Pawn Shops -The Hidden Gems of Secondhand – EP 27

They have a reputation for being ‘shady’ and there’s the unfortunate play on words that TV shows love to exploit – but for the frugal shopper – pawn shops shouldn’t be ignored! Today we discuss some of the highlights of these hidden gems and how to be a shrewd & savvy shopper in these secondhand establishments. We explore this topic from the perspective of the consumer and share our own areas of novice and expertise while also reviewing some common pitfalls. If you have frequented pawn shops, or have never stepped foot in one – this episode’s for you!


  • CookSmarts: still not an official sponsor but we are still big fans of CookSmarts. It’s a meal planning service that provides recipes, instructions, weekend prep options, and a shopping list for 4 meals per week. They have regular, gluten free, paleo and vegetarian versions that you can switch between and an archive of recipes to pick if you don’t like the recipes that week. They are offering 3 free weeks of meal plans if you sign up at and if you go on to sign up for meal planning your purchase will help support the podcast. 
  • Televisions: they’re a dime a dozen at pawn shops, and there’s always a new model so you can never keep up! Our most depressing sponsor yet. Televisions.

Notable Notes:

  • What the Internet has to say:
    • In this article from Wiki How we specifically look at the 5 tips for buying from a pawn shop. Complete with mesmerizing illustrations, this article provides some excellent advise when considering a pawn shop purchase.
  • What Jen and Jill have to say:
    • We agree with the suggestion to research – this goes for anything – but certainly do your research on the product you would like to buy and make sure you know what it’s worth!
    • Negotiate! This is not something you can do at a thrift store – how exciting!
      • Cash helps in your negotiating endeavors!
    • WALK AWAY – you owe them nothing!! If you are uncomfortable or not happy with a price, don’t feel stuck or obligated.
    • Look at review on the actual pawn shop – 3 stars or higher is great in this category!
    • Know what you want before you go in 
  • More from the Internet:
    • This article from Brad’s Deals outlines the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of pawn shop purchasing. There are some great nuggets of wisdom and guidance, but we say ‘rules are meant to be broken’!
  • More from Jen and Jill:
    • We like the general list of items to avoid purchasing at a point shop – BUT Jen has broken pretty much all of these rules and it worked out fine for her so…make your own decisions 😉
    • Consider exploring online pawn shops – might be a light intro for someone a bit hesitant to walk into a store

BILL OF THE WEEK – If you want to submit your bill of the week visit to leave us a bill

  • Thanks Jen for providing us with your very own bill! We enjoyed your bit about Bill Kurtis of Wait Wait Don’t tell me and Anchorman!

Our Pawn Shop Wins and Loses:

  • Jill – Has zero experience in this department, except for a weird dream that may or may not have been reality. SO don’t listen to her advise.
  • Jen Has SO much experience with pawn shops and has purchased all of the following at these secondhand establishments: engagement ring, laptop, Travis’ tools (power drills and saws), indestructible bluetooth speaker, a Chromecast, P90X, video game systems and games, watch, pilot headset, typewriter, and bicycles.

Frugal Friends Book Club

We are reading “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez in the month of October – head over to our Frugal Friends Community to join the discussion!

  • AND We are still giving away 1 book for every 5 reviews we get this month! You can get a free copy of November’s book: The More of Less by Joshua Becker!
  • To enter; leave us a review on your podcast listening device (not just Itunes), screenshot the review, and email it to
  • We’ll select the winners for this book at the end of the day October 31st.

Thank you so much for hanging out with us today! Hit the subscribe button wherever you’re listening to this episode and we’ll come at you every Friday with more frugal goodness. Until next week!

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