When To Pawn and When To Sell

Posted by admin on January 21, 2020

Pawning and selling. Many tend not to know the difference between them. While it’s understandable as, on the surface, the process is similar (exchanging items for cash), both are distinctly different with their own sets of pros and cons. 

So, what differentiates selling from pawning items for money? Would you be better off doing one over the other? That depends what you want out of the exchange. 

Below, we’ve listed both pawning and selling for comparison, including the physical difference between the two and what pros and cons both processes include. 

Hopefully, you can compare and decide which would help you more in the long-term. 

What’s the Difference? 

Before discerning the pros and cons of both selling and pawning, it’s vital to know the actual difference between the two, especially in regards to pawnbrokers. 

As stated, both refer to the exchange of an item for financial gain. However, selling means you also relinquish your ownership of the item. With pawning, you can get the item back, as long as you pay back the loan you borrowed. 

On the surface, you may think that pawning is the better option. Well, again, that depends what you want out of the process. 

If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there are plenty of factors to consider before you make your decision so consider them carefully before deciding on either one. 


As we’ve said, pawning means lending an item to a pawnbroker in exchange for a loan, often a short term one which must be paid back to get the item back.

There are, however, a few things about pawning that one should consider. The first is that not every item can be pawned. 

Most items do fetch some value, the most common of which being luxury jewellery, but you should check if what you intend to pawn isn’t banned before stepping into a pawn shop. 

The second is that pawnbrokers tend to offer short term loans, meaning that the most you will get can go up to £5,000. However, for many, this is enough. 

You will also have to pay interest, but at Cuttings, you can pay at the end of the term when you repay the loan. 


The largest benefit to pawning is that you can get your pawned item back in your possession once you have paid back the loan. So at least that is guaranteed if you have pawned a precious item like a piece of jewellery or some other heirloom. 

Another important aspect is that pawning won’t have any impact on your credit rating. Pawnbrokers only look into the value of what you’re pawning and won’t look into your credit history. 

This means you won’t have to fret about your credit rating if ever you miss a payment. Your credit history is completely independent of any pawn loan you take out. 

One other benefit is that pawning is a speedy process and applying for a loan can take next to no time. Borrowing money from the bank can take days or even weeks at a time and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it. 

With pawn loans, however, as long as you have successfully pawned your item, the loan will be given to you. 


While pawning gives you an opportunity to get your item back, this won’t be forever. Pawnbrokers always present a strict schedule meaning you’ll have to pay the loan back fully within that period. You can renew the loan but this puts on more fees and charges on what you already have to pay. 

You may also have to take into account that pawning won’t get you a very big loan. As we say, you can get up to £5,000, so if you want anything bigger, it may not happen. 

If you can’t pay back the loan, the pawnbrokers will claim the item you pawned and sell it to other customers. That’s how they claim the money back. 


Pawnbrokers are a great way for getting quick loans that rely on collateral for financial security. However, you can also sell items in a pawn shop, giving you an alternative way of obtaining cash quickly and easily. 

But why should you sell instead of pawn? Are there more benefits or downsides to doing so? 


The primary advantage to selling that’s immediately obvious is that you can obtain a much higher value compared to pawning, which can only offer a fraction of the value of your collateral. 

For example, if you have a watch worth £1,000, the loan you get while pawning maybe only be approximately £300. You’d get a lot more if you were to sell it, however, perhaps up to £800. 

In this aspect, selling would be the better choice as you will obtain more money. You also don’t have to go through the fuss of paying back the money. All of it is yours once you’ve sold it.

Another distinct advantage is that it helps you get rid of things you no longer need. If you need a new phone for instance, selling a piece of unwanted jewellery could give you the cash needed to do so. 


Considering all that, selling an item does mean you no longer own it and you’ll never get it back. With pawning, at least you still have the opportunity to claim it back. 

This leads to another downside in which you cannot get the item back if you sell it - you won’t be able to use it for another loan in the future. When you pawn, you can get the item back and pawn it again and again as many times you like. 

Sell and Pawn at Cuttings! 

Whether you choose to sell or pawn, you can do either at Cuttings the Pawnbrokers. Check out our cost of loan page for more details. 


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