If you’ve never sold jewelry before but are considering it for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by several questions and concerns. Your goal is to get the best price for your jewelry, and avoid being scammed or taken advantage of. Doing your own research can be end up being a time-vacuum, so this article will simplify the selling process to help you navigate the market for used jewelry like a pro.
To get started, clear your head of unrealistic expectations and abandon sentimental attachment to your jewelry. Avoid falling victim to the endowment effect, a phenomenon in psychology and behavioral economics for the way people irrationally inflate the value of their own possessions. Understand that your jewelry may not sell for anywhere near its retail price since it is used, and possibly damaged or misaligned with current trends.
Next, know your options: You can sell jewelry online, to an auction, or to a private buyer. Selling to a private buyer is the most time-efficient and convenient way to go, because you can get your jewelry appraised in person and receive a cash or check payment on the spot. While the online marketplace for non-luxury goods such as books or household appliances has grown rapidly thanks to sites like eBay and Amazon, reputable websites for selling jewelry are few and far between. It is difficult to determine whether non-established individual buyers on sites like Craigslist are honest and straightforward. Even more, while online transactions might seem quick and easy, there is the hidden time cost of finding the best offer from a trustworthy buyer.
Before meeting with a buyer in person, you should know your jewelry so that you can have an idea of whether the appraisal seems reasonable. What kind of metal is your piece of jewelry made of? Does it contain gemstones, and if so, what kind? What are its origins, and who was the maker? How old is it? Is it damaged or discolored? Keep in mind that these factors will affect the price range. To answer some of these questions, check out this article on identifying maker’s marks and hallmarks.
Now that you’re ready to schedule an in-person appraisal, set a timeline. How much time and effort do you plan to devote to the process? If you’re strapped for time, set aside an hour or two to visit jewelry buyers and compare appraisals. Remember that if you’re satisfied with an offer, you can receive payment immediately and in the best-case scenario, sell your jewelry in as little as half an hour. Be sure to do some research online beforehand, so that you only meet with reputable buyers. This ties in with the next point, which is to:
Know the buyers. Are they trustworthy? Have they worked with many sellers, and do those sellers provide positive feedback? Skim through their websites. Are they informative and helpful? Do they provide free appraisals, and test your jewelry right in front of you? Do they have a high rating from the Better Business Bureau, and are they accredited? It’s crucial that you don’t skimp on this part, as all buyers will claim to be the best and most reputable in the business.
Last but not least, know the market. What are the current trends in jewelry? Precious metals like gold, silver and platinum can at the very least sell at their commodity price in cases where the jewelry gets melted. However, since jewelry is a fashion item, it’s also important to recognize that trends are constantly changing. This factors into demand for certain styles and materials, and affects the price you’ll be able to fetch.
Selling jewelry doesn’t have to be a daunting experience if you’re equipped with the right knowledge. Having read this article, you’re already on the right track. Don’t hesitate now to step inside the world of jewelry and get top dollar for your valuables.