I never here people talking about buying at pawn shops. They are a great source for Musical instruments, jewelery, tools. I bought Martin a guitar this year, they threw in the case for free!
Anyway - I think there is a stigma attached to buying from a pawn shop for gifts and such. Like you are taking someones last hope.
Well I think that pawn shops are a great place to buy from. Our local pawn shop sells some new items and mostly old. As far as the attachment of buying something from someone else's problems, I just figure they needed the money, and it was a pawn shop or go to the Check cashing store, And trust me those places IMHO are much worse. I used to use a pawn shop years ago. I would take my little TV in, hock it for $20 then payday came and I would go in a take it out of hock. LOL, I think I bought the same TV back half a dozen times. I have bought tools, musical instruments, electronics you name it from pawn brokers. Always satisfied, I think they should be added to your Low Carbon Footprint shopping choices this holiday.