When the mood strikes to gift a loved one, or you want to treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry, you have several options. You could head to your local jewelry shop. You could visit the national chain jewelry shops in the mall. Or you could shop for used jewelry at a pawn shop. But where will you find the most unique selection? Which retailer will give you the best deal? What are the benefits of shopping from a local pawn shop? Read on to learn more about buying jewelry at a pawn shop vs a jewelry store.

Pawn Shop vs. Jewelry Store: How the Pricing Compares

Price is one of the most significant differences you’ll find when comparing a pawn shop vs. a jewelry shop. Pawn shops will typically offer savings of 30%-40% off the traditional jewelry retailer price. Why is jewelry cheaper at a pawn shop?

  • Shop typically has lower overhead, so doesn’t need to make the same profit
  • Shop typically purchased the jewelry from a member of the community at a lower price so they can pass the savings on to you
  • Pawn shops will adjust the price based on current prices of precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum
  • Inventory is acquired locally, so pawn shops don’t have to pay for shipping, freight, fuel charges
  • Negotiation is welcome at a pawn shop, so you’re free to haggle over price, which is rarely allowed at a traditional jewelry shop. 

For example, say you find an engagement ring at a jewelry store that you think your future spouse will love. The sales price at the local jewelry store is $5,000. You are highly likely to find a comparable ring (gemstone, size, precious metal all being similar) at a pawn shop for closer to $3,500, representing a 30% discount. 

Jewelry Selection: What You’ll Find at a Pawn Shop vs. Jewelry Store

When you visit a jewelry store at the mall for example, you will see the styles of jewelry that have been deemed popular or trendy. The store will have purchased multiple pieces of the same style of jewelry, as they often do their buying in bulk a few times per year.

Pawn shops acquire their jewelry by buying it from the local community. This means that there is often a wider variety of styles, materials, and sizes of jewelry. It also means that the inventory is constantly changing. It’s unlikely that you’ll visit a pawn shop one month and return the next to find the exact same inventory. 

Some pawn shops also tend to focus on designer jewelry. For example, you may have your heart set on a Tiffany necklace, which you may very well find at a pawn shop. However, only authorized retail jewelry locations, under license can sell new Tiffany & Co. jewelry. As resale stores, pawn shops are not restricted in the designers they may sell. 

Environmental Footprint: Pawn Shops are Greener than Jewelry Stores

People are often surprised to learn that pawnshops are far more friendly to the environment than a traditional retailer. This can be traced to:

  • Smaller storefront, requiring less heating, electricity, etc.
  • Items purchased from community do not need to be wrapped in wasteful paper, boxes, or other packaging materials
  • Jewelry does not need to be shipped on cargo boats or planes which use a lot of fuel
  • Jewelry from a pawn shop is second-hand, so no new mining for precious metals and gems is required.

If you’re looking to gift an environmentalist with jewelry, a pawn shop is a far more eco-conscious option than a traditional jewelry store.

Jewelry Store Chains vs. Pawn Shops: Local Community Impact

Pawn shops are often owned and operated by a member of the local community. They buy their inventory from the local community, and they extend loans to people in tight financial spots in the local community. Not only do they pay local business taxes, but the owners likely pay local personal and property taxes. Essentially, all tax revenue, purchases, and sales occur within the local community. Note, independently owned, local jewelry stores are likely to provide a similar local community impact. 

However jewelry store chains are likely owned by a corporation that may be located anywhere. This means that the community isn’t benefitting from the same local tax revenue. They also won’t buy jewelry from the community or extend loans on jewelry. National retail chains also don’t typically support small business owners. 

Selling Jewelry: What to Expect from a Jewelry Store vs a Pawn Shop

If you need to sell your jewelry, you’ll also find key differences between how pawn shops buy jewelry and how traditional stores buy jewelry. The first major difference is that many jewelry stores do not buy jewelry. For example, you cannot take a gold chain to a jewelry store at a mall and expect to sell it. You may be able to sell it to an independent jewelry store.

By contrast, pawn shops will consider buying all kinds of jewelry ranging from gold chains to designer watches, and high-end engagement rings. You’re also welcome to negotiate for the best possible price. 

Finally, if you have jewelry that you don’t want to part with, but you need a little financial help temporarily, pawn shops will extend pawn loans on jewelry, so that you get the money you need, without giving up ownership of your jewelry. 

Premium Jewelry at Discounted Prices Near Seal Beach and Huntington Beach

At Westminster Pawn near Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, our small business buys and sells jewelry at incredible prices Monday – Saturday. As a local business, we buy, sell, and lend on designer jewelry, vintage jewelry, and gold and silver bullion. At our top-reviewed Orange County pawn shop, we pride ourselves on excellent service, the best prices and selection in the area, and serving our friends and neighbors. The next time you’re shopping for jewelry, visit us at 7095 Westminster Blvd. To learn more, or to ask a question, feel free to  message us or call 714-893-0555.