With the host of guilty pleasure TV shows documenting the human drama that plays out in America’s pawnshops, it’s safe to say their popularity, and reputation has never been higher. What was once seen as the shady arm of commerce is now becoming an increasingly accepted form of business.
But while the negative stereotypes associated with pawnshops might be receding, are they now a viable option for selling your beloved Rolex?
With a Rolex at hand you have a few options to get money out of it.
Like anything, there are pros and cons. While pawnshops might not be the seedy, scary places so often portrayed in the media, do they offer any benefits over more traditional outlets?
A Question of Timing
The one thing that hasn’t changed with pawnshops is the number one advantage they offer the seller; speed. Pawnshops exist for people who want money in a hurry. You can walk into one with pretty much any high-value item and walk out again with a handful of cash in a matter of minutes. No waiting for postal or courier services, no waiting for checks to clear, just cold, hard cash in hand.
Great, right? Well, yes and no. That level of convenience comes at a cost. And the cost, in this case, is…the cost. The chances of getting a good price for your Rolex at a pawnbroker is virtually zero, for a number of reasons.
Pawnshops are quick, but there is a hidden cost to their convenience and speed.
Firstly, the pawnshop is a business, and businesses don’t stay in business long if they overpay for their stock. They know the sellers are in need of a quick financial injection, and they’ll use that knowledge to their advantage. And who could blame them?
Secondly, if you’ve ever watched any of the range of pawnshop TV shows, you’ll know it’s a rare day that a customer walks out with exactly the price they wanted. Pawnbrokers are excellent hagglers—it’s their living. The likelihood is you’re not going to out-negotiate a professional and the amount of money you had your heart set on for your Rolex is unlikely to materialize.
And thirdly, most pawnshops buy and sell a huge range of different items, anything from tools to cars. No one person can be an expert on every object that comes through the door, so you’re going to be dealing with a jack-of-all-trades lacking in the specialist knowledge needed to accurately value your watch. While there are some that specialize in jewelry, it’s doubtful there will be a Rolex authority on hand to give you a fair price. Even if you’ve done your research and know the precise value of your piece, it’s going to be a thankless task convincing the broker.
Sell or Loan?
Where pawnshops hold a big advantage over selling your Rolex outright with an online retailer or a bricks-and-mortar jeweler is the ability to use your watch as collateral for a short-term loan.
This was always the original function of traditional pawnshops. If you needed money quickly but only for a short period, you could take in something of value, borrow against it and then, when you were able, pay back the loan and get your item back.
Selling your Rolex should be easy, and you should get the most out of it.
It’s a system that’s been in place for many years and has helped countless people out of a tight spot, but it can get very expensive. Terms differ from shop to shop and state to state, but interest charges on the loan can range anywhere from 3% to 25% per month. There might also be additional fees for handling, appraisal, storage, and insurance. Couple all that with the fact you’re likely to get an even worse deal on the valuation than if you were selling the shop your Rolex—most pawnbrokers will only lend about one-third of what they think they can sell the watch for—and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
So, Should You Sell Your Rolex at a Pawnshop?
There’s no doubt that pawnshops offer a great deal of convenience. Whether selling your Rolex or using it as security for a loan, they are one of the fastest ways to get your hands on some money. But the big downside is the amount. There’s very little chance you’ll get the true market value for your watch.
For that, you need to look at other options.
Using a reputable online outlet such as Bob’s Watches to sell your Rolex is a completely different experience to walking into your local pawnbrokers.
Bob’s Watches employs the leading Rolex experts, people who live and breathe the brand and have extensive experience in the industry. That knowledge allows us to determine the most up-to-date pricing information, which we publish openly on our site and update every month.
Find yourself a reputable dealer, for many people, we are that dealer.
The value of Rolex’s range of products is in a constant state of flux, due to changes in demand or the price of precious metals. So we’ve generated an online tool to let anyone determine the true current market rate for his or her particular model. We also list both the Buy and Sell prices of each watch for complete transparency.
Is selling your Rolex with us as quick as walking into a pawnshop? Well, no. But there’s not a lot in it. Once you’ve accepted our quote, we send you all the materials you need to mail us your watch, including insurance. When the package arrives with us, we evaluate it, on camera, and confirm the quote.
After that, you can choose to be paid straight away by wire transfer or check—and we work to get your money to you as soon as possible. You can also opt to use your watch as credit towards another model or, if time isn’t as big a factor, you can put your Rolex on consignment.
Whether you have a Datejust or a sporty Submariner, Bob’s Watches accepts them all.
Conclusion on Pawning Your Rolex
The modern day pawnshop is a world away from most people’s idea of a rundown, crooked establishment. These days, they are heavily regulated by 14 separate federal laws and statutes, including the USA Patriot and the Truth-In-Lending Acts, as well as a host of other state and local regulations. Research your seller so you know you’re getting the best deal as well as transparency.
Even so, using a pawnshop to sell your Rolex can lose you a great deal of money over its true market value. For a much fairer deal, do your research online and make sure you get paid what it’s really worth.