Tools and Supplies

Find Low Cost Survival and Emergency Preps from Pawn Shops and Flea Markets

Written By: Kelly K.

I’ve been trying for a while, to come up with something that I can teach to the wolf pack… and, frankly… that’s easier said than done. There are some pretty bright people in our group. So, it wasn’t looking good until about 10 minutes ago. I’m a fairly capable guy and I am a firm believer that, if I can learn it in a book… I can do it; whether it is building a deck or wiring a home built solar system. But, I am not knowledgeable enough to teach you how to pull the battery out of your jeep and weld you’re your suspension back together. And, don’t ask me how to build a contraption that will run your truck… using firewood as fuel. But, if you want to know everything about pawn shops… and how to get the best deal on lots of good prepper stuff at them, I’m your guy.

Until recently, I managed a pawn shop. The information I have pertains to corporately owned pawn shops. The corporate mentality and pressure leads these companies to put bonuses over what’s best for the business on a regular basis. Imagine a divisional manager putting pressure on the regional manager who puts pressure on his district managers who each, turn around and pressure their store managers to hit their numbers… no matter what. This means that the last 2 to 3 days of the month… deals can be had.

So, first… let me give you the skinny on how pawn shops operate. They either buy an item or loan on it. If they are buying it… they will try to get it cheap. They won’t usually pay more than half of what they think they can sell it for. There are always exceptions, like guns and jewelry.

But, when it comes to everyday goods like tools…They try to maintain a 50% to 60% cost of goods sold. On high ticket items like, guns and jewelry… they’ll pay more, and they will loan even more. When they are loaning on an item, they will loan more on it than they would be willing buy it for.

The thought behind this is, they can afford to loan more because there is a much lower chance they will have to put the item out for sale. This sometimes backfires… and they end up with an item they are in a little heavy, because the customer doesn’t always come back for their item. Don’t feel sorry for them, though… they earn 20% interest, per month on the 80% of the loan balance that rolls over each month.

So, now… as with most corporations, you gotta please the stock holders. The best way to do this is to grow. And, you gotta hit your numbers. So, the month is coming to an end, and you, as the manager need $6 or $8,000 in sales… or you have $5,000 in aged inventory on your books, that could cost you a $1000 bonus.

Now is the time to get some deals. Form a relationship with him and he will gladly lose money on aged merchandise for you, and settle for a low profit on some newer items. I visit 5 stores on the last day of the month.

Here are some items I have bought and sold to customers at the end of the month:
The items above are related to being prepared but, there are a lot of things in pawn shops that you can save a lot of money on. A good snow board with bindings for $25 to $50, DVD’s for 50 cents a piece, Flat screen TV’s for one third of retail, Bluray players for $20, good laptops for under $200, Ipads for half price, Good cameras for 30 cents on the dollar, cordless drills for half price, etc.

Gold can be a buy at the right time too. You can buy old aged stuff for spot. $13 or so for 10k and $22 or so for 14k.

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See Also:
Battery-Less Devices
Tools/Supplies from Weird Stuff
Waxes for Candles & Stuff
How to use a Fire Axe