Where to sell jewellery and getting the best price
Here in this article we will look at a few ways to sell your jewellery and watches that you know longer need or want.
So many people accumulate jewellery over the years, or often have jewellery from ex-partners and either way wish to sell their jewellery for the best price but do not know how to go about selling it. A common question asked when people call or email us is simply “Where can I sell my jewellery?” and here we will hope to answer some of your questions about different ways and places to sell your jewellery and watches.
First lets simply look at gold as a stand alone item. The price of gold worldwide has steadily been increasing especially over the last few years where it has taken a sudden spike upwards. Because gold can be traded easily internationally, people worldwide look at gold as a solid investment especially when times are tough such as the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.
What this has resulted in is the flood of many instant pop-up ‘cash-for-gold” kiosks that have opened in such places as shopping centres.
Usually a place such as this will buy the gold jewellery on a scrap gold price. While there is nothing at all wrong with this method and approach, these places do not – nor do they say, that they will on-sell the jewellery, rather it simply gets melted down.
The advantage of selling jewellery this way, is that the gold is simply placed on a scale, weighed and the gold price given, the money handed over and all done resulting in a very quick way to sell your jewellery.
While this is all fine, there is nothing that causes our blood to run cold than the thought of a wonderful antique necklace being melted down and lost forever, or a pocket watch taken out of its case, and the case simply melted down, but it must be stressed that we are not saying not to take your jewellery to such places to sell, rather if it is an antique piece of jewellery or wrist or pocket watch, there may be other ways to obtain a higher price for the jewellery.
One thing that we saw recently was a woman coming into our store with a pocket watch movement. As she was unwrapping the movement, she proceeded to tell us that her sister sold the watch case for $615 the other month to a gold buying kiosk, as they did not want the movement.
When we saw the the movement we were aghast that the movement was from an antique Patek Philippe pocket watch. Without going into a great deal of detail on how good Patek Philippe is – suffice to say they are up there with the best of the best of them- it is easy to say that we would have easily paid at least $2,000 for the pocket watch case and movement intact.
Instead of the sisters “making” $615, they in fact “lost” around $1,400 or so.
Auction is another avenue for people to take to sell their jewellery. This includes both a “bricks-and-mortar” auction house as well as on-line internet auction sites.
On-line auction sites mostly follow a ‘do-it-yourself” approach where the owner of the jewellery takes the images/photos of the jewellery, uploads it to the site, adds the description and lets the site do the rest.
In a physical auction house, this is done by the auction themselves and usually published in a auction catalogue or on-line catalogue or both.
With both options, be mindful of how much the commission rate is, as some auctions can charge up to and indeed over 25% of the selling amount. Keep in mind that there is nothing at all wrong with this, as auctions are businesses who wish to make money and many of the auction places that charge more will go the extra step in presenting your jewellery in the best possible way. This can include very professional high quality photos taken to present the jewellery in a wonderful glossy catalogue, as well as displaying the images on-line with more and more auction houses allowing the ability to bid “live” on-line from anywhere in the world.
Needless to say, catalogues and employing a professional photographer, a good website with on-line bidding capacity and further print media advertising all costs money, so don’t be daunted by a high commission rate if the auction house presents your jewellery in the best possible way. All of what they do, may result in you achieving a higher price for your unwanted jewellery over another auction house or site that charges less, but gets you less in the final sale.
The reason that it is more common for a higher price to be achieved at auction over simply a buy-per-weight way is that nearly everything sold at auction will end up as either a gift for someone or purchased with the view to on-sell the item.
One thing to consider with auction is that when you either up-load it on an on-line auction site, or commission a auction house to sell it, it will take a few weeks from start until finish until you receive the money.
And then there is selling your jewellery to a traditional “bricks and mortar” store such as ours.
Again there will be advantages and disadvantages of selling your gold jewellery this way that we look at.
The main advantage is that a store such as ours will normally buy the jewellery in view to sell it later, often resulting in a higher price paid for the piece over simply selling it for the scrap gold price.
However a disadvantage is that an antique store such as ours will not always buy everything offered for sale. Examples may be when someone wishes to sell a modern diamond engagement ring from a broken relationship, and while the ring and the diamond or diamonds themselves may be nice quality, if the ring is too modern then we will have a hard time selling it as people often come to our store for antique diamond engagement rings over more modern ones. Another example is when several items are offered for sale and may include broken pieces of jewellery, 2 antique rings, an antique pocket watch, 3 vintage Omega watches, and some costume jewellery.
Again in a store such as ours, the store will often be quite selective and only be interested in 1 of the antique rings (let’s say the other diamond ring has a low quality diamond that will be hard to sell later in the store), 2 of the Omega watches, the pocket watch and none of the broken pieces or costume jewellery resulting in a very good price paid for the items wanted, but leaving you with items left over.
This is where an auction may be a good avenue as they will often accept any and all pieces to sell, or sell some select items to a jewellery store, then simply auction the rest.
With any jewellery store, make sure that they are licenced to deal in and buy second hand jewellery and watches. The advantage of dealing with a store that is licenced is that they have to follow strict legal guidelines to make sure that the goods are not stolen, and if they are inadvertently bought, will make it very easy for the police to track down the items and return them to their rightful owner.
If you do have antique jewellery to sell including wrist and pocket watches, we are always interested in buying as we dread the thought of a wonderful antique ring or brooch being broken up, melted and gone forever.
Too often we have heard of wonderful antique rings that have had the diamonds removed and the mount then melted down for not a great deal of money. While these old diamonds will still be worth money, they will have no where near as much value without the original antique setting. An analogy would be selling a Ferrari engine without the car body.
And one final point to remember – shop around for the best price and see which option suits you the best, as at the end of the day selling your jewellery should suit yourself just as much as the other person who buys it.