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BBB Release: Is Selling Gold Worth Its Weight?


Examine Gold and Gold Buyers Carefully

Anchorage, Alaska Sept. 15, 2010 – Selling gold? Many consumers have been tempted at the chance to take old, broken or unwanted jewelry and turn it into cash. Commercials and advertisements tout claims like, "Get fast cash for gold" and "Turn your jewelry into cash," but Better Business Bureau reminds: All that glitters is not gold…

Several gold buying companies, including Cash 4 Gold and Money4Gold Holdings or My Gold Envelope, have racked up a high number of BBB complaints. Generally, complaints against 'Jewelry Buyers' and 'Gold, Silver, and Platinum Dealers' allege discrepancies in price offers, hidden fees, or claims for lost or damaged shipments.

BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington advises caution when dealing with mail-in gold evaluation services, or traveling auctions and buyers; if things go awry, it may be difficult to track down and get items back.

Before Selling:

  • Conduct research on prospective appraisal and jewelry buying companies. Visit www.bbb.org for free BBB Reliability Reports.
  • Get two or three appraisals from jewelers. If possible, sell to a local business with a physical location.

To Prepare for Evaluation:

  • Understand the scales. The value of gold is partially determined by its weight. Dealers may use an alternate measurement standard called a Troy ounce; some measure in grams, others in pennyweight (dwt). Unscrupulous dealers might try to weigh by pennyweight and pay by gram—or vice versa—to utilize an unbalanced conversion rate.
  • Determine the scrap value of jewelry and find out the karats of the gold. Typically, the higher the karat, the more genuine (and valuable) the gold. Before buying or selling gold, read the Federal Trade Commission's Guide to learn more about misrepresentations in gold jewelry marketing.

If Considering a Mail-in Service:

  • Check the companies' policies. Find out about returns, in case the price offered is unacceptable. Ask about reimbursements or other protections, in case valuables are lost or broken in transit.
  • Ensure the gold is insured. Appraisals should also be done before items are mailed; which will provide proof of value if items get lost. Make a list and photograph all items included in the package and keep copies. Send packages via certified mail and retain a tracking number.


About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington: Better Business Bureau is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit www.bbb.org.

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