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Getting The Best Price For Movie Memorabilia At A Pawn Shop: Tips For Sellers

Globally, the movie industry is worth $88.3 billion per year, and thousands of Americans collect memorabilia from their favorite films. Many items are in high demand, so if you're running short of cash, many pawn shops will offer you top dollar, but you need to know how to negotiate a good deal. Learn how to get the best price for your collection with these helpful tips and strategies.

Research your market

Even if you've collected memorabilia for a long time, it's always a good idea to research your market. If you specialize in certain types of memorabilia (such as items that relate to a particular actor or film franchise), timing is everything. For example, Star Wars memorabilia collectors know that the arrival of a new movie is certain to attract more buyers.

Trends and interest levels in certain films rise and fall. Some websites publish guides to what's hot in movie memorabilia, so it's a good idea to look around and finds out what buyers want right now. Don't assume that collectors only want older items, either. Memorabilia from modern films can also attract a premium.

Look for a specialist dealer

It's a good idea to find out if certain pawn shops in your area specialize in this market. Indeed, it's often worth traveling out of state to a specialist dealer if you want the best prices. Specialist dealers will have more contacts and a larger list of potential buyers, which means you may get a better price.

Authenticate your collection

Pawn shops will only offer top prices if you can offer evidence or information that helps them confirm your item is genuine. Unfortunately, fake items often get into circulation, so most buyers are instinctively wary. As a collector, you can help prove an item is the real thing.

For example, try to include a certificate of authenticity. Manufacturers of collectible items often issue these when they sell new products, but you can also pay a third-party grader or authenticator to check your items. If you want to link an item to a particular actor or film, it's always a good idea to get a photo or website page that clearly shows the collectible in a scene from the original movie.

Many authentic items carry a studio tag or marking. Authenticators can help you confirm what these markings mean, and a letter or email from somebody associated with the movie can boost the item's value. Of course, a collectibles and jewelry pawn shop dealer can do some detective work too, but if you've done all the hard graft, he or she will find it easier to offer you a good price straight away.

Avoid cleaning or interfering with your collectibles

Many collectors inadvertently damage their collections by trying to clean things. Of course, a dealer will sometimes find it harder to sell dirty or dusty items, but you can't just pick up a cloth and polish and buff up valuable items of movie memorabilia.

Common mistakes that can devalue your items include:

  • Removing toys and other items from the original packaging
  • Washing clothing and garments
  • Removing  tags or labels
  • Folding or rolling posters and programs
  • Wiping signed photographs with a cloth that takes away autograph ink
  • Using harsh chemicals to clean items

Generally speaking, collectors should avoid cleaning movie memorabilia. You should store items in protective containers and sleeves, and it's always better to keep collectibles in these items when you show them to a pawn shop dealer. What's more, keep anything you have that relates to your original purchase. Even the original carrier bag or wrapping material can add value to the item.

Get a second opinion

You don't need to accept the first offer a pawn shop dealer makes for your movie memorabilia. In many cases, you can haggle a better price by shopping around. Try to find examples of similar sales on online auctions, so you have an idea of the price you can get. Use this information to haggle with dealers. If your items are interesting enough, dealers will happily negotiate.

The most collectible movie memorabilia can command thousands of dollars, and products that relate to movies and TV shows are a good way to quickly raise cash at a pawn shop. Learn more about the market, and work with an experienced dealer to make sure you negotiate the best price for your collection.