Want to sell your gold? You don’t need to have solid bars of bullion lying around – there are companies who are more than happy to pay for your old jewellery and they will cough up for silver and platinum too.
But be careful.
The cash for gold companies are out to make a profit and some may be temped to rip you off. You need to be savvy and aware when trying to sell! You can still get plenty of cash for gold, but you have to go in with your eyes open.
- What gold items can I sell?
- Who will buy my gold?
- How trustworthy are these cash for gold companies?
- Have a gold party
- Investing in gold
- How else can I get cash from gold?
Gold comes in all shapes and sizes and its value depends on the way it’s been used.
Postal gold sites which exchange gold for cash melt the gold down to turn it into bullion. The following could be classed as scrap gold which would not fetch much money, if any, from a jewellers:
- Gold teeth,
- Broken jewellery,
- Gold buttons,
- Electrical wiring.
Delicate bracelets and rings set with precious stones, however, will be of more value to a jewellers than a scrap merchants as the stones, design and brand will be valued alongside the metal.
Coins and bullion are also good to sell but the best prices can be found at specialist sites such as The Gold Bullion Company and even on the stock exchange.
There are quite a few gold trading websites out there and most high street jewellers will also buy second-hand gold.
Before you rush into any deal, the best thing to do is to get your gold to a few local jewellers, as they will be able to tell you the carat of your item and it’s weight.
They will also take into account the craftsmanship of the jewellery itself – not just how much gold it contains. You may discover that your jewellery may be more valuable to a jeweller as a set piece.
A Cartier necklace for example, which you could have originally spent thousands of pounds on, will be worth a lot more to a jeweller than to a postal site looking to melt down scrap metal.
If you decide you want to sell to a jeweller, the best thing to do is to get quotes from three different shops and use them against each other to remind them of their competition and encourage them to raise their offers.
Also, if you have a lot to get rid off, take it all down in bulk and you might get a package deal that’s better than different individual sales.
For gold that may be of no use to a jeweller, it is still a good idea to get a quote from someone face to face. Websites such as PostGoldForCash.com often have online calculators which you can also use to get an idea of what they think it’s worth.
- If the estimated amount is the same as, or better than, the figure you already have in mind, the next step is to request a free pre-paid envelope which is used to send your gold back to the company via Royal Mail Special Delivery.
- 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.
- Just in case, its always a good idea to take a photo of your item before you send it so that you have proof of its condition if anything does go wrong.
- Most gold companies will then call or e-mail you with a confirmation of the online calculator’s valuation, which you can 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.
Gold ‘recycling’ became big business during the recession – hardly surprising, given that the price of gold always rises during times of economic uncertainty.
But some of these gold trading companies had 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 and they may once again rear their ugly heads once gold prices start to rise.
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. In 2011, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) put pressure on cash for gold companies to clean up their act and hopefully that should mean fewer of these fly-by-night operations are able to take advantage of any future economic downturn.
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.
Below are some of the best known gold trading websites, together with the prices they offered per gram of nine carat gold in August 2017:
- Howcashforgold.co.uk = £11.02 per 9 carat (ct) of gold
- Lois-Jewellery.com = £11.32 per 9 ct
- Gold-traders.co.uk = £10.76 per 9 ct
- Sellmygold.co.uk = £8.58 per 9 ct
- Gerrardsonline.co.uk = £11.51 per 9 ct
- Hattongardenmetals.com = £11.17 per 9 ct
Lois Jewellery and Hatton Garden Metals have been reviewed as two of the most reliable companies.
- The price that a company quotes on its site is not necessarily the amount it will try and pay you. 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.
- Keep an eye out for the Gold Standard logo which signals that the jewellers or postal site abide by the voluntary code of conduct set up by the National Association of Jewellers. This is backed by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Trading Standards Institute and the National Measurement Office and so will give you extra confidence in your transaction.
- Bear in mind that the price of gold changes daily, so the quotes you get will often vary slightly day-to-day.
- It 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. Partycash4gold 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. Partycash4gold claim their hosts make an average of £300 per party!
You’ll need to call Partycash4gold 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 go to their website.
Partycash4gold do not declare their prices on their website however, so make sure you’re ready to compare their quote to other valuations and keep your wits about you.
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.
There are no guarantees, and gold – especially in the long term as economies become more stable.
To help, we’ve got a whole article on the subject, exploring five ways to invest in gold. 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 after the credit crunch).
- 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 82% or so interest for too long.
Alternatives to pawnbroking
If you’re reading this article because you desperately need some cash right now and you’re considering selling your gold to get it, consider these alternatives:
- 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.