In October of 2009, as gold prices began their march upward, CNNMoney.com senior writer, Parija B. Kavilanz, interviewed GoldFellow® founder Michael H. Gusky to get advice for consumers thinking about selling gold. The story titled, “Selling your gold? Don’t get taken!” appeared on October 15th, 2009 and can be read in its entirety by clicking the story title above.
In the story, Gusky and other experts express concern that in difficult economic times, consumers may fall prey to fly-by-night gold buyers who are paying a fraction of their gold’s value. These companies take advantage of consumers by making the process look easy and profitable in their infomercials and commercials on late night cable television, but many of these companies pay a fraction of gold value. To get an idea of what your gold jewelry is worth, visit GoldFellow®’s gold payments gallery which features jewelry purchased by the company and the price paid by weight and karat.
The takeaway from this story and the general consensus among Gusky and the other experts interviewed is consumers need to do their research before selling gold to anyone. They should check out the company’s reputation on consumer watchdog websites like the Better Business Bureau. They should deal with company’s that have expertise in gold buying – not as described in the article – the guy who hangs a “We Buy Gold” sign in the window of his shoe repair shop. And, they caution, never put gold in a mailbox. Only ship gold to company’s who offer fully trackable, insured shipping methods.
Below are the tips compiled from the experts quoted in the article. Gusky and the other experts interviewed agree, before selling gold consumers should:
1. Educate yourself as to the value of your gold. Websites like goldfellow.com and others have a wealth of information about the gold content of the various gold karats such as the popular 14 Karat Gold and how gold is valued. Consumers should learn enough about gold value to ask the right questions.
2. Know what you have. Weigh your gold on a jewelry scale. Then when you shop around, you’ll be able to compare apples to apples – and make sure you’re dealing with an honest gold buyer.
3. Never put gold in the mailbox. Only use online gold buyers that provide secure, trackable shipping.
4. Check the company out with the Better Business Bureau. It’s easy to take a quick online check of the gold buyer’s complaints.
5. Get a quote. This is particularly relevant to online gold buyers – some of which notoriously send a check in the mail without telling the consumer how much they’re offering in advance. The experts say you should not sell gold to anyone who will not tell you how much they will pay you before you are paid.
6. Sell to a full time gold buyer. Inexperienced and fly by night individuals and companies dabbling in gold buying to supplement their incomes may not value your gold properly. Go with experience and reputation.
7. Read the fine print on insurance. Many online gold buying companies advertise your package for high amounts but their fine print indicates their liability to be as low as $30 per package. Check insurance.