Plenty of people don’t mind picking up little projects here and there for a bit of extra cash. It could be pet-sitting, helping somebody move, selling crafts at a local fair – you name it. But what if you could make money by selling stuff that’s been lying around in your house for years? You might be sitting on money that you didn’t even know you had! A lot of people have jewelry that’s either broken or simply doesn’t fit their taste, but they’ve hung onto it through the years because it was obviously expensive at some point. After all, you can’t throw away a gold watch just because the band doesn’t clasp anymore. It might not even be jewelry – it could be anything made of precious metals. Do you have a hideous sterling-silver picture frame, or a set of gold bangles that doesn’t match anything in your closet? You should consider selling them – chances are, you won’t miss them a bit.
If you think you might have some things you could sell, a little homework is in order. The only basic information we can’t tell you here is the actual value of gold or silver – that all depends on what the market has been up to lately. However, there’s plenty that we can tell you, so here’s what you’ll need to know when you’re selling gold.
Manage your expectations, and do your own research
The biggest let-down might be when you get an appraisal for an item that was originally pretty expensive, and discover that it’s only valuable because of the materials it’s made from. Unless you’ve got something like a hand-made Swiss watch, the value depreciated as soon as the item left the store. Similar to how collectible action figures command the highest prices only when they’re in the original packaging, gold or silver items can lose value very quickly. Even so, if it’s made from solid gold or silver, that’s already a decent price per ounce.
If you want to get the best price possible, selling your scrap metal or jewelry can take some time. It’s totally up to you, though. Basically, the easier way (selling at a pawnshop or consignment store) results in less money; if you want a better price, you’ll have to get quotes from a few online buyers before you choose who you’ll sell to.
We’d recommend that you research the current market values for whatever type of precious metal you’ll be selling. More likely than not, the price you get will be based on these values, rather than the workmanship or beauty of the items. This might be more work than you anticipated for what initially seemed like “free money”, but don’t get discouraged! Chances are, it’ll be worth your time; plus, you’ll be prepared for the next time this kind of opportunity comes along.
There are plenty of choices for where and how to sell your items
As we mentioned above, you’ve got some options when it comes to selling your items. If you’d prefer to make it quick, you could run down to the nearest pawnshop or consignment store for an estimate, or even sell it right then. There are a couple of trade-offs with this approach, though. For one thing, it’s very rare that someone in a pawnshop or consignment store will be a certified appraiser, so if there’s something special about what you’re selling, they’re likely to miss it. For another thing, both of these types of stores have to buy low and sell high in order to make money, so they’ll basically be taking their anticipated profit margin out of what they’re paying you. You could potentially get as little as 60% of the real value of your items, even with a good appraisal. Even so, for some people it’s worth the savings in time to do it this way.
If you’re fine with the process taking a little more effort, then look into online buyers. These are companies that connect with their customers 100% online, so they have fewer operational costs to worry about when they’re giving quotes to their clients. Legitimate buyers of precious metals will have tons of customer reviews, so make sure you check those out when you’re deciding who to get appraisals from. Another important thing to look for is companies who promise to match any offer made by a competitor. If you go to buyers with this guarantee, that’s one more way to make sure you’re getting the best possible price.
It’s recommended that you get appraisals from several companies before committing to the sale, and here’s why it’s worth it. First of all, you won’t have to pay for shipping – the business pays for you to ship the items to them, so you won’t be going out of pocket. Second, the appraisal is done by a certified staff member, so you know that you can trust it. Quotes may vary from buyer to buyer, but that’s mainly due to company-specific rates, not that they just don’t know how to appraise your items. Third, if you’re getting quotes from companies who’ve promised to match their competitors’ offers, you don’t have to worry about passing by someone with the best offer. With that guarantee, they’re all as good as the best offer!
Keep in mind that unless you just want to make a quick buck, there’s no particular rush to sell your gold or silver items. Historically, precious metals like these have kept their high values no matter what the market is up to, so you can depend on getting a decent price tomorrow, next month, or even years from now. You could even turn it into a hobby – pick up broken, mismatched, or out-of-style jewelry from thrift stores or garage sales, and send them off for appraisals once you’ve got a nice little stash. You’ll quickly learn how to tell if something is genuinely valuable, and that kind of skill is something that could come in handy for the rest of your life.