What Can I Pawn for $500? Here’s 16 Easy Items

by Rebekah Pierce

Updated

When you need some quick cash, it can be tempting to pawn some of your belongings. But what can I pawn for $500 dollars?

Here are 16 easy items that you can use to get the money you need. Whether you’re looking to sell some jewelry or a TV, there are lots of things to pawn for $500.

So, what are you waiting for? Start pawning today!

What to Know About Selling to a Pawn Shop

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Before you sell your unwanted jewelry, electronics or other items to a pawn shop, it’s important to understand the pawnbroking process and how to sell to a pawn shop.

Pawn shops are in the business of loaning money on collateral, which is typically items of value that can be easily sold if the borrower does not repay the loan.

Pawn shops are interested in buying items that they believe they can sell for a profit.

This means that they’re usually not interested in things like clothes or kitchen appliances. (Check out these best places to sell used appliances instead).

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They tend to focus on items like jewelry, electronics, and musical instruments. Pawn shops are also a top place to buy and sell antiques.

That’s not to say that you can’t make any money by selling or pawning those items – merely that you’re less likely to get a lot of money for those items than you are for high-dollar amounts.

To get an idea of how much you can expect to receive for your items, research pawn shop prices online or ask around for estimates.

When you’re ready to pawn stuff for $500, take your items to a few different pawn shops and compare offers.

Be sure to bring along any documentation that will help prove the item’s value, such as receipts, owner’s manuals or appraisals.

How much can I get when selling to a pawn shop?

When negotiating with a pawnbroker, keep in mind that they will likely offer you less than the item is worth so they can make a profit if they need to sell it.

Remember that pawn shops are not charities. They’re in business to make money, so don’t expect them to give you top dollar for your items.

With that in mind, don’t be afraid to haggle a bit to get the best possible price, especially if you have a clear idea of what you want to get out of the sale of an item.

There are a few different ways to research the value of an item. One option is to check online auction sites to see if similar items have sold recently.

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Another option is to visit pawn shops in your area and ask about the value of your item. How much pawn shops pay depend on a few factors, but it usually ranges from 7-35% of the original retail price.

Finally, you can consult with a professional appraiser, which I would recommend if you’re learning how to sell silver or something else of value.

Once you have a general idea of the value of your item, you will be able to negotiate with a pawn shop for the best price.

1. Video Games

A lot of people don’t realize it, but selling video games to a pawn shop is a good way to make some money fast.

Do your research. Find out what similar games are selling for at other pawn shops or online. This will give you a good starting point for negotiating with the pawn shop owner.

Bring in everything that’s included. The more complete the package is, the more likely the pawn shop owner will be willing to pay top dollar. Unsurprisingly, buying and selling video games is a popular side hustle these days.

Make sure to include things like instruction manuals, original packaging, and any accessories that came with the game.

Trend on the Rise

Not all video games will sell for $500 but some, like Nintendo World Championships, are worth a lot of money because they are incredibly rare. Other good options to consider selling are Tetris, Pac-Man, and Atari games.

2. Watches

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Whether you have an heirloom piece that you no longer wear or a modern watch that you’ve grown tired of, pawn shops are always in the market for new merchandise.

When selling your watch to a pawn shop, it’s important to do your research ahead of time.

Many pawn shops will give you a lowball offer if they think you’re inexperienced, so it’s crucial to know the fair market value of your watch before heading in.

Once you have a good idea of what your watch is worth, start by visiting a few different pawn shops in your area to get a feel for their offers.

3. Baseball Cards

Before you start, it’s important to get an idea of what kinds of baseball cards are worth selling.

Pawn shops are usually most interested in cards that are valuable due to their age, condition, or the rarity of the player.

Older cards from the 1950s and 1960s are generally more valuable than newer ones, as are cards in mint condition. There’s a growing number of collectors today who focus on selling baseball cards exclusively.

However, even a beat-up old card can be valuable if it features a rare or sought-after player.

Trend on the Rise

Though they fell out of popularity for some time, the sales and trading of baseball cards is slowly making a comeback. 2020 was a record-breaking year and the sports card market was totally flipped on its head when the MLB awarded Fanatics the MLBPA and MLB licenses in 2021.

4. Coins

While there are many different coins that are worth a significant amount of money, it is rare to find a coin that is worth $500 or more.

Most pawn shops will not accept coins as collateral, and those that do usually only accept coins that are worth a few hundred dollars at most.

However, there are a few rare coins that are worth significantly more than this, such as the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, which is currently valued at over $4 million.

Tactic for Success

If you have an extremely valuable coin to sell, you may want to work with a coin broker. Rare coin brokers will make sure you don’t get taken advantage of and that you get the most money possible (minus a fee for brokerage) for your rare coin.

5. Guns

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In order to make $500 selling guns to a pawn shop, you’ll need to find a reputable dealer who is willing to buy your firearms.

Research pawn shops in your area to find one that deals in firearms, and call ahead to see if they’re interested in buying what you have.

Once you’ve found a buyer, take some time to clean and polish your guns so they’re in good condition.

Tactic for Success

To sell your firearm or ammunition to a pawn shop, you need to make sure the shop is federally licensed to do so. This falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Firearm Licensing Act. Plus, the shop must be licensed by the state.

6. Power Tools

Pawn shops are always looking for new inventory, but not all power tools are created equal. The most popular items at pawn shops are typically saws, drills, and routers.

These tools tend to be in high demand, and as a result, they can fetch a decent price. Check out these other ways to sell used tools.

On the other hand, less popular tools such as sanders and grinders often sit on the shelves for months without selling.

7. Sporting Goods

Sporting goods can be worth a lot of money, especially if they are in good condition. Pawn shops are always on the lookout for high-quality sporting equipment, and they are willing to pay top dollar for it.

Some of the most valuable items include golf clubs, tennis rackets, and bicycles.

If you have any of these items lying around, it might be worth taking them to a pawn shop to see what you can get for them.

Some popular sporting goods items to sell to pawn shops include:

  • Golf Clubs – Especially if they are from a popular brand like Callaway or Titleist – can fetch a pretty penny at pawn shops.
  • Snowboards and Skis – These are another hot commodity at pawn shops. A good quality snowboard can easily bring in several hundred dollars.
  • Tennis Rackets – Tennis rackets from popular brands like Wilson or Babolat can also bring in a good sum of money

8. Paintings

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If you have an old painting gathering dust in your attic, it might be time to take it down to your local pawn shop and see if it’s worth anything.

Do your research. Paintings can vary greatly in value, so it’s important to do your homework before taking yours to a pawn shop.

Look up similar paintings online or in books to get an idea of what yours might be worth.

Know your audience. Pawn shops typically cater to customers who are looking for a bargain, so it’s important to set realistic expectations about how much you’re willing to sell your painting for, especially if it’s rare.

9. Jewelry

It’s important to have a clear idea of what your jewelry is worth. Research similar pieces online or in pawn shop catalogs to get an idea of the going rate.

Next, be sure to clean your jewelry thoroughly before bringing it in.

In general, the more valuable the piece, the more money you can expect to get. This means that items like diamond rings and gold necklaces are usually worth more than costume jewelry.

Another factor to consider is the condition of the piece. Pawn shops are more likely to give you a good price for a piece of jewelry that is in good condition than one that is damaged or needs repairs.

Valuing Jewelry at Pawn Shops

Keep in mind that different pawn shops will have different policies when it comes to jewelry.

Some may only accept certain types of jewelry, and others may have limits on how much they are willing to pay.

The best value jewelry will be:

  • Made of Silver or Gold – Silver and gold have higher resale values than items made out of stainless steel or other materials
  • In Good Condition – Items in good condition that require minimal refurbishment will sell faster, meaning you can get more money from the sale
  • From a Top Brand – Items from brands like Bvlgari, Piaget, and Tiffany & Co will sell better than those from lesser-known brands

10. Musical Instruments

String instruments like violins and guitars tend to be worth more than wind instruments like flutes or trumpets.

This is because they are more intricate and often require more work to maintain.

Furthermore, older instruments are often more valuable than newer ones, as they have a greater sense of history and tradition.

Of course, the condition of the instrument is also crucial; a well-maintained piece will be worth more than one that is damaged or in need of repair.

11. Stereo Systems

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Pawn shops are always on the lookout for quality electronics, and they’re willing to pay top dollar for certain items.

To get the most money for your stereo system at a pawn shop, you’ll want to look for a well-known brand that is in good condition.

Some of the most popular brands include Bose, Sony, and JBL.

If you have a high-end system, it will likely be worth more than a mid-range or lower-end model.

In terms of condition, it’s important to make sure that all of the components are working properly and that there are no visible signs of damage.

12. Your Robot Vacuum

Did you know that you can sell your robot vacuum at a pawn shop? It’s true!

If you have an older model vacuum that is still in good working condition, you can get a decent amount of money for it at a pawn shop.

13. Gift Cards

While not all pawn shops accept them, in many cases, you can sell your gift cards at a pawn shop.

While you will not get the full value of the card, you will receive more than if you simply let the card expire.

In addition, selling your gift cards at a pawn shop is a quick and easy way to get cash without having to go through the hassle of finding a buyer yourself.

14. Action Figures

small-toy-soldiers

Action figures are always in high demand at pawn shops. Whether it’s a classic like GI Joe or a newer release like Marvel Legends, there’s always someone who’s willing to pay top dollar for a well-preserved figure.

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, here are a few tips on how to get $500 for selling action figures to a pawn shop.

15. Campers

If you’re looking to get rid of an old camper, one option is to sell it to a pawn shop. While you might not get the full value of the camper, you can still get a decent amount of money for it. Do your research.

Pawn shops typically buy items for a fraction of their worth, so it’s important to know how much your camper is actually worth.

This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in terms of the final price.

Bring along any documentation. If you have any paperwork or receipts for the camper, be sure to bring them along.

This will help prove its authenticity and value to the pawn shop owner.

16. Handmade Items

If you’re crafty and have some extra time on your hands, you might want to consider selling your handmade goods to a pawn shop.

There are a number of different types of handmade goods that you can sell to a pawn shop.

One option is to sell jewelry. This can include both costume jewelry and fine jewelry.

Pawn shops will often pay more for fine jewelry, but both types can be sold for a decent amount of money.

Another option is to sell art. This can include paintings, sculptures, or other types of handmade crafts.

Pawn shops typically have a wide variety of art on display, so it is important to find one that specializes in the type of art that you have to sell.

Wrapping Up

If you have something of high value and low quantity—like an antique watch or a rare diamond ring—you can probably get more money for it at a pawn shop than if you tried to sell it online or through other traditional channels.

Consider these unique items to pawn if you need some cash fast and heed our advice above!

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About the Author

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Rebekah is a writer who covers all things education, business, agriculture, and finance. She owns a small farm business in upstate New York. Her educational credentials include a bachelor's degree in English from St. Lawrence University and a master's in special education from SUNY Plattsburgh.