You might have seen the ads on television or on billboards about selling your gold for cash. There are plenty of brokers out there that are buying gold up.
But who should you sell it to? With gold prices reaching an all time high, there is no shortage of companies ready, willing, and able to buy your gold. However, only some of these gold buyers are legitimate.
Many others are fly-by-night businesses just looking to make a quick buck, employing questionable practices and placing you, the gold seller, at risk. As a sophisticated consumer, you have many different options to consider when choosing a gold buyer, and each has its benefits and risks:
Local pawn shops are some of the gold buyers out there. Many people are interested in this option because you receive the cash instantly.
However, there are many risks. When you walk into a pawn shop it is similar to buying a used car.
You don’t know what you really have, you don’t know what you really are being paid, and therefore you have no idea if you are really getting a fair price. I actually decided to test some of the local area pawn shops; I went to 3 different shops in a single day.
I was given 3 very different prices ($125, $140, $318) on the SAME day for the SAME old and broken gold jewelry (our prices on that day resulted in a $620 offer for the same items). Pawn shops can be very intimidating, and the prices offered are usually very low: the typical pawn shop pays between 10 and 20 cents on the dollar for items containing gold.
Local or family jewelers are also buying gold. Many people have built a relationship with one or more local or family jewelers.
When you work with a local or family jeweler, there develops an implicit trust over time. It can be difficult and sometimes embarrassing, to question the price you are being offered, or to request evidence that the price is fair, for fear of damaging the relationship. Typically a jeweler will buy jewelry at wholesale and mark it up three or four times the value of gold content for retail sale.
When you sell to a jeweler, you can expect to be paid somewhere between 20 and 50% of actual gold value.
And of course, there are online gold buyers. With the advent of the Internet, it is now easier than ever for anybody to offer to buy gold and other precious metals online.
Because of this, consumers must be very careful when choosing an online gold buyer. However, a few simple questions can lead to a rewarding relationship with the ideal online gold buyer for you. Here are some important things to look for:
Prices should be published clearly every day, and for any amount of gold. Make sure your gold buyer discloses pricing for amounts less than 1 ounce, or 20 pennyweights
You should have the opportunity to see an itemized offer and to decline the transaction if you wish.
The shipping method used to send your items should be via a premium shipping service, and you should not be charged. FedEx is the safest method for shipping your items, as each package is fully traceable online or by telephone. Never agree to ship your gold jewelry through the USPS
Insurance adequate to cover the value of your goods should be provided at no cost. Most cash for gold companies limit their liability to a maximum of $100, which is not nearly enough in most cases. You should look for coverage of at least $1,000, and there should be an option to secure greater coverage if your shipment requires it.
Call to ask questions. Is the customer service friendly, efficient and unhurried? The right online gold buyer will want you to be comfortable, and will demonstrate that with their manner on the telephone.
Ask about referral programs: companies who value their customers will want you to refer friends and family, and should pay you for those referrals.
Make sure the company is listed with the Better Business Bureau and has at least an A-rating. If there are any complaints, check to be sure they were resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
So the next time you wonder who you should sell your gold to, follow these steps and you will be rewarded with a positive experience that will hopefully turn into a relationship you can rely on for extra cash in the years to come.
Jack R. Landry has a PHD in financial services and has written hundreds of articles relating to financial products and Sell Scrap Gold
. He has been a consumer advocate for 25 years.
Jack R. Landry