BBB tips for selling gold, online or in person

  
     
July 27, 2010

Have you thought about making a few extra dollars by selling some of your gold jewelry? Options to sell your gold online, at in-home ‘gold parties’, or through local jewelers are gaining in popularity, and the Better Business Bureau would like consumers to think before they try to cash in on the gold rush.

“Selling old or unwanted gold is a growing trend for consumers who are looking to cash in on high gold prices,” says Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. “Whether you do it through a gold-party, over the Internet, or through a local jeweler consumers need to get informed before they sell their jewelry.”

BBB suggests consumers consider the following before selling your gold:

All that glitters is not always gold. Your jewelry may be stamped “14-Karat,” but that does not mean it is gold. Some necklaces can have catches stamped as such, but the number alone means little.

Find a trustworthy appraiser. For an appraisal, if possible, go to someone locally whom you know and trust. Check with the Better Business Bureau at mbc.bbb.org. Look to see if others have reported issues with a particular jeweler or jewelry store. The BBB suggests obtaining two or three appraisals to compare prices, prior to any sale.

The true price of gold may not be what you receive. If gold is worth $1200 per ounce, you aren't going to be paid $1200 for every ounce of gold you have.

· Ask what you will be paid (if an online company, make sure you ask for specifics and give details on items you’ll be sending).

· The ounce quote is for pure gold only.

· 14-Karat gold is composed of just 58.5 percent gold. Ask how much the company’s going rate is for each ounce of each karat you are sending.

· The lower the karat, the less the gold content.

Don't let anyone steal your diamonds from gold pieces. Single gold stud earrings might be worth $5 or $10, yet diamonds in the earrings can be saved. Some are too small, and the labor to remove them might exceed their value, but engagement ring diamonds, for example, should be given a value separate from the gold.

Sometimes less is more. Gold pieces with less color, or fewer stones, are worth more. A jeweler must break the stones out before the item goes to the refinery.

Know the terms and conditions when sending items by post. Make sure your items are insured when being shipped, so if they are lost you can recover the value.

· Obtain appraisals prior to mailing items, so if they are lost you have proof of their value.

· Check the company’s policy as to what they will reimburse if they lose your product. Many limit their liability.

· Make a list of the items included in the package, keep a copy for yourself, and put a copy in the envelope.

· Take a picture of the items you are sending, including any identifying marks.

Ask about the company’s guarantee if you are not satisfied with the price offered.

Can you get your product back, if you return the check (many companies melt down the items in 10 – 14 days)? If you send the check back, send it “return receipt requested,” so you have proof when it arrived at the company.