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blamm
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 287
Location: , Texas USA
 
Pawn Shop Mics (Revisited)
Monday, April 04 2016 @ 08:51 PM CDT

I recently came across an old thread in this forum (2008) about buying mics from pawn shops. It was a general question, and there was some good back and forth about it, but it inspired me to put together an article on the topic.

So...lemme know what you think. Do you buy mics from pawn shops? Why or why not? If so, what tips do you have (or things to watch for, etc)?

You can reply here in the thread or just shoot me a message. I'll be sure to check with you before quoting anyone. This has always been a great place for advice in the past, so I figured it was the perfect place to pose the question!

Thanks in advance!

John P.

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MikeRobinson
Forum Full Member


Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 624
Location: Nashville, TN United States
 
Re:Pawn Shop Mics (Revisited)
Tuesday, April 05 2016 @ 02:43 PM CDT

Back when “pawn shops” were looked down upon, you used to be able to sometimes get some good buys there.   But, these days, I find that they are mostly just used-equipment retailers.   Their prices seem to be no better and yet no worse than that of anyone, anywhere else, who is selling the same stuff.   At this point, then, their absence of any sort of written warranty becomes a deal-killer for me.

I have absolutely no problems buying used equipment, if I am confident that it has been reasonably tested and that I can return it if I find that anything is wrong.   I also consider pawn shops to be, by and large, “reputable retailers.”
blamm
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 287
Location: , Texas USA
 
Re:Pawn Shop Mics (Revisited)
Tuesday, April 05 2016 @ 05:50 PM CDT

I guess that's where living in a military town makes a big difference. We have a ton of pawn shops, and there are more than a few I wouldn't tag as 'reputable retailers'. But the great (and kind of sad) thing about this area is that many young soldiers go on spending sprees when they get their direct deposit, but they're scraping by toward the end of the pay period. So...they pawn. And, often, they don't come back for their stuff. So we get lots of great gear coming through the shops. Many of the places don't really know much about music gear, so that works for you and against you. Typically they just price it out the roof, but you can usually show them online comps to bring them down to earth. But the best ones are the ones that somehow get priced without any real research and are obvious steals.

However, there are some really shady folks in the business, and that's where buying mics specifically scares me. You can easily test a guitar or plug into an amp, but mic issues aren't always so easy to see on the surface. I've just started avoiding places without return policies or protection plans of some kind. Just not worth it.

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FEEL
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 2368
Location: , TEXAS USA
 
Re:Pawn Shop Mics (Revisited)
Tuesday, April 05 2016 @ 09:47 PM CDT

Most of the pawn shops where I live sell or auction all their good stuff on eBay or craigslist and those items never see the showroom floor. Finding vintage or value is a thing of the past which maybe different in a small town. TV shows and the internet opened a whole new avenue for business to sell and find out the value of the items that cross their counters. As far as microphones, I'm no expert but 22 years ago I purchased a used mic from a music store. It's the only microphone I own, I used it when I use to play in a band and now I use it to record with. If I were in the market for a high end studio microphone I would be hesitant to buy anything without some kind of warranty.
DWL
Forum Full Member


Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 1307
Location: Everywhere and nowhere baby ,
 
Re:Pawn Shop Mics (Revisited)
Wednesday, April 06 2016 @ 03:19 AM CDT

Mike has nailed it in describing them as used-equipment retailers.

Years ago it was possible to pick up good gear at reasonable prices as the shops didn't know what they were selling. Twenty years ago I picked up a very nice nylon strung guitar for £10 but these days they check the internet when anything comes in to set a price.

I do a day a week in the warehouse of a local charity and the few instruments and pieces of equipment we do get donated are checked and put on ebay unless they are very cheap and then they go out to the shops.

Personally I'd only buy used gear from specialist shops or direct from the seller. It's not about quality but, and I may sound a little odd here, buying from a pawn shop feels like in some way I'm benefiting from someone else's misfortune.

Hanging in with the out crowd (All rights reserved)
 
blamm
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 287
Location: , Texas USA
 
Re:Pawn Shop Mics (Revisited)
Friday, April 08 2016 @ 10:07 PM CDT

Thanks, all. I'm getting the sense that the pawn shops in my area aren't the usual breed, which is both good and bad. I appreciate all the feedback!

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