Am I getting my money’s worth? This is a question that crosses everyone’s mind at some point or another when they buy, sell, or loan against precious items. We know the more you understand the factors involved in determining a loan amount, the more satisfied you will be, and the more likely you will be to return to our store. So in an effort to help you better understand how RK & Co. operates, we’ve put together a list of answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about our pawn shop’s luxury lending process.

How does collateral lending work?

Collateral loans, also called pawn loans, are a quick and easy way to borrow money without a credit check or hassle. Loans are based on the value of your collateral, not your credit rating or pay schedule. Under Georgia law, a typical pawn loan will have a term length of 30 days/one month, plus a 10 day grace period. If you cannot pay back your pawn loan in full, including any applicable grace period, we offer extensions/renewals (where permitted by state law) to give you extra time. You may also choose to surrender your collateral as payment in full.

We provide pawn loans on a variety of items, including gold and diamond jewelry, luxury watches like Rolex, Breitling, Cartier, Persian rugs, and sterling silver flatware. Simply bring us an item of value — along with a valid photo ID — and we’ll get you money in minutes after your loan is approved.

What is a pawn loan extension?

If you are unable to pay back your pawn loan in full on its due date, you may be able to get an extension on your pawn loan, if permitted by state law. With an extension, you will be required to pay the interest owed to extend the length of your pawn loan for another 30 days.

What is a renewal for a pawn loan?

If you are unable to pay back your pawn loan in full on its due date, you may get a renewal, if permitted by state law. With a renewal, you pay the interest that has accrued on your pawn loan in full, and a new pawn loan is written. The principal pawn loan amount remains the same, as does the interest rate, but the due date is reset for the full loan term.

Will I lose my merchandise?

The majority of our customers repay their pawn loans and pick up their merchandise. If a customer chooses not to repay the pawn loan before the end of the grace period, the merchandise/collateral for the loan is forfeited.  We will also purchase items of value if you do not want to get a pawn loan.

How do you determine an item’s value?

We base pawn loan amounts on the value of your item—its current appraised value, its current condition and our ability to sell the item. We use all the research tools we have at our disposal to determine an item’s value and get you the most money we can.

The appraisal process varies depending on the type of item. We research and review items to ensure that our pawn loan values are in line with the general marketplace for pre-owned merchandise. We work diligently to obtain the item’s retail value when it was new, its pre-owned market value, and then determine its condition to find the final value offered.

How do you determine the condition of an item?

The condition of an item is always taken into account during the appraisal process for a pawn loan.  If you bring in a watch that is not working versus a watch that is working, you will receive money based on its value. Obviously a working watch would sell for more than a broken watch.  The better the condition of your item, the more money we can loan you. This is true for any collateral.

How do you determine the value of jewelry?

When jewelry is the collateral for a pawn loan, we test the precious metals and diamonds to determine its worth.  The diamond testing includes inspecting it visually using a jeweler’s loupe, weighing the item, sizing any stones (determining carat weight), and noting the cut/color/clarity of each—you may know this as the 4 Cs.  In addition, we test the metal using a special acid that determines the karat of gold. This is done to ensure a clean test so there are no false readings on your item that may detract from what we can loan you.

How do you determine the price of gold?

The price of gold is based on market values, the price for which is routinely reviewed and updated. Prices can vary greatly as the loan amount for 24K gold is significantly higher than that of 14K gold.

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

Unfortunately, we cannot give quotes over the phone because loan amounts vary greatly depending on the condition of an item. The better the condition of your item, the more money we can loan. And for jewelry, we test to ensure diamonds and gold are genuine. This testing includes a visual inspection using a jeweler’s loupe, weighing the item, sizing (determining carat weight) any diamonds, and noting the cut/color/clarity of each—you may know this as the 4 Cs. In addition, we test the metal using a special acid that determines the karat of gold.

Why does the loan amount differ from the selling price?

Our pawn loan values are based on pre-owned retail prices, not what the item cost when it was new. Any collateral that is turned over to us and made available for sale is pre-owned and will be priced accordingly on our sales floor. The loan amount we give you is on our ability to sell the item.  We offer you as much as we can while still allowing room to pay for the cost of storage, insurance and other costs of doing business.

 Is my collateral safe while in pawn?

While your item is in pawn, you still own it. It is our responsibility to keep it safe and in good condition while it’s in our care. When you give us an item for pawn, we keep it in a secure area. Your item is safely stored here until you come back to pay your pawn loan in full and claim your merchandise. Our store is fully insured for the loan value of the collateral we keep.

Are pawn shops regulated?

Yes. States have regulated the pawn industry for decades, and most pawnbrokers are licensed and regulated by local authorities as well. We are subject to such federal laws as the 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.

Are pawnshops stocked with stolen merchandise?

Less than 1 percent of items are identified as stolen goods.  Pawn shops are actually the worst place to try and get rid of stolen merchandise, despite what you see on television or in the movies. Pawn shops are highly regulated, work very closely with local and federal law enforcement officials, and train their staff to be on the lookout for and to identify stolen property.  In addition, we utilize an Internet-based crime-fighting tool called leadsonline.com, in which every pawn transaction is shared with police departments nationwide on a daily basis.

What if I find an item that I like but I am not able to buy it today?

If you see something in our store that you like, but don’t have the cash to buy it – no worries!  We have an easy layaway plan.  We offer a 6-month layaway plan for any item you desire.  We require an initial 25 percent deposit of the total purchase, including tax.  The payments thereafter must be made once a month.  Alterations and adjustments, such as ring sizing, will be made one (1) week prior to payoff.  Expired and cancelled layaways will only receive an in-store credit for monies paid within one year of the original layaway date.  After one year, all monies paid will be forfeited and no credit or refund will be issued.