Pawn America isn't your grandfather's pawn shop.
"We call ourselves the original recyclers," said Karl Hattman, regional manager of Pawn America. "We are not focused on one product; we sell everything here."
Electronics and jewelry are always big sellers, but we spotted power tools, sewing machines, lawnmowers, ATVs, even a telescope at the Fridley location.
"Over the last few years, the industry has really experienced a renaissance," said Hattman. "We've seen a lot more people that are accepting secondhand goods as a viable way to buy items like electronics or jewelry."
Hattman says people are becoming more receptive to pawn store shopping, and the store strives to be like any other big box store.
Pawn store shopping tips
*Look for a product guarantee.
"Make sure you are going to get a product that if there's a problem, you can bring it back no questions asked," said Hattman.
*Know the price and be ready to negotiate.
"I always urge people check the price and if you ever have a problem with our price, talk to a sales associate and lets see what we can do for you on that item," encourages Hattman.
*Watch for deal days.
Pawn America plans to bring back a popular Tuesday sale where a customer can buy two DVDs for five dollars.
*Shop early; shop often.
It's considered the golden rule of second hand shopping--shop early; shop often. Pawn America is continually being restocked with items. "If its here and you don't get it, someone else might," said Hattman.
Unique items are posted daily on Pawn America's facebook page.
*Sell what you have.
Hattman also recommends bringing in something from home to see if you can sell it. You might not find anything to buy, so you could leave with cash in your pocket.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Wednesday, July 18, 2012