Frequently Asked Questions – Pawning Made Simple!

         What is a Pawn Loan?
         Why would someone go to a pawn shop to get a loan?
         How does pawning an item work?
         What items can I pawn?
         What items do you not pawn or buy?
         Can I sell my item?
         Will I be safe at your pawn shop?
         Do most pawning customers lose their merchandise?
         What is the difference between buying at a pawn shop verses a retail store?
         How do I know that what I’m buying isn’t stolen?

What is a Pawn Loan?

  • A pawn loan (or just pawn) is a loan that is secured by collateral (your item) held by the pawn shop.
  • Customers, just like you, provide an item worth more than the loan, and this eliminates the need for a credit check or job verification.
  • These loans average under $350, although they can be as small as $5 or into the thousands. It all depends on the value of your item and how much you need.

Why would someone go to a pawn shop to get a loan?

  • Convenience and confidentiality are the two biggest reasons someone uses a pawn shop. The average pawn loan only takes 5 minutes to complete. It is completely confidential and your spouse and/or job will never be contacted regarding your loan.
  • Also, since pawns are short-term loans (90-120 days) that are secured by your item of value, there is no need for a credit check and there are no legal consequences if the loan is not repaid.

How does pawning an item work?

  • You bring in your item. We will determine how much we can loan you based on what we will be able to get for the item should you not come back in to pay off your loan and we are forced to sell your item.
  • We will write-up the loan for 120 days. You will be able to pick up your item at anytime before the loan comes due. You will know on the first day exactly how much you will need to pay back for the loan and retrieve your item.
  • We will complete the paperwork, take your thumbprint and a copy of your government issued ID, and give you your money. All of this takes about 5 minutes.
  • Your item goes into our secure vault or secure storage area for safekeeping.
  • A copy of the paperwork goes to the Brea Police Department (they keep track of all items sold or pawned to ensure that stolen merchandise is not turned into our pawn shop.)
  • While you can redeem your item at anytime, we are not allowed to take any payments on your loan for 90 days. At 90 days, you can come in and just pay just the small interests and loan fee and roll your loan over for another 120 days. If the loan has not been repaid by the 120th day, you are granted a 10 day grace period. At the end of the grace period, we will then take your item and sell it to recapture our loss.
  • If you are unable to repay the loan, or you would just like more time, you may come in and pay the interest that is due and we will rewrite a new loan for another 120 days.
  • All interest rates and terms of a loan under $2,500 are governed by the State of California and cannot be raised by us.

What items can I pawn?

We take almost anything of value. Common items that people pawn are gold, diamonds, watches, platinum, silver, and coins, as well as instruments, electronics, tools, televisions, laptops, iPods, iPads, bikes, cameras, cars, collectibles, etc.

What items do you not pawn or buy?

We do not accept stolen items.

Can I sell my item?

We will buy just about anything of value. If it works, we are open to giving you top dollar for the item. Bring it by or give us a call if you want to know if it is something that we will buy.

Reasons to sell to Imperial Pawnbrokers:

  • All transactions are confidential
  • Your items are appraised by professionals
  • Friendly customer service
  • Get quick cash on the spot

Will I be safe at your pawn shop?

This is a common question from people who haven’t been to our shop before. The pawn industry as a whole has a sleazy reputation. While we can’t speak to other shops, we take great pride in how we take care of and treat our customers.

While we can’t make our techniques public for obvious reasons, what we can tell you is that our shop is just like a bank in terms of security measures.

The result is that we have a very clean and respectable shop that you will not feel bad in when you visit.

Is it safe to leave my stuff at your pawn shop?

  • Yes, we have state of the art security system, that is monitored by the police 24 hours a day.
  • We use a top of the line surveillance system that records 24 hours a day, inside and out, from multiple angles.
  • We store all jewelry and high-end loans in our vaults.
  • We are insured by Lloyd’s of London. You may not know what Lloyd’s of London is, but it’s the oldest insurance conglomerate in the world. Whenever you hear about a baseball player’s pitching arm being insured for $1,000,000, Lloyd’s of London is who does the insuring. In order for us to get insured by them, they have to come to our shop every year and inspect our security measures. We pass with flying colors every time!

Do most pawning customers lose their merchandise?

Not at all! On average, 75 to 85 percent of all loans are repaid. We want people to payback their loan so that they will have an item of value that they can pawn with us should the need arise in the future.

We know the vast majority of our customers because they often borrow against the same items over and over again.

It is always your choice to decide if you will repay the loan.

What is the difference between buying at a pawn shop and buying at a retail store?

Price! You can pick up great quality items for less than what it would cost you at a retail institution.

We’ve got a wide variety of items available, but our specialty is jewelry.

Make a fair offer; most prices are negotiable.

How do I know that what I’m buying isn’t stolen?

Pawn shops are a highly regulated industry at the Local, State and Federal levels.

In order for a customer to sell or pawn an item, they must furnish their valid government issued ID.

Every pawn loan and item we buy is reported on a JUS123 form which is signed, thumb printed, and forwarded to the Brea Police to ensure that the item has not been reported stolen.

California state law requires that every item sold to us is held for 30 days before we may resell the item. This gives law enforcement time to run the required check. If we were to sell an item before the 30 days, we would lose our license and therefore be out of business.