The following is a check-list of items to consider when attempting to sell personal articles of jewelry safely and effectively. This list is for information purposes only and no guarantee of your ability to complete a successful sale or of your safety in doing so is claimed or implied.
Bear in mind that the present market is somewhat of a “buyer’s market.” The economy in this region seems to be showing some signs of improvement, but many people are still struggling, gold is high and there is quite a lot of jewelry chasing after comparatively few buyers. That means prices realized are often — though not necessarily always — somewhat low and it may prove challenging to sell your item(s). With that in mind:
1). It may be useful to secure an appraisal of Marketable Cash Value (MCV) from an independent appraiser. An independent professional appraiser — one who neither buys nor sells jewelry — will provide a disinterested and objective evaluation of your jewelry. If the appraiser is willing, you might request both MCV and “Replacement (New)” values. You’ll reassure potential buyers with a professional opinion of the amount they would pay for the item new as well as its potential cash value as a previously owned article of jewelry.
Another alternative: over the last six years or so we have had good success with a Descriptive Report and consultation of value with the seller. This kind of report is identical to other appraisals, includes photograph, full description, weights, etc., but the value is left off and recommendations are given to the seller via voice consultation. This frees the seller to list whatever asking-price they may wish and negotiate accordingly. If the appraiser places the value on the document, this tends to anchor the seller to that value and may present a disadvantage. Call or email us for consultation and further explanation.
2). If your item has been appraised or evaluated (Descriptive Report), it should already be cleaned and polished. But if not, take it to a jeweler or goldsmith — some offer this service at no charge to the public. If your item is more complex, there may be a nominal charge. You item will sell best if it looks its best.
3). It may prove useful to take or obtain good, clear digital photos of your jewelry. Use your camera’s macro or close-up function and take the photo preferably on a neutral, light gray background.
4). There are at least four broad levels of the market in which to resell your jewelry:
a). private: this is the level where you will generally recoup the greatest return for your jewelry. Private sale is resale to personal contacts, family or to the general public. This category also includes public sale via eBay, Craigslist, newspaper advertisement and other similar venues (see item 5 below for more information on how to advertize and sell SAFELY).
b. auction: if your item is of substantial or an “important” gemstone or item of very fine or antique jewelry, you may want to consider submitting it to auction. Usually smaller local auctions will not realize a large return on an important item of jewelry. If you have good reason to believe, however, that your item is a high-value object, the more prominent national auction houses have the clientele and professional expertise to assist you in selling your jewelry. We make a list of reputable auction houses to our clients on request.
c). consignment: it may be possible to consign your item in a reputable and popular jeweler, antique shop (if appropriate) or estate seller. Not all businesses consign, so phone around and ask. Typical arrangements are for a 60/40 sale: that is, you receive 60% of the sale price and the selling firm receives 40% on commission. Rates vary from business to business. A potential drawback for consignment is time. Your jewelry may sell quickly or not at all. Make sure you have a written agreement with the seller that describes your item and the terms.
d. jewelry industry: the third alternative is to sell your jewelry item directly back to the a firm in the jewelry industry: jewelry store, broker, antique shop, etc. Bear in mind that if the jeweler can purchase your item at its wholesale value all day every day they honestly have no motivation to pay you even that amount. Your jewelry only becomes attractive for purchase by a retailer or re-seller when offered at a comparatively lower value.
5). If you opt to advertise on Craig’s List or other similar venue, use their anonymous posting option and do NOT under any circumstances give out your phone number, full name or address. Request the potential purchaser’s phone number and when you call , use the “star 67” option on your phone to block your phone’s number and identity. Test to be sure this works on your phone before calling the buyer. Arrange to meet potential purchasers at a safe, third-party location such as your bank’s lobby or attorney’s office. Always go accompanied by friend or family person both as witness and protection and be cautious about revealing your car and/or license plates.
6). If you find a purchaser for your item, have them sign a brief, dated and preferably witnessed agreement that specifies that the sale is in “as is” condition with no refund.