Frequently Asked Questions

The pawn industry came to America with the first settlers in the early 18th century. It is one of the oldest professions known to mankind. However, the industry is also one of the most heavily misunderstood. As America’s Oldest Pawnshop, we thrive to bring the best service to our community with the utmost amount of integrity. The best way to learn is to ask! We selected the most Frequently Asked Questions and provided short, quick answers. Of course, our door (and phones) are open to further questions!

How does a pawn work?

A pawn is another term for a collateral loan. We lend money on items of value. This generally includes gold, diamond jewelry, musical instruments, televisions, electronics, tools, household items, firearms, and more. Loans are based on the collateral’s value. When a customer pays back the loan, their merchandise is returned. Pawns are extended by paying storage and interest fees.

What can I pawn or sell?
Common Items
  • Firearms
  • Jewelry
  • Instruments
  • Electronics
  • Gold/Silver
How much should I expect for a loan on my item?

Loan amounts vary according to the value of the item. There is no minimum dollar amount allowed on a pawn transaction. However, the maximum amount is set by state pawn laws. Demand and condition are evaluated and money is loaned accordingly. Not all pawn shops are the same. Prices will vary!

How do you determine the value of the item?

Value is based on condition, fair market prices, and the ability to sell the item. We use research tools available to us to determine the item’s value. The goal is to get you the most money for the item. The amount also varies depending on the type of item. For example, jewelry is evaluated differently than a DVD player. And, of course, we test all items to ensure they work properly.

Are pawnshops regulated?


We are governed by major federal laws that apply to entities designed as financial institutions. The federal laws that regulate the pawn industry are Patriot Act, Truth in Lending Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Furthermore, our firearms department is regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

L. Oppleman is also licensed and regulated by local authorities.

How can I be sure the merchandise I purchase at a pawn store isn't stolen?

According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, less than 0.5 percent of all pawned merchandise is ever identified as stolen.

A complete description of the merchandise is recorded; along with photo identification of all customers. At the end of every day, we send a complete report of all transactions to local law enforcement. Thus, making a pawn shop the worst place to bring stolen goods.

What happens if I decide not to reclaim or extend my pawn?

Occasionally, customers do not return for their items. Following a 30 day holding period these items are classified as forfeited. Forfeited pawns are sold either in store or online!

What do I need to bring when I pawn my item?

A government issued photo ID proving a minimum age of 18 is required.