Deals Episodes

Pawn Store Shopping and Selling

Find designer purses, jewelry and accessories -- in very good condition and marked far below their retail value -- at the pawn shop. Also, get tips for spotting fake merchandise and selling your own belongings.

Pamela Wright, vice president and co-owner of Wright's Pawn and Jewelry, says you can save between 40 to 75 percent off retail on name brand items by shopping secondhand stores. Her store stocks many luxury labels, including Chopard, Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Hermes, Judith Leiber and Prada.

An authentic Louis Vuitton tote that originally retailed for $820 is just $500 at the pawn shop. Here are Pamela's tips for determining whether a Louis Vuitton is the real deal:

  • Check the lining
  • Smell the inside of the bag."If it smells like it's a mold smell, that is the paint and the solvents they use in the ones that aren't real."
  • Fakes usually have exaggerated stitching on the inside that is a really bright yellow
Some more items for sale:
  • A Gucci wallet that retails for $500 is just $199
  • Chanel sunglasses that range from $250 to $450 in the store are just $95
  • A white ceramic Chanel watch that retails for $4,500 is just $3,000
  • Waterford crystal vase that retails for over $100 is just $39
  • Christian Louboutin peeptoe pumps that retail for around $900 are just $550
Take advantage of the opportunity to haggle and possibly save a few hundred more dollars.

"Everything's negotable, but make reasonable offers," Pamela says. "If something's marked $2,000, don't offer $100 for it. The pawn broker had to buy it, clean it, refurbish it, warranty it, and then stock it before you ever saw it."

Like most pawn shops, Wright's has a jeweler on hand to repair any broken jewelry inspect all diamonds that come into the store. Diamonds are sent off to be certified by the Gemological Institute of America so you know exactly what you're buying.

And don't forget why most people go to pawn shops -- to make a quick buck. Their doors are always open to prospective sellers, who typically receive 30 to 40 percent of an item's retail value. Condition is key: clean out handbags and polish jewelry before you go.

"If there's something that you're not using and it's desirable, come in and sell it and use the money for something you need," Pamela says.

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