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Thursday, April 18 2024
Pawn Shop Fashion Finds: How to Score Unique and Affordable Accessories


Many of us dream of owning high-end fashion accessories. Luxury watches, precious rings, gleaming necklaces, and other jewelry items are some of the fashionable pieces we dream of owning but may be unable to afford. Pawn shops offer gently used goods that bring these items within reach.

There are a few strategies to use when shopping that ensure you find the best deals on luxury items. Here are a few to be aware of.

Do Your Research

Research in advance to learn what items are worth. Get prepared so you know what constitutes fair pricing.

Shop Around

Some pawn shops may offer better prices than others. Shop around to find a pawn shop that provides fair pricing on the goods you have your eye on.

Ensure Your Item is Authentic

Licensed pawn shops understand the importance of buying and selling authentic items. However, there is always a chance that an item got under the radar.

When researching an item, find out the best way to determine its authenticity. For example, authentic items may have specific engravings and other characteristics.

Receipts and certificates of authenticity will also tell you if an item is real.

Consider the Condition of the Item

A pawn shop should never charge full retail value for a used item. The reduction from the full price will depend on the item’s condition. An item with signs of damage should be greatly reduced from its retail price.

The shop should fairly mark down the price considering the extent of damage. Ensure the item you’re buying is worth it. Don’t pay good money for something that doesn’t function properly or look its best.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

Most pawn shops are prepared for shoppers to negotiate. They may even mark up an item a bit to account for negotiations.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when negotiating:

·  Use Your Knowledge: Your research will help determine an item’s value, so you have a fair price in mind.

·  Be Respectful: Be respectful throughout the negotiation process to ensure you get a better deal. If you get upset or argumentative, the representative may be less likely to work with you.

·  Make a Fair Offer: You may pay more than your original offer, but your starting point should be fair and realistic. It will show the dealer that you know what you are doing and prevent them from getting upset if they feel you are trying to rip them off.

Shop at Locations You Trust

Reputable locations tend to offer fair prices and quality goods. Check out shops in your area to find ones with good reviews and a history of trusted service in your community. Consider their selection and the condition of the items they sell.

Cash Express is a pawn shop you can trust. We strive to provide luxury pieces at fair price points. We offer friendly, knowledgeable service.

Contact us for great deals on the items you dreamed of owning.

Posted by: AT 04:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, April 07 2024
Community Cornerstones: How Pawn Shops Support Local Economies and Communities


People have varying opinions of pawn shops, but most are aboveboard businesses that support their local economies and communities. They provide jobs, allow people to purchase items at a discount, and even offer loans. Read on to learn how they can be an asset to your neighborhood.

How Pawn Shops Support Local Communities

Pawn Shops Sell Discount Items

A pawn shop buys used items from sellers and sells them at discount prices. They allow people to profit from their items and purchase goods for less. Individuals with budgetary limitations can attain the items they need at a fraction of the cost.

Pawn Shops Offer Loans

Pawn shops also offer collateral loans. People bring in items in return for a cash loan. They repay the loan over time with interest. If they cannot repay the loan, the store keeps the item, but the unpaid amount will never reflect poorly on the individual’s credit report.

The system allows people with poor credit to secure loans without facing steep default penalties.

Creates Jobs

Like any business, pawn shops create jobs. They hire people to help in the shop. They also support other businesses so their employees can thrive.

Supports Other Businesses

Pawn shops can support other businesses in the area. They can help create a thriving shopping hub that becomes a neighborhood and tourist attraction. They may also rely on nearby businesses for deliveries, supplies, and food.

Pays Taxes

Pawn shops pay taxes that support the local community. They help fund police and fire services, education and health services, libraries, road maintenance, and other projects and programs.

Work With a Trusted Pawn Shop

Not all pawn shops are created equal. Ensure you are working with a pawn shop that supports your community by looking for the following characteristics.

·  Fair Loans: A trusted pawn shop will offer fair loans with reasonable interest rates and minimal fees.

·  Competitive Prices: Pawn shops should pay sellers fair prices for their items and sell them at competitive prices considering their retail value and condition.

·  Reviews and Recommendation: Check out a pawn shop’s online reviews to ensure they are reputable. Ask friends and relatives for pawn shop recommendations to find a business you are satisfied with.

·  Consider Reputation: Pawn shops that have been in business for a while will have developed a reputation for serving their community. The business should also have low staff turnover and management.

·  Licensing: A licensed pawn shop will abide by local laws and regulations. Customers will be protected from unfair business practices.

·  Insured: An insured pawn shop will reimburse you for items in their possession. It protects items that may become stolen or damaged.

Choose Cash Express

Cash Express is a trusted Philadelphia, PA pawn shop. Our expertise in antiques, diamonds, and precious metals ensures we offer and charge fair prices. We also provide cash loans for valuable items.

We are known for our friendly service. We help the community by offering low-cost upscale goods at affordable prices. We keep the economy moving.

Contact us to learn more about our terrific selection.

Posted by: AT 04:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 29 2024
How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay for Power Tools


Every year, more power tools appear that are specific to a season. Over time, some of those pieces of equipment drift into a corner unused. You could make money on them, but how much do pawn shops pay for power tools? 

Why do Pawnshops Buy Tools?

To understand how you may make money from your power tools, it helps to understand why pawnshops buy them in the first place. Remember that consumers always seek a dependable item at a reasonable price. With tools in high demand, pawnbrokers can sell durable, tested tools quickly. So it’s a win-win.

What do Pawn Shops Buy?

At Cash Express, we keep our eyes open for power instruments that are in good condition. This means the item works. Examples include:

  • Air guns

  • Cordless items

  • Pneumatic tools

  • Name brand pieces 

  • Sanders

  • Saws

  • Nail guns

  • Wrenches

  • Snap-on tools

And many more!

Power Tools: Final Pawn Value

When you bring a piece to our shop, we will give you an appraisal. How much we can pay depends heavily on the market. If it’s spring, you’re likely to get less for a snowblower than winter when people want to buy. So, sell your tools when they are in season. There are other considerations as well. 

The Impact of Branding

How much do pawn shops pay for power tools? It depends. There are brands in the world of tools that people respect for their durability and craftsmanship. Black & Decker, Bosch, Craftsman, Dewait, Stanly, Irwin, and Husky all have a solid following, and most hold their value for sales. At Cash Express, we often can’t keep these items in stock because they sell so fast.

What sets some companies apart from others? Sometimes preference, and other times reputation. Bosch Power Tools are great performers on which you can rely, for example. DeWalt products have long battery lives. 


Take the time to clean off and inspect your tools. A little shine goes a long way. Dust them off, make sure things are running as they should, and charge them up. The poorer the toot’s condition, the less you can get for it. 

Choosing Between Power Tools

Which item you choose to sell may depend on how much money you need. A table saw, for example, might yield $1,000, while your cordless drill will be under $200. It’s a good idea to do some research before selling. Know the value of your item so you have better grounds for negotiation. 

Ready to Sell? Come to Cash Express

Cash Express is a highly regarded broker in Philadelphia when you need quick cash. You can sell your tools outright or pawn them for a short-term loan. Our trained personnel will answer your questions so you fully understand your transaction. 

If you’d like to find out more, including whether we are looking to buy the tools you want to sell, you can use our online contact form. Even if we don’t want it right now, it’s possible to consider it again at a later date. 

You can also email us at, or call our office at 215-922-1560

Posted by: AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 14 2024
5 Highest Priced Items in a Pawn Shop

If you’re looking to pawn or sell, you may wonder what the 5 highest prices items are in a pawnshop. You’ve started looking through your things, and want to get as much as possible from your translation. To begin, there’s a basic rule we use in Cash Express: The greater the demand, the greater your return. Of course, the item itself must be evaluated for its retail value, too. 

Pawn or Buy?

Both pawning and buying get you quick cash. However, the foundation of the transaction is different. If you sell the item, it’s just like any other sale. But if you pawn your item, you get a percentage of its value and must pay back that money by a specific time.

We mention this because you could lose an item if you default on your pawn loan. With high-end items, that loss could be substantive. Similarly, even high-priced items at a pawn shop can have sentimental value. If you’re going to have regrets, pause and really think about this decision.

5 Highest Price Items in a Pawn Shop

The five highest-priced items in a pawn shop depend heavily on the storefront itself. Some stores specialize in things like antiques, for example. So, if you’ve got quality power tools, this probably isn’t the place to start. A little research into nearby stores will save you a ton of time.

If we take a broad overview of pawnshops, some trends appear in high-priced items, particularly those with provenance. 


  1. Jewelry. Quality jewelry, rare pieces, and items heavy in precious gems or metals are likely to have a price tag that takes your breath away. Included in this category are pins, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, filigree, statement pieces, and watches. One of the great things about jewelry is that distinct pieces rarely lose value, particularly if the item is in excellent condition. 

  2. Gems: Gems outside of jewelry also have significant value. They are like the jewelry category in maintaining value. Some of the most precious stones in the world include


  • Alexandrite

  • Black opal

  • Emerald

  • Jadeite 

  • Pearl

  • Red Beryl 

  • Red, pink, or blue diamonds

  • Ruby

  • Sapphire

  • Tanzanite

The only problem for pawnshop owners is that high-priced items take longer to sell unless they have a specific focus market.

  1. Firearms: Among the high-priced items in a pawnshop you will find firearms. Several types are highly collectible, including rare and limited edition guns. 

  2. Vehicles: Boats, collectors of cars (Ferrari), trucks (Hummer), antique bikes (Schwinn Great Ghost,) mountain bikes (Canyon line) - these all are of interest to pawn shops, provided they have room. 

  3. Rare Coins: Do you have a coin collection? Perhaps a jar full of change? Some of those coins could be valuable. Coins are usually made from precious metals, and some have historical value (or they are rare). 

Check-in With Cash Express

Whether you’re buying or selling, we can help you with high-priced items. If you’re shopping, you’ll find reasonable prices. We are experts in antiques, diamonds, jewelry, watches, and much more. 

You can use our online contact form, email us at, or call our office at 215-922-1560


Posted by: AT 04:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 26 2024
The Rise of Online Pawn Shops: Pros and Cons


We live in a society where you have lots of buying and selling options. There’s a store, a trade market, Facebook, and Craigslist. The question for many is about the stability of the E-universe exchange. Let’s look at the rise of online pawn shops: pros and cons. 


Pawn shops have come a long way from the seedy reputation they once held. There are numerous dependable pawn shops around the country, like Cash Express, with bright, approachable show floors and well-trained personnel. But not everyone wants to head to a storefront; some people can’t. 

The solution is surveying online pawn shops where, with a click of your phone, you can get a reply. You’ll know fairly quickly if the shop is interested in your item. If not, you haven’t driven around town hoping to find the right outlet

Online Pawn Shops: How They Work

As you might imagine, selling online is a little different from a face-to-face meeting. 

Selling to an Online Pawn Shop

The process begins by reaching out to the company. They will request clear images of the items you wish to sell. You’ll also need to provide detailed (did we mention DETAILED) descriptions of the item.

If you have any paperwork (provenance) that goes with it, take photographs of that, too. It proves ownership and, with more valuable pieces, history. At this point, the merchant provides an initial assessment, with final details to follow.

Next is where some people become uncomfortable. You have to mail in your goods for inspection and evaluation. The shop often pays for shipping and has insurance protecting your assets. They will then do a thorough evaluation and get back to you. 

There will be an offer, terms, conditions, and a contract detailing the amount. Now, just because it’s an online store doesn’t mean you can’t haggle. If you disagree with the amount, explain why. Once you’ve reached a final agreement and completed an electronic contract, you will receive your money through an accredited banking source.

But for the shipping, the process goes by quickly. Note that not all online pawnshops offer collateral for cash transactions. Sometimes, they’re only interested in selling, then re-selling. 

Buying at an Online Pawn Shop

The first thing you want to do before buying online is check to see if the place is reputable. Do they have any certifications? How do they back up the condition of their goods (and the value)? Are there 30-day warranties? 

Now the hard part, looking through the merchandise. You cannot see goods online the same way you can in person. If you are very interested in something, email and ask for more images if they haven’t already been supplied on the website. Compare the prices offered to similar retail products.

Should you decide to buy, there’s always the chance someone purchased it outright before you made an offer. If so, time to look at other possibilities. Once you’ve found what you want, get all the details on how mailing goes through. It should be traceable and fully insured. Again, this process takes more time than in-store shopping. 

Cash Express vs. Online Pawn Shops

First, just because a pawn shop is online doesn’t mean it has far more choices (let alone quality ones). If you look at the Cash Express gallery, it’s easy to see the diversity we offer. Second, when you are working with a brick-and-mortar business, you have someplace to return to, be it with questions, concerns, or as a repeat customer. 

If you’re looking to pawn, we are the top location in Philadelphia for quick cash. You do not have to wait to mail your item, get the appraisal, etc. Everything can happen in one day. If you’re looking to buy, you can experience everything hands-on, including jewelry and other items, one of which is sure to fit your budget. You walk out with your treasure!

To learn more you can reach out in three ways:

Our online contact form 

By email:,

or call our office at 215-922-1560

Better still, come for a visit: 731 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Posted by: AT 04:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, February 11 2024
Antique Hunting in Pawn Shops: Tips for Collectors


When you have some free time, window shopping at pawn shops can be fun. The diversity of items and how many catch your eye is astounding. You may even look at something you never thought was remotely valuable and gasp at the price tag. When you’re looking for unique items, try antique hunting in pawn shops: tips for collectors. Use the same tools as the pros!

Step One: What to Collect?

Maybe even back up one step further, “Why collect?” Sometimes, collections are unintentional (like someone mentioning they like elephants and friends start buying them). Other times, a person has an interest in one genre and sticks with that. And other folks still like to have a variety of intriguing items in their showcases.

What sort of things seem to hold their value and never go out of fashion?


  • Books, specifically first editions: A popular writer, a fantastic cover, and excellent condition. All these contribute to a book’s value. 

  • China sets & pieces: China becomes valuable, in part, because of its fragile nature. One oops, and you could lose thousands of dollars. The good news is sometimes the one-off item is favored over the whole collection.

  • Coins: Antique coins have a large following. The older, the better condition and the rarity add up to money. Coin collecting is not likely to go out of popularity any time soon. 

  • Depression glass: This is nice because it’s relatively affordable. 

  • Furniture: Antiques by Ark’s specializes in antique furniture. But show floor size is limited, so we have a discriminating eye for things that fit our overall ambiance. 

  • Paintings, big and small: Look for original art focused on topics people like and which have signatures. If there’s a story behind them, even better.

  • Stained glass: Stained glass windows without blemishes may surprise you in their value. The difficulty is keeping them safe from cracks and chips.

  • Tableware: That silver set lying untouched in a drawer could end up being quite valuable. Silver flatware with hallmarks on the back proves the piece is not silver-plated. Pick out a pattern and run with it.

  • Timepieces: Rare clocks fetch a pretty penny. Clocks and watches from a specific era, or those created in a recognizable style like Art Deco, often have unanticipated value. 

  • Vintage postcards: These evoke nostalgia. Again, this collection won’t break the bank, but you can find some older ones valued at $150 or more. 


An item must be 100 years old or older comes under the label of being antique, while younger pieces are vintage. 

On the Hunt for Pawn Shop Antiques

No matter what you seek, be it jewelry or milk jugs, there are some protocols to follow. You want to authenticate items and then negotiate their price accordingly. Perhaps the most important rule is self-education. Do your research before setting one foot outside your door. Take notes, and your cellphone if you want to go back to pertinent information.

Pawn Shops rely heavily on their reputation, so they work very hard to authenticate pieces. Nonetheless, knowing value is a big ace in your pocket. Your local antique shop may not have the expertise of a pawn shop’s appraiser. They certainly can’t offer as great a variety as the pawnbroker.

Cash Express and Antiques by Ark’s

Our company takes pride in having one-of-a-kind pieces from all over the world. We would love to help you find that special item to add to your collection. Give us a call to ask about certain collectibles (215-922-1560). You can also email us and use our online contact form. Even if we don’t have what you want now, we can be on look out and let you know.

Posted by: AT 04:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 26 2024
What Watches Are Best to Pawn?


When you’re short on money and hoping to pawn something to fill the gap, at first, it seems hard to choose. However, there are certain things most pawn shops always want, including quality watches. At Cash Express, we review watches when they come in and come up with an appraisal.

The Appraising Proces

The checklist for watches being considered for pawning goes something like this:

  1. Reputation: Brand matters. Well-known brands with a good reputation retain their value better than other watches. Think Omega, Rolex, and Tag Heuer, for example. If the piece is in good condition, the pawn value improves.

  2. Quality: Speaking of condition, if your watch works well and shows little signs of wear and tear, it’s great. If you have the box and original papers to prove provenance, the price it can fetch is even higher.

  3. Limited editions. At Cash Express, our appraisers consider the rarity of a piece. Watches with unique features are more desirable. Many antiques have that little extra something that makes them special.

  4. All that glitters: If your watch has gemstones (diamonds, rubies, sapphire, etc) or it was made with metals like platinum or gold, those features improve the value. Metals, for example, can be reviewed for current market value.

  5. Proper service and maintenance: If you have your records of maintenance on your watch, bring them with you. 

Then, of course, there’s market demand. Like fashion, one year, a specific watch will be a “hot” commodity, and another year not so much so. If you have a popular watch, it will help you at the pawn store.

What Does Your Broker Want?

It’s worth making a call to individual pawnshops to see what they’re currently buying. It will save you a lot of time. It’s also worth taking time to educate yourself about your watch so you get a feel for how it’s selling elsewhere.

As an aside, you do not have to sell your watch out-right. Rather, you can use it for collateral to help with short-term financial struggles and pay it back over the allotted time. There are no special credit checks, making things go much more quickly.

Examples of Popular Watches for Pawning

  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: This watch falls into the luxury sports category. It’s become iconic.

  • Breitling Navitimer: The legendary design of the Breitling has an aviation inspiration (chronographs). It’s considered a watch that lasts. 

  • Omega Speedmaster Professional: Omega became a star when it was the first watch worn on the moon. Its historical importance makes an impact on buyers.

  • Patek Philippe Nautilus: If you’re looking for amazing craftsmanship, Patek Philippe never fails. The Nautilus is elegant and sophisticated and has a porthole shape for those who love the high seas!

  • Rolex Submariner: In the world of watches, Rolex is a name everyone recognizes. It was built to last, with a timeless design.

  • TAG Heuer Carrera: This is another sporty watch, with ties to motorsports. The basic design is a classic.

About Cash Express

There is a reason that Cash Express is the number one pawnbroker in Philadelphia. One of our specialties is high-end watches. We have an online contact form you can fill out to find out if your property is something we’re looking for right now (saves you a trip). You can also email us at, or call our office at 215-922-1560.

We look forward to serving you.

Posted by: AT 12:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 10 2024
Can you Sell Clothing to Pawn Shops, and How to do so successfully?

There is no definitive answer, as if you can sell clothing to pawn shops. Some places won’t even look at clothing because it takes up a lot of inventory room. Plus, the condition of clothing must be prime, and, if possible, a name brand.


At Cash Express, our experience indicates that, unlike jewelry and tools, clothes can take a long time to sell. Clothing styles change in the blink of an eye. Assessing clothing also proves challenging based on wear and tear.


Don’t be wholly discouraged. You can sell clothing to some pawn shops successfully. In some instances, it can be a great way to clean out your closet and get some extra cash.

What Pawn Shops Don’t Want in Clothing. 

In order to sell clothing to pawn shops successfully, it helps to know some of the key reasons the establishment might say “no.”


  1. Very specific sizes or styles. These have limited resale value. 

  2. Condition. While you might think a piece looks great, pawnbrokers have keen eyes. They look for seam issues, stains, and other signs of heavy use to determine whether they’ll buy an item.

  3. Seasonal Items: Pawnbrokers will rarely buy winter items in spring. The demand is low. So sort your items by season before you try to sell.

  4. Knockoffs: When you’re selling high-end, designer pieces, there’s always caution. The shop needs to authenticate the piece and make sure it’s not counterfeit. If you have any documents supporting the validity of the clothing, bring them. Providence at Cash Express matters and can increase the value of your item.

  5. Space constraints: Pawn shops won’t usually just grab up a bundle of pieces. They opt for items that, in their experience, will sell well (and quickly).

  6. Clothing types: Pawn shops are on the lookout for designer pieces. But like any other piece, they review the clothing’s condition and then consider it based on their target market. 

How to Sell Clothing to Pawn Shops Successfully

So what DO pawn shops accept in the way of clothing based on their target market? 


  1. Gently used pieces

  2. Designer Clothing

  3. High-end wardrobe accessories


Look at your clothing with a discerning eye. Think like another person might if they were looking at the item. If you can put yourself in those shoes, you make better choices about what to pawn. 

Pawning vs. Selling

The only real reason to pawn your clothing is if you don’t mind not having the item for a while and you’re looking for fast cash that you can repay in a specific amount of time. With your wardrobe, outright selling might be the best idea. The only downfall here is that you may receive a lower amount than pawning. 

Tip: Avoid pawning or selling items with sentimental value. You may regret this decision in the future.

Contacting Cash Express

If you are uncertain whether or not we are taking specific items, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can give you our requirements and let you know if we might be interested in seeing the piece(s). Our telephone number is 215-922-1560. 

You can also email us at or use our online contact form to find out if your property is something we’re looking for right now or to ask questions. Our trained staff is ready and happy to be of service.


Posted by: AT 04:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, December 27 2023
What Can I Pawn for $500?


In a review of Cash Express’ history, one of the most common goals is raising $500. Before you start looking through your goods, remember that you can bring more than one item to reach your $500 goal. Sometimes, that bundle is much easier to assemble vs. finding one BIG item. 


When you think about pawning, there are a couple of important matters to know. For one, not all stores take all goods. Try to find an outlet that’s a “one-stop shop” instead of having to run around. If you’re not sure, call ahead and see if the shop is looking for items like those you currently have. 


Here is a list of potential items pawnshops accept:


  • Antiques: A painting, chair, unusual lamp, coins, carvings, and more. Look at Antiques by Ark’s for ideas.

  • Cards: Older decks and card games with all their components may move you toward that $500 goal.

  • Clothing and Handbags (designer). People find the most amazing pieces in a hope chest, attic, or the back of their closets. The key in this category is authentication since there are many knock-offs.

  • Comic Books: collecting comic books can turn into a lucrative venture. The items in their original sleeve and without blemish are the real gems. If you have any priced at 12c, 15c, 20c, or 25c, it’s a good bet you’ll get a solid offer. 

  • Electronics. Items like smartphones, TVs, computers, digital cameras, and gaming systems are usually “hot” items as long as they are in good working condition. 

  • Furniture: You’ll need a pawnshop with a showroom (usually) to sell these items. Your best bet is to take a picture and share it with the shop. Note: If it smells or has obvious stains, you will get less. One popular era is mid-century modern. 

  • Musical instruments. In areas with schools, students (or their parents) always look for affordable instruments. Things like guitars, violins, flutes, and drums can fetch a pretty penny. Don’t forget microphones and speakers.

  • Power tools: Do you have a set of Craftsman tools lying around? They’re worth the money. Combine them with a few other carefully used tools, and you’re heading toward $500.

  • Precious jewelry made from silver, gold, and platinum. Look through bracelets, rings, and necklaces.

  • Sports gear: Not skiing anymore? Are you tired of snowboarding? What about paintball guns, golf equipment, or camping equipment? All of these bring a fair value when pawning. 

  • Vehicles: If your car, motorcycle, mountain bike, or boat is in good condition and you have a clear title (no loans), a vehicle can raise more than $500 easily.

About Cash Express

Our specialization is providing loans on jewelry, watches, precious metals, and gems. You can see some of our selection here, at our showroom.

Our staff is well trained and service-oriented. We have appraisers on-site for things like gems, rings, and designer items. This and our amazing selection make us the #1 pawn shop in Philadelphia. Email us for information, or call (215) 922-1560.

Posted by: AT 04:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, December 14 2023
What to Watch Out for if Purchasing a Musical Instrument From a Pawn Shop


Thinking about purchasing a musical instrument from a local ​pawnshop? At Cash Express, we have people coming in regularly seeking a good instrument at a reasonable price. When you shop, there are things to watch out for so you can make the best deal possible. 


  • Wear and tear: You want intact parts and functionality. Inspect the piece for signs of poor maintenance or damage. Cracks, dents, warps, sticking keys, dirt, grime, and loose strings can all prove problematic. They may require further maintenance outside the store to resolve. 

  • Rusting: If the instrument you’re considering has metal components (like woodwinds), inspect for signs of corrosion. Such parts reveal either poor maintenance or exposure to harsh (or damp) conditions and may affect the instrument's performance and longevity.

  • Branding: There are certain high-value instruments, so of course, you’ll come across counterfeit ones. See if the instrument has any history (proof of provenance) or a maker's mark. If you have a specific item in mind, research it beforehand. If you’re at the store and unsure, ask if you can bring in an expert for inspection.

  • Market Value: We have a gallery of products you can look at before coming to the store. Our pricing for instruments depends on the brand, age, rarity, and condition. You can compare prices online to see if you’re being offered a reasonable deal. If not, negotiate.

  • Smells: Nasty smells may indicate mold or mildew, either of which can damage an instrument. 

  • Store Returns: Does the pawnshop have a policy about returning something within a set amount of time should you discover a big problem? This protects you from having to spend large sums on repairs.

  • Legal Ownership: Ask for the original pawn ticket (or bill of sale). This proves the shop legally owns the piece, meaning it has the right to sell it.

  • Personal Assessment: Not all instruments are for all people. A violin, for example, may feel great for one player while someone else isn’t so thrilled. A lot of this is personal taste and an understanding of sound quality. Also, sound can indicate a problem, like buzzing.

Your evaluation is essential. If the piece needs considerable restoration, that’s a point for negotiation (what will you have to pay for repair after purchase?).

By the way, if you have any items you want to pawn (sell), you can use that value toward your purchase. Start there so you know how much you have in ready cash. 

About Cash Express

In the pawnshop industry, reputation matters. The positive feedback we consistently get from our customers is one of the reasons we’re the #1 pawnshop in the Philadelphia region. When you come to our shop, you can expect friendly, knowledgeable staff who are happy to answer your questions. More importantly, we strive for satisfaction. There is no hurry to jump into a purchase if you’re uncertain. 

There are three ways you can get in touch with us for further information:

Phone: (215) 922-1560


Online Contact Form

Posted by: AT 04:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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Cash Express  • Philadelphia Pawn Shop

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