Selling precious stones you no longer use can be a way to get some quick cash or make way for new pieces. The rise in online platforms has given people the convenience of selling their jewelry online directly to buyers instead of going to their local jeweler or pawn shop.
Selling jewelry online isn’t your typical transaction, though. There are many things you have to consider and look out for when dealing with online buyers.
In this post, we’ll go through the process of selling your jewelry to online buyers and how to go about it to make sure you get the most out of your gems.
Know Your Jewelry’s Worth
Before putting a price on your piece, you need to know what it’s worth. To know the true value of your jewelry, you should get an expert appraisal from The Alloy Market. Alloy has a team of certified experts that can give you an accurate valuation of your jewelry to ensure you get a maximum return on it.
When discussing with appraisers, you should have an idea of what the process is typically like. Depending on the type of jewelry you bring in, an appraisal could take a few hours. How much an appraiser charges also varies, but legitimate ones don’t charge a percentage of the value – so don’t pay heed to any such offer.
Don’t Skip the Appraisal
It’s common for people to undervalue or overvalue their jewelry. This makes sense. If a loved one gave you a special necklace, you may assign it a higher value than what it’s worth – as it was a very special gift, dear to your heart. However, don’t feel insulted if a buyer doesn’t feel the same way. Alternatively, many people may not think their jewelry is worth much at all, but an expert appraiser may argue otherwise.
Don’t rely on guesswork. If you’ve got a piece of unwanted jewelry you want to sell and can afford an appraisal, you should. It helps work out the actual price, and in the case of jewelry, selling it for less than its value can make you lose out on hundreds of dollars in profit.
How to Sell Your Unwanted Jewelry Online
You’ve got your appraisal; now what? Firstly, you’d want to have a chat with your appraiser before getting your hopes up. Appraisers usually tell you the value of your jewelry, not the resale price – so if the appraiser tells you your jewelry is worth $100, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should list it for $100.
In the case of gold, appraisers may give you the melt price, which is the cost of the melted metal contained in a piece. If you’re listing gold jewelry online, selling it for 70-80% of the melt price can be considered a fair price. Why 70%? Because you have to factor in the cost of getting the gold melted by the buyer.
All right, you’ve got your jewelry, and know what you want to list it for; now, what’s left is to sell it to an interested buyer.
There are mainly two ways of selling your unwanted jewelry to online buyers:
- Selling directly to buyers
- Selling it through a consignment firm
Don’t worry if you have no idea where to start; we discuss these two approaches in detail below.
Selling Your Jewelry Directly to Buyers
Selling directly to online buyers could be profitable if approached with caution. There are mainly two types of people that would be interested in buying your unwanted jewelry:
- The general public
- Online jewelry buyers/stores
Selling to the general public
When we say general public, we mean just about anyone – your neighbor, friend, relative, or even a stranger on the Internet. You can take photos of jewelry and list them online through a platform. This could be as easy as taking a photo and listing on eBay for an interested buyer.
Selling to online stores
Selling to online stores is considered a more trustworthy option as 1) they’re a professional business and 2) they typically have a formal process of buying and selling. Keep in mind that when selling to professionals, you’d be offered a lower rate than the market average. That’s because online store owners often buy unwanted jewelry from people to refurbish and sell it to their customers with added markup. To ensure they get a good profit from the deal, they’ll try to bargain a better deal than what you can get from an individual.
Although most professional jewelry stores deal fairly with sellers, some don’t. You shouldn’t blindly trust any online store you plan to sell to. For an extra layer of caution, you should thoroughly check the website of the store and take a look at their policies and process. You can check their reputation through the Better Business Bureau or contact them directly to know what to expect. If anything seems shady, drop it.
Selling Your Jewelry Through a Consignment Firm
What’s a consignment firm, you ask? An online consignment firm or shop acts as a third party to ensure a secure deal between a buyer and seller. How do they do that? Typically, the process is something like this:
- You list your product on a platform such as The Real Real or Louped.
- A buyer views your listing and either messages you beforehand or presents an offer for the product.
- Once both parties agree to the deal, the buyer sends the money to the platform, which is then kept in a secure escrow.
- The consignment store deducts its commission from the amount and sends the remaining amount to the seller.
When selling jewelry through a consignment, just be sure that the markup you set is high enough so that the commission doesn’t eat into your profits.
Selling your unwanted jewelry online can be a great and convenient way to make space for new sets and earn some cash. Before setting your sails toward the digital marketplace, you should get your jewelry appraised and then choose whether to sell to buyers or professionals. For a more secure transaction, you can use a consignment store so there aren’t any risks of fraud or scams.
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