If you spend any amount of time watching TV, you have no doubt seen plenty of those "Cash 4 Gold" commercials. They feature testimonials from people who send in their "broken and unused gold jewelry" for quick cash. All they had to do was call the toll-free number and get their free "cash for gold" kit, which looks like a brochure with a padded envelope in which to mail gold jewelry.

Gold is definitely a hot commodity right now. Just 4 years ago, I was considering buying into some gold stock, when the precious metal was selling for about $400 an ounce. I didn't buy in, basically because I didn't have that kind of money sitting around. Now gold is selling for close to $950 an ounce, which makes it one of the best investments around...if you already have gold. Some analysts predict it will sell for more than $1000 per ounce sometime this year. This explains why we have seen so many "cash for gold" ads.

It sounds like a great deal. You send in your gold, and the buyer sends you a big, fat check...or at least that's the sales pitch. But is that the reality?

WSYR-TV in Syracuse, NY conducted an experiment on their "The Real Deal" segment. They sent in some gold jewelry to Cash4Gold and were sent a check for more than $112 (although not within 24 hours as promised in the TV commercials). That doesn't sound bad...until you consider they were offered more than $750 for the same jewelry by a local pawn shop prior to shipping to Cash4Gold. The CEO of Cash4Gold told the TV station that the company "never promises you'll get the best price for the gold." Well, obviously.

Then there is this post at Complaints Board, allegedly written by a former employee of Cash4Gold. Among the allegations: the "refiner's pack" in which customers ship their gold is only insured up to $100, the jewelry is appraised by hand, and weight pad and a bottle of chemicals, checks are sent 3-4 days after appraisal instead of the advertised 24 hours, the 100 percent satisfaction guarantee is only good for ten days from the time the check is dated, which is 3-4 days before it is actually mailed, some customers have received checks for as little as one cent and many customers complain about the amount of their checks.

Savvy Frugality tip: If you have gold you are looking to sell, get several estimates first...preferably from local appraisers who have been in the business for a long time and have a good reputation. That way, you will be able to sell your gold to the "highest bidder". If you send your gold to a company through the mail, you may have little recourse if you are unsatisfied with the amount you are paid.

Read this post and other great submissions in this week's Festival of Frugality.


  1. ahnn // May 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM  

    Great tips to keep in mind in selling gold. You should should always maximize the value of your gold by doing research.

    sell gold jewelry

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