banks are great lenders — unless your finances are in bad shape. Then, they turn their backs on your.

Pawn shops, on the other hand, provide low-income earners, the unemployed, and those with poor credit a way to borrow and earn money fast. Plus, you only lose the item if you fail to pay the loan back — no credit damage or late fees.

4. You Can Pawn Nearly Anything

Everyone knows you can pawn gold and jewelry, but there are so many more items that pawn shops accept. Other popular categories include electronics, firearms, and musical instruments.

Plus, every pawn shop specialized in a different subset of items. By finding one that deals mainly in the type of item you want to pawn, you can get the most money.

5. Knowing Your Item’s Value is Helpful

Understanding the actual value of your item — not the sentimental value — gives you a starting point for negotiations. Pawn shops won’t give you the full retail price, though, as they need to make a profit. However, you can get the money fast and you’ll still get the item back if you pay the loan.

Now that you know more about how pawn shops work, you might be looking to pawn some of your own stuff for cash. Come down to Cash Express today! Our friendly employees will evaluate your items quickly and get you a fair price within the day.

Posted by: AT 10:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 23 2020
Is There Any Value in Sports Collectibles?

Is There Any Value in Sports Collectibles?

Have you ever dug through your attic and found some old baseball cards? Or perhaps you have an autographed football with a famous name on it. Whatever sports collectibles you have, it probably occurred to you that you can sell it for a nice pay day. But can you? Do your sports collectibles have any value? And if so, how much money could you get for yours?

Let’s look at some factors that can determine how valuable your collectible is.

Authentication

Authentication is the only way to get a concrete value of your sports collectible. Without authentication, your collectible is only worth as much as someone will pay for it.

If someone authenticates your collectible, it’s value can increase dramatically — sometimes by hundreds of dollars.

To get your collectible authenticated, you’ll have to contact a third-party authenticator. You may have to pay a fee as well — but if you plan on selling your collectible, a small fee will be worth the hundreds extra that you bring in.

Player Skill

Players that are/were objectively better the their sport will naturally bring a higher price — partially because of their skill, but also because they don’t give out their signature that often.

Take Tom Brady, for example. Sure, he’s good at what he does. However, he also doesn’t sign things that often, making his signature even more valuable.

Player Popularity

Player skill matters in determining value, but so does player popularity.

For example, Michael Jordan’s signature will be worth more than most other basketball players in history partly because of his huge popularity. He was also great at the game, of course, which makes his signature worth even more.

It isn’t likely for a Michael Jordan signature to fluctuate in value, but value fluctuations in value are definitely possible for memorabilia from other players.

Take Jeremy Lin, for example. He was killing it on the New York Knicks. During that time, his signature was worth a pretty penny.

But now that he’s not in the spotlight, fewer people value his signature, making it worth less than what it used to be.

The Item Itself

Last but certainly not least, the signed item itself can play a significant part in its value. A good example would be footballs. A football used in a Super Bowl game would be worth a lot more than a football used in a regular season game.

This also plays off of the player in question. For example, a signed Kobe Bryant jersey would be worth a lot more than a signed Kobe Bryant picture.

In fact, jerseys (along with helmets) are some of the most valuable items — they did belong to the player, after all.

If you have any sports collectibles that you have laying around that you want to sell for quick cash or want to pawn, come to Cash Express and get the cash you deserve! We specialize in a variety of goods such as antiques, gold, watches, jewelry, coins and more. Check us out online!

Posted by: AT 03:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 12 2020
Do Silver-Plated Antiques Have Any Value?

Do Silver-Plated Antiques Have Any Value?

Have you ever wonderd why your fork, spoon, and knife are called “silverware”? Believe it or not, cutlery items and dishware used to be made of silver quite often, which is where the name came from. The silver was used by ancient societies as it killed microorganisms that could cause sickness.

Today, we call everything silverware. However, it’s commonly made with stainless steel to make it more affordable. But you may have old, true “silverware” and other silver-plated antiques. The question is, do they have any value? And if so, how much can you get for them?

Let’s explore this more below.

Sterling Vs. Silver-Plated

You may be excited to learn that your stainless steel cutlery is coated in silver. You could make a killing at a pawn shop!

Well, not exactly.

As it turns out, silver-plated items don’t have much value. That’s not to say they are worthless, but there simply is not enough silver in the items for them to have value when melted down.

The true value comes in items that are sterling silver. Sterling silver items are made with at least 92.5% silver. The other 7.5% comes from various other metals — copper being an example.

You can sell sterling silverware at several types of locations.

  • Private sales — Private parties take the most time and effort, but you can net the most money. You’ll have to advertise your piece online or through newspaper ads. You could also try an auction, but you have to set a reserve price, and the auction company may take commission.

  • Silver dealers — Silver dealers are a faster method than private sales, but the earnings aren’t as high. Silver dealers either pay by the number of pieces you have or they pay by the ounce.

  • Pawn shops — Pawn shops like Cash Express love to see sterling silverware. You’ll be able to sell your silverware quite fast at a pawn shop while still getting a good chunk of change, although you won’t make as much as if you sold your silver another way.

Of course, it’s less likely that you’ll have sterling silverware in your possession. It’s worth a look, though.

Is It Still Possible to Sell My Silver-Plated Antiques?

Yes, it’s still possible, although you won’t be able to make as much money.

Most pawn shops typically won’t take silver-plated flatware, but don’t count them out — some flatware patterns have followings, so people may be looking for the specific pattern you have.

Silver dealers may be a better option for selling your silver-plated antiques.

Sell or Pawn Your Silver Items

If you have a true silver item, you can sell or pawn it at Cash Express if you want some extra money. We love precious metals!

Bring your items in — we’ll get you a fair price on your item and have you out with the money in your hand the same day.

Posted by: AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 20 2020
Top 10 Most Valuable Antiques You Could Find

We don’t often think about the value of random thing we have in stuffed away in boxes. However, tons of old items — including things you might own — could be worth a hundreds or even thousands if you bring them to the right place.

Here are some of the most valuable antiques you might find.

1. Paintings

You might not have the Mona Lisa, but you never know if you have a valuable painting in your possession. Some people have said that they lived by painters who gifted them a piece of artwork that later became valuable when the painter struck fame. Worth looking into if you have any paintings.

2. Guitars

Guitars are not only musical instruments, but some consider them pieces of art. They don’t have to be antique, either. Guitars in good condition — even those from the 60’s and 70’s — can be worth a lot.

3. Tools

Head over to your shed or workbench and take a look at your tools. See anything that’s quite old? Older tools can be worth a lot, but you’ll want to check out a price guide to get a more accurate estimate of their value.

If you find anything valuable, you could sell it and have enough money to buy a brand new tool set.

4. Persian Rugs

Persian rugs take a long time to appreciate in value, but the wait is worth it if it’s been in your possession for decades. Rugs over 100 years old are considered antiques. Price is determined by factors such as size, material, and design.

5. Books

Did your grandparents or great grandparents buy a well-known book when it came out decades ago? First edition books from the 1930s - 1950s (and before) can be worth thousands of dollars.

6. Baseball Cards

In general, baseball cards increase in value as they get older. That being said, there are several other aspects that play into the card’s value. If you have baseball cards, consider getting them appraised.

7. Lamps

If you’ve inherited an old lamp that just doesn’t seem to fit your current decor, don’t fret — depending on brand, an old lamp could earn you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. Brands like Handel and Pairpoint will net you a pretty penny.

8. Christmas Ornaments

New Christmas ornaments are a dime a dozen, but older Christmas ornaments passed down through generations could be worth a lot. A single ornament could be worth several hundred dollars; not bad for a little orb you hang on a tree once a year.

9. Silverware

Believe it or not, old sterling silverware can net you a good amount of cash. Individual pieces can fetch you a few hundred — but if you have a whole set, that’s potentially a couple thousand dollars.

10. Vintage Ads

Vintage-style ads add a touch of fashion to your home when placed well. However, real vintage ads may be worth selling instead. Even ads for the most mundane items could fetch your hundreds.

Posted by: AT 09:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 10 2020
How to Discover the Price of an Antique

How to Discover the Price of an Antique

Do you own a historical or valuable antique, such as an old coin, artwork, or a firearm? You’re probably wondering what it’s worth out of curiosity; or maybe you want to sell it and you’re hoping to maximize your earnings.

There are several sources you can use to discover approximately how valuable your antique is. Try some of these place.

1. Search for Similar Antiques for Sale Online

A great place to start your search is online. Begin by searching for items for sale that are similar to your antique. For example, if you have an old coin, see if you can find other coins for sale.

While you’re using your search engine, try look for databases related to your item; to do so, just run a search for your item plus “database”. You’ll find a lot of pricing information regarding your item.

eBay is another online place you should check out, as tons of people sell antique items on there every day. Run a search for your item and see what prices you find.

2. Find an Appraiser for Your Antique

Nearly every type of item has an appraiser for it. Find an appraiser that is certified by the American Society of Appraisers, the Appraisers Association of America, or the International Society of Appraisers. You can seek out an appraiser directly, or you may be able to find one at an antique store.

You will have to pay for an appraiser, but getting an accurate estimate may be worth the cost.

Don’t have time to visit an appraiser or an antique store? You can get an estimate online from a valuation site. It won’t be as accurate since the appraiser can’t look at the item, but you should get a decent estimate if you’re thorough and honest in your description.

3. Auction Houses

Auction houses will evaluate your item for a fee that depends on location. However, some auction houses will host an occasional “Valuation Day” where they will estimate the value of your antique for free.

4. Collectibles Dealers

Is your antique a collectible item, such as a coin or a set of baseball cards? It likely has more established guidelines of determining its value; in this case, you’ll want to take your antique to a collectibles dealer.

As with appraisers, make sure the collectibles dealer you visit is certified by an appraisal organization. Also, read online reviews of any dealers you visit to ensure they’re reputable.

5. The Library

Your local library should have resources to assist you in discovering the price of your antique. One of these resources is a type of book called a price guide. Price guides contain an assortment of typical antique items and what prices they have sold for.

Look at collector’s books as well. In collectors books, you’ll find a detailed look at your item, including aspects such as size, condition, and sometimes pricing information.

If you’re having trouble finding the resources you need, ask a librarian to help you out.

Posted by: AT 01:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 20 2020
Should I Pawn or Sell My Items?

Should I Pawn or Sell My Items?

When you’re looking for some fast cash, a pawn shop like Cash Express should be at the front of your mind. At pawn shops, you can quickly sell your items for cash or pawn them for a loan.

But you might be wondering: which one is better? Should you pawn your items for a loan, or sell them outright?

The answer depends on a few factors.

Before we get to which avenue works best for you, let’s distinguish pawning from selling.

What is Pawning?

Pawning is the act of taking out a loan from a pawn shop using one of your possessions as collateral. The pawnbroker evaluates your item and extends you a loan based on what they determine to be the item’s worth.

The pawnbroker then holds onto your item until you pay back the loan principal plus interest and fees. If you don’t pay the loan back, the pawnbroker takes possession of your item.

What is Selling?

Selling at a pawn shop is simpler. You bring in your item, then negotiate with the pawnbroker until you agree on a price. Once you hand off the item to the pawnbroker, you get your cash and have no further obligations to the shop.

Pawning vs. Selling

Consider the following factors when you’re deciding between pawning and selling your item.

Sentimental Value

Does the item you plan on using to get cash hold sentimental value? For example, is it a family heirloom? You’d want to pawn it so you can get it back.

If the item isn’t something of sentimental value, say an old computer, then selling it would make more sense.

Items Potential to Gain Value

You should also consider if the item you’re using for cash will increase in value. For example, let’s say you have a nice watch with no sentimental value to you, but it might increase in value in the future.

In this case, pawning is the better option. You can use the watch several times to get loans when you need them; plus, as the item becomes more valuable, your loan potential increases.

But again, if the item is something that won’t be worth much in the future (such as old electronics), selling it will maximize the cash you earn.

Will Pawning or Selling Get You More Money?

Pawning an item gets you more money. See, pawn loans are less risky to pawnbrokers because they have a chance of getting their money back plus additional interest and fees.

In other words, there’s less of a chance that the pawnbroker will have to find a buyer for your item.

Once again, this makes pawning a better method for your more valuable items (watches, jewelry), as you’ll get quite a lot of cash.

But if you’re looking more to declutter your home and get some quick cash, selling would be the better route.

Whether you need an easy loan or some quick cash, Cash Express wants your items! Bring your items into our shop and we’ll get you the cash you need fast.

Posted by: AT 02:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 14 2020
Best Items to Pawn at a Pawn Shop

Thinking about pawning some items for fast cash?

Pawn shops accept a wide variety of items. The value of these items varies by the pawn shop’s location; however, some items will net you a high price at any pawn shop.

Pawn one of the following items at your local pawn shop to get the most money.

Precious Metals

Precious metal is a pawn shop favorite. Gold can get you a good price, but some precious metals pay even more.

Aside from being worth a lot, precious metals can increase in value over time. You may be able to obtain a lot of money from pawnbrokers by pawning your gold or silver.

Gems

Gems are another pawnbroker favorite. Diamonds in particular can make you a lot of money; in fact, they are one of the most common items purchase by pawnbrokers due to demand and scarcity.

Bring in the right diamond, and you could make a few thousand fast.

Tablets / Smartphones / Laptops

Tablets, smartphones, and laptops are the best electronic devices to pawn at a pawn shop. Smartphones and tablets can net you a few hundred dollars, while laptops can earn you even more.

Newer electronics that work well will make the most money for obvious reasons. However, selling your old electronics to pawn shops is a fast way to declutter your house and make a few bucks.

Power Tools

Blue collar working people often can’t afford brand new power tools (which can cost hundreds), so they often turn to pawn shops for affordable used models.

You could easily get $50 - $150 per power tool at a pawn shop. Make sure to check it’s condition and clean it before bringing it to your local pawn shop.

Firearms

Firearms hold their value quite well in pawn shops. If you have firearms you don’t use, pawning one can bring in an easy few hundred dollars.

A few things to do when pawning firearms:

  • Call ahead to ensure pawnbroker is licensed to buy firearms

  • Unload the firearm prior to bringing it in

  • Bring all legal paperwork

Collectible Coins / Currency

Collectible coins and currencies — such as silver dollars, proof sets, American Eagle coins, and unique paper money — tend to exceed their face value at pawnshops.

Dig through your pockets, coin jar, and other coin storage areas. There could be a lot of money sitting in these areas in the form of collectible coins/currencies.

Watches

Watches are valuable for the materials/labor/craftsmanship, but also for the psychological effect of a nice timepiece.

To snag the highest price, you need a valuable brand and proof of the watch’s authenticity. With the right paperwork to prove authenticity, luxury brands like Rolex or Ulysse can fetch at least $1,000, if not more.

Sporting Goods

Sporting goods are great items to pawn because they can be easier to part with. Chances are you have old snowboard, skateboard, gold clubs, bicycles, or other sporting goods you never use.

Bring these into a pawn shop; you could collect $100 per sporting good.

Do you need some quick cash? If you have any of the above items, bring them into the Cash Express pawn shop in Philadelphia. We’re looking forward to seeing you here!

Posted by: AT 12:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
 

Cash Express  • Philadelphia Pawn Shop

731 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 -  (215) 922-1560