The holidays can be expensive. From the gifts and dinner to heating bills and travel expenses, it’s easy to be short on cash around the holidays. If those expenses went on a credit card, that’s not a debt you want to hold on to for too long. High interest charges compound the problem, and it can be months before you’re out from under those holidays bills.
While of course it would be nice to spend less, or get a raise, in most cases that isn’t feasible. Rather than take a short-term loan or sell something with meaning, you might be able to sell some old, unwanted, or broken gold jewelry to help take care of those costs. Gold is still over $1100/oz heading into 2017, so its value can add up much quicker than you might think.
Here are a few tips for selling your gold for the most cash:
1) Avoid jewelry stores
Jewelry stores have huge markups on their products and don’t sell a lot of second-hand gold and jewelry. If they buy it, they’ll probably melt it down at a fraction of its value, meaning they’ll give you even less for it. Add the fact that they’re paying a lot of security, overhead, and rent, and there just isn’t much money left to pay you a decent amount for your valuables.
2) Search for trustworthy local shops
As much flak as cash for gold and pawn shops take, a trustworthy store is often your best local option in these situations. The more gold you have the close to spot price you’ll get, but you’ll still receive quite a bit under what the gold is worth (not unusual or unexpected, though). If you’re going to use a local gold buyer, the best thing to do is do your homework. Research these companies to make sure they are legitimate, have been established online for some time, and have some positive reviews.
Like jewelry stores, there are considerable overhead costs which force local shops to pay less to remain possible (although they are not as high). You can find some registered listings on Sell Your Gold Locations.
Even if you don’t end up selling to a local pawn shop or cash for gold store, it is a good idea to get a quote from them first. This will give you an idea of what gold you have and a price to compare it to. As we’ll talk about, online cash for gold stores guarantee to match or beat these prices, so it’s good to get those offers first.
3) Online Gold Buyers
Worried about selling your gold through the mail? That’s perfectly understandable. A lot of bad companies have come and gone over the past 10 years with bad business practices and reputations, resulting in a very bad name for the industry. But several names were there before the rush and have remained after the rush – companies with large online followings, hundreds of reviews and happy customers, and good overall reputations.
As it is with local buyers, make sure you do your homework here too. But if you can select a good gold buyer to mail your valuables too (make sure it’s fully insured), they typically offer the most cash for your gold. With low overhead costs and efficient mailing systems, these companies have less expenses per transaction and usually guarantee highest payouts.
Cash for Gold Mailer, a new company launched in 2015, even frequently publishes their payout rates. They offer insured shipping, price match guarantees, and operate purely online through a pack mailing system. Free packs can be requested on their site, or you can print a free label and send it to them directly.
How does selling your cash for gold online work?
All the companies that sell packs online these days (all the reputable ones at least), follow a very similar process. It’s quick and easy, and it generally works like this:
1) Request a Pack or Print a Label – Register for a pack on an online cash for gold website. Most then allow you to have a pack mailed to you, or you can just print the label. If you have it mailed, they’ll send you a prepaid envelope to pack your valuables in and mail. If you choose the “print” option, you can print that prepaid, insured label and attach it to a package that you’ve prepared yourself. Either works, but if you’re in a rush, packaging it yourself can save you a couple days.
2) Pack & Mail Your Gold – Be sure to pack your gold safely. If there’s a chance you want your gold returned, or think it might have more valuable as a piece of jewelry than just the melt value, it’s best to use padding to carefully secure your shipment. Pack it up, and then mail it for free – most businesses use FedEx (so drop it off at a FedEx location or drop point), but some still use USPS.
3) Accept or Reject Your Offer – Most of the reputable companies have moved to online systems to process packages. You’ll be able to log in to see the status of your order at all times, and when the package is processed your offer will appear online as well. Log in, and then you can accept the offer or request your items be mailed back.
4) Get Paid! – If you accepted the offer, companies send payment via check or most offer an online payment (via something like PayPal). If you rejected it, they’ll send your package back safely and securely. Due to the reputation of the industry, the best online companies are really good about taking care of transactions quickly.
This won’t take week or months to complete, and is usually turned around in less than a week. If you print your own pack and mail it the same day, a Paypal payment can often be in your inbox the next day. Nearly as fast, and usually much more convenient than local shops. Not to mention that you get paid quite a bit more.
So get caught up on those holiday bills safely, securely, and quickly by selling old jewelry or gold you no longer enjoy. It’s probably worth more than you think!