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Monday, February 26 2024
The Rise of Online Pawn Shops: Pros and Cons


We live in a society where you have lots of buying and selling options. There’s a store, a trade market, Facebook, and Craigslist. The question for many is about the stability of the E-universe exchange. Let’s look at the rise of online pawn shops: pros and cons. 


Pawn shops have come a long way from the seedy reputation they once held. There are numerous dependable pawn shops around the country, like Cash Express, with bright, approachable show floors and well-trained personnel. But not everyone wants to head to a storefront; some people can’t. 

The solution is surveying online pawn shops where, with a click of your phone, you can get a reply. You’ll know fairly quickly if the shop is interested in your item. If not, you haven’t driven around town hoping to find the right outlet

Online Pawn Shops: How They Work

As you might imagine, selling online is a little different from a face-to-face meeting. 

Selling to an Online Pawn Shop

The process begins by reaching out to the company. They will request clear images of the items you wish to sell. You’ll also need to provide detailed (did we mention DETAILED) descriptions of the item.

If you have any paperwork (provenance) that goes with it, take photographs of that, too. It proves ownership and, with more valuable pieces, history. At this point, the merchant provides an initial assessment, with final details to follow.

Next is where some people become uncomfortable. You have to mail in your goods for inspection and evaluation. The shop often pays for shipping and has insurance protecting your assets. They will then do a thorough evaluation and get back to you. 

There will be an offer, terms, conditions, and a contract detailing the amount. Now, just because it’s an online store doesn’t mean you can’t haggle. If you disagree with the amount, explain why. Once you’ve reached a final agreement and completed an electronic contract, you will receive your money through an accredited banking source.

But for the shipping, the process goes by quickly. Note that not all online pawnshops offer collateral for cash transactions. Sometimes, they’re only interested in selling, then re-selling. 

Buying at an Online Pawn Shop

The first thing you want to do before buying online is check to see if the place is reputable. Do they have any certifications? How do they back up the condition of their goods (and the value)? Are there 30-day warranties? 

Now the hard part, looking through the merchandise. You cannot see goods online the same way you can in person. If you are very interested in something, email and ask for more images if they haven’t already been supplied on the website. Compare the prices offered to similar retail products.

Should you decide to buy, there’s always the chance someone purchased it outright before you made an offer. If so, time to look at other possibilities. Once you’ve found what you want, get all the details on how mailing goes through. It should be traceable and fully insured. Again, this process takes more time than in-store shopping. 

Cash Express vs. Online Pawn Shops

First, just because a pawn shop is online doesn’t mean it has far more choices (let alone quality ones). If you look at the Cash Express gallery, it’s easy to see the diversity we offer. Second, when you are working with a brick-and-mortar business, you have someplace to return to, be it with questions, concerns, or as a repeat customer. 

If you’re looking to pawn, we are the top location in Philadelphia for quick cash. You do not have to wait to mail your item, get the appraisal, etc. Everything can happen in one day. If you’re looking to buy, you can experience everything hands-on, including jewelry and other items, one of which is sure to fit your budget. You walk out with your treasure!

To learn more you can reach out in three ways:

Our online contact form 

By email:,

or call our office at 215-922-1560

Better still, come for a visit: 731 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Posted by: AT 04:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, February 11 2024
Antique Hunting in Pawn Shops: Tips for Collectors


When you have some free time, window shopping at pawn shops can be fun. The diversity of items and how many catch your eye is astounding. You may even look at something you never thought was remotely valuable and gasp at the price tag. When you’re looking for unique items, try antique hunting in pawn shops: tips for collectors. Use the same tools as the pros!

Step One: What to Collect?

Maybe even back up one step further, “Why collect?” Sometimes, collections are unintentional (like someone mentioning they like elephants and friends start buying them). Other times, a person has an interest in one genre and sticks with that. And other folks still like to have a variety of intriguing items in their showcases.

What sort of things seem to hold their value and never go out of fashion?


  • Books, specifically first editions: A popular writer, a fantastic cover, and excellent condition. All these contribute to a book’s value. 

  • China sets & pieces: China becomes valuable, in part, because of its fragile nature. One oops, and you could lose thousands of dollars. The good news is sometimes the one-off item is favored over the whole collection.

  • Coins: Antique coins have a large following. The older, the better condition and the rarity add up to money. Coin collecting is not likely to go out of popularity any time soon. 

  • Depression glass: This is nice because it’s relatively affordable. 

  • Furniture: Antiques by Ark’s specializes in antique furniture. But show floor size is limited, so we have a discriminating eye for things that fit our overall ambiance. 

  • Paintings, big and small: Look for original art focused on topics people like and which have signatures. If there’s a story behind them, even better.

  • Stained glass: Stained glass windows without blemishes may surprise you in their value. The difficulty is keeping them safe from cracks and chips.

  • Tableware: That silver set lying untouched in a drawer could end up being quite valuable. Silver flatware with hallmarks on the back proves the piece is not silver-plated. Pick out a pattern and run with it.

  • Timepieces: Rare clocks fetch a pretty penny. Clocks and watches from a specific era, or those created in a recognizable style like Art Deco, often have unanticipated value. 

  • Vintage postcards: These evoke nostalgia. Again, this collection won’t break the bank, but you can find some older ones valued at $150 or more. 


An item must be 100 years old or older comes under the label of being antique, while younger pieces are vintage. 

On the Hunt for Pawn Shop Antiques

No matter what you seek, be it jewelry or milk jugs, there are some protocols to follow. You want to authenticate items and then negotiate their price accordingly. Perhaps the most important rule is self-education. Do your research before setting one foot outside your door. Take notes, and your cellphone if you want to go back to pertinent information.

Pawn Shops rely heavily on their reputation, so they work very hard to authenticate pieces. Nonetheless, knowing value is a big ace in your pocket. Your local antique shop may not have the expertise of a pawn shop’s appraiser. They certainly can’t offer as great a variety as the pawnbroker.

Cash Express and Antiques by Ark’s

Our company takes pride in having one-of-a-kind pieces from all over the world. We would love to help you find that special item to add to your collection. Give us a call to ask about certain collectibles (215-922-1560). You can also email us and use our online contact form. Even if we don’t have what you want now, we can be on look out and let you know.

Posted by: AT 04:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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731 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 -  (215) 922-1560