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Where to Sell Scrap Gold

Published by Nanni on Saturday, July 07, 2012

Photo credit by (aka Brent)

With the high price of gold and the current troubled economy, many are looking to turn old gold items into cash. Even items that may seem like nothing more than trash will have value if they are made out of gold. These old, broken or unwanted items can be melted down, and the gold can be extracted to be used for other purposes. Once the gold has been processed, it has virtually the same value as a bar of gold bullion.

Before You Sell

Check the current price of gold. For example, Kitco will give the current spot price for gold as of that moment. Armed with that information, a range of reasonable offers can be determined. Since the gold has to be processed and refined before it can be reused, it wouldn't be reasonable to expect the full spot price. However, something in the 40% to 60% range is not at all unreasonable.

Don't Mail Gold

Unless there are no other options - and with the high price gold is fetching, there are always other options - don't mail gold to some company advertising on late night television. In November 2009, Consumer Reports researched Internet gold buyers, and found that they generally offered the lowest payouts. Their study showed that offers ranged from 11% to 29%. By contrast, they found that the best prices could most often be obtained from local scrap gold buyers. The local buyers offered between 35% and 70%.

Unless there is some reason why it is impossible to leave the house, receiving one-sixth of the fair and reasonable value is a high price to pay for convenience.

Another possible source for concern are the buyers who advertise large gold buying events at local hotels. Although there are legitimate companies doing this business, there have been numerous reports of buyers hosting an event on the weekend and having checks bounce on Monday morning. Always check for complaints against these companies. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource.

Not All Local Buyers Are Created Equal

Obviously, the range from 35% to 70% is still a wide one. Although 70% payouts are rare unless there is a large quantity of gold, 50% or more is a reasonable expectation. Before committing to sell, make a few phone calls and determine current offers. If the buyer insists on talking in grams or pennyweights, don't do business with them. Any attempt to cloud the issue should raise a red flag. Since the price of gold fluctuates minute by minute, they must have a way to quickly recalculate offers, and as a percentage of spot price is the most logical way.

Many jewelry sources and pawnshops have gotten into the scrap gold business. They may seem like logical places to go, since many of them deal in gold jewelry. However, most businesses of this type have high overhead costs, so calling first and asking for their current rate will save a lot of needless running around.

Local Gold Buyers Who Specialize

There are also businesses that specialize in scrap gold. Buying unused or unusable precious metal items may be their only line. Since they are solely focused in this line, they may often offer the best prices. Some operate with very low overhead since they aren't maintaining a large inventory or storefront. Simply use any search engine and use the phrase "sell gold your city" or "gold buyer your city" and see what local options there are.

How to Determine Where to Sell Scrap Gold

The steps are simple:
  • Get informed. Check current prices.
  • Determine an acceptable offer, generally about 50% or higher.
  • Shop around. Call for current offers.
Follow these steps and it isn't hard to locate the best place to sell scrap gold.

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