Author Archives: jared

Different Styles In Different Places: Tropical Locales

tropical-1651423_960_720I do a lot of traveling for both business and pleasure. This is a great way to take in a lot of different cultures, food and styles. Whether it’s the layered, dark looks of New York City or the simple and causal California style, different places have their own certain way of dressing. This doesn’t just apply to “regular” everyday clothes, but also transposes to business attire as well. And as a lot of my travel involved work, I need to ensure that I look right depending on where I go.

One of my favorite types of places to go are those that are in the tropical band. Places like Miami, and the Caribbean offer a culture and style that I really like, and I wanted to share some tips on how to professionally dress in these places.

First off, colors are your friend. It is totally appropriate to go to a business meeting in these areas with a bright blue or even pink button-down shirt. And the suit colors themselves can vary more than your typical black, brown, navy blue and grey. Light blue, off-white and other colors really do fit in well in these types of places and allow you to add a little bit of color to an otherwise drab wardrobe.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the material your clothes are made out of as these places get HOT. With summer temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, you need to know what kinds of clothes to wear to avoid becoming a nasty, sweaty mess. In this situation, linen is your friend. It breathes well, is light and many designers make business attire out of it. A mens white linen shirt can be the foundation of a professional outfit. These shirts even work well after hours when it’s time to hit the beach or club scene. It’s a material and style that I personally love and work well in the environment.

Staying Comfortable While Deal Hunting

sun-1296130_960_720With only a short time before the summer hits (and with many areas already feeling the heat), it will soon be time to prepare for some rather uncomfortable times if you are a person who frequents outdoor flea markets or garage sales in search of great deals. Since persistence is the name of the game, it is important to stay cool so that you don’t decide to call it quite, possibly right before stumbling on something that you have been looking for. This is why it is very important to dress for the part.

For many, a simple T-shirt and shorts will do the job. This can be moderately effective, but cotton tends to absorb (and show) a lot of sweat, so soon enough you’ll look just as hot as you feel. Instead, there is a pretty good alternative.

As someone who has visited Miami on numerous occasions, I would say that nothing beats a white linen shirt. The material is extremely breathable and cool, while still looking fashionable. I’m not a fashion aficionado by any means. I’m usually the type to pick practicality over style. But in all honesty, if you are going to be doing some outdoor shopping around, nothing compares to linen.

On other points, you also need to focus on staying hydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches which will definitely dampen your bargaining skills. So always carry a supply of water with you when going out on the prowl.

Sunscreen is another no-brainer. If you’re going to be out in the sun for any considerable amount of time, then better apply some sunblock. You don’t want to be burned and “peeling” for a week or so after.

So be prepared and dressed for the part, and do great this summer!

Sell Your Stuff The Modern Way

apple-606761_960_720Back in the day, if you wanted to get rid of some unwanted things lying around your home, you were pretty much limited in your options. You could hold a garage sale or a yard sale. While this could be effective, more often than not, it would result in having to part with your stuff for less than you’d like (people go to those things expecting a dirt cheap bargain) or just having a poor attendance. So what happened next? You give stuff away to charity or maybe try to sell some of it at a local Hollywood pawn shop, and call it a day.

But with the internet, you have so many more options available to you. Sites like craigslist make it easy to list your stuff to a much wider audience. It’s like a garage sale, but over the internet, meaning that your stuff is always on display in a place where people are actively looking for things. Again, loads of bargain hunters here, but it is still a great option.

Then there are sites like eBay where you can take choice items, and try to get a bit more for them. Sure, there is a lot of competition, but if the stuff has been sitting in your house anyway, then may as well let it sit there a bit more with a better chance of a good remuneration. It is also easy to get paid and you have some security as these types of sites keep both the buyer and the seller relatively safe from scams.

So get modern with your sales tactics, and see just how much you can make from the “useless” stuff lying around your home. Many people have actually taken this concept to the next level and do this as a full time job! Not too shabby if you ask me.

Upcycling For Interesting Home Ideas

We live in an era of readily available information. With the internet, you can learn about virtually anything in a short amount of time. This has lead to a veritable DIY revolution, with many people doing things themselves, ranging from repairs to more complex builds. This has also lead to increased creativity as one can gather lots of varied ideas and make something new from something old.

Upcycling, as this has come to be called, is a fantastic way to create unique looks for your home as you can combine almost anything. In the video below, there are quite a few unique ideas for how one can take old items (sourced from garage sales, flea markets or even pawn shops) and make something awesome out of them with a little bit of elbow grease.

How Does Pawning Work?

In various articles on this site, I recommend that you check out pawn shops as a source of inexpensive, secondhand items. You can find electronics, jewelry, furniture, guns and loads more at these types of places, and usually for a good price. Buying from a pawn shop is pretty straightforward. You see the item, haggle a bit on the price and that’s that. But what about selling items or trying to get a loan? Will, I have touched upon selling items to a pawn shop before, but there are some inner workings and things that anyone should know before doing anything like this.

I found this good piece of reference material from that I think would serve as valuable information to anyone who would deal with a pawn shop. Whether you are interested in selling an item or want to pawn jewelry, you should check these out:

1. What does a pawn store do? The core of a pawn store’s business is making collateral loans. Pawn stores offer loans, secured by something of value. The pawn store may have other business elements such as retail sales. However, pawnbrokers focus on lending money.

2. How does a pawn loan work? Customers bring in an item of value, and the pawnbroker offers a loan based on a percentage of the item’s estimated value. The pawnbroker then keeps the item until the customer repays the loan with interest and any additional fees that may apply. Pawn stores are regulated on a federal, state and local level.

3. How much money can I get for my item? On average, customers receive only a portion of the item’s retail value. Remember, the pawnbroker is loaning money on the item, not buying it. The pawnbroker must consider the cost of storage, security and future demand for the item, along with the resale value if the loan is not repaid. The average loan amount nationally is $150. However, loans can be made for any amount, depending on the value of the pawned item.

4. What kind of interest rate will I have to pay on the loan? Interest rates vary from state to state and usually amount to less than bank overdraft fees, utility reconnect fees, or credit card late fees. As an example, an $80 pawn loan at 20% for 30 days would cost about $16. Compare that to an overdraft fee or a credit card late fee that may negatively affect your credit.

5. What do I need to do to get a pawn loan? In order to secure a pawn loan, you simply need an item of value and proper identification. Pawn loans do not require a credit check, bank account or co-signer.

6. What happens if I don’t repay my loan? Defaulting on a loan can never affect consumers’ credit scores. Because the loan is based on collateral—that is, an actual piece of property—the loan is considered paid in full when the item is handed over to the pawnbroker.

Saving On Common Items

wallet-669458_960_720Are you trying to save every penny possible? Are you the type of person who will bask in the glory of money well-spent and saved? Is “frugal” your middle name? Do you despise extravagance? If you have these characteristics, then keep on reading, because you are going to learn some different and interesting ways that you can save money on virtually everything. So with all that said, let’s get right into it.

When it comes to things like groceries, you can save quite a lot of money by buying in bulk. This will require a bit more planning, but buying things like meat, cheese, and various non-perishables in large quantity will allow you to save a lot every month.

Electronics like TV sets, video game consoles, computers and other home entertainment equipment should almost always be bought used or refurbished. They will typically work just like new and can be obtained for a fraction of the cost. Places like pawn shop Hollywood will carry these items in good supply, so it would be a good idea to check them out.

Clothes can be gotten secondhand, and pretty much everyone knows this, but what about buying them from outlet stores? Many outlets carry name brand items (like shoes, jackets, purses and more) for a fraction of the original cost. This can allow one to have the fancy, and quality items for cheap.

Things like furniture can also be gotten used. Sites like craigslist are an invaluable source for items like couches, dressers, shelving units and more. You may need to do a bit of searching, but one can literally furnish one’s home completely in this way for only a few hundred bucks.

These tips can help you save big, so good luck on getting them into use.

Getting Rid Of Your Old Junk

chaos-227971_960_720Sometimes, you find that you have accumulated a whole lot of stuff. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make for sometimes having too much in your home. Those once interesting or useful items now are not seen as they once were, but more as clutter. So this may prompt one to decide to throw away these types of things. And while there is nothing wrong with cleaning house a bit, there can be a better way to do this.
Like selling your things instead. Wouldn’t it be better to make a little extra rather than just throw it out? Of course it would, but this can create a problem for those who don’t want to take the time or effort to sell them. Well, you’re in luck, as we have found some really easy ways to offload some of your old stuff.

First of all, Fedex now has a service where they will list and sell items for you on eBay (for a percentage of the selling value). This can be great for those who don’t want to take the time to create and manage a listing. Everything will be taken care of for you and you don’t need to do anything outside of bringing your item in.

Another thing you can do is make a trip to go and pawn some of your things. If they are items of some value and are functional, you can usually walk in and out rather quickly with some cash in hand. Useful again if you aren’t too concerned with what you are going to get for the items and just want them gone, fast.

Of course, none of these methods are going to yield great financial results. Doing the listings yourself or taking the time to find a buyer will generally get you more money, but if you don’t have the time to be bothered with all of that, then these options are great alternatives that still make you some money.

Where To Sell What

question-mark-160071_960_720When trying to sell your unused or unwanted possessions, it is important to know what venue or medium to use in order to find the right audience. This is essential in making the most from your stuff, as the right buyer will pay the right price. And not every type of buyer looks in the same place. So let’s take a look at some of the different places where one would do best in selling various types of items.

First, let’s look at furniture. Online listings like craigslist would be the best for this one, as you want local buyers who are willing to come over and pick up the item. Shipping costs for furniture are too high, so you definitely want to sell to locals. As an alternative, a well-promoted yard sale can sometimes yield results, but yard sale shoppers typically try to pay less.

Next, there’s the matter of electronics. Listing them online is a good way to go, but there are other options as well. If you have a working item on your hands that is either old enough to be of antique or collector value, or modern enough that it would be desired, you can try taking it to a pawn shop Davie located for a quick exchange. There’s no faster way to get paid for your item, though this will not give the biggest payout. For better pay, you’ll need to market to individuals directly.

Clothes can be a bit trickier, though with apps like Poshmark and other taking hold, this is getting a bit easier. Typically, clothes are only sold if they are of an expensive brand name, or if there is a lasting value to them. Typically, you’re almost better off donating them unless they are of the aforementioned variety.

Guide To Buying Used Furniture

leather-sofa-186636_960_720When moving into a new home, you often find yourself without adequate furnishings, especially if moving into your first home ever or from an apartment. This can be a hinderance to what would otherwise be a joyous time, as now you know that you need to spend even more money on furnishing the place. But fear not, because there is an alternative to buying loads of expensive new furniture. And no, I’m not suggesting that you buy everything from Ikea, but rather, try out secondhand furniture.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: that you are going to end up with a home full of mismatched things. And while this could happen, it certainly doesn’t have to. I’ll explain.

So first, you get some furniture. Be it from an online listing like craigslist, or from a thrift store or pawn shop in Ft. Lauderdale. Try to pick items that at least have a similar structure. Like don’t go for something that is rustic and something else that is clean and modern.

Next comes the creative part. When you get the furniture home, it’s time to paint. With just a few coats of either spray paint, stain, varnish, or fabric paint (yes, that’s a thing).

With just a weekend of effort, you can have a complete and matching set of furniture for less than half of what you would have paid had you gone to a furniture store. This can be exactly what you need right after covering the costs of moving. And what’s even better is that you could later on resell the furniture as a set (possibly for a profit) if you did a good enough job with the transformation.

Guide For Buying Used Electronics

record-336626_960_720If there were ever a product area where it is hard to stay on top, it would be in the area of technology. Things change so quickly, and new products come out so fast that it seems that you can never have the latest thing. This leads many people to be constantly buying and upgrading their appliances and gadgets.

But if you are like me, and don’t have an obsessive need to own and use the latest and greatest devices, then you see opportunity. Where others are constantly upgrading, a market for loads of used electronics is created. So it gives people like us a chance to upgrade every now and then on the cheap. Last year’s TV is still perfectly good, am I right?

However, buying used electronics can be tricky as you need to make sure they are in good working order. Maybe you have a little wiggle room for a return if you are buying from a store or Ft. Lauderdale pawn shop, but if you buy from an individual, as soon as the item is in your car, the sale is final. So here are some tips to follow to ensure that you don’t accidentally buy a dud.

  1. Ensure it turns on. Ask to plug in the unit before buying it. If the other person takes offense that you don’t wish to simply take their word for it, then to hell with them. Find another seller. Most won’t mind unless they have something to hide.
  2. Ensure it connects with other components. If you are buying a TV, ensure it connects to the DVD player you have. How? Bring it along? (This is why is can be a good idea to bring an extension cord with you.)
  3. Test all of its functionality. Don’t just see if it turns on, ensure that every button the remote or keyboard works. And finally…
  4. Ask outright if there is anything wrong with it. Many people will be honest and if there is a flaw, come out and tell you.

Follow the above to always come out ahead when getting appliances on the cheap.

How To Avoid Rip-Off At A Pawn Shop

sign-1719887_960_720We’ve all been in a tight spot before. Not enough money and bills piling up. Or perhaps everything was going along fine, but an unexpected emergency came in and messed things up. No matter the cause, there are times when we need money, fast. And there isn’t always someone to ask. Not only that, perhaps you don’t want to ask anyone as your personal matter are best kept personal. So what can one do in this type of situation?

Well, a solution can be to take something of value down to a local pawn shop and see what you can get for it. Now, there are plenty of fair and reputable pawn shops out there, but unfortunately, all of the are not like that. So you need to take some precautions to ensure that you don’t get ripped-off. So here are a few tips that you can use to ensure that you aren’t played like a used fiddle.

First, find a pawn shop in Davie with good online reviews. This is probably the biggest thing to look for. See what people say about the place, and its honesty and fairness.

Secondly, when visiting, don’t make your emergency situation known. If you seem desperate (we already know that you are) then this may tempt the clerk into trying to get more for less. Keep calm and stay cool.

Next, you should have an idea of what you item is already worth. This way you can’t be convinced that it really isn’t valuable and settle for something less for it.

Finally, you need to make sure that you read and understand their policies, especially if the item is something that you would like to get back. Don’t agree to anything until you have thoroughly read it and know what you are getting yourself into.

Making Money With Used Computers

keyboard-70506__180I was looking around on ebay the other day, and I realized that there is a great potential for making money in the used computer market. So I decided to give it a try myself and I found that one can actually be quite successful in this, and I wanted to share what I came up with.

The ideal is basically that you will buy cheap complete computers (usually the type used in an office) and buy a few upgrade parts which will allow you to resell it as a gaming computer. It does take a little bit of computer know-how to do this, but the main idea is this:

  1. Find a used OEM system on sites like amazon or ebay or even craigslist.
  2. Ensure that it has everything included (operating system, hard drive, etc).
  3. Find a used graphics card that is compatible (small form factor cards are good as you typically won’t need to upgrade the power supply) and get it all together.
  4. (Optional) Get some accessories that you can include like a cheap LED lit gaming mouse and keyboard.
  5. Test it out with a few modern, popular games (CS: GO, League of Legends, etc.)
  6. Resell the entire system as a gaming PC.

I was able to build a good system capable of running modern titles for $200. This system could easily resell for $350+.

Online is the best place to find these items, but don’t overlook Ft. Lauderdale pawn shops and garage sales too. Occasionally you can get a good deal on an office computer that would make for a good initial system to upgrade.

So there you have it. A pretty easy way to make a little money with a low investment. And with the holiday season quickly approaching, now is the time to give this a try.

Getting The Best Value At A Pawn Shop

sale-1712540_960_720Sometimes, the best deals of items can be found right under our noses. Like, how often do you think about visiting a local pawn shop to scope out deals? Chances are that you never have. Pawn shops seem to have a certain stigma. It is typically believed that people only go to one when they are in money trouble or are selling stolen goods. The truth actually is that most pawn shop’s clientele are legitimate people, many of whom are looking to get rid of some unwanted things for fast money (listing things online isn’t everyone’s bag).

These are also great places to visit to find good deals on used items. Things like electronics, tools, watches and jewelry can all be found at a pretty decent price. You could easily get a new home entertainment center for half of what going to a typical retail store would cost you.

So once you get over the idea that pawn shops are somehow “dirty”, the next thing to know is how to get the best value when looking for items. If you haven’t yet checked out our series on haggling down prices, check it out here. But aside from haggling, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind:

  1. You’ll want to try out electronics while at the store. Not just checking to see that it turns on, but checking to see that it has all the functionality. You may even find a quirk about the unit that may not matter all that much, may yet still be a means for getting a price reduction.
  2. Each pawn shop has a different return policy, so you’ll want to know it. A shop in Colorado will have different policies than a Davie pawn shop.
  3. Bring your own unwanted items with you. You can sometimes use them to get the desired item for even less.

The Haggle: Part 3

offering-427297_960_720So far in our “The Haggle” mini-series of posts, we’ve covered some really basic haggling techniques. The “can you do any better?” and the “2 for less” will get you pretty far, but there is another technique that can yet be employed. And that technique is the “heart string”. It can work everywhere from garage sales, to flea markets to a Ft. Lauderdale pawn shop.

Now, this won’t work on everyone or for everyone, but you may get some surprising results as a last-ditch effort. Basically, you want to make the seller feel for you a little bit so that they cut you a break. If you have just come off of trying the other two techniques in succession, then this may not work well as it will be apparent that you’re just willing to do or say anything to get a better price. But let’s say you’ve only used one, and no dice. Well, then you can try to “guilt” the person into giving you a break. I don’t mean that you should try to spin and sell some sort of hard luck story, but instead, level with the person. Tell them that you really want the item, but you just don’t have enough. Be as honest as possible and give them your reasons for having your heart set on the item. If you have a kind soul in front of you, you may get somewhere.

Three things can now happen. They may be unmoved and not change the price. Game over then.  Or, if they ask you what you can pay for it, then you’re in a crucial position. They are obviously willing to budge a little. If you go too low and they don’t meet you, you’ve just sold them on the idea that the MOST you can pay is the rejected offer. Increasing your offer will cost your story credibility, and if the seller feels you are lying to him/her, they may not give you any price cut at all. If you are willing to pay their price, then the solution is to ask, upon rejection, of what they were thinking they could sell it for. Once you’re told, tell them you need to make a call and go pretend to call someone to ask for a loan. Finally, they may just accept your offer in which case, congratulations! You haggled successfully.

Things That Aren’t Worth As Much As You May Think

flea-market-1262035_960_720There are certain items that are usually thought of as being worth a lot. We see things like this in our homes and get excited at the prospect of having something truly valuable on our hands. But unfortunately, this is not usually the case. There are quite a few items that actually aren’t typically worth very much.

Let’s start with comic books. Most people find some old comic books and think that they’ve hit the jackpot. In reality, only certain comics are worth a lot. They need to be very early issues of very famous comics, or done by famous comic artists. You can look online to see if what you have is worth something or not, but don’t get your hopes up.

Another item usually thought to be of value are old coins. Just because a coin is from 70 or more years ago, doesn’t mean it is worth very much. While coins of that age probably did increase in value, it’s probably only by a few cents or dollars. It’s also not a guarantee that you’ll find a buyer.

Lastly, there is the matter of art. An old painting or sculpture isn’t necessarily worth anything. It depends on the artist and if the authenticity can be verified. Sure, an old Picasso will be worth a fortune, but you probably don’t have that. At least with art, you may be able to take it to a pawn shop for something, but again, you probably won’t be able to pawn it the fortune you’d like to have.

I’m not trying to kill everyone’s hopes and dreams, but rather trying to get people to gain the understanding that just because something is old, doesn’t mean it is valuable. It is worth mentioning that there is always a chance that you may have a real treasure in your possession, but check it out before you get too excited.

When Trash Is Actually Treasure

treasure-chest-619868_960_720We’ve all been in the position of needing to get rid of loads of junk from either an attic, basement or garage. The stuff in there has probably been gathering dust for who knows how many years, and hasn’t been touched by anyone since forever. So typically what happens is one of the following: Either you look at the stuff, throw only some of it away as you think the rest may be useful or valuable (yet you put it back and there is sits again), or you throw out everything, lock, stock and barrel. Neither is actually a very good option.

Why? Because very often we actually do have something that is of some value, but it doesn’t do very much good continuing to collect dust in the basement, or being thrown in the trash. But the trick is to know what is valuable and what isn’t.

You could look up EVERY item you find, but that will take a lot of time. Instead, try following these loose guidelines:

  1. The older, the more potential value it has.
  2. If it’s broken, best throw it out (again, unless very old).
  3. If it was worth a lot when first bought and still in good condition, it may have value still.

There are actually niche markets for virtually anything. From old dolls to vintage stereo equipment. There is often a very eager buyer for something you may have lying around.

If you are in possession of something you are going to sell, be sure to clean it up first before posting it online (makes for better photos). Also, if you decide you don’t want to wait for a buyer to come along, take it to a pawn shop, but bring with you the information that proves its worth.

Making Buying and Selling a Career

money-38268_960_720If you are like many people, then you long to be able to get away from the 9 to 5 grind, ditch the demanding and unreasonable boss and go and work for yourself. The idea of starting your own business may seem scary but it doesn’t have to be. Actually, there is a relatively easy way to be able to make money from home. It is buying and selling items online.

Did you know that most people will see items at a garage sale or flea market or even  pawn shops in Miami for far less than they are potentially worth? It’s true! And one can quite easily make a pretty decent living for themselves by purchasing these items and selling them online for more.

The first thing you need is a mobile phone. The second is an idea of what things sell for online. Here’s how it would usually go: you get to a yard sale or pawn shop or flea market and spot something that you think could be of value. You pull your phone out and check to see what similar (or the exact same) items sell for online. If the profit margin could be big enough, buy the item and take it home. You clean it up, photograph it and post it up for sale. Once you sell it you’ve made profit. See? It can really be that easy.

Obviously there is a bit more to this that just that. You will need to constantly have things to sell so that you can make steady income. You will also need a space to keep all the items you accumulate until sold. So if you are able to reconcile these things, then you have a potentially lucrative business on your hands.

So if you are really desperate to get away from the usual daily grind, then consider becoming a purveyor of used items and see how far you can take this sort of business.

The Haggle: Part 2

dollar-1319598_960_720When you’re looking to get items on the cheap, you’ll for sure be checking out pawn shops and secondhand stores, as well as buying used items from individuals. And in this type of buying setting, one of the greatest tools you have at your disposal for saving even more money is the ability to haggle a price down. In our last article, we discussed a very basic type of haggle. Now, we’re going on to another technique: The 2 for less.

The 2 for less approach is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, but it needs to be setup a little bit to be successful. Here’s how you do it:


  1. Browse around until you find 2 items that you are interested in (preferably related items, but not a must).
  2. Call over the sales associate and ask questions about the more expensive item to show that you are interested.
  3. Look at the price and then ask if he can do any better (see last article for that one).
  4. If he says no, then seem to lose interest and continue browsing around.
  5. Then come back to him with the second item and ask about getting both for a lower price than individually (“How about $*.** for both?).

This can be a very effective way to talk down a price. The salesman will probably be interested in selling a larger quantity of items and since they already feel they almost lost you as a sale, they will usually agree provided you didn’t lowball them too much.

I’ve used this one in Hollywood pawn shops before and gotten away with a few really great deals, so I can tell you that this one works quite well.

Give this one a try and see how much you can save by using it. You may surprise yourself with your success.

The Haggle: Part 1

vintage-998419_960_720Whenever you’re on the hunt for secondhand items, you’re obviously trying to get the best possible price. Sometimes, you just have to search around for what you want, and try to find the lowest price available. This is what usually happens when you go shopping online. You search your favorite sites and spend some time trying to find the best deal. But when you’re going to a physical place to buy stuff, you have a whole other option for getting a better price: haggling.

Now, this isn’t something you can do everywhere, but there are lots of places where this is totally applicable. Like at garage sales, a hollywood pawn shop,  yard sales, flea markets, etc. So it would be good to brush up on your haggling abilities.

But first thing’s first, and that is that you have to be WILLING to haggle. A lot of people don’t like it as they feel that they come off as a cheapskate or something. To all those people, please just realize that the person selling the item wants you to pay the most money possible, and your goal is to pay the least. This is how business works and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

So, that’s the main first point. Now, let’s get into some haggling techniques. This first one is the simplest and requires you to only say one little, magical line: “Can you do any better?”

When you have selected something that you like, you need to get the sales associate to know that you are (mildly) interested in the item. Then, after some back and forth small talk about it, look at the price and ask them if they can do any better. More often that not, they will offer you a reduction right then and there. Now there are two ways this can go:

If they offer a reduction, you can take it or suggest a slightly lower price. Let’s say there is a TV listed for $50. You ask if they can do any better and they say $45. Then you could counter with, “How about $40?”. This can help knock another couple of bucks off the price.

If they tell you they can’t do better, say OK, and then look at some other things, as though you’d lost interest. Come back to it some time later and ask again if they still can’t do any better. You may get the reduction now that you’ve played a little bit of hard-to-get.

Places To Find Used Cars

ford-440863_960_720When it comes to secondhand items, none will save you more money than buying a used car. Since the average call will depreciate about $5,000 once driven off the lot new, you stand to save big by going for a pre-owned vehicle rather than the latest model. Usually, very few changes are made to car models from year to year, so a two year old car will cost way less and still have most of the same basic features as this year’s model.

Now, when going to buy a used car, you will usually go to a dealership. This is usually ok, but there is going to be some markup involved and possibly some hidden fees. The plus is that there is usually some kind of guarantee on the vehicle should something fail. But this isn’t the cheapest place you can get a car.

Buying from the owner himself is usually the cheapest way to go. You will not get any kind of guarantee, but you’ll often be able to find an honest person who will be upfront with you. You’ll need to research how much it costs to get that kind of car repaired (American and Japanese cars tend to be cheaper) so you have an idea of possible costs down the road.

Another place you can find a used car is a pawn shop. Many pawn shops (like this one:!featured-items/ncs0q) have some used cars. This can be good when you need a car right away, and you may not have all the money you need (you can usually get one for some money and perhaps a trade from some other items). This can be great in the case of an emergency situation when you need wheels right away.

So save big and consider buying a used car.

The Best Places To Find Used Stuff

money-932401_960_720As you are probably already aware, buying used and secondhand items is a great way to save money. Not everything is really worth buying brand-new, as the premium paid isn’t justified. Ok, so you have a new TV. But it still looks about the same as last year’s model that you could have gotten for hundreds of dollars less. So unless you have to have the bragging rights about having brand-new stuff, you’d do well to save money by buying used.

But, this does present a slight problem. You can find new items quite easily, but not necessarily so with used items. Where can you pick up secondhand stuff knowing that it works or is in decent shape? Well, that will depend on what you’re trying to buy.

For things like electronics (televisions, stereos, game consoles, etc.) you may try a pawn shop. They typically test these items to ensure they are in working order before accepting them so you’re pretty safe here. You can buy things online from individuals, but these are usually all-sales-final type deals, and while you will usually find things a little cheaper this way, you have no guarantee.

Of course there are loads of electronic items available online. Sites like eBay and amazon have used offerings and they can normally be returned. The only caveat is the shipping costs. But for items like computer parts, I won’t ever buy a new computer again. Building up a system out of used parts is so easy nowadays and will literally save hundreds of dollars.

For things like furniture, you’re a little bit stuck with buying from individuals. Not many stores carry secondhand furniture unless it’s an antique and valuable (kind of defeats the purpose of buying used).

What Things Are Best Bought Secondhand?

dollar-1175048_960_720When it comes to saving money, buying secondhand items can really make a difference in how much you’re spending. But while this sounds good on paper, in practice things can get tricky. There are some things that you’d be better off not buying secondhand while others (in my opinion) should almost never be bought new. So to help you out with this, here’s a brief list (using somewhat broad categories) of things you should buy secondhand.


Computers have become an essential part of our daily lives, but they can sure be expensive. While some may be weary of buying a used one, fear not as you can find many retailers (especially on sites like eBay) selling complete systems for less than $100. I’m not talking about something too antiquated either. You can find many systems with modern specs that will be more than powerful enough for everyday use.

General Electronics

Things like TV sets, video game consoles, stereos, etc. all can be purchased used for great discounts. Think about it like this: do you buy a new TV every year or so? Of course not. So if you get a used one from last year, you’re still going to have it for many years to come. The hundreds of dollars you save make an excellent incentive. Plenty of pawn shops (like this one: carry loads of used electronics.


This one may be more of a personal preference, but secondhand clothes are insanely cheap. While it does take some rummaging around, this is especially worth it for children’s clothes (as they outgrow them in a few months). So do a little digging and save a few bucks.

So take the time and look around for used items as you’ll be able to take your hard-earned paycheck a lot further.

Books: For A Literary Look

old-books-11281939505MsrnSometimes, a home study just isn’t complete without some actual books. Sure you can pack the shelves with other items and trinkets, but a nice wall of books not only looks very literary, but also can expand one’s knowledge base. So if you’re going for a studious look for your home library or office, then you’d better hit the books!

Only problem is that books can be expensive. And you’re not going to fill the shelves with a bunch of paperbacks as that just doesn’t give the room the same feel. No, you need dust jacket-less hardbound books to create the atmosphere of a learned scholar. So where can you get books without breaking the bank?

Going to a mainstream bookstore isn’t a great option as most books cost between $20 and $70 a piece! You’ll have to hit up used book stores and usually you can find something a little more reasonable in terms of price.

Garage and yard sales are also a good place to get used books. Older books are also best as they usually have better quality binding and look great with the jackets removed.

There are also some pawn shops Hollywood located that have some old books as part of their offerings. You could try hitting up some of these as well.

Now, should you buy books just for the looks or try to get ones you’ll actually read? Well, that depends on you. If you’re a literary person then yes, try to get ones you may actually be interested in. Then in the future you’ll be able to take one off the shelf and have a good read. But if you’re only interested in the aesthetics of it, then it’s not important. In fact, you could just fake the whole thing!

Getting The Best Value At A Pawn Shop

petit-cochon-tirelire-eurosWhen it comes to buying things secondhand, there is always a particular given, and that is that you’re trying to get something for the best price. No, you’re not looking for necessarily the newest model or edition, nor the best available. You’re simply looking for something that will fit your needs, and your budget. And whether you’re looking for tools, a TV, computer, gun, jewelry, or anything like that, a pawn shop is a great place to look.

You can usually find good deals right on the shelves on the listed price. But you can actually drive those prices down a little bit more. Here’s a few haggling tips:

  1. Always ask if they can “do better” on a price. You have to remember that a pawn shop is taking in items and selling them for more, so there is probably a little wiggle room on the price. The best thing you can ask is if they can give you a better offer, even if it’s only $5 or $10 you save, it’s still saving.
  2. If you want more than one thing, try haggling down the price of one first. If no results, ask if they can give you a deal if you buy the two items. You may be able to make them an offer. If you want the TV and Blu-Ray player, say, “How about $X for both?” You’ll find that the idea of selling two items will probably entice the sales associate to giving you that discount.
  3. Bring something in with you for trading purposes. If you have something that you don’t mind getting rid of, bring it. Like if you’re trying to get an internet ready TV, bring in your old DVD player. You may be able to use it to reduce the price of the TV. Remember that bartering plays a big role in the best pawn shop.


Where To Go For What

garage saleIn one’s quest for finding secondhand items (whether it be for finding interesting, vintage things, or simply to save money) one will come across loads of different venues where these items can be purchased. Pawn shops, flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. all are good sources for these types of things. But which one is best for which? Well, let’s make it easy for you.


Buying secondhand clothes is a great way to find interesting ensembles, and also save money. It’s also good for shopping for your children (as they usually grow out of clothes in a couple of months). The best places to find vintage clothes are thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Other places like flea markets don’t usually have enough of a selection of clothes to warrant going there specifically for clothing.


Whether you’re looking for a television set, stereo, video game console or movie player, you’ll save a ton if you buy used. As the electronics market is huge and ever-changing, you have a lot of options here. You can hit up a pawn shop in Hollywood, thrift store, and even regular retailers will often sell used stuff (especially video game stores). Searching online for a refurbished item will also yield lots of results.


This one is a little bit trickier as furniture varies. You usually won’t find a bed (though the frame possibly) but mostly old couches, chairs and tables. Garage sales and moving sales typically carry some furniture. Flea markets are good for this too. Some of the larger thrift stores may carry furniture but call before you make the trip. Honestly, sites like are the best for finding used furniture.


Upgrading Your Home Entertainment Setup

power-button-on-tv-remoteIf a home had a centerpiece, it would definitely be the entertainment center. This usually comprises the television, disc players, stereo and video game consoles. It’s where the family and invited friends sit down to enjoy some entertainment together, be it a game, movie or some video game action. So this is obviously an area where people like to have the latest and greatest gadgets. Unfortunately, many will go out and needlessly spend thousands of dollars to buy upgrades. Here’s a little tip: you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a killer home entertainment system!

As the items you’ll be looking for are so common, you’ll be able to find them (often very inexpensively) in loads of different places. So let’s check out some of the best places to look for discounted home entertainment items.

First we have pawn shops. You can literally find everything on your list here. From TV sets, to Blu-Ray players, to video games, most every Hollywood pawn shop carries these items. So you may just look around various shops in your town to find everything you need that way.

Another great way to find these items is by visiting local garage sales. Moving sales especially. People are often trying to get rid of items as they will no longer have space for them, or they themselves are planning on buying the latest and greatest (and also most expensive). So this is another good place to find the devices you want.

Of course, with electronics, you have the option to frequently buy refurbished items. These are items that were bought, returned and then re-certified by the factory and are now being sold at a discounted price. An internet search like “refurbished *****” will yield loads of results.

So you see, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the things you want.


An Easy Way To Sell Your Unused Stuff

money-13519512176yLWhen looking to make a little bit of extra money, one frequently unused avenue is that of selling possessions that you don’t use anymore. Probably, the reason that more people don’t use this money-making method is because of the potential hassle that can be involved in it. For example, if you wanted to sell more than just a few items, you’d probably have to have a yard sale. For it to be successful, you’d have to  advertise it (whether by putting signs around the neighborhood or posting about it online) and then after dragging all your stuff outside, spend the day sitting there hoping to sell. The bad thing about yard sales is that people expect to find things for super cheap.

You could use a service like craigslist and try selling your stuff in that fashion. This could work, but if you have a lot of things, you’ll need to be constantly taking phone calls and making appointments with people. There is also a bit of potential danger as you will be meeting people you don’t know, and for a single woman, this may not be the wisest thing to do.

However, if you have anything of value (old jewelry, electronics, tools, etc.) you can just load your car up and go to a pawn shop. This is a place where you can often sell almost anything of value and get money right away. Many people don’t really know how pawn shops work, so you could take a look at this article to get a better understanding:!faq/mu8qo. This method allows you to be done in an afternoon, without the need for any real prep work.

This not only can put some needed cash into your pocket, but cal also help you to free up space in your home to make room for new decoration ideas, or just to have some more space.

The Truth About Pawn Shops

pawnIn many of the articles on this site, I advise people as to where they can buy or sell things for a good price. One of the places that I mention frequently are plan shops. Personally, I’ve had a lot of luck and good experiences going to these types of establishments, but I’ve come to understand that many people consider them to be “seedy places where they can easily get ripped off”. I can understand the mentality. Many learn shops are located in rough areas and the thought of people desperate for money for whatever reason comes to mind. And while that is certainly true at times, there is more to the story than that.

First off, pawn shops provide a place where one can get rid of some unwanted items easily. If you’re moving, or upgrading household items, pawning them is a much better solution than just throwing them away. No, you’re not going to get the maximum value for your things as if you were to sell it on your own. The store is, of course, trying to make a profit. But you would have to find buyers for all of your things and that takes time and effort. So you do pay a bit for the convenience.

Next, pawn shops are a great place to go to find some types of items on the cheap. Things like the usual jewelry and watches, but also electronics and tools and more. A lot of bargains are to be had there.

Finally, not every pawn shop is located in a rough neighborhood. Many are but they can also be found in regular places that anyone would feel comfortable visiting.

So think twice before you dismiss this type of business altogether. Pawn shops have been around for hundreds of years providing a service to their communities.I’ve been to plenty of them, like this pawn shop Miami located, as well as others and have had plenty of good experiences.

Home Improvement On The Cheap

toolsKeeping your home looking nice is important for any homeowner. It’s nice to come home and be able to enjoy a nice, clean and pleasant space. But sometimes this means more than just a little decorating and cleaning. At times, it’s necessary to make improvements and fixes to various parts of the home. While you could (and sometimes should) hire a professional to get the job done, you can often save money with a little DIY action.

It’s easier than ever to do things yourself nowadays. With plenty of videos online and loads of illustrated guides, you don’t need any special experience to make minor repairs and upgrades. But what you do need are tools.

Having the correct tool for the job can make all the difference in the world. Not just with the quality of the finished product, but also with the amount of effort taken to get it done. The only problem is that tools are expensive.

Now, if you are inclined to make home repairs every so often, then bring and having a set of good equipment is totally worth it. But if you just don’t have the money, there are a few alternatives.

You first could try borrowing tools from a friend. This can be a really easy solution and may even get you a bit of help at the same time. If that doesn’t work out, then a pawn shop may work out. Tools and power tools are often pawned so you can very often find what you need at a good price (like these at a pawn shop in Hollywood). Lastly, you can rent tools. This is usually best reserved for renting a particular piece of equipment that you wouldn’t really need thereafter.

Just remember that whichever tools you get, keep quality in mind. That will make a big difference in the final result.

Finding Movie Memorabilia

vhs-video-cassette-tapes-1460309201SDYSometimes a motion picture comes out that really captivates us. It strikes a particular cord and leaves a lasting impression either due to the ideas it explored or to being just plain cool. No matter the reason, sometimes after viewing, you want to have a piece of it for yourself. This usually comes in the form of having movie memorabilia.

Only problem is that these types of items can tend to be expensive. Fortunately, you have a few options.

You could look at auction sites to see if there are any items from that movie up for sale. You can occasionally get lucky and find something that will satisfy the itch.

Another option can be to check out local pawn shops. It may seems surprising, but especially with older movies, props, costumes, parts of the set, etc. can end up in a pawn shop (typically in a major city like a pawn shop in Hollywood or a pawn shop in Miami). It’s worth a look and also feels like a treasure hunt.

If you can make a friend at the movie theater, you may be able to get your hands on the displays and standees left over from movie promotion. They can make a nice edition to your living room.

Finally, there is the subject of making your own props and costumes. There is a while community of people online who post detailed instructions of how t to make many famous movie props out of common materials. This is usually quite cheap and also gives a sense of satisfaction as you end up with something you made with your own two hands.

There’s nothing wrong with a little fandom, and collecting movie memorabilia makes a great and interesting hobby for any movie enthusiast.

Musical Instruments On The Cheap

musical-instruments-clipartTaking up a musical instrument can be a life-changing thing. The ability to create music and give pleasure to yourself and others is no small ability. Yet, that ability comes at the price of many hours of practice. But it’s something any anyone could do. Still, musical instruments can be expensive, and the long hours of practice are not for everybody. So before shelling out a significant sum of money for an instrument to play (before knowing fully if one is going to commit to really learning it) it would be best to get one for as little as possible.

This is especially true if the one who is showing interest in learning to play is a small child. Children can easily lose interest in things, and many parents have regrettably spent hundreds of dollars on something that never really developed into anything. So cheap instruments are a must there too.

While you have access to places like online shopping sites where you can usually find good discounts, musicals instruments are different in that buying from an individual is best. And a good place to find them are at pawn shops.

Musical instruments do hold value quite well, and when someone needs to extra money, a musical instrument sitting around the home (one that probably hasn’t been touched in years) is a good trade. This means that many Hollywood pawn shops carry guitars, saxophones, trumpets, violins, and more. They aren’t going to be dirt cheap, but they will cost significantly less than a new one. And, if things don’t work out, you know where you can take it back to to get at least some of your money back.

Don’t let the potentially high entry fee of the world of music stop you. Get in there and give music a try.

Getting A Firearm For Your Home

glock-gun-muzzleWhen it comes to the safety and security of your home and loved ones, no expense should be spared. But if you are considering getting a gun for home protection, then there’s no sense in having to spend a lot. There are plenty of firearms that are suitable for home protection that can be found at a discount if you know where to look.

First thing’s first: don’t buy a gun from a private seller. You don’t know what that gun has “attached” to it. Instead, get one from a licensed gun store, or other authorized seller. This way you don’t get more than you bargained for and accidentally purchase an unregistered or illegal gun.

Now, while a gun store is fine, you may also want to try gun shows or pawn shops (like!guns/veudk). You can usually find something that will be suitable for your situation, but at an affordable price. The benefit is that in a pawn shop or gun show, you’ll be buying from a seller who is authorized. These types of venues typically sell guns for much cheaper than in a dedicated store. Though at a pawn shop you’ll have limited selection when compared to the other two options.

Next, you’ll need a means of securing the gun. If you have children in your home, this is a must. Gun safes and trigger locks can all be obtained and are a much better solution than just placing the gun up high where the kids can’t reach it (they’ll find a way). Don’t take the risk; invest in a proper way to keep your firearm accessible yet secure.

Home security shouldn’t be taken lightly, but there’s no need to spend a small fortune either.


Road Trip Opportunities

Ok, so you’re gonna be on the road for a few days or weeks. Whether it’s a business trip, vacation, or just a visit, you’re going to have a little time in some different cities. This is actually a great opportunity to check out some new things and find some great deals.

First thing you’ll want to do is allow yourself a couple of extra days so that you can take in some local flavor without having to rush. No sense in trying to find cool stuff while on the clock. You’ll also want to ensure that you leave some trunk space available when packing your stuff.

Next, you’ll want to check out the internet for local garage sales and yard sales that will be around the areas you’re in. These usually only take a minute or two to check out and usually if they are advertised online, then they will be big enough that you may find something great.

Seeing local flea markets are also a good place to find vintage items. So are pawn shops. Depending on the location you’ll be able to find things that are themed differently. For example, in Houston, you may be able to find some great western items, while at a Miami pawn shop, you’ll find loads of beach and tropical things.

A road trip can already be fun enough all on its own, but when you add a little bit of interesting shopping into the mix, it may be a little bit of a vacation all in itself. The best part is that finding items in the above ways tends to be cheaper than going to mainstream stores, so there’s a bit of savings included in the adventure.

Is Pawning Your Items Worth It?

pawn shopWhen one is faced with tons and tons of old items either in the garage, attic or storage, one may consider doing a little spring cleaning and getting rid of all that junk. But, a careful observer will notice that there is the potential for some profit along the way by selling these items. In the age we live in, there are many, many different ways to sell your stuff. One can use a site like craigslist or eBay, advertise a yard sale, etc. But there is a tried and true method of selling items off that is overlooked by many: pawn shops.

Some people feel that there is a certain stigma associated with these types of establishments. Sure, there are some that have shady practices and this idea would be warranted with those, but that certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. There are plenty of legit pawn shops that will pay decently for your items. You can actually do pretty well if you keep a few things in mind.

The first is that a pawn shop will not take everything you have. They are a business, looking to buy items that they can sell for a profit. While you could make more money selling individual items to a private individual, the pawn shop is more convenient as they will buy those items of value straight away.

Next, you should get an idea of what your items are worth before you go. This is give you the idea of how much you could get for them. You’ll have more certainty about the price you accepted once you walk away.

Finally, keep the convenience in mind. Again, you could make more selling individual items to individuals, but that will take much longer than simply going down to the local pawn shop and leaving with cash straight away.

Trading Your Old Stuff For Something “New”

junkWhen most of us take a look into the deepest, darkest parts of our closets, attics, basements and garages, we find loads of old items. Some of it is just junk that really ought to be gotten rid of. But some of it are items that we really think are of value, but just don’t use anymore, or have no need for. Maybe that old lamp is still worth something, it just doesn’t match the current decor. Things like this can be found in most any home.

We hesitate throwing these things out because we don’t want to take the loss. But often in desperation, while doing some spring cleaning, we do end up throwing them out, or just giving them away. Well, here’s a new idea: why not trade it for something that you may actually use?

Trading isn’t all that hard to do either, if you know a good way to go about it. Asking friends to come over an look at your stuff and seeing if they have anything comparable they’d like to part with is not one of them. It’s the 21st century, let’s be smart about this.

There are already websites where you can trade things. Sites like or even allow people to post things that they would like to trade and include suggestions of what they’d like to receive in return.

Another good place to make trades is in pawn shops. Think about it. There’s already lots of interesting stuff in your average hollywood pawn shop and even if your item isn’t worth as much as what you’d like, it can give you a good discount. Even if there is nothing to trade for it, you could at least sell it for some cash.

So don’t cave in and throw out your old stuff just yet. Take a moment and see what you can’t get for your items through trading.

Finding Bargains: Pawn Shops

pawn storeHello modern treasure hunters! By this, of course, I mean those willing to stray from the beaten path, and venture out of the way to find a great value for either a necessary or just a curious item. We’ve all been to various flea markets or garage sales, and those can often turn up a great find. With the power of the internet, we can also find virtually anything our hearts desire…but not always at the best price. One often overlooked resource for locating items of value is the local pawn shop.

Made more prominent by recent reality TV, pawn shops are a staple of many communities. Nowhere else can one find such a large variety of seemingly unrelated objects. Many of which may be worth more than even the store owner is aware of. Some items may have been sitting there for years and so getting rid of them becomes  so desirable to the proprietor that you can get a great price on something cool and interesting (or flat-out valuable).

No matter where you live, you can find a shop near you. While of course, larger cities (especially those with casinos) will tend to have more (you’ll more easily find a pawn shop in Miami than one in Lawtee). A quick local search will yield plenty of locations near you.