I have a fascination with Pawn Shops. I have frequented them both as a buyer and a seller. As a buyer, you can find some fascinating items at some very good prices.For example, the venerable McTamney’s on Church Street has a well curated collection of estate jewellery. I was in the neighbourhood last week and I spotted this amazing Squash Blossom necklace in the window. So beautiful!
As a seller, pawn shops are a great place to destash — especially for collectibles that you don’t know how to sell. For instance, the reason I was in the old Church street pawn strip in the first place is that I had some vintage fountain pens that I had no use for. There’s a shop there that specializes in these things. The owner is connected to watch collectors and I am not. He gave me a good price because although the pens are broken, he knows the people who want the parts.
Still, most pawn shops specialize in jewellery, musical instruments and silverware. Finding a place that sells/buys other objects is trickier. That’s why I was happy to discover Annex Pawn. As a buyer, it’s a bright and friendly shop filled with African carvings, old Moroccan and Mexican furniture, great retro clothing and jewellery and mid-century modern furnishings. They are pretty particular about what they buy/pawn so the prices are obviously higher than thrift shops and auctions, but still way more reasonable than retail. As a seller, it’s good to know that there’s a place I can go to when I need to downsize some of my more obscure collections.
But you should totally shop there.