In the past, pawnbrokers and precious metal dealers were the primary buyers of gold and silver. Recently, however, as the price of gold and silver rose to all-time highs, many others jumped into the market. Companies started to advertise that you could “send them your gold” for cash. Jewelry stores started paying cash for gold in Massachusetts as a way to survive in tough economic times. Special “dealers/brokers” started to rent hotel rooms and advertise gold buying events. Pop up stores began appearing in malls claiming to pay top dollar. Gold buying “parties”, like the old Tupperware parties became a new social event. Friends invited you to come and sell your gold while you had a glass of wine and a snack. With so many options, who can you trust? Who will know the true value of your items and be willing to pay you top dollar for your gold? Here’s what you should be looking for:
If the barber shop down the street hangs up a sign that says, “We’ll Pay Cash for Gold”, is that somebody you can trust? How long have they been in the business of buying gold and silver? Are they licensed and regulated? By whom? When a company is concerned about following the rules and regulations such as having their scales tested by the Department of Weights and Measures or reporting all transactions to the local police, they are less likely to try to cut corners or pay you less than your gold or silver is worth. As an example, all of Empire Loan’s stores report transactions on a daily basis to the police in the communities where we operate. The Department of Weights and Measures tests our scales on an annual basis. The accuracy of these scales may be the difference between you getting some money and getting the money you truly deserve.
When you bring an item in to a buyer, do they look at it and immediately make you an offer? Or do they test it for assay (10, 14 or 18 karat) and put it on a scale in front of you? What do they base the price on? Is it the average price of gold or silver that week, month or year? Or is it simply what they are willing to pay? If a company is paying cash for gold in Massachusetts, find out how they calculate their prices. At Empire Loan, we base everything on the spot price of the current commodities market price of gold. If gold goes up, we pay more. If gold goes down, we pay less. Regardless, we pay anywhere from 70 to 75% of the spot price of gold. We have a calculation that takes into account what karat the gold is and what the spot price is. And our staff is always willing to explain exactly how we calculate the price we’re paying. We’re honest, straightforward and transparent about what we’ll pay for your items, and how we arrived at that figure. You certainly won’t leave a gold buying party with that kind of confidence.
3. Shop around
When a customer comes in and asks for a price, we’ll do the appropriate test and measures right in front of you and explain how we’re arriving at the price we’re willing to pay. We also encourage them to shop around. We do this because we are confident that whatever we offer is a fair and reasonable price. The customer owes it to themselves to maximize what they can be paid for their merchandise. Very often, when customers shop around, they end up coming back because we offered more. No hard feelings, just good honest business practices.
How can you trust the person you’re selling your gold and silver to? Instead of “Buyer Beware”, this is a case of “Seller Beware”.