Pawn Shop Employees Reveal Which 'Priceless' Things People Have Brought In That Were Actually Worthless


Sorry boo, you got nothin'!

Finding a large sum of money or a hidden treasure just lying around the house or buried in the garage is a dream we all have now and again. Thanks to tv programs like the addicting "Antiques Roadshow" people are constantly hoping every little thing is worth it's weight in gold, or that it is gold!

Redditor u/TheRedWarrior137 wanted to hear from buyers and sellers out there about customer service by asking.... Pawn shop employees of Reddit, what is something people think is collectible or worth a lot of money, but is actually relatively worthless?

Upgrade Needed.


I used to flip computers and people could not understand that their used, broken computer is not worth the $500 they originally paid for it. runed_golem

It's merely Window. 

Swarovski crystal ain't worth crap. Ego_Floss

People don't seem to understand that it's glass and not some kind of semi-precious gem. That said their beads are high quality and it shows in your work if you do that kind of stuff. But I can imagine that they're worthless to a pawn shop! herrhiskelig

Keep your dirty Pikachu...

I work at a hobby shop, not a pawn shop, but we buy and sell collectibles.

Top vote goes to comic books and Pokemon cards. I've literally had people come in with garbage bags full of crumpled comic books from 20 years ago that look like they were buried in a swamp, expecting thousands of dollars for them.

Likewise, Pokemon was the hottest media franchise in the world when it came out. Everyone had them. Many still do. Lots of new cards are actually worth more than the old base set rares.

If you're going to sell anything, do your research, for your sake and the vendor's. I don't understand how someone can try to sell something and have no idea what it's worth. If you don't even have a frame of reference for what a fair price is, what do you hope to accomplish? At that point you're just using your willful ignorance as an excuse to assume you're getting ripped off just because you, like 99% of people, don't have a treasure trove of collectibles. FireAndBees

Sorry Gran....

State Quarters full set. So many grandma's think a full book with all the state quarters there are priceless. Worth exactly as much as 50 x .25. thehogdog

With a Remote?


Pawn shop employee here. Get a ton of people bringing TVs in thinking they're going to get 100+ dollars, but the market is so oversaturated, you're most likely gonna get less than 50 even for your 60" TV. CheckmateNeet

What is Art?

Fine art. Every once in a while, someone finds an Old Master drawing, etc in their attic, but for the most part it's mostly junk by amateurs. Also, just because family lore claims a painting is by such and such a person, without concrete documentation that claim is worthless.

Edit: as a PSA, don't take fine art to a pawn shop. If you have any inkling that a work of art is worth something, go to an auction house or professional appraiser. Sneakys2

You paid how much?

Jewelry. Especially diamond rings. Yeah you paid thousands, its worth considerably less.

Longaberger baskets. The next state over there is a now defunct basket making company whose HQ is a giant basket. They were a thing for a while, similar to Beanie Babies, until the bottom fell out of the market. People were buying these things as a long term investment but they are practically worthless now. People think they still have value. Routine_Condition

No Strings Attached....

Most second hand electric guitars are significantly less expensive than they are when brand new, even if it is a major brand like Gibson or Fender. People would get offended at the offers we would make them because they didn't understand what a retail markup is and they didn't realize that most guitars lose 50% of their value the moment you purchase them. BoxofLazers


Pawn shop employee here, just a friendly reminder that no one wants to buy your great-grandmothers China set. ItsaChipmunk

I LOVE when people are trying to offload one of their dozen sets of china they "inherited" and get super pissy that nobody wants it or will pay for it and whine about how The Kids These Days Just Don't Care About Heirlooms or whatever. You don't want it and wouldn't pay for it either!! It's not like you were treasuring the hell out of these sets as they sat untouched in the attic for 40 years. Much_Difference

You're Out.


Baseball autographs after like 1935. Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle.... yeah they signed thousands of things.

Often lowers values of their cards iirc. HyruleJedi

What Would Oprah Do?

Not exactly this but similar: I worked in a used book store for years. We offered cash and store credit for trade ins.

Sooo many people couldn't grasp that if we are selling a book for $3, it meant we would buy it for way less than that. They'd haul in a box of trash expecting a grand payday.

They also didn't understand that a book being a mega best seller or on an Oprah list or made into a movie years ago made it less valuable for us. If 10mil people bought the book in 2012, then 2mil have probably already traded theirs in and the other 8mil still have it and aren't likely to buy more copies. No, you aren't getting $10 for The Da Vinci Code because we have two shelves full of copies selling for $6 each right over there. Much_Difference

Coins Away....


Not a pawn shop employee but I'll share what the guy I went to told me...I priced out some coins and a watch for my dad's estate, and the watch, even though it was in excellent condition and from 1905 was worth like $125. The coins were basically worthless. He told me "go skip these across a pond if you want to get any enjoyment out of them." UYScutiPuffJr


Auctioneer here- The longaberger baskets and China. Both had their time in the spotlight, now they need their time in the trash. Very few dishes are worth any money any more. Furniture at auction/resale is a must. High quality furniture for low prices. tilvalhalla_

Watches and Watches....

Pawn shop employee here. There's a lot but one that stands out to me right now are watches. Brands like Fossil, Michael Kors, Citizen, etc cost you over $100 at stores like Macy's but we typically sell them for about $40 (even in like-new condition). When something goes from New to Used, the value of said item goes down a lot. snewing


I sell things online and one thing people never seem to understand is that just because YOU paid a certain amount for something doesn't mean it's actually worth anywhere near that. coyotestark21

Sorry Frank....

Anything from The Franklin Mint, or similar companies. We would get so many porcelain dolls, and "collectible" plates. raisins_no

I worked with a guy who bought Franklin Mint stuff. He said they published annual guides showing putative current prices of their prior releases, and when he saw that one of his pieces had increased, he'd donate it to a charity auction, and get a tax receipt for the published catalog price, which gave him a corresponding tax refund.

Meanwhile for a couple of years he'd had this figurine or display object which he kinda liked. And the charity would sell it for some non-zero sum.

So it was all this weird inefficient ecosystem for funneling gov't money to charities. vbf-cc

No Fads Please....

Fad toys like beanie babies that everyone thought would be worth a ton of money.

If the thrift stores are full of piles of it, it is worthless.

If the pawn shops are full of it, its also worthless.

If everyone thought it was going to pay their retirement, its worthless.

Clothing, I know most pawn shops don't sell clothing, but clothing is NOT worth what you pay for it once you remove the tags. Also most clothing that you think is worth money is not. Most mall brand clothing that you pay $50 for will sell for about $5 per item on Ebay if it even sells at all, don't even get me started on what those items are originally tagged. If you wear it once the depreciation is probably 80% of what you paid for it or even more and that would be for the higher end brands. SaraAB87

Further Back.


Not a pawn shop employee but I flip things, and one thing that a lot of people misunderstand is comic books.

They're usually not worth more than a couple bucks unless you go really far back, like 50s/early 60s. Even then they need to be in excellent condition; a few scuffs around the edges and a bit of fading can easily make a $1000 book worth $50. PmButtPics4ADrawing

bric a brac....

Old TV's.

A guy I knew would advertise that he bought old TV's. Old people would call him and let him into their houses to get the TV. It was just a ploy to get into their house. He would then look around and offer them lowball prices for any antique "bric a brac" that he spotted, like 50¢ for Hummel statues. He'd buy their TV and dump it somewhere, and make a mint selling their actually valuable things. AuthorizedVehicle

Umm... yuck...

close .... Porno shop owner. amazing people think their run of the mill VHS porno's are worth anything.

I just calmly look at the guy and go. I have a warehouse with over 80,000 VHS tapes. you want 500 of them? you can have them for nothing. just take as many as you can fit in your car :-) nerys71


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