Pawn Shops – The Frugal Shopping Experience (Originally Published on The

The first time I dealt with a pawn shop was at the corner of Queen and Jarvis Streets in Toronto. I needed a mini-disc to do some freelance radio reporting and had asked two friends of mine if they could lend me theirs. They couldn’t. So with the Hi-8 video camera, I had bought to do television work, I did a swap with the vendor – my video camera for the mini-disc. The mini-disc was worth $120 CDN and I still keep the price tag on it.

Naturally, when I was low on the money once again, I thought of a pawn shop, and it’s hard not to do when you’re living in a neighbourhood that has them. I pawned an engagement ring on a pawn shop on Yonge Street. Cruel, I know, but I needed the money. The diamonds even came from South Africa. Sometimes money is a girl’s better-needed friend.

Then when I needed a digital camera, I went to a pawn shop once again. This one is at the corner of Queen and Dufferin Streets in Toronto. I love my digital camera and I’ve become a better photographer because of it. It gives me a natural high to download the images onto my computer.

Speaking of my computer, I bought my computer at the same pawn shop. I just walked in, took a good look at it and bought it. It cost about $300 CDN for a Pentium 4. Not too bad I think. I already had a keyboard (which needs cleaning) and a monitor and got the speakers later for about $9 CDN with tax for Canada Computer on College Street in Toronto. Canada Computer is not a pawn shop, but you can get good deals from there too. They do have a used store of computer goods at the corner of College and Borden.

I bought my 15” flat screen monitor at the corner of College and Spadina underneath a store that advertises for mice extermination. It’s a BenQ that I bought for about $100 CDN. The prices for computers continue to go down and you can find great deals on all kinds of electronic stuff.

Pawn shops and used stores are not just a good way to get electronics stuff. You can also buy guitars, video games, and jewellery. I thought it would always be a good idea to get wedding bands or engagement rings from a pawn shop since I’ve learned to live with less.

Good luck with your shopping!


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