Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Decluttering: Sell Your Gold!

Maybe one of the themes for my Declutter Challenge in February should be Super Small Items because this week I donated my unused contact lenses in addition to selling some old and broken bits of jewelry for cash!

What happened was this: I have a friend who has been out of work for a long while due to health problems. She is a single mother helping to finance her son's college education, so she is always trying to come up with strategies to come up with a little additional money to help make ends meet (at least make the ends come a bit closer anyway!).

She knows that I am trying to find a useful home for my unneeded stuff, so she suggested that I accompany her to sell some gold jewelry and other precious metals (sliver, pewter, etc.). I had a schedule conflict, so I found some broken gold necklaces and a few other items, popped them in a plastic bag, and sent them off with my friend to see what she could sell them for.

My friend has sold gold several different times now, and she has a few tips to share:
  • Avoid offers that require you to send your gold through the mail. If at all possible, find a place where you can go in person to sell your gold. The buyers can make an offer for your pieces, and you can decide on the spot whether you want to sell them or not. You have less control over this process if you are sending your pieces through the mail, and could be more vulnerable to scams.
  • Bring a friend. Some buyers offer to pay you an additional percentage for your pieces if you bring additional people with you. Your friends can also help you decide whether to accept the purchase offers or not. A third benefit of bringing your friends is that they can look over your unwanted items and perhaps offer them a new home. I had two pair of earrings that I sent which were too large for me and not my style at all. I wasn't even sure if they were made of gold or not. The type of gold they were made of was low quality, so the buyers declined to purchase them, but my friend really liked them, so I gave them to her. Better than having them return to clutter my jewelry box! Which leads to our next tip:
  • Bring your items even if you aren't sure they are made of gold. You never know! On the other hand,
  • Avoid selling sentimental items if you think you will regret it later. For several of my broken necklaces, I kept the pendant, but sold the broken chain. The pendants carry the sentiment, so I kept those. I avoided selling items that have sentimental value to our family. I may not use them right now, but my daughter may be interested in them when she is older.
  • Think 'outside' the box when locating items to sell. My friend did this literally when she was looking through a small jewelry box one day for potential gold pieces. Suddenly it hit her that the actual jewelry box was made of sterling silver, and could be a sellable item! (She kept it for now, but she may sell it in the future if silver prices go up.)
We had a sucessful gold sale; the results of which will be included in my Declutter Challenge Report for February. I am still tallying up the rest of the items I sold this month, and I will put the February results up next week. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Lorita Littleton said...

I agree that it is risky to send your gold through mail because there is a high possibility that you may not get it back. You cannot guarantee it unless, perhaps, you know the gold buyer personally. I also agree that it is good to have a friend with you, especially one who knows about selling gold also, if you are not much experienced with it yet, to have someone give you firsthand advice.

Lorita Littleton