- Jasmine: RT @leeboardman: Oh deary,deary me......But he's a big scary lion! #whatweareupagainst http://t.co/PrPu0hL1lp (23rd May 2013 - 22:04)
- Jasmine: Thanks so much for all the SEO suggestions. I will follow them all up. Feel free to suggest more too! Thanks again (23rd May 2013 - 21:21)
- Jasmine: RT @TheEconomist: Prostitution in Britain is in deep recession http://t.co/VfZhjkMixT (23rd May 2013 - 21:21)
- Jasmine: RT @Moneymagpie: We have a very special giveaway for you! Get £20 petrol for a tenner. Be quick, though.. http://t.co/oFdbBYlEfD (23rd May 2013 - 21:18)
- Jasmine: @DarienGS That's a point! (23rd May 2013 - 18:15)
- Jasmine: RT @TiloJung: When two chicks walk into a cockpit http://t.co/F4BT26zlIl <<cute! (23rd May 2013 - 18:15)
- Jasmine: @BrockbankJames Yes it's true! (23rd May 2013 - 18:12)
- Jasmine: @AskJames Ooh good. Thanks! (23rd May 2013 - 17:46)
- Jasmine: @PurpleCakeFacto Thanks for the tip! (23rd May 2013 - 17:46)
- Jasmine: @ElmTreeFS OK. Thanks I'll give him a go! (23rd May 2013 - 17:44)
- Jasmine: @wishartwealth Oh dear, so expensive then (23rd May 2013 - 17:43)
- Jasmine: @taraevans Yes, I think so...not entirely sure but we're certainly doing some of them! (23rd May 2013 - 17:43)
- Jasmine: @taraevans Really? Bother! (23rd May 2013 - 17:42)
- Jasmine: @VickiLamb Ooh great! (23rd May 2013 - 17:41)
- Jasmine: @wishartwealth Fab thanks (23rd May 2013 - 17:41)
- Jasmine: RT @ShaziaAwan: Green Party leader blames W'ich attack on UK acting like world's policeman.Yep she blames Britain!?! http://t.co/2eVmP8XstQ (23rd May 2013 - 17:41)
- Jasmine: I wish I knew a good SEO person. No one seems able to recommend someone. Are they really all crooks? (23rd May 2013 - 17:39)
- Jasmine: @GAdams_Spink @tim_weber Yes it's usually the Nordic countries and NZ that win these kinds of surveys (23rd May 2013 - 17:35)
- Jasmine: @golfmangosierra Oh dear, yes, we need some summer before we get yet another winter! (23rd May 2013 - 16:25)
- Jasmine: RT @lukeireland: Next up. MPs to point fingers at MI5 who prevent more than we will ever know #woolwich (23rd May 2013 - 16:25)
How to sell your gold
Want to sell your gold? You don’t need to have solid bars of bullion lying around – there are loads of companies who are more than happy to pay for your old jewellery. Selling gold is a tempting option for many people in the current climate, especially as market worries over the eurozone and US debt crisis have sent prices spiralling upwards to $1,709 (£1,064) an ounce.
But be careful. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cracked down on five companies trying to buy gold and jewellery off individuals. Two have closed down because of it and three have improved their practices. You can still get plenty of cash for gold, but you have to go in with your eyes open.
- Where can I sell my gold?
- How trustworthy are these companies?
- Are they a decent option?
- Having a gold party
- Investing in gold
- How else can I get cash from gold?
In these turbulent economic times, Tupperware parties have been replaced by gold parties – a sort of ‘bling and buy’, where people gather at each other’s homes to have their unwanted jewellery valued by a representative from a gold trading company.
If no-one you know is holding a gold party any time soon, there are numerous gold trading websites out there. As well as these websites, large retailers such as Tesco are getting in on the act. Most high street jewellers will also buy second-hand gold.
Beware, though. Most of the postal gold sites are low grade at best. After an investigation by the OFT CashMyGold, Cash4Gold and Postal Gold have been forced to make changes to their business practices following the investigation. Others have had to close down because of the OFT investigation. We think there will be even more companies that will close down because they have been using dodgy business practices. What’s more, even big, trusted brands like Tesco don’t necessarily offer the best value for money.
How do I sell my gold?
With the online companies, you request a free pre-paid envelope which is used to send your gold back to them. Most company envelopes are pre-insured (usually to the value of £500) in case of theft or loss during transit. Should the amount of gold you wish to send in be worth more than this, you can secure additional insurance at the Post Office, or simply split your gold into two or more pre-insured packs from the company.
Most gold companies will then call or e-mail you with a valuation, which you accept or reject. Other companies will automatically send you a cheque for what they have valued your gold to be worth, which you must return within a certain time (typically between 10–12 days) if you’re unhappy with their valuation. Be sure to check the company’s returns policy before selling gold to them, as they do vary.
However, since the OFT’s investigation, CashMyGold, Cash4Gold and Postal Gold have agreed to give people either a quote for their gold which they have to actually accept (rather than just sending it in and waiting for an offer to accept or decline), or a payment for their gold with very clear explanations of the risks and options. The companies also now have to provide clear information on the prices offered for gold, including information on the weight and carat of the jewellery.
Finally, the gold-buying companies have agreed to make it clear that, when they say they give a ‘high price’ or ‘top price’, that’s based on the scrap or smelt value of gold.
Gold ‘recycling’ has become big business of late – hardly surprising, given that the price of gold always rises during times of economic uncertainty. Some of these gold trading companies have been around for years – and you can be confident that established jewellers are going to be trustworthy in their dealings.
However, some companies are there just to make a quick profit – before bowing out when gold prices start to dip again. Unsurprisingly, these short term operations are unlikely to care much about fairness, customer service or their company’s reputation – they just want to make a quick buck and get out. Now that the OFT is on the case there should be fewer of these fly-by-night operations able to get onto the market.
It’s not that dedicated gold trading companies can’t be trusted – it just pays to use your common sense when selling gold for cash. Have they got dependable testimonials and positive media coverage? Have they been trading long? Google the company and check chatrooms and forums online and see what turns up. If you’ve any doubts, check with Trading Standards to see if they’ve received any complaints about that particular company.
Postalgold.com, for example, run TV adverts all the time promoting their cash for gold service. Although they promise to return your gold if you’re not happy with the price they offer, they have been subject to complaints from consumers and investigated by Trading Standards over this. Complaints stemmed from the fact that their cancellation period was so short (seven days) that the company had often melted down customers’ gold before they had a chance to return their cheque (as they were not happy with the price offered). Postalgold.com have recently increased their cancellation period to 14 days, but some customers have reported that the company is difficult to contact should you want to get your gold returned.
Below are some of the best known gold trading websites, together with the prices they offered per gram of nine carat gold in October 2012:
- Howcashforgold.co.uk = £12.50 per gram
- Gold-traders.co.uk = £11.68 per gram
- Bestpriceforgold.co.uk = £11.41 per gram
- Sellmygold.co.uk = £11.13 per gram
- Tesco Gold Exchange = £10.70 per gram
- Gotgoldgetcash.co.uk = £10.25 per gram
Clearly, it pays to shop around!
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If your jewellery is in reasonable condition, it’s almost always worth getting a valuation from a few local jewellers, as they will take into account the craftsmanship of the jewellery itself – not just how much gold it contains. You can then compare the jewellers’ quotes with gold prices listed online (which do not take into account the retail value of jewellery).
With some gold-trading websites, you can get as little as 20% of the market value of your gold. Be especially wary of those sites that don’t reveal their price list. Some sites with big marketing budgets that advertise on TV are particularly guilty of this. All too often, these sites pour their money into marketing, rather than ensuring the consumer gets a decent price.
So what percentage of the market value can you expect from online cash for gold merchants?
The list below offers an estimate from some of the better-known companies. If you sold each of these companies one ounce of 24 carat gold in October 2012 (which has an approximate market value of £1,064), this is how you would fare:
- Howcashforgold.co.uk will pay you: £944.93 = 89% of market value
- Sellmygold.co.uk will pay you: £888.77 = 84% of market value
- Falkosgold.co.uk will pay you: £884.24 = 83% of market value
- Gold-traders.co.uk will pay you: £883.52 = 83% of market value
- Bestpriceforgold.co.uk will pay you: £867.23 = 82% of market value
It always pays to compare prices – and if the site doesn’t have their prices listed, they’re probably not worth your time.
Bear in mind that the price of gold changes daily, so the quotes you get will often vary slightly day-to-day. It also pays to remember that gold is valued in dollars on the markets, so even if the value of gold rises, British sellers can lose out should the pound be weak.
Gold parties are pretty big in the States right now – and are growing in popularity over here. If you’ve got a few friends who are looking to sling their bling, you can even get paid to host such a party yourself. YourGoldParty will send a representative to your house to value you and your friends’ gold.
As well as receiving the fee they give you for your gold, as host they will give you 10% of the total payout at your party. YourGoldParty claim their hosts make an average of £350 per party!
You’ll need to call YourGoldParty to get an estimated price per gram before the party. They base their prices around the ‘spot price’ (London Fix Price) which reacts to current market conditions. As ever, it can be worth doing this as well as comparing it to other prices online. If they offer you a less competitive price than is available elsewhere, it might still be worth your while if you’re getting 10% commission from hosting the party. For further details on hosting a party with the company, click here.
You can invest in gold as well as sell it. Whilst gold is seen as a safe bet, its value can certainly go down as well as up.
At present, the price of gold is reaching staggering heights. Worries about the eurozone and US debt crises (not to mention instability in the Middle East) have seen investors rushing for the traditional save haven of the shiny yellow stuff. The three big currencies (the dollar, the euro and the yen) all have big debt issues.
So should you be investing in gold? Well, the price is high now, but there’s no guarantee that the price will continue to go up. This could easily be a bubble. However, as gold prices tend to rise during periods of fear and uncertainty, there’s every chance that it’ll continue to increase over the next few years.
David Jollie, strategic analyst at Mitsui Precious Metals, predicted that gold could hit a high of $2,075 during 2012 – so far the high has been just shy of $1,800. The experts may not always get their forecasts bang on, but they’re usually worth listening to.
Having said that, there are no guarantees, and gold – especially in the long term as economies become more stable – will likely fall in value from its current high at some point.
Jasmine gives us her view on investing in gold in this video, plus we’ve got a whole article on the subject. It outlines the main ways you can invest in gold and the level of risk involved in each method. It’s easy to get started (even if you’re a novice investor) and can be worth considering as part of your investment portfolio.
You can use your gold and jewellery as security on loans. Pawnbrokers are becoming increasingly popular as many people struggle to get loans from banks (who are choosier than ever about whom they lend to in these credit-crunched times).
Pawnbroking is an easy source of credit – especially for the one million Britons that don’t have a bank account. If you need a small loan to tide you over for a short time, pawn shops can be a suitable option. They normally lend you money up to half of your gold or jewellery’s value, and will likely charge a typical interest rate of around 8% a month for the amount lent. However, they are certainly not a good option if you’re in need of a loan lasting a reasonable length of time – as the annual rate of interest from pawnbrokers can be close to 100%!
If you have a lot of very good gold jewellery and other items, try the online pawnbrokers Borro.com which tends to deal with high-value items for short-term loans. Just make sure you really can pay the money back quickly so that you don’t end up paying the 68% or so interest for too long.
Alternatives to pawnbroking
If you’re in need of a small loan, the Government’s Social Fund is worth exploring. Another option is your local credit union, which will offer low-interest, easy-to-use saving and borrowing for its members.
Members of a credit union invest any money they have in savings in return for a good and reliable savings rate. This money is then lent out to other members who need to borrow money at an affordable rate. So everyone benefits – lenders get a good rate of interest on their money and borrowers don’t have to pay through the roof.
To find out if there’s a credit union near you, or one that you could join, check out Find Your Credit Union.
Many credit unions charge you 1% a month on the reducing balance of the loan (an APR of 12.7%). Some charge less, others more (though by law they can’t charge more than 2% a month – an APR of 26.8%). The size of the maximum loan also varies from union to union.
Find out what sort of loans and interest rates are available from your local credit union by contacting them via the credit union search tool. Most credit unions tend to be flexible over the frequency of your repayments, offering you the opportunity to pay back your loan on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
You can work out a rough estimate of how much a typical 1% credit union loan will cost you by using this loan calculator.
If you take some time to investigate these options, you’ll get a deal that’s far better for you – and prove to yourself that you’ve got the Midas touch when it comes to finance.