Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cash for Gold

While cleaning out my closet, not figuratively, but literally. Well, actually it was figuratively related considering it is my constantly changing figure that prompted me to clean out my closet. The closet was full of pre first baby clothes, winter maternity clothes, post first baby spring and summer wear (which were BIG), spring and summer maternity from babies two and three, and fall and winter post baby two and three clothes. And sweaters. Tons of sweaters. Sweaters I hardly ever wear because I am almost always so darn HOT (literally not figuratively). And now that ruffles and straight leg pants have made it back on the scene there was a ton of out of style clothes. And then there is the accessories - shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Most of the jewelry is costume, but I came across a bag full of REAL GOLD jewelry.

The jewelry was mostly from the late '80s and early '90s. Pretty stuff - you probably have it too - the Shrimp Dome Ring, the San Marco Bracelet (the one that ALWAYS broke and had to be repaired), the super large Herringbone Necklace and Bracelet SET that would grab at your hairs and make you wince, a most attractive rope necklace, a Gold Coin Ring (is it all coming back to you?). I've seen all the commercials and ads in the paper about selling gold for cash. So I started researching the idea.

I had heard from Dateline or 20/20 or one of those shows to stay away from the Cash4Gold and Hotel Dealers so I immediately marked them off my list. I saw RedSwan on Rachel Ray which is a similar concept of sending in your stuff, except, you have a party at your house and you get a portion of your invitee's proceeds. That sounded attractive, but I couldn't find any reviews on it and didn't want to expose my friends to a bad deal. However, I did think it would be super cool to host an 80's throwback party and have everyone show up with way high hair, acid wash jeans, ruffled shirts (yes, they've come back minus the shoulder pads), and wearing all of their gold jewelry to sell. Fun huh?

Anyway, back to reality. So I simply started going to different local jewelry shops with my bag of stuff and my mom's bag of stuff. The first place carefully separated the pieces into 10K and 14K piles, weighed the separate piles, and then offered me $700 for my stuff and $650 for my mom's. OMG, did he say $700?? I tried to act really cool like I didn't even NEED that kind of money. I then scribbled down the total grams per karat he had weighed and the price per gram he offered me. This is important, because I learned that not all jewelry stores weigh stuff the same.

When I went to the next store, I got excited because they offered "home parties." While he was weighing my stuff, I started thinking of who I would invite to the party, what appetizers and drinks I would serve and all of that fun stuff. Then he came back with his offer. $450. Did I hear him correctly? Thanks but no thanks. Once again, I wrote down the calculations (which he rudely took from me!)
No more business with these guys!

The third place offered me $750 and I immediately took it. Interestingly though, he weighed one of my pieces with the 14K stuff instead of the 10K. This is why you should write down their weights.

A couple of additional notes:
- Call first and ask what they are paying per gram before driving all over town.
- Let them know you are getting other quotes.
- Don't bring your silver, 'cause it is currently not selling at good prices.
- They base their price solely on weight, not craftmanship.
- Some shops pay per penny-weight instead of grams.

So, I took my $750 straight to the bank. I was so excited. I haven't had this much money that I "earned" on my own since I was laid off two years ago! So what did I do with the money, you ask? I bought more clothes! :-)

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