What You Should Know Before You Resell Your Jewelry
Written by Serena Norr
April 12, 2018
There are a lot of reasons you might want to resell your jewerly. Maybe your jewelry box has become a huge mess full of pieces you never wear and even remember that you have. Or maybe you’re looking for a little extra cash around the holidays. Maybe you have just accepted that some pieces you own are simply not your style. Regardless of why you’ve decided to part with your jewelry, it’s important to start the resale process armed with sufficient knowledge. For many people, starting this process can be overwhelming. There are gold buyers, pawnshops, online shops, and tons more options for completing the sale. How do you know which option is correct for you? More importantly, how can you be sure you won’t be ripped off? Stick to the following steps and before you know it, your unwanted jewelry will be cash in your pocket.
What to Know Before You Resell Your Jewelry
Step 1: Be Realistic
Do not enter the jewelry resale process expecting to get rich. It’s important to remember that no matter what sentimental value the piece you’re selling holds to you, to everyone else it’s just a piece of jewelry. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that you are incredibly unlikely to sell your used jewelry for anything close to what it was purchased for. This is largely in part because the retail value of a piece of jewelry takes into account a lot of factors, including the cost of replacing the item as well as profits for the retailer, wholesaler and manufacturer.
The amount you will end up receiving for your secondhand piece will be dependent on a lot of different variables – like how rare the stone or metal is, beauty and where it was purchased originally. Keep in mind that the person you’re trying to sell your jewelry to is trying to make a profit just like you. Make sure you’re truly okay with parting with the piece before going through with the sale, because if you’re looking to make back your initial investment, you’ll likely be disappointed.
Step 2: Get it Evaluated
To figure out what the general value of your jewelry is, you need to be objective. Take the time to get a feel for what your piece is worth by looking at other used pieces with similar characteristics online, as well as in completed eBay auctions. If you’re getting lots of conflicting information or just don’t feel comfortable coming up with a price yourself, consider hiring a qualified appraiser. This may not be necessary, however, as you can have a stone evaluated for free by pawnbrokers or a professional diamond buyer. Make sure to get two or three opinions to get a really good idea of what you item is worth.
If you’re looking to resell jewerly worth more than $2,000, however, you may want to seek professional advice. Feel free to ask your appraiser about the market you’re currently entering. Good appraisers will be aware of current market trends and can tell you if now is the best time to sell. You can always check an appraiser’s status with the Better Business Bureau to ensure you’re getting top service. Furthermore, you can easily find a list of quality appraisers through The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers website.
Step 3: Get it Ready For Sale
Believe it or not, restoring your jewelry to its optimal condition can actually play a big role in getting a decent price for it. Sometimes heirloom pieces can look old and musty, but with a quick clean, can sparkle like new and really show off their true character. All it takes to get your jewelry looking its best is some warm water, dish soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. Simply use the toothbrush to gentle clean the piece and let it air dry. Make sure the toothbrush is soft, however, as hard bristles can scratch up gold and gemstones.
If the piece is still dirty after this process, you can use a mixture of salt, baking soda and dish soap. Denture cleaner can also work. If you’re nervous about doing this, you can always bring it to a professional. Some jewelry stores will even clean your pieces for free. If the piece is damaged, however, you really should leave the repair to the professionals. Trying to DIY the repair could result in damage to the piece, bringing down its value.
Step 4: Decide Where To Sell
Local businesses are likely to give you the best price for your jewelry because they consider you a potential customer in the future. Of course, if they don’t typically do jewelry sales and offer you store credit instead of cash, this may not be the best option. You can also consider using a consignment shop to sell your piece for you. You can often fetch a higher price this way, as you won’t be selling to an industry insider. However, the dealer will take a commission. Pawnbrokers are unlikely to give you anything close to what you’ll get at a jewelry shop, but they’re fast, which may be the most important thing to some sellers.
Selling your jewelry for scrap is by far the easiest way to get rid of unwanted jewelry. Selling for scrap means that you’re selling only for the value of the materials, as the piece itself will be broken down. You can easily walk into a gold buying store and get an offer immediately, or even mail them off. Before you do this, however, take the time to go into a local coin shop or metal buyer for an appraisal. Even if you don’t end up selling there, you’ll get a good estimate before you do make your sale.
Selling jewelry online is a lot like selling anything else online. It can be easy and painless or a chance to get scammed. If you set up a good line of contact with a potential buyer, this can be the easiest route. If you’re selling a piece for thousands of dollars, however, consider working with a service that works as a middleman for your auction. This ensures that both you and the buyer are staying true to your word.
Like everything else in life, you get back what you put in when it comes to selling your jewelry. If you take the time to prep carefully, however, the process should be pretty simple.