Cash For Gold… Is It Worth It To Sell Old Gold Jewelry Through The Mail?

by Curtis

frugal tips, investments, online shopping, selling things

Times are tough these days. Many people are jumping at the chance to bring in a few extra bucks.

You’ve seen the cash for gold commercials on TV, right? They say that you can mail in your old damaged and out-of-date gold jewelry, and they’ll send you cash. It looks like quick easy cash, that’s for sure.

With promises of big checks and no risk on your part, they even go so far as to say if the offer isn’t what you expected, they’ll gladly return your jewelry!

With gold prices escalating toward the $1,000 per ounce mark (see Live Market Prices), it doesn’t take a very large pile of scrap jewelry to amount to enough cash to mean something — especially when you’re having a hard time meeting your day-to-day living expenses.

The big question is:

Is it worth it to send away your gold in exchange for cash? Are the cash for gold companies you see online and in TV commercials likely to pay you what your gold is really worth? 

There are a number of mail-order outlets where you can sell your old gold and get quick cash in return.

Here are a few:

Reviews Of Cash For Gold Companies

Is one cash for gold company better than another? In all probability, none of them is the best way to get top dollar for your gold jewelry or gold coins.

Recently, Good Morning America reviewed mail-order gold companies. They summarized the pros and cons of mailing your gold in for money. They sent equal amounts of gold to 3 popular mail-order gold buying companies: Cash4Gold, Empire Gold Buyers and Get Gold Cash. On quantities worth $350 on the used gold market, they received offers as low as $70 (video here).

Here’s another review of Cash For Gold USA, Broken Gold and Cash4Gold:

How Cash For Gold Companies Work

The fact is… mailorder gold buying companies are banking on the fact that you’re more interested in selling your gold without having to make a trip to a local jeweler or pawn shop.

They hope that when you see their flashy commercial on TV, you’ll immediately react without thinking that maybe you should shop around.

Before You Send In Your Gold…

There’s one very important thing to remember when you’re selling your gold. The more layers of people you have to go through, the less money you’ll make from selling your gold pieces. Middle men all get their share of the pot. By the time all of these people take their cut, there will be very little money left for you.

Try to sell your gold to a wholesaler, not a jewelry store. The wholesaler deals directly with the gold refinery, so you’re bound to get a better deal. Many wholesalers allow you to mail your gold in, so check their web sites. Also, make sure they are registered with the Better Business Bureau.

ABC News

Remember, gold is an investment — just like stocks and bonds. It makes no sense to sell off paper securities when the prices are low, so why would you let your precious metals slip through your fingers for a small portion of their actual value?

Before you fall for slick commercials and the convenience of “right here, right now”, make a trip to a trusted jeweler or gold wholesaler first. Do some research, and take the time to find the best price for your gold. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good, so it’s in your best interest to get the best price you can for it.

No matter where you ultimately decide to sell your gold for cash, check here first (or your local newspaper) for today’s gold prices. That way, you know how much your gold pieces are really worth. Of course, you’ll also need to have some idea of the overall weight of your gold, as well as how many pieces are 14 karat or 18 karat (which is most commonly used in gold jewelry) and how many are 24 karat (the purest form of gold). The higher the karat, the more it’s worth.

A word of caution:  if you do mail in your gold pieces, make sure they are properly insured. Otherwise, if it’s obvious what’s inside the envelope, there is a good chance the package will never even make it to its destination!

And one final tip: Be prepared to walk away and say “No thanks!”

You should never accept the first offer. Our experience has proven that companies will make 2 and 3 additional offers.

— Donald Palmeri (gem expert)

UPDATE:  Thinking about getting cash for gold soon?… Read this first! Congress is pursuing new legislation to prevent low-ball offers, gold being lost in the mail, and other injustices that have resulted from mail-order cash for gold offers.