With today’s economy-every business, whether it be a grocery store or a home center, have reduced prices in order to get the consumer to come through the door and spend their hard-earned money.
For DIY types, this is a good time to shop for tools & equipment, especially if you have a project in mind. Pawn Shops, should be at the top of your list.
The reason I say this, is because the economy has hit the housing market so hard in the past few years. Contractors purchase and collect any number of tools and equipment as they grow their companies. When things get tough, their first stop is the pawn shop. Skillsaw’s, table saws, cordless drills, routers, ladders of all types, air compressors and nail guns, amongst many other items.
If a contractor can’t afford to get the tool out of pawn, it goes on sale. And at a very reasonable price, I might add. In the past, I have purchased an air compressor, finish nail guns, and an assortment of hand tools, for less than half the price of new.
A small air compressor and a set of finish nail guns that I purchased at a pawn shop nearly ten years ago, are still in my collection.
When buying tools at a pawn shop, I always look to see if it has the box it came in and the manual. The reason the box is important, is because a lot of tools, such as routers or jigsaws, come with accessories.
The next thing I check for, is the operating manual. It’s always handy to have, if your not exactly sure how the tool works, or how to use the attachments. Plus, you want to know what accessories it comes with, a parts list in case of repairs, etc. In most cases, if the tool doesn’t come with a manual, they can usually be downloaded online from the manufacturer.
I also take time to play around with the tool for a bit, see if all the pieces are present and working and make the clerk plug it in. Another reason for doing this, is to listen for unusual sounds, such as bearing or gear noise, indicating the tool may need repair.
In all cases, I never buy a tool on first blush. I always record the model number, amps, volts and other data, then go back home and do some research on Google.
I search for the age of the product, whether parts are still available and it’s cost new vs used. Google is also good for searching out consumer reviews on a lot of tools, so I make use of this as well.
Once I’ve done my research, I will know approx. what I want to pay for it, but I never pay full asking price at the Pawn Shop. Just like we used to haggle price with car dealers years ago, I tend to haggle price with the Pawn Shop. Especially in this economy, Pawn Shops just like other retailers, want to make sales, so don’t be afraid to talk turkey!
Following is an example:
This past Christmas, my favorite old Sony video camera went kaput. I didn’t want to spend a $180.00 to repair it, and sure didn’t want to spend $400.00 or more to replace it. My wife visited several pawn shops and found one like it for $80.00. After a few minutes, she had haggled the price down to $40.00 bucks!
Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of my old camera, it works just fine and has produced the same quality of video, as I had before.
As for above mentioned small air compressor and finish nail guns, that I bought years ago. Originally priced at $150.00 for the whole set, I got them for a $125.00 with a bit of negotiation.
So don’t be afraid to buy a tool from the Pawn Shop. Do some research, find out what it is worth used, then make an offer. With today’s economy, the pawn shops are just as anxious to get you in the door, as a restaurant.
One word of caution…When you buy from a Pawn Shop, there are no returns and no warranties. You are buying as-is, so do your homework first. If your only using the tool for a short time, you can always sell it on Ebay or on Craigslist.