From bhatche–(at)– Fri Jul 18 10:47:57 CDT 1997
Article: 181515 of alt.guitar
From: Bill Hatcher
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
Subject: Re: Are Pawn Shops Rippoffs?
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 10:32:00 -0500
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> Alex Tobias wrote in article
> <5qlan5$d6--(at)>…
> > Guys, I’m I the only one that noticed that prices for used gear in
> > pawn shops are like way out of line?
> >
> > Are these places major rippoffs or what?

Pawnshops are great places to find bargains. There are several things
I do that work ALL the time. First of all don’t ever walk in the door
of a pawnshop and exclaim how high the prices are. These guys are used
to dealing with jerks that do that. Be VERY courteous and strike up
some kind of communication with the salesman. Look and ALL the
guitars and amps. Tell them they have some nice stuff. If you see the
guitar you want, don’t zero in on it! Get a price on a instrument you
don’t want first and see how they will deal with you. See if there is
a code on the tag. The code for Cash America Pawnshops is “Mary
Louise”. M=1 A=2 R=3 etc. If you see the letters AYOEE on the tag,
that means they have $246.00 in the guitar. You will have make an
offer above this. Ask the salesman to please make you his absolute
best price on the unit. Don’t insult him if it is not what you want.
Be willing to walk and come back in a week. These guys want to turn
over gear that has been in for 90 days or more.

Pawnshop owners are a lot more savvy than they were 20 or 30 years
ago. They have the Orion bluebooks that list used prices and they
ALWAYS call the local music stores to see what thing are going for.
What they usually don’t know are things like the different values for
things like Mex Stats vs. USA Strats. All they see is the word
“Stratocaster” on the head. They will price them all the same.
Gibson on a headstock will always be priced high no matter what the
instrument model.

Some pawnshop bargains I have found in the last few years– 63 P Bass
for $125. 64 Vibrolux Reverb $100. Pearl brass pic snare w stand $90.
MANY more.

Regards. Bill


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