Ask the Patch Pro: About the Pawn Shop Biz

Do you have old estate jewelry you want to unload? Need a short term loan but can't go to the bank? Think all pawn shops are like what you see on TV? Our Patch Pro is on tap to answer all your questions and look at photos of your merchandise.

On the History Channel's popular reality program Pawn Stars, customers often bring in what could be priceless merchandise looking for a nice payout.

But pawn shop owner Andy "Avi" Strauss knows your average pawn shop doesn't specialize in Spanish Cubism paintings or priceless, heirloom shotguns from the American Civil War period. Nor does it employ the experts necessary to determine the values of such rarities. Basically, the shop isn't run like a pumped up reality show, and this ain't Antiques Roadshow either.

However, your local pawn shop will likely be able to take those old DVDs, electronics, Great Aunt Rita's estate jewelry, broken gold and maybe a few collectors items off your hands. In addition, if you find yourself in need of cash fast, but the inability to go to the bank, a pawn shop will accept an item deemed valuable as collateral for a cash loan. Strauss said he's even accepted a couch as collateral. Of course, the borrower pays interest on the loan, too.

Strauss operates a small pawn shop, , on Nicollet Avenue in Richfield and is on call to take your questions about the business. You can also upload photos of old jewelry or collectors items for him to give an initial estimate.

Share your comment or question in the comments section below. To upload a photo of an item, click "Upload Photos and Videos" and write a description of the item in the caption box.

Lisa Baumann May 31, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Thanks for the info. Avi. And I'd love to know the answer to the question above and if there are things people bring in that you generally won't take off their hands?
Jake Rappe May 31, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I've never purchased, nor sold/pawned anything at a pawn shop, but I have shopped them before. When I was in high school, I was told that a pawn shop was a good place to buy an electric guitar. I also shopped at a couple of pawn shops for fire arms. In fact, I often see pawn and gun in tandem on store fronts. Avi, does your store deal in fire arms, also?
Avi Strauss May 31, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Breath- a- lizer Mini Doughnut machine
Avi Strauss May 31, 2012 at 09:05 PM
We don't have our FFL license. Meaning we don't deal in firearms. We do have a few guns.
tis I May 06, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Would you be interested in antiques, vintage collectables or wwii items? What kind of payout do you have on items like that? i know the value and right way to do it but dont have all that time to wait for the money


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