If there’s an upside for the everyman to the current economic climate in the U.S. and throughout the world, it’s that gold jewelry, and stockpiled gold in general, is worth considerably more now than it was at the time of purchase. That’s led many people to cash in while they can, but it’s also had a number of side effects that have made gold trading more difficult than it has been in the past.
Prior to this recent gold boom, it was easy to identify the companies that were the top gold exchanges. These were generally large institutions with clearly defined gold trading policies and current published prices. Today, however, the average seller is wading through a slew of online options or taking their gold to one of many jewelry shops, pawns shops and mall kiosks.
Prior to selling, it’s crucial for a seller to ensure that they’re dealing with one of the top gold exchanges. For starters, look at the credentials. If the exchange came into business in the 2000s, then sellers should be wary of trading with them, particularly if they popped up precisely as gold prices really started to rise. It also helps to call the Better Business Bureau, which has handled more than a thousand complaints from gold traders every year since 2010.
Even when a seller has identified the exchanges that he/she is willing to deal with, it’s important not to rush into the agreement. Gold trading is often complex due to the appraisal aspect. Therefore, it’s paramount to get an appraisal by a third-party and not simply rely on the appraisal from the company that will profit from the purchase. Also, sellers must keep in mind that jewelry tends to have value above and beyond the value of the metal. If gold does have aesthetic value, then a seller is likely to get a much better dealer with a private buyer or perhaps a jeweler or pawn shop.
Furthermore, gold traders should not limit themselves to a single exchange. Identify a range of top exchanges, and then comparison shop between them. Prices will vary, and the rate quotes can vary based on a number of different factors, including the amount of gold that an exchange has recently purchased. As a general rule, the large gold exchanges will pay the best rates, while shops may only pay 60-70 percent due to the overhead involved. Home parties, which have become a trend, are even worse because the host gets a cut on top of the company’s commission and costs.
Perhaps the most important advice is not to enter this process unprepared or unrealistically. Be realistic about gold prices; for instance, a high school ring has almost no additional gold trading value to anyone else. Be prepared; monitor gold prices for a while before starting to sell, which will provide the seller with much greater confidence when dealing with the various gold exchanges.
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