Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Pawnshop?

A pawnshop is basically a retail store that is authorized to give short term cash loans, using your merchandise as collateral. Pawnshops offer a quick, convenient, and confidential way to borrow money. There is no credit check, your merchandise alone determines the amount of your credit, and additionally no damage can be issued towards your personal credit history! Our customer would receive a percentage of retail price depending on such variables as age, condition, depreciation, quality, and resalability of their merchandise. To redeem merchandise the customer must repay the principal borrowed plus a small service charge (ranging from 5%-20%). The loans may also be renewed if more time is needed to repay the loans, by paying the service charge prior to the loan expiration date (listed on front of pawn ticket).  At this time you may also pay towards your principal balance which also reduces your subsequent
finance charges if applicable.

Pawnbroking History?

Pawnbroking is not a new idea,  history shows that pawn lending  has roots dating back nearly 3,000 years, there is evidence of pawn loans in Ancient Greece and China.  In the late 15th century, as the story goes, Queen Isabella of Spain pawned the crown jewels to finance Columbus’ voyage to America.  More recently, pawnshops were the number one source of consumer credit in the United States in the 1950’s.

Are Pawnshops regulated?

Yes, State institutions have heavily regulated the pawn industry for decades, and Illinois pawnbrokers are licensed and regulated by local authorities as well. Illinois pawn shops are required to report to the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate. All pawnshops are subject to such laws as Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Patriot Act, and Federal Trade Commission Rules on Data Privacy and Security Transfer. At the federal level, we are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),  and the Treasury Department.

How many pawning customer lose their merchandise?

The majority of pawn customers redeem their merchandise within the term of the loan. The national average shows 70 to 80 percent of all pawns are redeemed. Our average is slightly higher than this.  The merchandise that is not redeemed is considered forfeited, and must be sold at bargain prices to the benefit of our consumers.

How is the value of jewelry determined?

We test precious metals and diamonds to determine their value. We have a G.I.A. trained jewelry expert on staff that determines the current market prices to bring you the highest return on your valuables. Precious metals are also based on current market values, updated to the minute to bring you the highest returns.

It is always in your best interest to bring along any documents, appraisals, and diamond certificates with you when you pawn/sell your higher-end merchandise, as this validates any grading done by the appraiser.

How many items in a pawnshop are stolen?

Contrary to popular belief, pawnshops are actually the worst place to sell stolen merchandise. In fact,  statistics have shown, less than 1 percent of stolen goods ever end up in a pawnshop. Every item that is taken in, is reported on a daily basis, to local and federal law enforcement officials. Additionally, a customer must be 18 years of age and must have proper State issued Identification in order pawn or sell goods.  Note- Licensed pawnshops are the only businesses that report loans and purchases to Law Enforcement Officials, Resale shops, Cash for Gold stores,  Jewelry stores that buy gold, Coin shops etc… are not required to report their purchases! Joliet Pawn / Kula’s Jewelery & Loan is licensed by the City of Joliet and the State of Illinois.

Can you find a great deal at a pawnshop?

Pawnshops are a great place to buy jewelry.  We don’t have the overhead expenses such as intensive marketing, high-rent retail locations, and exhorbitant markups due to liberal credit policies.  Our jewelry and general merchandise is offered at a fraction of what you will find it for at a retail store and this is after their 70-80% off discounts! (Be careful of what you are buying because some retailers are selling jewelry that is made of non-precious metals duping customers into believing they are buying gold.)

What is a renewal?

If you are unable to redeem your loan on the due date you may renew your loan as permitted by Illinois Law by paying the finance charge accrued (listed on your redemption ticket)and a new loan is essentially written.  The principal of the loan amount remains the same (unless the customer wants to pay down the principal)  as does the finance charge, but the due date is reset for an additional 30 day loan term.

Can you give me a quote on an item over the phone?

Unfortunately, we do not give quotes over the phone because loan amounts very greatly dependent on the condition of an item. For general merchandise, we test each item to ensure they are in working condition, additionally for jewelry, diamonds and gemstones are tested and inspected for damage and chipping, gold is checked for wear and ability for resale.  The better the condition of your item, the more we can loan you towards your item.

What is the difference between pawning and selling an item?

Pawning an item means you are getting a loan based on your items which are being used as collateral. Once the loan term is complete, you return to redeem your merchandise and pay the principal originally loaned and a finance charge which is dependent on the amount of your loan. A typical finance charge on a $200 loan for 30 days is $20.  Comparative loan charges on other types of loans ie. Payday Loans and Car title loans can be as much as 3 times the finance charge. Selling an item means we are offering to purchase your item outright, as you are not interested in retaining the item, if you accept the offer, we pay you instantly with no further obligations on either side.

May I make payments over the phone or on the internet?

Now you can pay your Joliet Pawn finance charge on line! Thanks to our completely secure website, you can make your finance charge payment with a major debit / credit card. It’s more convenient than sending payment through the mail or making a trip to our store!

Please call an associate to confirm finance payment options before proceeding to online payment link. Loans may NOT be redeemed by payment system. Payment system may be used for convenient finance charge payment only. All payments of principal or redemption must be paid in person. No exceptions. Loans may not be paid over the phone.

If I have a certification of an appraissal does that increase the value?

Certifications or appraisals will get you a higher offer for your item.  We accept appraisals and certificates from the following institutions:

GIA Gemoligical Institute of America

EGL USA Gemological Laboratory

IGI International Gemological Institute

AGS American Gem Society

PGS Professional Gem Sciences Laboratory

Send us a Picture

Describe your item  including a picture, model number, and condition, then text or email us.

receive an offer

Let our experts analyze and offer you  based on current market conditions, rarity, and product quality.

get your cash

Accept our offer and receive cash on the spot, no pressure!