While many people may not think of a trip to the local Pawn Shop as exciting, these shops are a goldmine for the treasure hunter in all of us. Pawn shops have been around for thousands of years, the first shops originating in China. Their original purpose was, and remains, a way for people to turn their possessions into cash either by selling them outright, or " Pawning" them. This means getting a loan based on the value of the item.


This is where it gets interesting. A Pawn Shop is the ultimate treasure hunt for the practical minded as well as the collector of the rare and the unusual, because the way these shops acquire their inventory is unique in the retail world. People bring in goods either to sell, or to borrow money against and the pawn shop owner either takes possession of the item if the loan is not paid, or buys the item outright. This opens the door to just about anything you can imagine, from the ordinary to the rare and extraordinary. Christopher Columbus' journey to the new World is said to have been backed by Queen Isabella's Crown Jewels which were used as collateral, and while it is unlikely you will find them in a local shop, there are many other hidden treasures.


The most common items found in Pawn Shops are home electronics, appliances, personal electronics and car audio. Jewelry is also one of the most common items bought , sold and traded in these shops. The values can range from inexpensive, to antique to the very high end. Gold and silver are other commodities that Pawn Shops buy and sell.


Love amateur radios? Rare china and glass? Look no further for a variety of antiques; home made kits and everything in between. Collect a particular style of jewelry? Again-you never know what is in the local pawn shop and that is what sets this apart from the typical shopping venture. Guns, rifles, shotguns and hunting equipment are also part of the typical Pawn Shop inventory.


While there are some great deals to be had, remember that these are all used items and probably do not have a warranty. A successful shopper is one who knows his or her values. Because pawn  shop owners have to buy articles they can sell at a profit, they scrutinize their inventory carefully before they put anything out for sale.


So, how much is that diamond in the window? Aside from the variety, Pawn Shops offer the bargain hunter the opportunity to buy at very competitive prices. Dealers are interested in a fast turn around, so they buy their merchandise at the right price so they can offer it to their customers at a low price and still earn a profit. It is up to you to do your research on a specific item to know if the price the shop is asking is fair, and don't be hesitant to negotiate. Pawn shops are fair and reasonable, but also flexible. Negotiating for the best price is part of  what makes shopping at a Pawn Shop exciting.


Finding a good shop is relatively easy, especially if you have access to the internet.

One good example is Metro Pawn and Gun, located at 7529 Lyndale Avenue South, Richfield MN 55423. You can call them at 612-861-2727. We have the  perfect place to begin what could be the most exciting treasure hunt of your life.

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