What to Expect When You Sell Your Gold
Selling gold that you have in your possession is usually a pretty straightforward deal. You take or send your gold into a dealer or shop, they test the fineness, and then give you an offer based on the quality, quantity, current spot price, and how much they need to profit to cover their overhead. One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are selling your gold is that you will probably never get spot price for your bullion, and you won’t get anywhere near spot price for scrap gold. This is simply because places won’t be able to resell your gold for much over that price.
For most people selling jewelry, or some other sort of gold that either isn’t in coin or bullion form, the gold dealer might make you an offer from anywhere between 20% and 80% of what they can sell it for. The lower end of this range would be from pawn shops late at night, or from ads you might see on TV where you can mail in your gold for cash. The higher end of the range will come from jewelry shops and specialty gold buyers. If you have a lot of gold to sell you can get a higher premium on it.
If you are selling gold coins, you might be able to get higher than spot price because of the numismatic value of the gold, but that’s unlikely as most gold coins have essentially no numismatic value. The same goes for very fine jewelry, especially if it is very old or has some sort of documented history tied to it.
Places to Sell Gold
One of the first places that come to mind when someone thinks about where to sell gold is a pawn shop. Pawn shops are well-known for buying pretty much anything, but if you go into almost any pawnbroker’s store, you will find an expansive jewelry counter with plenty of gold. Pawn shops are one of the most popular places for selling gold because you can walk out with cash for your gold 20 minutes after you walk in the store. This can be handy in a pinch, or if you are just looking at selling gold jewelry or other pieces of gold you might have around your house.
Most major cities have dedicated gold buyers. These are people who make a living off of buying and selling gold, and they are always in need for more supply. Finding a gold buyer around your area isn’t very hard, most of the time, they advertise pretty heavily because they know there are plenty of people out there who have gold, but they may not be willing to part with it at a certain point in time. Later on down the road, they might think, “Hey, I’m wanting to sell my gold, who should I call?”, and the branding that the gold buyers have done around town would likely pay off. Coin shops are usually good for selling gold, especially if you have gold coins, since they probably already have their own list of gold buyers, allowing them to give you money that day, then turn around and unload the gold on another buyer soon thereafter. It’s possible to sell scrap gold at coin shops, since most of them have the right tools needed to gauge the quality of gold that you have, but there are better places where you can get more money for when you want to sell your old gold.
Jewelry stores will often advertise that they can buy gold, since they do use so much of it anyway, especially the stores that specialize in creating their own jewelry. If you plan on selling gold to a jewelry store, call around to get their current offer prices before driving around town to 5 different places just to hear 5 different answers. Larger jewelry stores will usually tend to give more money for your gold than both smaller stores, and chain stores.
If you have a lot of gold for sale, you might be able to sell it to a gold investor. These investors are looking for physical gold to hedge against inflation and the stock market. Generally, they will not be interested in a couple of gold rings, but they would certainly be interested if you had gold bullion for sale, or a large amount of gold from the Treasury, or just investment grade gold in general. Finding a gold investor can be difficult, but if you talk to your financial advisor, they may be able to point you in the right direction, or they may know someone looking for some gold for sale.
Best Place To Sell Gold
Figuring out the best place for selling your gold can be very tricky, since it does depend on a variety of factors.
• Location – Selling your gold in a large city is a lot easier, and can potentially bring you more money since there are plenty of other people who want to buy gold as well, driving up prices.
• What’s in demand – In a down economy, bullion gold will be in higher demand than treasure gold.
• Supply – If there are a lot of people in a certain area looking to exchange their gold, you will still be able to find someone to buy it off of you, but you might get a lower price than you normally would.
• Season – The closer you get to the holidays, the more people are trying to spend money on gifts and parties instead of scrap gold or investment gold. At the same time, people looking to get extra money will be selling gold and the prices will go down.
• The kind of gold you have – If you have gold that is considered investment grade, sending it into a “mail-in your gold” program makes little sense. The same thing goes for very nice gold coins, taking them into a pawn shop when you can sell them to a coin dealer isn’t the best way of going about things.
• Who you sell it to – Jewelry stores may not be able to handle a large amount of gold, or may shoot you a lower price than normal if they think they can’t use it right away. The individuals you sell your gold to are all in their own unique markets and situations.
If you have gold bullion or proof gold coins, you can easily get 90% of the spot value, most of the times closer to 98%+ of spot value from people looking to buy gold as an investment. These people realize are buying not to turn around and sell it right away, but they are going to hold onto it. Since historic rates for gold have been trending higher, investors can afford to pay near spot price for your gold now, then sell it years down the road, hopefully for a profit.
The best place to sell your gold if you have jewelry or other small items could very well be a nice pawn shop. Pawn shops that cater to people looking to spend a decent amount of money can afford to give you more money for your gold than you might be able to get elsewhere. If they have their own gold smelting operation, or can sub-contract it out, they stand to be able to make more money the more gold they get, so they offer a higher price hoping to outbid their competition.
Selling gold coins to a coin shop is usually your best option when it comes to how much money you’ll get from selling, how easy the people are to deal with in regards to knowing what the coins is worth, and the ability to possible consign your gold for a certain percentage if the dealer would rather go that route.
How to Get the Best Price For Your Gold
Getting the best price for your gold depends a lot on who you sell it to. Besides the obvious differences in the people who buy gold as an investment as opposed to pawn shops and online gold companies, and what they can offer you, there are a few tricks you can use to make sure that you get the highest amount for your gold.
1. Call around – This is probably the best tip that can help you get the most money out of trading in your gold. Call around to jewelry stores, pawn shops, coin dealers, and gold buyers in your area to see what kind of price they can offer you for your gold. This works well when you try to sell your scrap gold, when you have a gold coin or a piece of gold jewelry, you may actually have to take it in so they can put a solid price on it depending on the condition.
2. Check online – There are plenty of places online that can help you find the best place to market your gold. Online gold buyers may enable you to send your gold in by insured mail, send you an offer, and if you accept it, send you a check. These mail-in programs are probably the most convenient way of selling gold online.
3. Take in your gold for an appraisal – If you have a lot of gold and you aren’t sure whether it’s 14k or 24, or if you have gold coins and you aren’t sure of their value, take it to someone who can give you an honest assessment of what the gold is worth. By having a firm number in your hand, you will at least know if someone is making you a fair offer, or if they are trying to lowball you when you sell your gold.
4. Always negotiate the price – When you sell, you’ll usually be able to talk to someone with the authority to make a deal with you. They do have to make a profit, but their first offer will always be their bottom price, with a little bit of negotiation, you can get them to raise their offer. You’ll win because you get more money, and they’ll win because they will still be able to sell your gold for a profit.
Selling Gold Online
If you decide that selling your gold online is the best way to go, you are going to have to choose among many different gold buying websites. These can be divided into two basic categories: scrap gold sites, and bullion gold sites.
Scrap gold sites will buy just about anything. If you have old jewelry, medallions, coins, even bullion – they’ll buy it. The down side is they are also likely to give you a really low price. Their typical customers aren’t investors – they are people who happened to have gold and now need cash, and are usually desperate. Hopefully you’ve taken our advice on buying investment-grade bullion and aren’t in that boat! Worse yet, you really have to read the fine print with these operations. Some of these placed let you ship the gold to them for free, but essentially hold the gold hostage if you don’t accept their (low) offer, charging you a high shipping fee to get it back. Especially if you’re dealing with small amounts of scrap gold this can devastate your returns and you’re almost stuck selling to them.
While the number of “mail-in your gold” ads have gone down over the past year, there are still plenty of TV spots that run which promise a lot of money for your spare gold. These services usually give you the least amount of money out of any buyer, mainly because they have to pay a lot of money for every TV commercial that they run.
Selling your gold at a scrap site is probably not the best idea for most people, especially if you live near a pawn shop or any of the other places listed above, since you will get quite a bit more money from those places. If you do decide to exchange your gold at one of these locations, be sure to check around for some customer reviews before you send anything in. People tend to talk about how much they were offered from online gold buyers, which means you can get a basic idea how much they are giving per ounce of gold.
The other kind of site is the bullion gold site. Most often, these are the exact same sites that you purchased your bullion from in the first place. In fact, some will even store it for you between purchasing and selling back to them (for a fee, of course). Almost invariably these guys only accept identifiable investment-grade bullion, including the common bullion coins and marked bars from well-known mints suck as Perth and Credit-Suisse. The good news is they pay top-dollar for this gold, often at or barely under the spot price. This is why you bought investment gold in the first place.
Pros and Cons of Places to Sell Your Gold
• Jewelry Stores – Pros: Plenty of jewelry stores to choose from, helpful staff in a professional environment, usually you’ll get a fair price for your gold. Cons: Some stores may not be interested in buying, you will get below spot price.
• Pawn Shops – Pros: You will get money for your gold immediately, you can negotiate the price, they will take about any kind of gold. Cons: Most pawn shops will give you below spot price, there may not be a lot in your area.
• Gold Investors – Pros: Usually will give near spot price for gold. Cons: Most of the time they are only interested in investment grade bullion or coins, may be very hard to find an investor in some areas.
• Coin Shops – Pros: They will offer a decent price for most gold coins, you might be able to consign instead of sell outright. Cons: Only interested in coins made of gold for the most part, there may not be too many in your area.
• Online Gold Buyers – Pros: Very convenient, usually don’t even have to leave your house to get your money, great prices from investment gold sites. Cons: Offer you the least amount of money for your gold (from scrap gold sites), it can take a couple of weeks from the time you wish to sell until you have your money.
So Where Should I Sell My Gold?
If you have investment grade gold bullion, the best bet would be to find a gold investor and sell your gold to them, or to sell directly to a large bullion dealer/mint. You’re going to get pretty close to spot price, and they will be interested in any good gold that you have. For scrap gold, if you can find a jewelry shop buying gold at a decent price, they would probably be your best bet, you’re not going to get spot price, but you’ll get more than at most other places. If you can’t, pawn shops in large cities that deal with a lot of gold or similar specialty gold buyers are your best bet. Avoid anything that starts with shipping scrap gold so your gold can’t be held hostage with shipping costs.