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The entire 8-minute drive, I was pumping myself up. Reminding myself I’m the Pawning Queen, though I’ve only pawned something once, and I’d only been to 2 pawn shops in my entire life.

I felt that I had good vibes going, because I was heading in early when the staff are fresh. It’s Friday, everyone loves Friday. I took my calm heartbeats, instead of the frantic beats I anticipated, as a sign that I was in control and would get the money I’d hoped for.

I was pawning a Harley leather jacket. Mr. BuLL and I had sold his bike years ago and hadn’t had one since. A motorcycle is cheap on gas and great on views, but it’s hard when the interstate speeds are 80 mph. 

Plus, Mr. BuLL and I had exchanged bike rides for hiking trails. 

Mr. BuLL had my jacket on Facebook Marketplace for months and it was just sitting there, sulking like a dateless teenager at prom. 

I decided to do something about it after reading a book about failure. The most recent piece that resonated was: if I’m not failing, I’m not trying.

Pawning, by its inherent demand of real pants haggling with real people, is hard for an introvert who prefers to avoid haggling for funzies and wear yoga pants when not wearing work pants. 

Basically, despite the inner resistance, there was no winning with pawning outside of removing unused stuff for money stuff. 

Besides the book prompt, I was well aware that I was behind on my money goal for the year. Last year, I saved $12,000 in 12 months. As a goal digger, this year’s goal was to save 15K in 12 months. As of today, I’m $1,098 short. Outside of pawning a car or an organ, it wouldn’t matter what I pawned, it wouldn’t generate that much cash.

Still, trying is better than complaining. Besides, I can still complain afterward, like how I’m writing a whole article about my leery lessons learned from a pawn shop. 

The final piece that caused the uncontrollable cascade was that I had it on my calendar to pawn something. The last time I pawned something, I had a rush of endorphins that compelled me to get another hit. In my happy high of getting money for clutter, I put a date on my calendar to pawn something else. 

That’s how I found myself parking outside an empty lot and walking in the shop with a whole lotta hope and very little experience.

My first leery lesson learned from a pawn shop was when prompted, I should have said I wanted more for my jacket. 

Like the gullible girl I was, when asked what I wanted for the jacket, I responded with the exact amount I’d hoped for. As soon as I said it, I thought, well that was dumb. 

When hawking goods, it’s mandatory to over-ask.

I know this, Mr. BuLL sells many things online and he always asks for a bit more, so if people want to haggle, he has room.

The fault in my stars is that I don’t practice enough haggling. In my industry, truth isn’t optional, it’s mandatory. 

Federal employees can get in a lot of trouble for fudging the truth. So, I have years of practice with truth.

Haggling, on the other hand, I have little experience. 

When the attendant said what he could offer, half the price of my ask, my fate was sealed, and it was a fate I was disgruntled with.

My second leery lesson learned from a pawn shop was always do your research. 

Before I went to the pawn shop, I ensured my jacket was clean and pristine. I looked for any scuff marks or extra wear. I even cleaned a couple of questionable spots.

What I didn’t do was research how much eBay was asking.

When I gave my dollar amount, the attendant did his due diligence and looked on eBay. He used it to justify his price.

This is a lesson I know. 

Always do your research. Everything I buy, from totes to travel, I research first. I should have researched my jacket too and kept that search on my phone. 

I could have haggled better if I had proof of where I was getting my numbers from.  

My third leery lesson learned from a pawn shop was to buy what you love, so you don’t need a reason to pawn.

After accepting the amount, depositing it in the bank, and transferring it to its final destination, I thought about buying things that support my values. 

The jacket, at one point, supported my values, but did it need to be a fancy, expensive Harley jacket? Could I have bought a cheaper jacket at a second-hand store? 

I’ve changed more than an 80’s hairdo since I bought that jacket years ago. However, the stuff is still here despite how much my lifestyle has shifted.

For me, this was yet another reminder that expensive stuff can end up a future burden of expensive stuff. 

How does the future me what to spend time? Annoyed over getting less than what I felt the item was worth or doing anything else that would generate happiness. At the very least, I can say with calm and clarity, I don’t want to go on a future 900-word rant about more leery lessons learned at a pawn shop. 

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