A "Pawn" is a collateral loan secured by merchandise. When you pawn an item, you are given a time frame in which to come back for your item. The pawnbroker charges interest on the loan (like all other lending institutions) based on the amount of time that it takes the pledger to come back for their items. During this time frame, the items pawned are not displayed for sale, and are not offered for sale. If the pledger does not come back for their merchandise within the allotted time frame, the pawnbroker is then vested with ownership of the item. the pawnbroker can then sell the item to satisfy the terms of the loan.
There is a big difference between "Pawning" and "Selling" your merchandise. If you sell your merchandise, you are relinquishing all claims to your merchandise at the time of the transaction. The pawnbroker then holds the item you are selling for 30 days, pending police background investigations, after which he can sell the merchandise. If you pawn your merchandise, you are telling the pawnbroker that you intend to come back for your merchandise, and he is then required to hold it for the specified time. In our case, the time allotted to redeem your pawned items is 5 months.
Often you will get more money selling your merchandise, rather than pawning it, because the pawnbroker doesn't have to hold onto the merchandise as long, thus being less succeptable to downward market trends and depreciation.