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I bought my Traynor YBA-1 at a pawnshop for a really nice price. Good experience. I bought a 12 inch chopsaw at Brantford Pawn and got an excellent price. Also bought my Princeton Chorus there for a good price and a Peavey Express 112. Bought an 84 Squire strat for a low price at a pawn in Woodstock. Still have it.
All in all I've had good experiences with pawn shops. The guy at Brantford Pawn won't GIVE you anything but he is up for suggestions that are reasonable. He has a LOT of amps and midlevel guitars in his shop. Just ask to see the back room. His nose gets out of joint if you try to lowball him too much.
Better prices at yardsales.
 

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Over the years, I have bought a Boss CE-1, 2 mint Boss DM-2s and a couple Ibanez SD-9s for $50 to $70.

I also bought a very nice G&L Legacy for $650. Not a steal, but a pretty good price.

All the above buys were at Cash Convertors stores in Calgary.

Mostly I buy cds at pawn shops.

The best finds are in the local Buy & Sell newspaper. TC Electronics pedals for $60, vintage Ibanez gear for 1/4 it's going price on the internet, etc..
 

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I haven't bought a guitar, but I have bought lots of stereo stuff, and video games at Howard's pawn shop in Ottawa (Carling).
 

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...in the gta there is a chain called "the hock shop". i've picked up several state of the art single-well cassette decks (technics, sony etc) for under $20. amazing deals on older stero amps, speakers (jbl etc). lots of guitars, amps, pedals - mostly junk, but the occasional gem is worth looking for. extremely easy to negotiate the price, if you're a half-decent schmoozer!
 

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It all depends on where you are and what the item is. On my travels I like to stop in to the smaller towns and see whats there. I have gotten great deals over the years at Pawn Shops, mostly in the States though. There was a time that a guy would get a guitar in or amp and would price it as to what he thought it was worth. Outside of written price guides, there was nothing. So you may have come across an obscure brand now and again and got a great deal. When the cash perverters were in St Catharines I was scoring stuff out of there weekly. They had kids in there that had absolutely no idea what was going on. They also had a lot of crap on the shelves as well.... but the odd time you hit pay dirt.

eBay has changed everything in my opinion. It's too easy to look up pricing and brands and then just stick a tag on the item close to the last selling price. Most Pawn shops specialize in one or two things, usually jewelry for one. Others I would call goodwill stores, where the place is full of all kinds of odds and ends. If you walk into a Pawn shop and there are 20 guitars on the wall, they usually know what they have.

There is really nothing left in the Niagara Region. Gus's Pawn Shop in the Falls but he is always overpriced. We have a few others but they are the junk variety and very rarely have a quality guitar on the shelf. So now a days I stick to the States or the classifieds.
 

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I used to go down to church street in T.O. and get amazing deals, Ebay has changed all that as well as blue books.
 

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There's a pawn shop around here that has shitloads of guitars and they hardly know what the hell they are.

"Oh it has humbuckers. Nice.". "No those aren't humbuckers. They're some other brand". What a dumbshit.

There are some deals to be had, you just gotta shop around.
 

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I was in Gus' pawn shop in Niagara Falls last week because a Les Paul copy was in the window and it looked good from the road.
However, it was complete crap with the strings an inch off the board and priced at 300 dollars.
Everything is either 300 dollars for an electric or 200 dollars for their pretty sad acoustics.
Anything with Fender on it is priced higher than new.
Avoid it or be sorry.
Last summer I witnessed a man buy his young son an electric guitar that wasn't worth 50 dollars let alone 300.
Plus, the guy showed him a mouldy old case and said: "We ususally get $60 dollars for these".
 

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big frank said:
I was in Gus' pawn shop in Niagara Falls last week because a Les Paul copy was in the window and it looked good from the road.
However, it was complete crap with the strings an inch off the board and priced at 300 dollars.
Everything is either 300 dollars for an electric or 200 dollars for their pretty sad acoustics.
Anything with Fender on it is priced higher than new.
Avoid it or be sorry.
Last summer I witnessed a man buy his young son an electric guitar that wasn't worth 50 dollars let alone 300.
Plus, the guy showed him a mouldy old case and said: "We ususally get $60 dollars for these".

...so true, unfortunately.

on the other hand, a bassist i used to work with walked into a seedy pawnshop in oakville (i think) looking for a case for his acoustic. he found a really beat up case and, when he looked inside there was an extremely old martin, very early 50s, somewhat the worse for wear. when asked the price, the very put upon proprietor grumbled that he had just gotten it, and told my friend to come back tomorrow. before he left, my friend "buried" the case under a pile of junk, just to be safe, and was back the next day. when asked, a grumpy prorpietor mumbled: "gimme 50 bucks". my friend, shocked, shouted "fifty bucks?" the proprietor, clearly insulted, shot back with, "hey, it comes with a strap, and some picks!"

it cost a few hundred to have the guitar restored at the 12th fret in toronto, of course, but hey, sometimes you get lucky.
 

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When the Cash Converters first opened in Toronto I got some fabulous deals, ie:

mint Boss CE-1 with the original box - $75.00 (flipped it on ebay for $350.00)
numerous Jen Crybabys for $15 - $25
original TS-9 - $15.00

Unfortunately, these days it's easy for them to check the internet and find out what things are worth, so it's rare to get a deal on anything.

I used to go to the one's on Church St. in Toronto, but they all seem to be run by overly agressive, chain smoking Russian guys who try to push junk for higher than new prices.
 

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I have only ever seen one good deal in the pawn shops in Edmonton. I have also seen prices on used guitars at pawn shops that have a higher price for the same new model down the street at Long & McQuade!
 

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Scottone said:
I used to go to the one's on Church St. in Toronto, but they all seem to be run by overly agressive, chain smoking Russian guys who try to push junk for higher than new prices.
yeah, those pawnshops where pretty good in the early 90's when I used to live in that area.
 

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Haggle Haggle Haggle!

There's a shop in Stouffville who has quite a few guitars, mostly crap but you'll see a les paul, strat or gibson jumbo acoustic there once in a while. He always has a long story to tell about how he got it off a friend who treats all his guitars well etc etc blah blah. If you go back the next day he'll tell you an entirely different story.

Anyway, he will always set a highter price and you have to haggle him to death. He's not aggressive but will give you teh sob story about his struggling business hanging by a thread (he's been "struggling" for the 5 years I've been there)

Either he'll bend for you or if he is confident someone else will pay more then you're out of luck. I got a Yamaha 12 string for $375, brand new it was $600 and he was actaully desparate for cash to pay his PST.

I don't have a lot of experience with other pawn shops but you have to haggle to get a good deal. If they need the cash, they'll bend no matter how difficult they are, its just a game.
 

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Crock Shops

Here in Sudbury.........there are a couple of local pawn shops and the Hock SHop chain, two stores I believe.............they shoot low ball....very low ball to people who sell their stuff and then overprice it for resale///////and then have the nerve to try and tell people they are providing a great service.

Ray
 

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The days of walking into a pawn shop and finding an old Tele for $200. are long gone. As others have said, the internet and its resources have created an easy guide for pricing.

Typically what I see these days is overpriced junk.


Same goes for the little old lady selling her dead husband's 59 Strat at a garage sale for $125.

These happenings are now relegated to urban legend.
 

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Milkman said:
Same goes for the little old lady selling her dead husband's 59 Strat at a garage sale for $125.
Blame either the internet or portable cordless recip saws. "he loved that guitar more than he loved me. Let me get my Black & Decker and I'll hack the damn guitar to pieces in the backyard. Then I'll get myself a sherry and I'll watch it burn" :D
 

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There is a Howard's pawnshop here in Ottawa, on Carling Ave. to be more specific where I have managed to get some good stuff over the years. Although I have not made any purchase in there for a couple of years or so now, this is the pawnshop where I got my Fender The Twin for $350, 10 years ago. Until last year, I have only replaced the tubes once since I've had it and still works like a charm.

Honestly I think it's not just the store owners fault that most used guitars and amps are being sold at ridiculous prices. It's also the people that sell them. Kinda like "check out the internet and ebay, they sell them for such and such amount". I know some pawnshops most times would sell you anything as long as they get the margin they are expecting. So if they got it for something cheap, you should be able to get it cheap too. Doesn't happen all the time tho.
 
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