A pawnshop is truly a minimalist's best friend and a gateway to the ultimate share economy.
I'm Mark, the manager of A-1 Trade & Loan Ltd. I have to admit, working at the pawnshop is fun. You never know what will be brought in through those front doors and that's what keeps things interesting.
As a pawnbroker, I have had the privilege to deal with all sorts of items, ranging from collectible GI Joe action dolls to the newest state of the art computers and smartphones. Crossing the path with so many desirable goods one might think that I had become a hoarder of valuables. Just the opposite. In fact, little did I know that I had unintentionally become a minimalist.
Minimalism, a concept I had no idea about until a guest once came over and was surprised that I actually lived in my home. They were surprised to see the place so tidy. Not because I'm anal or anything, but because I just don't own many things. The most shocking missing item, a TV. But it didn't stop there, I realized that unlike most of my friends I just don't keep things for very long. Working at the pawnshop, I was buying an item, using it carefully, and reselling it a few months later. And here's the best part. At nearly the same price as I bought it. What you have here is the ultimate share economy.
Buy with a Pawnbroker's mentality
Do not get caught up in the newest fads or gimmicks. You might wait hours in line to buy the newest device and you might even feel super cool that you now own the best device ever. But before you get caught up in all the marketing ask yourself these four important questions:
1) Are you really going to use all of these futuristic features?
2) Will it improve your life more than if you owned a device that was two generations older?
3) Three months later when newer gadgets come to the market, will you stop feeling super cool?
4) When you resell it, will you get most of your money back?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then go for it. Chances are, most of us answered, probably not, maybe, yes and no.
To buy with a pawnbroker's mentality is to buy anything that has already depreciated in value. Once the hype on anything withers away, the item's true value is reflected in its price. The real super cool thing is, true values tend to be sticky. For example, if you had purchased a Canon T3i digital SLR camera in 2014 for $350, you would be able to sell it in today's market for, you guessed it, $350. All you have to do is keep it in good condition and sell it with a Pawnbroker's mentality.
Sell with a Pawnbroker's mentality
Never be in a rush to sell. Like all things in life, when we rush towards something, we make mistakes. Even if you have posted the item online and haven't garnered much interest. That's okay. It most likely isn't the right season for it. Guitars, for example, are a nightmare to sell in January but come April, its a dream. Just make sure that you price your item well with the following process:
1) Know what your best and worst case scenarios are.
i) Find the top 3 highest and lowest sales comparables and make them your price ceiling and floor.
ii) Price your item just under the average of the top three and monitor the level of interest you receive.
iii) To increase demand, lower the price ever so slightly. Continue with this strategy until demand catches up to you. You'll be surprised that even a $5.00 decrease has the potential to generate torrential demand.
2) Take good photos
i) Any smartphone is better than the most expensive digital camera made ten years ago. Use its creative features and couple it with a bright backdrop to make your products shine.
3) Post your products on multiple platforms.
i) Craigslist and LetGo are not enough. Post your items on every platform that you can take advantage of, even in your local facebook classifieds. Most times posting anything is free, so don't be lazy.
4) Respond to questions quickly and truthfully.
i) Nothing is worse than losing out on a deal because you were one day late in getting back or having a potential buyer lose trust in you if you forgot to mention a specific flaw.
5) Complete the transaction in a safe place.
i) Arrange for a meeting in a setting you can control.
ii) Trust your instincts. If you get a weird vibe from the buyer, then cancel the deal.
iii) Sell your item online with a web platform like Amazon, Reverb or eBay that accepts payments first then asks you to ship the goods.
The Ultimate Share Economy
Who needs an Uber for second-hand goods when we already have the best share economy in place. With unlimited pre-owned marketplaces, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can own what you want, upgrade when the time calls for it, and become a minimalist like me, even though you might not intend to be.
Here's the best part. We here at A-1 Trade & Loan Ltd. can take the burden off your shoulders. Our products are already priced at its true value. When you buy with us, you can take advantage of depreciation. If you intend to trade, we're the easy button. We will help you liquidate your unwanted goods by providing you with up to 60% of the items current true value. All in a safe environment.
Think like a pawnbroker, buy smartly, sell with knowledge and take advantage of the ultimate share economy.
A-1 Trade & Loan Ltd.
2641 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N4C3