Can You Get Cheap Watches From Pawn Shop?

Everybody loves a great deal, and when it comes to watches, buying used watches is one way to get great watches at a low price. Some people choose to go to the grey market, some to marketplaces like Craigslist, and some to pawn shops. But can you get cheap watches from pawn shop?

You can get cheap watches from pawn shop. The key is knowing at least a little about the watch market, bringing cash, and to negotiate. Avoid popular luxury watches such as Rolex or Omega as they sell like hot cakes. This means pawnshops rarely discount these watches. You should also spend time to check out pawnshops regularly, to identify if theres any great discounts.

Now that we have answered your question, lets why and how you can get cheap watches from pawnshops. 

Can You Get Cheap Watches From Pawn Shop

Why Are Pawn Shop Watches Cheaper In General?

Pawn shop watches could be cheaper because their purchase cost is lower, there are massive discounts to move inventory, and some watches are not in complete sets. There are also pawnshops that do not know the value of the watches they are selling.

This basically means if you know what you are doing, you can get cheap watches from pawn shop easily.

Cost Of Purchase Is Lower

When a pawn shop takes possession of a watch, they usually pay below the watch’s value on the secondary market. For example, if a watch’s value is $1,000, they might have offered $700, and the original watch owner took the offer. 

If the pawnshop decides to sell the watch, they would be able to sell it at a lower price than its actual used value and still make their money back plus some profits. 

For example, you and the pawnshop managed to agree on a price of $850. That means the pawnshop made some money, and you also managed to save some. 

Pawn Shop Is Unaware of True Value

Some pawnshops might not know the actual value of the watch, as there are so many watch companies these days, they might not know all. 

All pawn shops will know the actual price of a Rolex, Patek Philippe, or A.Lange & Söhne, but when it comes to more obscure and less known watchmakers, this is when good deals are to be made. 

For example, a situation where a pawn shop sold a Maurice Lacroix Moonphase for $65 when the actual price is over $1,500.

Pawn Shops Need Cash

Sometimes, pawnshops need cash, and they often will discount inventories that have been sitting for too long. This is also another opportunity for you. 

However, to identify this, you might need to check in frequently and see the watches that the pawn shops are selling. 

If you do this, you can observe watches sitting on the shelf for too long or watches that have been discounted repeatedly. 

Not A Complete Set

Not all watches sold by pawn shops are complete. You might see many watches are sold without the documents, certificates, etc. 

Pawn shops often will buy these incomplete watch at a lower price. When they resell it, you might be able to have the savings passed to you in the form of a lower price.

Can Pawn Shops Sell Fake Watches?

Pawnshops are not allowed to sell any fake or imitation watches. Pawnshops as a business are tightly regulated by the government to avoid being used as a front for crime or money laundering. 

This is a logical concern, as buying from pawnshops might raise your worries about the authenticity of the watches. They might not come complete with documents, and it is not like you can open up the watch and see the movement. 

Pawnshops also do not like fake watches – if their shop is known to sell fake watches, their reputation, and trustworthiness drop as well. 

In fact, when a watch is presented to a pawnshop, they are verified for authenticity. They do this either by having an in-house expert or through services such as the WatchCSA.

That means you can be assured that the watch you are buying is genuine. 

Can Pawn Shops Sell Stolen Watches?

Pawn shops cannot sell stolen watches. In fact, they have a stringent process to identify them. Pawn shops usually have to update their inventory with the local police to check for stolen and missing goods.

This is because pawn shops are popular for thieves or robbers who try to make a quick buck by selling stolen items to them.

If pawnshops buy any stolen/missing watches and it was identified as stolen by the police, they have to surrender the watch to the police, which means they lose money.

As a result, they make sure that items are not stolen or reported missing before buying them. You can purchase watches from pawn shops with a peace of mind.

Can You Get Cheap Watches From Pawn Shop

How To Get The Best Price For Watches In A Pawn Shop?

Getting the best price for watches in a pawn shop requires cash, some knowledge of watches, and general skills to negotiate a great offer. 

The following tips, when appropriately executed, would quickly help you score a great deal. 

Bring Cash

When visiting pawn shops, always have cash in hand. If you make purchases using credit cards, they might have to pay for fees, and they cannot charge that fee to you. 

Plus, you can easily show them that you actually have the ability to purchase the watch right away. As a result, pawn shops are more willing to negotiate and come out with a price that works for everybody. 

Some people go to the point of putting the cash on the table as they negotiate the price as if they are casino chips. But whether to do that is up to you.

As long as you can show them cash, they should do business with you. 

Check Frequently

To identify great deals in pawn shops, you need to check the stores frequently. This is because pawn shops update and discount prices on their inventory without a specific schedule. 

Plus, when there is a great offer, you want to know it as early as possible. You can get to the offer first and snatch a great deal.

If you check in the shop frequently, you may notice watches that have been on display for a long time. You might also notice watches that have been discounted repeatedly.

Pawnshops are more likely to sell these watches at a larger discount or negotiate for a lower price with you.

Only Buy Brands You Know

Many fashion watch brands use sophisticated names to project an image of prestige and class. 

But in actuality, they are nothing more than cheap mass-manufactured Chinese blank watches with a custom logo. These watches are also often have jacked-up prices to show that they are ‘classy’ and worth it.

By only buying watch brands you know, you avoid overpaying for watches like these. 

Plus, if you only look at watches you know, you would know the actual value of the watch. You can then quickly tell if you are getting a great deal or not. 

Avoid Big Names

Aside from unknown names, you also want to avoid big names. Most people can tell a few names right out when it comes to watches – Rolex, Omega, and Movado, perhaps. 

These watches sell like hot cakes in pawn shops. There are always people who will walk into a pawn shop and buy a $4,000 Rolex using a BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) plan. 

Pawnshops know this, and they so they do not discount these watches. That means you would not be able to get excellent savings shopping for these watches. 

However, for affordable popular watches such as Seiko or Tissot, you might still be able to get a great price. 

Check The Condition

Can You Get Cheap Watches From Pawn Shop

Inspecting the watch is also a way to help you negotiate for a better price. 

Often the strategy is to identify any physical shortcomings on the watch – deep scratches, conditions on the crown and pushers, the hands, dial, and the crystal

If there are any, use it to get the pawnshop to discount their price, as you will need to spend the money to ‘fix up’ the watch. 

Of course, do not overdo this, as you are buying a used watch anyway. Used watches are not flawless, and a degree of imperfection is to be expected. 


To get good deals, always negotiate. Every savvy business person will tell you this, from Mr. Wonderful to Elon Musk himself.

The key to negotiating prices with pawnshops involves investigating the status of the watch. Ask for the completeness, how long it has been sitting on the shelves, and all.

The next stage often involves inspecting the watch before agreeing on the price. The key is to always have the audacity to make an offer you see fit. Then see what they think. 

The pawn shop might reject or counter your offer. If the price is not what you like, you can always walk away.

The More You Want It, The More You ‘Don’t Want It.’

If you want cheaper watches from pawn shop, always remember the golden rule of negotiating: the more you want something, the more you do not show you want it. 

If you show that you want it, the pawnshop will notice this. Then they no longer give discounts to tempt you to buy it. 

By giving the impression that you don’t want it, the pawn shop would instead try to give better discounts to make you purchase the watch.

Wrapping Up: Can You Get Cheap Watches From Pawn Shop

To sum up, you can get cheap watches from pawn shop. The key is to know your watches, to have cash on hand, and to be willing to frequently visit pawn shops and negotiate prices with them.

If you are interested in pawn shops and watches in general , feel free to also check out our article on if pawn shops take watches with dead batteries, and also what they think about G-Shock watches.

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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