How do Pawnbrokers work
There are two choices. One is to leave something valuable as security for a loan, for example jewellery or an antique, or secondly sell the item to the pawnbroker.
Pawn shops open on Sunday will lend money quickly without credit checks and charge higher rates of interest than regular high street banks. Your valuable item is known as pawn.
Pawn shops open on Sunday will value the item for you and then give a pre-contract information document which gives details of the terms of credit agreement. You will consider this and if you wish to proceed you sign the credit agreement which gives details of the time period you have to pay back the loan. The maximum is usually seven months, but it can be a period of days, or 30-90 days.
The pawn broker will always give a receipt which will prove that you own the item. There is a 14-day cooling off period, within which you can withdraw from the agreement.
When you have repaid the loan you get your item back. But if you don’t repay the loan after the agreed period the pawnbroker can sell it to recover the cash. It is possible to extend the loan, once you have paid back the accrued interest.
Always use a pawn shop open on Sunday that is a member of the National Pawnbrokers’ Association (NPA), which has a code of conduct for members.
Visit the National Pawnbroker’s Association’s website
Payment details for Pawn shops open on Sunday
You will pay a pawnbroker a rate of interest that is higher than a high street bank loan, but often lower than a payday lender. A pawn shop open on Sunday won’t charge more for it being open on a Sunday.
There will be a monthly interest rate and the pawnbroker must also show you an APR or annual percentage rate. Shop around to find the most competitive rate of interest, which can be anything from between 5-12% a month. If however you need a pawnbroker open on Sunday, then you may not be able to get the best rates with limited pawnbrokers open on Sunday.
You can normally pay all you owe back at the end of the term, rather than in regular instalments. You should also be able to pay back part or all of your loan early.
If you need more time to repay, the pawnbroker could offer to extend the term, this will involve drawing up a new credit agreement. Pawnbrokers can refuse to do this. They will normally only consider letting you borrow an extended term if you have at the very least paid back the interest you owe already.
Items suitable to pawn
Anything, you can pawn anything of value that can be re-sold. For example, jewellery is the most popular item to pawn. Items can range from cars to watches, designer handbags to boats, paintings to antiques.
Why are Pawn shops open on Sunday popular
- There are no credit checks carried out, which is good for people with poor credit ratings.
- It’s quick and convenient.
- Money is normally available the same day you sign your agreement.
- Items can be redeemed at any time.
- Interest is only charged for the period you have borrowed the money.
The downsides to Pawn shops open on Sunday
- An expensive way to borrow.
- You can usually only borrow a percentage of the value of the item you want to pawn. So if, for example, you have a watch worth £500, you may only borrow £350.
- If you do not repay your loan the pawnbroker will sell your item (after giving you notice). If they can’t sell it for enough money to pay off the loan in full you will have to repay the remaining debt. So you will lose the item and still owe the pawnbroker money.
- The item you pawn can be sold for less than the real value and possibly less than you could have sold it for yourself.
What to do if you can’t pay them back
If you cannot repay your loan by the deadline and you do not want your item to be sold you need to ask the pawnbroker to extend the deadline, but they are not obliged to.
If you borrowed less than £75 and you cannot repay the loan, the item will belong to the pawnbroker.
If you borrowed more than £75, the pawnbroker can sell it but it still belongs to you.
If the loan is for over £100 the pawnbroker has to tell you in advance that they are going to sell it. This gives you a chance to pay them and get your goods back.
It doesn’t happen very often, but if the sale raises more money than you owe, you will lose the item but the pawnbroker must give you any money left over, although you have to ask for it.
For items less than £75 you can get a ‘standard form’ from the pawnbroker which you sign to say the property is yours. Remember the pawnbroker does not have to give you this.
If you borrowed more than £75 or if the pawnbroker will not issue a standard form, then you need to legally swear that the goods are yours by going to a magistrate or a Commissioner for Oaths, or a Justice of the Peace if you live in Scotland. You can also go to a solicitor, but they are likely to charge a fee for this. Otherwise the pawnbroker does not have to give you your property back.
What to do if you feel they have been unfair
Make sure you know the value of the item before you pawn it, that way you have evidence if you feel the pawnbroker has sold it for less than it was worth.
First complain to the pawnbroker in writing, you can use evidence such as newspaper clippings or written quotes to back up your claim.
You can take a pawnbroker to the Small Claims Court but there are fees to pay and there is always a risk that the settlement reached may not be what you want.
History of Pawnbrokers
Pawnbrokers have been the ones to rescue people from their financial straits long before bank loans became the norm. Though there are records found of the Chinese securing loans against property from pawnbrokers as far long back as two thousand years ago, the practice to Britain only after the Norman conquest. Pawnbroking became important since the Middle Ages. In spite of the law against usury, the Catholic Church allowed pawnbrokers to operate in order to help the poor. But it only took off in earnest after the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. Of course, a pawnbroker open on Sunday in the old days would not be found.
It was only in 1785 that the pawn shop industry began to be regulated. When numerous pawn shops sprang up all over the country, many of them began to indulge in shady deals with thieves and robbers and served as a fence for stolen goods. To combat this menace, the authorities set up a national commission to regulate these shops. But it was only with Pawnbrokers Act of 1878 that there was a structure to the regulation.
Famous people who pawned their jewellery to finance their projects include King Edward III of England and Queen Isabella of Castile and León (the Catholic Queen). The patron saint of pawnbrokers is none other than Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas.
What can be pawned?
Very often when one is in need of money, the idea of pawning something comes to the mind. But what exactly would be a suitable item that could be pawned? Anything that has a resale value can be pawned. Most people prefer to pawn expensive items these days because nowadays one rarely goes to the pawn shop open on Sunday with the dining cutlery or the bed linen. These things have very little value in today’s world and hence not pawn-worthy.
Jewellery: One of the most trade items in a pawn shop is jewellery. Gold, diamond, silver, platinum, and any other expensive metal will fetch a pretty price at a pawnshop. The heavier the metal, the more the money offered.
Electronic items: There is a good demand for electronic items and they fetch a decent amount in loan amount. Items such as televisions, laptops, printers, scanners, mobile phones, iPod, iPad, cameras, X-Box, Playstation, etc. are all items that a pawnshop would be willing to take in. Keep in mind that electronic items older than two years old are not generally accepted. The newer the article, the more money it can fetch.
Power tools: Machine hand tools such as drill, saws, and other small household tools are taken by the pawnshop. Their good working condition is a pre-requisite for the transaction. Branded tools from well-known companies have a better chance of being accepted. Large industrial tools are less common, but they are accepted by some shops.
Clothes: Believe it or not, there are some articles of clothing that are still accepted by pawnbrokers. Very few pawnshops deal with clothes, but those who do often stick to leather clothing or accessories, genuine fur clothing, and similar items that have a high monetary value.
Musical instruments: Musical instruments are very popular among pawnbrokers. Guitars and drums are the most popular instruments, but flutes, violins, trumpets, and other instruments are also accepted. Both electronic and acoustic instruments are taken in these shops, provided they are in good working condition.
Collectibles: Last, but not the least, pawnshops are a repository of all kinds of collectible items. Paintings, guns, coins, stamps, sports memorabilia, autographed items, taxidermy, old dolls, etc. are all articles that might interest a pawnbroker. Of course, not all pawnshops would take in all these articles, but since they have a market value, one can easily find a shop that would take them as guarantee against money.
Books: Pawn shops accept books provided they are rare editions or antiques. Rare and unique collections of comic books and first edition books can also be pawned. If the books are graded by an authorised entity, then they will obviously fetch more.
Can you do business with a pawn shop open on Sunday? Many pawnbrokers these days have an online presence – that is, they have a website giving information about their location and services. Pawnbrokers will almost always refuse to accept property for cash online. It is important that they look at the articles and assess their value, sometimes by a specialist either working in-house or by an outside competent authority. This will ensure that the cash they pay is worth the property it is secured against.
On the other hand, many pawnbrokers sell online. It depends on shop to shop, but while most shops prefer not to do any transaction at all online, some do list items for sale on their website. But for the casual buyer, it is much more fun to go and browse around a pawnshop and see what is available than merely shopping online, so this is not necessarily a drawback.
Buying things from a pawnshop
Pawnshops are not just for selling things in times of crisis. They are also great places to find good bargains. Whether you are looking for a specific item or merely browsing around for something interesting, it is a wonderful way to spend time at a pawn shop open on Sunday.
From old, out of print DVDs to rare old books, special stamps and unique coins to old photographs, as well as more useful and practical items like electronics and sports equipment, a pawnshop can have it. However, it is advisable to get some of the articles like jewellery and electronic items assessed and checked before purchase.
Most pawnshops have a no cash return policy and will not reimburse you in case you change your mind. But many of them will give store credit so that something else can be purchased instead.
There is not much documentation required at a pawnshop in order to pawn personal property. Unlike with a bank loan, pawnshops are not bothered by bad credit and don’t require a guarantor. Because it is a loan against property, they do not have to worry about money being returned. In case it is not returned, they will simply put the items on sale after the expiry date of the contract period.
However, pawnbrokers will want to have detailed information about the product you are giving as guarantee. This is to ensure that they know the product is legitimate and not stolen. Apart from this, they will also require you to produce a government issued identification.
Overall, it is now realised by the public at large that visiting a pawnbroker and obtaining cash in return for property owned is a viable alternative to taking a bank loan or payday loan. Pawn shops are very customer-friendly and will work on a more informal basis than banks and financial institutions, where there is too much red tape. With pawn brokers, there is also no risk of actual debt. It is a great method of obtaining quick cash!