Selling your gold jewellery isn’t a simple matter like recycling or offloading old furniture; unfortunately, trying to transact pieces online can be incredibly frustrating as well as high risk. In most cases, people don’t have the time or the technology to set up a well-established, used jewellery platform on the Internet, or they don’t have the inventory to make it a viable business. However, there still needs to be a way to liquidate old gold jewellery smart and safe. This guide is intended to provide you the clear steps how to go about the process from A to Z. It will save you time and can result in better pricing too.
Understanding Who Buys Used Gold Jewellery
Aside from individual parties looking for particular items or parts, as well as hobbyists, the major buyers of gold jewellery tend to be operations that move quite a bit of material on a regular basis. These include:
- Refiners – On the one hand, refiners are one of the best places to go to get as close as possible to the real value of scrap gold in your holdings. The markup different is thin because these folks move so much material, they make significant revenue on large lots. Therein is the problem. The average person can’t access them because on the other hand one needs a lot of gold to be a customer. So, unless one is liquidating a store inventory, refiners don’t make much practical sense for the average person.
- A local jeweller, established gold buying shops and pawn operations – There is a wide range of pricing and value in this category. Jewelers and established buyers tend to be the better choice for returns on used jewellery while pawn shops tend to be on the low end. That said, there are a lot of different players in this category, typically making up most of the market an individual person might deal with selling second hand jewellery.
- Gold parties – With the idea borrowed from the marketing gimmick of Tupperware parties from the 1970s, these are events held in a private person’s home with a visiting gold buyer. People socialize, have a bit of fun, and then get a chance to sell the gold items they bring to the party. Sellers are paid in cash on the spot based on the testing of their gold jewellery. Folks tend to like these parties due to everyone getting paid, but many end up with pricing that is far lower than if they had brought the same gold item to a licensed buyer storefront.
- Mail-in or Internet Buyers – For years, mail-in buyers were considered the bottom of the barrel, with lots of problems associated with transport occurring, lost shipments, and cut-rate payments. Then the Internet came along with e-commerce, and more reputable players got into the distance market. So this category of gold buyers is now a mixed bag, all the more reason why a private seller should do his or her research.
What to Avoid When Selling Your Gold Jewellery
From market expert perspectives, some of the above categories should simply be avoided by private sellers if it can be done. These advisements all have one common factor; they don’t pay very well, they are prone to low-balling sellers, and sellers could get better pricing elsewhere. The first to avoid are pawn shops, even though they can be licensed buyers. Experts almost never pay the best price for used gold jewellery and many times may not even know what they are looking at, but they will try to get the item for as low cost as possible. What a pawn shop is good for tends to be the floor quote, the least amount one could get for the gold jewellery and then work up from there with other buyers.
The typical payday loan store or check-cashing outfit is the second place to avoid. Some will offer to buy second-hand gold. Again, this is an operation geared towards relying on desperate people and assuming they will take any low price for cash. In this regard, they have no problem paying a low price to someone who didn’t do his or her research first.
Parties and hotel buyers (i.e. they set up shop at a local hotel for the weekend) should be avoided as well. They too low-ball pricing and typically have very little background to refer to. Folks tend to rely on these events where their location doesn’t have an immediate gold-buying resource. In these cases, it may be a far better idea to deal with the drive to an urban location with an established buyer.
Organizing and Preparing Your Gold Jewellery
It’s always a good idea to organize your sets and pieces that will be sold. Breaking them up into different sandwich bags allows for tagging as well as easier handling versus digging things out of a box or bag. It also helps keep pieces together for sets, like earrings or combined set jewellery. Avoid pieces with stones inlayed in them or lots of combined material pieces. Anything that is not a precious metal actually ends up being useless for a gold buyer. Odds and ends or missing pair singles as well as broken items should be kept separate. Also, if you know the karat of the gold involved as well as any official documentation, bring it and combine it with the given bag. This will make the review go much faster.
When it comes to paperwork in particular, bills of sale and invoices or receipts are the best. They document the particular part, the sale price, the original vendor and you as the buyer. That kind of record confirms your title and ownership undeniably. Second-hand buyers are required to vet private sellers to make sure they are not trying to move stolen goods. If you don’t have the paperwork, usually in inheritance situations, then a copy of the will is also useful. Finally, if you have no paperwork but the jewellery has been in your hands for years, old photos showing it on you might be useful as well.
Think about how much precious metal you have to sell as well. Walking around with a big box fully of jewellery is going to be both awkward as well as highly risk. You may want to arrange and appointment and have a direct drive to the buyer’s store location so you reduce the amount of “open air” risk as much as possible from opportunistic eyes and hands. Alternatively, if you just have a few items to sell, there’s no need to be making a huge trip across the country to a particular store buyer. Look from local players who can handle your items quickly. Traveling a long ways for a small lot will simply waste a lot of money in fuel and travel costs.
Anticipating your value again depends on what kind of gold you have. A simple math process can give you some basic idea. If you know all your gold jewellery is 24 karat pure gold or close to it, then the highest price point you can possibly get for it will be 95 percent of spot market value of gold by the weight of your combined jewellery (i.e. 0.95 x the number of ounces weight of your jewellery). The bottom end of your possible price range would be the pawn shop value that could be under 50 percent value. Your true payment will be something in between these two values, depending which buyer you go to. To calculate the possible range for lower quality gold, you simply determine the percent of true gold in a lower karat and multiply that by the number of ounces you have.
Avoid Selling Just to Sell
Getting worked up to sell gold jewellery can get people excited, but that doesn’t mean every item in the drawer should be liquidated. Remember, just about every jewellery item involved has some kind of history or attachment to someone in your household. So, consider what the impact is before selling as the transactions become final once completed and the gold is typically melted down for bulk. Some of the best items that qualify for an automatic sell are missing pair singles, broken jewellery, items received through inheritance but aren’t really wanted and similar.
Consider an Appraisal
For very intricate and valuable items, it’s not a bad idea to obtain an appraisal first from a licensed jewellery appraiser. Whatever you think an item might be worth, it’s very often different from the true market appraisal professionally examined. Many times the difference between the gold metal value and the finished jewellery can be significant, especially if the item was from a very famous line, such as Tiffany’s for example. There will be a fee for the appraisal service, but when the value difference can be double or triple the gold metal value, it’s worth the time and trouble.
Most unwanted gold jewellery is not 100 percent pure gold. Gold in completely pure form is too soft and would bend or break as worn jewellery very quickly. Instead, it comes in a mixed form rated in Karats. A lower karat gold is far stronger for durability, such as what’s needed for men’s finger rings. A higher karat gold tends to have more gold and thus is more delicate. Jewellery will range in gold content from a low of 10- and 12-karat mixes to as high as 18- to 24-karat pieces. Mathematically, one can determine the content of gold by diving the karat score into 24.
For example, a 12-karat necklace has 50 percent gold content, while an 18-karat necklace with the same shape and weight has 75 percent gold. Assuming all is equal and the spot price at the time is $1,000/ounce of 24 karat gold, then the 12-karat necklace would be worth no more than $500 per ounce and the 12-karat necklace would be no more than $750 per ounce of weight. This single factor can swing the price of second-hand gold jewelry considerably, and it’s also what frequently surprises or disappoints private sellers who don’t research what they have before selling. Many crafters have made things easier for consumers by stamping the gold quality inside the jewellery to avoid guessing or mistakes. So private sellers should look for this as much as possible to confirm what they have before selling.
Anticipate the Probable Price of Second-Hand Gold Bullion and Jewellery
Remember, every unwanted gold jewellery buyer that is established and regularly seeking precious metal items does so as a business. That means their operation has to buy at a lower price point than what it turns around and sells that gold for to make a profit and stay in operation. Otherwise, there’s no point in running such a company. As a result, which some folks tend to find as a shock, the price second-hand gold is bought for will never match the market spot price for gold, even when what is sold is all 24-karat gold. There has to be margin of difference for the business to engage and buy.
Most professional gold buyers will pay in a range of 60 percent of spot value on the low end (not including pawn shops) to a high point of 80 percent. The only place one is going to receive 100 percent or more for gold jewelry is by selling at full value or higher piece by piece via private sales. Today, this is far more doable online through eBay and similar websites, but it takes a lot of personal work to manage each sale and can involve a lot of risk. In many cases, one already needs a solid selling reputation on these sites and fraud still occurs (a common scam is paying by credit card and then issuing a chargeback, the private seller ships the item on electronic payment and the buyer then reverses the credit card payment causing the seller to lose both).
Consider Your Payment Options
Many reputable gold buyers may offer different options for how one can be paid for their second-hand gold items. There is, of course, the outright cash payment for the gold sold. Then, a second option may be trade-in value. In this alternative, the gold buyer is also likely operating as a jeweler and provides the private seller the choice of applying the sold value as a credit to a new purchase in the store. Folks who want to upgrade their jewellery to a more modern style or newer replacement may find this choice more to their liking. It becomes especially interesting when the trade-in value offered tends to be 10 to 15 percent more than the cash value offered. For those thinking about converting their scrap and old jewellery to a more stable and useful form of gold bullion such as sovereign gold coins, trade-ins may be handy way of converting their assets as well, again at a bit of a cost of course.
Making Used Gold Jewellery Selling Easy
A clear winner every private seller should consider is GoldSmart. Having served thousands of customers over the last ten years at least, GoldSmart provides a safe place to transact and sell unwanted gold, as well as a buyer that provides a fair and transparent buying process for all gold items based on a percentage of current market pricing. More buyers opt for GoldSmart in New Zealand than any other option for selling personal gold because we make the process so convenient with service, safety and clarity. Find out for yourself. Schedule an appointment, follow our guide steps above, and let us give you a full review and price for your items. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.