Selling gold – Selling Your Gold More Effectively
Selling your gold could help de-clutter your jewellery box and make some welcome ready cash at the same time. As the recession has deepened, the value of selling gold has soared – but how can you be sure you’ll get a fair price? When undercover investigators from MoneyHitman tried to sell a small collection of gold, they found huge variations in the prices they were offered – from a high of nearly £300 to a low of less than £100. From our experience, plus the expert advice we picked up along the way, could help save you from making an expensive mistake.
What is a fair price when selling gold?
‘There’s no guide that lays out what’s a fair amount for someone to pay for your gold, says Suffolk jeweller Jonathan Lambert, chairman of the Institute of Registered Valuers. ‘The internet has fuelled the craze for selling gold by making the public aware of this trade and making it appear convenient. The worry is that this encourages consumers to take risks. How can people know who’s behind the internet gold buying companies or whether they’ll get a fair price?
The Trading Standards Institute’s Alonso Ercilla says: ‘Many internet traders promise to pay “top prices” for selling gold, and people are posting off their jewellery to unknown firms in the hope it might be worth a fortune. Sadly, this rarely happens, and consumers are often offered less than they were expecting – especially as a scrap gold valuation is much lower than what they’ve insured their jewellery for.
Often people only discover what the company will give for their gold when they receive the payment cheque, he adds. ‘That’s when they realise they’re supposedly tied into contract terms stating that if payment is not returned within a very short specified period, the gold buying company will consider the transaction complete and melt down the gold.’ The experts’ advice? ‘Shop around, as you would when making a purchase,’ says Jonathan Lambert. First, he suggests, ask a reputable local jeweller for advice. ‘Visit several places, get several quotes and choose the option that works best for you.’ Our investigation confirms how important it is not to take the first price you’re offered.
Selling gold – buyers tested
We took our gold to three high- street companies and sent it to three internet-based traders. We made sure the internet companies would give a valuation by email first – not just post back a cheque. Once we received each quote, we asked for our jewellery to be returned.
During our experiment, the London Gold Fix value of 9-carat gold varied by £1.24 a gram, so we also checked how the quotes compared with the ‘Gold Fix’ price on the morning we received them.
OUR VERDICT As you can see from our results we found huge variations in the price offered, as well as how efficient the traders were. Quotes varied by more than £200 – from a miserly £86.25 from cash4gold, to a healthy £293.80 from goldbuyers. The most generous company gave a quote that represented 84% of the current London Gold Fix price, while others seemed to be creaming off big profits, the meanest offering a pitiful 22%.
A quick guide to selling gold brought to you by MoneyHitman.com