How to sell gold? Asked Logan
How to sell gold, Alan? I’m a first-time gold seller owning some inherited gold. I have a couple of nice looking gold rings, a thin gold chain, a damaged pocket watch and a geourgeous brooch. The brooch comes with a diamond plus certification. Some extra cash would be fine. I decided to sell my gold but how to sell gold without getting ripped-off? I now a friend, he sold gold and at the end it turned out that he sold it to the wrong place paying really bad prices.
Logan from Springfield in Illinois
Dear Logan, “how to sell gold” is a very good question. I hope you bring some time with you because I’d like to answer that question thorough. As a gold seller, you have a lot of opportunities. And besides the well-known ways of selling to gold buyers, jewelers or pawn shops, you also have other options. Think about local auction houses, online buyers, trading platforms, flea markets or craigslist. Today, I’ll let you know some secrets of the jewelry industry and furthermore I’ll tell you the benefits and the drawbacks of your options.
reDollar appraiser, Alan Jensen
Logan wants to know, how to sell gold?
Logan: Alan, thank you for your time. You know that I’m a first-time gold seller with a lot of questions to you. I was lucky to inherit some gold and jewelry from an uncle I have never seen. One day I got a call. It was a lawyer from Boston asking me some questions about my family. He already knew that I’m the person he is looking for. I inherited a very nice classic car, a Harley Davidson and my gold. Besides the rings, the thin gold chain, the pocket watch and the brooch, I also inherited some coins as I told you. I will keep the coins because I was told that they are a good investment but I have to sell the other gold pieces to pay some bills related to the inheritance. Please do me a favor and tell me how to sell gold!
Alan: Logan, you are one of thousands of Americans owning gold from inheritances. Lots of this gold and jewelry owners have no idea about the value. Many of them just sell without thinking about the amount they should get paid. You act very responsible, what I really like. Let me first tell you how to sell gold before I will work on your gold’s value.
Logan: Sounds good to me. Go ahead.
Alan: What are your options when you plan to sell gold? You have local gold buyers, pawn shops, jewelers, second hand dealers, antique traders, auction houses, sale on commission, online buyers and craigslist. There is no general rule that says, this way or that way is the best way for you. I have to tell you more about the different ways of selling. First, we have the local gold buyers, pawn shops, jewelers or antique traders. The majority of them offer bad prices but some of them are reliable and honest guys too. But why do bad-paying guys exist? Mostly, these buyers serve people in urgent need of money. If you own gold and you have a financial emergency, what do you do? Right, you go right away to the next place to sell it. You are in urgent need of cash. Maybe there is absolutely no time to compare other places because a loved one came to hospital? THEN a neighborhood gold buyer is the right place. But you sell with the knowledge that you could have lost money.
Logan: Why is it so? Why do neighborhood gold buyers pay badly?
Alan: I don’t say that all of them pay low prices but I would say a significant amount of them do a shady job. Listen, it’s the same with cars. If you sell a car and if you sell it right away to the next place, it can happen that you get paid less. And it’s because of the huge competition. I would say in the US there are too many gold buying locations. Consequently, the owners have a hard life. They have to share some customers with numberless cash for gold places. But they have to cover their costs beginning with the rent, ending with costs for employees, security or insurance. It can be very expensive to run a gold buying location. We also serve commercial clients. Very often I was told that it can happen that not only one gold-selling-client comes to a store within a day. So what happens next? You come to one of these stores showing gold worth maybe $3,000. The dealer is in need to make money to cover his expenses. So what will he do? Right, he will or better let’s say, he has to offer a bad quote to you. Maybe the dealer offers you $2,000 to make a huge profit. But gold worth $3,000 should not sell for less than $2,700. But that doesn’t apply to all gold buyers. There are very reliable guys out there, just finding them can become the challenge. But it’s up to you. You can find honest guys in your town but there is just one way for you to find out: visit them all or as much as you can. And always ask for the prices. If they are not willing to tell you the purchase prices in pennyweights or gram, they can’t be reliable for your comprehension.
Logan: Well, it makes sense what you tell me. Maybe this was the reason why a friend of me was ripped-off.
Alan: Maybe. That’s possible.
Logan: What about selling online?
Alan: Selling online is generally comparable with selling local. You have good guys and bad guys. But it’s easier to distinguish between honest buyers and unreliable buyers. Reliable buyers publish their quotes, unreliable buyers don’t do so. They can’t because it would turn out that they pay badly. Our company, for example publishes all prices. Not only for gold, also for silver, platinum, palladium, coins, dental gold, diamonds and branded watches. We have nothing to hide. Plus, we always tell our customers to compare. We say, ask your local buyer before you sell to us. Why are we doing this? We do that because we know for sure that we outbid nearly all the other places. There is no reason for us to fish for customers with a lure. Gold has a transparent value and we offer a calculator to calculate the prices. Our margin is just a few percent and there is no reason to hide it.
Logan: So selling online is better than selling in my town?
Alan: Yes and now. If you find a reliable gold buyer offering you the same prices like we, sell in your town. But sell online to us or other reliable online gold buyers if you don’t find honest cash for gold places.
Logan: I understand. What about auction houses?
Alan: An auction house can be a very good option. But only if you own extremely valuable things you would like to sell to collectors from all over the world. And consider you have to check if the local auction house of your choice reaches international bidders. Only then, I see benefits for you. Furthermore, selling can become expensive. You will be asked to pay selling commission between 10% and 25% of the selling amount, plus fees for photos, insurance or catalogue printing. For your gold, I guess it’s not the right option. Maybe for your brooch but that’s also questionable.
Logan: I know auction houses can be expensive, but not only for sellers. I bought some wood from a storage auction and I had to add a 10% buyer’s premium. I don’t understand why auction houses let buyers and sellers pay. But anyway, I guess it’s not an option for me.
Alan: If you have time, a flea market can be an option for your old-fashioned gold rings. They are nice looking. Let me say you can sell them to our company for $100 each. Maybe you get $120 or $130 by selling them on a flea market. But it’s a thing of time. If you have time and if you love the atmosphere, you may achieve a higher selling price for your gold rings. But be aware of theft. I recommend you not to offer your diamond brooch there. Well, you can also sell expensive Rolex watches on a flea market but you should be an experienced seller when you do that.
Logan: I don’t like flea markets. But you mentioned craigslist. I found a lot of stuff for my recreation house on craigslist. Do you see benefits or drawbacks?
Alan: Selling furniture, cars or a television on craigslist is one thing. Selling jewelry or gold is another thing. If you do so, never meet a potential buyer in your home. Meet them at public places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks or Burger King.
Logan: Why that?
Alan: Because I’ve heard about theft and robbery. Well, it depends also where you live.
Logan: I understand. Other options? How to sell gold in an online auction.
Alan: Online auctions have a great benefit and a huge drawback. The benefit is, that you reach thousands of potential buyers. You can get between 5% and 15% more if you auction your stuff. But remember, there are also selling commissions. The drawbacks are your responsibility for your offer and the description you have to provide. And what do you provide if you don’t know what you have. And take care, don’t trust your next door gold buyer evaluation. The NY department for consumer affairs determined that 3 out of 4 cash for gold places are in violence with local law. Weighing “mistakes” or false determined purities are not uncommon, sadly.
Logan: Wow, there are so many things I have to consider. Maybe it’s the best way just to sell it to you (laughing).
Alan: Listen, Logan. I don’t want to badmouth other options. There are good selling opportunities besides selling online. But our company’s president founded once the company conscious that an awesome selling place is missing. And we just do what others don’t do: we offer the highest prices. And we can afford this because we serve customers from all over the US. We don’t have lots of local competitors. We go our way online and we are glad to say that we have customers from all over the US, from Hawaii, from New York, from Texas, from Alaska and from thousands of other places.
Logan: Alan, do me a favor. Let me know how much my stuff is worth and how much your company would pay for it. I already calculated the rings and the chain by myself. All are marked as 18K gold. I weighed them and your calculator shows $823.12. Is this the amount I really get paid? Are there any deductions?
Alan: Absolutely not if you determined the correct weight and if all pieces are made of solid 18K gold. I have seen items marked as 18K, but gold filled. Gold filled is not solid and nearly worthless, sadly.
Logan: No “gold-filled” markings present, Alan.
Alan: That’s great! The evaluation of your pocket watch needs more information. The problem with watches comes with the base metal parts. Your watch is damaged and will sell for the material value. I think there is no collector’s value left. You would have to remove all base metal parts like the glass or the clockwork to know the final gold weight. We can do this for you and reliable gold buyers will do it so too. Otherwise it’s a guessing game. Some base metal parts equal 40% of a pocket watch weight, others weigh maybe only 20%. I know that you removed the parts of your watch. What did you find out?
Logan: I found out that my watch weighs 17.02 pennyweights showing a 14K hallmark. Your calculator told me a value of about $333.3 for this watch.
Alan: That’s possible. Are you ready to learn more about your brooch’s value?
Logan: Yes, I’m ready. Tell me the value.
Alan: Your certification was very helpful for my evaluation. You have a very nice, vintage diamond butterfly brooch made of 14K gold. The diamonds are set in pave and prong settings. In total, we see 3.42 carats in diamonds of SI1 to SI2 clarity in various colors (F, G, H and J quality). Your brooch weighs 11.12 gram and measures 2.1 by 1.2. I guess a selling price between $1,700 and $1,900 is realistic. Not bad, I guess. Right?
Logan: Yes man. It shows a good value but I can need that cash for paying some bills I told you. How can we proceed, Alan? And would you buy this brooch for the estimated amount?
Alan: The amount I called is the market price. We can’t pay you the market price. Our margin for jewelry is 15% why you would get paid the evaluated market price minus 15%.
Logan: So round about $1,500?
Alan: Yes, about $1,500 for the brooch.
Logan: That’s fine for me. I will start selling online.
Alan: Thank you. That’s great to hear.