A quick Google search for “sell my jewelry online” will reveal hundreds of online sites offering to buy your valuables for a great price. But are these sites legitimate? Is selling your used jewelry online a good idea?
The truth about selling to an online buyer is this process can deliver one of two very different outcomes:
- If you work with a trusted, verified source, selling your jewelry to an online buyer will be a straightforward, quick, and successful way to get money for your valuables.
- On the flip side, if you’re not diligent, the result can be a long and complicated nightmare ending in a low-ball offer, damage to your valuables, and/or the loss of your item altogether.
With this truth in mind, today we are outlining some helpful tips on how to successfully sell your jewelry to an online buyer.
Never sell your valuables through an online marketplace (like Ebay or Craigslist)
Places like Ebay and Craigslist are popular platforms for selling valuables — both locally and nationally. While these sites can be a great place to get some money for your used items like clothes and couches, selling your valuables can be dangerous.
At Samuelson’s, we’ve been selling on Ebay for years and have learned to avoid the scams and other pitfalls associated with online jewelry sales. We’ve seen everything and all we can say is that selling online is best left to the professionals!
The assumption with Craigslist is that the buyer will be someone local to your area. This can create a false assurance of trust. In reality, you won’t know who the buyer is. You should never invite someone to your house to look at your item for sale. But even meeting in a public place to conduct the sale is risky.
You also have to be cautious of getting caught in a Craigslist scam. For example, a common scam is a buyer saying they’re out of town and asking you to mail the item. Though they promise to send you money once they have the item in hand, more often than not they’ll disappear — with your money and your item.
Many people like selling on Ebay because they gain the ability to reach a much wider audience. However, just like with Craigslist, you’ll have no idea who you’re really selling to. Additionally, there are other potential issues to be aware of:
- If selling your item through a timed sale, the final bid may be less than what you were hoping for
- The buyer may want you to get a note or certificate verifying the jewelry’s authenticity.
- It the item gets lost in transit, you’ll have to refund the buyer the money.
- The buyer filing a dispute if the item they receive is not exactly as you described it.
- In a worst case scenario, a buyer may maliciously alter your piece of jewelry (for instance, replacing a gemstone with a fake), and send the now worthless item back to you saying it wasn’t what they expected.
In general, the biggest issues with selling an item of value through an online marketplace like Craigslist or Ebay is you open yourself up to:
- Getting less for the item than what it’s worth
- A lot of time and hassle
Plus, don’t forget the fees involved! A percentage of your sale will go to Ebay as a service fee — typically 10 percent. There’s also a PayPal service fee involved, which is 2.9% of the total sale plus a 30 cent transaction fee.
Know who you’re selling to
The first rule of thumb when selling your jewelry and valuables to an online buyer is getting to know the company you’re selling to. Never ship your valuable to an online source without first verifying their legitimacy.
To start, it may be helpful to understand a bit more about jewelry buyers in general. When you come across a company that advertises that it will buy your jewelry, this company…
- Has specialists on staff who can accurately price your item
- After evaluating your item in person, will decide whether or not they want to purchase it and give you a fair offer
- Has a worldwide network of buyers, allowing them to give you the best price
- Will refurbish the item (as needed) and sell it again to its network of buyers
Of course, this is how a legitimate company should be operating. As with all companies, there are those that are more trustworthy and offer a better experience than others. That’s why you need to conduct a bit of research before moving forward.
Here’s what you need to know…
First things first, make sure the company is a legitimate business. Look to the Better Business Bureau to find out the company’s rating and ensure it’s accredited. You should also learn whether or not the company has certified gemologists on staff.
Experience & location
The longer a jewelry buyer has been in business, the more you can trust they are running a trustworthy operation. Get to know the company by reading their ”about” page, searching their website to learn more, or doing a Google search. Ask yourself..
- Where are they located? (Are they a local company? How far will you be shipping your item?)
- Is the company purely an online business, or do they have a brick and mortar shop, too?
- Who owns the business?
- Does the company have a history of excellent service?
Understand the process
Once you’ve verified that the company is legitimate and can be trusted, take some time to understand how their buying process works.
Here are the 3 most important things to confirm:
1. What is expected of you during the process?
When selling valuables online, the company has to first evaluate the item in person before they can provide an offer. That means shipping your jewelry to the company. Find out what that involves…
- Do you pay for shipping or do they?
- Will the shipping be insured?
- If you don’t accept the offer, how will the item be returned to you?
- How long does the process take?
- What if your item is returned to you damaged?
2. How will you be paid?
Understand how payment is handled. Will you be mailed a check or paid through an online portal? How long will it take to receive your money? Any company that’s not transparent with their payment process should be avoided.
3. Are there fees involved?
You should never have to pay any expenses. If the company tacks on service fees or makes you pay for shipping costs, beware.