So you need cash, quickly, and are thinking about pawning a ring or guitar the way you've seen others do on TV? Here are some suggestions from Good Housekeeping to help you find the right course of action:
Learn before you leap • The time-tested practice of pawning is on the uptick, no doubt because of the hot TV reality show "Pawn Stars," which documents the doings at the Las Vegas shop. But that series, and others like it, usually focus on rare finds that are sold for a flat fee, not pawned.
The real heart of pawning is short-term "safety net" loans for more ordinary items. Here's how it usually works (no matter what The Old Man might do on TV). You bring in your item, the pawn broker makes an offer, and then after some negotiation he or she gives you cash. If you want to get your item back, you have a set time period often 30 days to repay the loan with interest. Default on the loan, and the prize goes to the pawn broker, who then has the right to sell it. What's more, there's a whole online pawning industry for people who don't want to set foot in a pawn shop. Either way, you have to learn the ropes so you won't sell yourself short.