The perils of pawn shop purchases


Lordathestrings
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
Lordathestrings
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
06/29/2002 8:40 pm
A recent conversation with my favourite guitar tech (Jim Mozell, genius!), left me unhappy, and disturbed (well, more than usual).

I had assumed that pawn shops were subject to controls, like a 90-day waiting period before new stock can be sold, and regular visits by the local constabulary. Both of these are in place, but in practical terms, its entirely possible that a piece of gear being sold in your town was stolen somewhere else, and neither the shops nor the cops have the time or resourses to keep that from happening. :confused:

I could find myself being relieved of one of my guitars in mid-gig, if a member of the audience recognised it as stolen, even though I have receipts for everything I own. :eek:

From the other side, if your axe is stolen, and you find it in a pawn shop, you can get a cop to confiscate it, but you may still have to reimburse the shop owner for the money he spent buying your guitar! :mad:

Comments?
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 1
jimihendrix
New Member
Joined: 06/29/02
Posts: 2
jimihendrix
New Member
Joined: 06/29/02
Posts: 2
06/29/2002 11:11 pm
Here in the uk if you sell any thing in a pawn shop you must provide id, that would have to help some body recover the money from the correct party.

JH
Well here we are and it seems only thought is all we have brought with us from the other side.
# 2


Joined: 04/21/24
Posts: 0


Joined: 04/21/24
Posts: 0
06/30/2002 2:43 am

I had a friend who had to give 150$ to get her TV back from the pawn shop. She had just split up with her boyfriend and he deceided that he needed money so he pawned her TV.

I never set foot in a pawn shop since. They just really regulate these trades.

I know it's almost impossible to ask for the original receipts but there must be a way. So much stolen goods must be cleaned in these establishments.
# 3
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
07/01/2002 3:15 am
Back in 1990 I was out of country for several months, my wife was out of state visiting her mother, but the local thieves were unloading our house, the police contacted my wife and she came home and filled out the police report, missing from the list were 2 guitars, I found one in a pawn shop about a year later, but no police report, no recourse, advice from the school of hard knocks, take pictures of your gear, document ser#'s, take off the control plate or pickguard and etch something on it that identifies it as yours, if you have a homeowners policy/renters insurance make sure your gear gets listed................

# 4
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
07/01/2002 8:08 am
pstring,that's nasty :( ,good advice on markings though.

Additionally,i'd say get musician's/instrument insurance,over here its fairly reasonable and insures your instrument while out of the house and for other circumstances -check and make sure it covers what you're doing,of course.

Small pawn shops seem to die over here,at least in the South West of the UK, due to giant Ca$hconverter institutions taking over,yes, they're safer for they buyer,but, in my experience rip off the seller and put unreasonable prices on junky goods.

ie,Secondhand Squiers being sold for a few pounds less than current value and old Kay beaters for £150 plus. I personally hate these shops.


Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 5
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
07/03/2002 2:37 pm
I'm Once Bitten, Twice Shy, said the poet.......
# 6
Lordathestrings
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
Lordathestrings
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
07/04/2002 3:56 am
My point is that it takes the concept of caveat emptor farther than I want to go with it. I've bought two of my nicest guitars at Ca$h Converters, (both Washburn Festival series E/A's), based on the assumption that I was not supporting my local felons. My Odyssey V came out of a pawnshop in my neighborhood. My Washburn A-20 is from Songbird Music Co., a well-known dealer in used equipment.

The odds are in my favour, but the possibility still exists, that one, (or [u]all[/u] :eek: ) of these could be stolen. I really don't want to experience the emotional upheaval of having someone at a gig stroll out of the audience with an original receipt bearing the serial number of the axe I'm playing!

Out of the dozen or so guitars I've owned since 1968, only 6 of them were bought brand-new. I've lost track of how many amps I've had over the years, but the only new one was the G-K Backline 100 combo I use for a bedroom practice amp. (I'm a bit of a nut-case that way, but that's for another thread).

I know the music business would collapse without used gear in circulation to give us non-millionaires something to play with, but what can we do to shut down music gear thieves?
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 7
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
07/05/2002 3:22 pm
I'm in favor of a tall tree and a not so tall rope......., it's a bit of a gamble, anytime you buy from a pawnshop, I have a fairly strong feeling that most pawnbrokers know when they are dealing with a thief, maybe that's a starting place, find a reputable dealer?
# 8
flydresser
New Member
Joined: 06/20/02
Posts: 2
flydresser
New Member
Joined: 06/20/02
Posts: 2
07/05/2002 8:25 pm
In the USA, the pawn shop laws are fairly decent.
If I purchase from a pawn, and the owner recognizes his stolen instrument, he must go to the police to retrieve his instrument. I then show my reciept, and have due recourse against the pawn shop, who must (as the verified legal reciever of the stolen merchendise) refund my price. He then has recourse against his registered seller, and on down the line. While this does entail small claims court, you wont get your ax grabbed at the gig, and you won't be arrested, just keep your reciept. In the end, if the pawn shop knowingly recieved stolen merchandise, they'll be stung, if not they will get a judgment against ... etc. on down the line.
My problem with them is that they sell problematic, or just plain bad merchandise at inflated prices, while paying pennies on the dollar no matter what's being sold. Great if you can't sell your crap anywhere else, terrible if you've got to pay a bill, and the only thing you've got is your mint Les Paul Custom.
j.
# 9

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.