Five Places To Sell My Jewelry
While working in the jewelry industry, my friends have asked me for advice on how to sell jewelry for the most money. They ask “How much can I sell my diamond for?” and “ Can you help me sell my ring?” I always pass on the same advice to everyone and figured it’s time to pass it on to the world. It is important to note while there are many options when selling your jewelry it is incredibly unlikely that you will receive what you paid for it and even less likely that you will receive what your appraisal says its worth.
For the purposes of this article i will use a ring as the example as I’ve found that this is the most common and requested piece of jewelry to sell.
1. Craigslist & Ebay
When selling, the most money you can recover will be from another end user. If you can sell to Jane who was going to buy a diamond ring anyway it works in both your interests. She can buy jewelry she was going to buy anyways at a discount and you can sell your ring beyond what any professional service will pay for it. While this sounds like the best option, there are a few drawbacks you should consider.
When working with Craigslist and Ebay, it takes a considerable amount of effort on your part. Between posting negotiating back and forth, bots, spam, arranging and meeting with potential buyers you put a great deal of time and energy into selling your ring.
Another issue to consider when selling via Ebay or Craigslist is the trust and security factor.
When you sell via Craigslist, you are forced to meet with your potential buyers in person, which for many people can be an uncomfortable situation at best and possibly dangerous at worst. This is why I always suggest that my friends who choose to go down this route demand to meet either at a bank, police station, or jewelry store. (A jewelry store is the best option as you can have the jeweler verify your ring’s authenticity.) You also may confront scams on CraigsList – people trying to get you to ship the ring as they are out of town or buying it for a family member and then pay via Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, and then dispute the transaction saying they received an empty box.
When working via Ebay you must consider two things, the potential for fraud and costs. When you sell via Ebay, you are subject to the buyer disputing the transaction, saying the ring isn’t genuine, the stone was misrepresented, etc. There have been cases where the buyer has substituted a different stone and falsely disputed the transaction. Ebay generally sides with the buyer putting the burden of proof on you, creating untold hassles for you. that there are shipping, listing, and commissions taken by them for posting your listing. This can cut into the benefit of going through the hassle of selling to another end user.
- More Money
- Time Consuming
- Ebay and Paypal take commissions and fees
- Possibly unsafe
- Risk of scammers
2. Pawn Shops & Gold Buyers
If you have ever seen Pawn Stars, you know that classic pawn shops will take you for a ride. Most pawn shops will assign a value to a ring based on a guess of what it might be worth. Most pawn shops are not properly equipped with gemologists or testing equipment to ensure the authenticity of diamonds so they hedge their bets and pay pennies on the dollar for diamonds, if they even pay for them along with the metal value of the ring.
Gold Buyers may ignore the value of your diamonds altogether.when selling.They look at the weight of the ring and today’s gold prices and give you less than half that value.
Why would anyone accept these offers? Pawn Shops and gold buyers look for people who are in desperate need of funding and take advantage of the situation. They do not offer based on the real value but rather pay the minimum that the customer can’t afford not to take. These businesses see profit margins in the hundreds and thousands of percents. So while it may be fast, it comes at a price.
- Get your money fast
- The least effort
- Get significantly less than it’s worth to anyone including professionals.
3. Jewelry Store Consignment
Jewelry store consignments can work a number of ways. You can agree on a reserve price in which you agree to a minimum amount and any amount over is the store’s profit or you can agree to a consignment sale in which the store takes a steep commision from the final selling price. This can work to your advantage as there is relatively little effort involved and depending on your deal can guarantee a price all while your jewelry sits in a showcase with potential customers eyeing it daily. This is excellent if you have modern in-fashion jewelry with a relatively low price. If you want to sell jewelry with a higher price or sell older jewelry, this process can take weeks to years.
- You may get more money
- Minimal effort required
- Can take weeks to months to years with no guarantee of sale
4. Auction Houses
Going once, twice, SOLD! These famous words are what you imagine when an auction house comes to mind. Here you envision a room filled with bidders aiming to buy your jewelry for the highest price. In reality, today auction houses have left the wide galleries of yesteryear for the cyberauctions of today, especially in the jewelry buying industry. Some of these sites allow a select group of industry insiders to bid to buy jewelry. These people are inclined to bid low so they can flip it for a huge profit within the wholesale diamond industry.
In an auction house items need to be verified and then sent to auction. This can take days and sometimes a week or two prolonging the process of selling. After the auction takes place your jewelry is shipped to the buyer and you receive most of what they paid. The auction house keeps a nice chunk as a fee (sometimes upwards of 25%) for helping you to sell jewelry. These commissions change based on the auction house and the amount you sell it for. The payment can prolong the process even more as it takes time to approve the sale, receive the money from the buyer and send it to you, the seller. In the end you could be receiving the same or less as if you went to another source offering immediate payment and you may not have the money when you truly need it.
- You can possibly receive a higher payout
- Minimal effort
- Wait times of 2+ Weeks
- Huge Auction house Fees
- Could end up with less money and have to wait for it
- No guarantee of a transaction
5. Investment Firms & Commodity Buyers
Investment Firms and Commodity Buyers look at jewelry and diamonds in a scientific manner. They take into account every angle and facet of a diamond and determine what is the commodity or market pricing. When it comes to jewelry, they check active markets to see if your jewelry has a higher intrinsic value than just the commodity value. What this means is if your jewelry is really in demand and in style, commodity buyers may look at it and pay a premium above the commodity pricing to give you the most bang for your bling.
When you go to these firms, the price they will pay is not based on retail or appraised value, but instead reflects the commodity pricing. What does that mean? To make it simple I would say that the number they pay is not what you paid when you went to buy the ring but rather what the jeweler paid to buy the diamond and the other materials associated with the creation of the ring. Unfortunately, there isn’t anyone who will refund you the full purchase price of the ring (with the possible occasional exception of the store you bought it at) but Investment firms and commodity buyers will offer you everyday pricing consistent with market demand and will generally pay you cash immediately.
- Quick Payment
- Higher payouts than pawn shops
- Same if not higher payout than auction houses
- Minimal effort required
- Less payout than a sale to another end user
What do I recommend?
If you want to put a great deal of work into selling your jewelry i would recommend selling to another end user via craigslist, ebay, or your own personal network of friends and family. If you prefer an easier route, I would recommend working with an Investment firm or commodity buyer as these have the highest payouts among those that require the least effort.
While there are many options to choose from, many of my friends have found great success through Vasco Assets. The Vasco team is highly qualified with over 100 years of combined experience in the industry and consistently offers high payouts relative to competitors. They are very professional and the process is quick, discreet, and you walk out with money in hand within the hour. They work with clients nationwide and have a very reliable and secure shipping program if you are not located in Southern California.