We'll admit to two very specific things, with varying levels of guilt. Number one, we need money (don't we all?). Two, we've been watching too many episodes of Pawn Stars, mainly to laugh whenever the four main men start bickering with each other. As expected, this happened: we started thinking about pawning some of our stuff, and what value they may have today. (Deep down, we know it ain't much.)
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We don't really plan on trooping to the nearest sanglaan anytime soon, but the truth is that is the main (or sometimes, remaining) course of action for many Pinoys in need of funds within a very short timespan. According to a this article on the Philippine Daily Inquirer, pawnshops remain a top lender because they ask for fewer documents and have branches even in places that aren't easily accessible, or where other financial institutions like banks don't normally conduct business.
Another report from Inquirer.net stated that there were a total of 17,408 pawnshops operating nationwide, making up 63-percent of the financial institutions watched over by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Additionally, 10,000 of these establishments are "exclusively in the pawning business."
Our next question: What do our countrymen usually take with them to pawnshops during dire situations or emergencies? A quick look at the websites of big pawn players Tambunting Pawnshop and Cebuana Lhuillier, and of startup PawnHero, gave us the six most common types of collateral. Here they are, ranked according to perceived value. We advise you to do further research; and to contact your neighborhood pawnshop(s) of choice beforehand to find out what items they accept, how much they usually go for, and their loan terms and conditions.
And remember, kids: It's very important to save up and become financially literate so you won't even have to ask for loans in the first place. Which is ultimately the goal of this feature. Hey, let's learn together!
6. Gadgets and electronics
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This is the product category that gave us the most variety. You have the usual personal devices like smartphones, cameras (from the compacts to DSLRs), camcorders, tablets and phablets, laptops, netbooks, PDAs, and media players (iPods and other portable media players (PMPs)–remember those?). But pawnshops will also get bigger electronics like DVD and Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles like the Xbox and different PlayStation models.
5. Musical instruments
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Here's another surprising find! Instruments like guitars, pianos, and drum sets are also accepted by pawnshops. PawnHero provides a list of musical instruments and brands that it's willing to accept. The list includes not-so-common instruments like the mandolin, piccolo, and French horn as well as big brands like Pearl, Zildjian, JBL, Gibson, and Marshall.
4. Clothing, fashion accessories and luxury items
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Those branded japorms can also help you get a higher pawnshop loan. A common sight in pawnshops' websites are their confirmed acceptance of items like luxury footwear, bags, watches, and eyewear. Like with antiques and rare items, make sure you have the real deal: Authentic branded goods are obviously preferred over fakes and imitations.
3. Home appliances
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You have the expected products like refrigerators, home theater systems, big-screen TVs (LED, LCD, or plasma). They're a b*tch to take to the pawnshop because of their size and weight, but if they're in good working condition, you could get a higher amount for them. Hell, Cebuana Lhuillier will even take your Magic Sing gear!
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Hey, we were as surprised to find out about this as you are. From small two-wheelers (bicycles) to bigger two-wheelers (scooters and motorbikes) to cars of all types, you can pawn your ride for emergency cash. Given the difficulty of commuting in this country, we really do hope you get that ride back ASAP. Because if you don't, you won't see it again: Pawnshops will have to make more room in their storage facilities by selling or auctioning off old stuff. Tambunting provides a listing of myriad pawned items from familiar brands.
1. Jewelry, metals, and gems
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No heirloom or antique items at home with incredible appraised value? Bling would be the next best thing. Most local pawnshops will accept authentic gold and silver jewelry, precious metals, and gemstones like diamonds. Another big pawnshop company, Palawan Pawnshop, also differs from the others in that it accepts only gold jewelry for collateral.