I always stop in at the 'Cash Generator' type shops when out and about - most towns in the UK have at least one, if not three such places.
They're always full of goodies - I have rarely seen any scanners or receivers (except a nice Sangean ATS-909 for £90). I suppose the days of criminals and other people offloading their 'police scanners' are gone.
Anyway - I'm always on the look out for a bargain, and I have been in the market for a solid state 'dictaphone' or audio recorder. The one I want has to have an external input for radios/microphones etc. Today, I struck lucky. I got an immaculate Sony ICD-P520. It's a 256MB internal storage (sounds bad I know) recorder with a mono mic input, VOX and other goodies. More importantly it lets you download to your computer.
It was listed at £39.99, but a quick "any chance of a deal?" got the price down to £17. Always worth asking!
I also re-visited a shop I'd seen a nice Creative X-FI USB sound card in - these are ideal for software defined radio with a high sample rate and good quality...ness. Anyway, when I went in again, it had gone :(
So, the moral of the story here is:
Always check the pawn shops.
Always be cheeky and ask for some money off.
Don't leave it too late - most of them allow you to 'put money down today' and reserve the item.
Keep an open mind on what can be used for radio/monitoring/scanning/covert ops, depending on your line of work/hobbies!