How to Resell Jewelry: Tips to Ensure You Get What Your Jewelry Is Worth
Many jewelry pieces feature a classic design that lasts through the ages, while other pieces go out of style or fall out of favor as your tastes change. Perhaps you have jewelry that carries a negative connotation, such as a jewelry gift from an ex, or you simply need the money and don’t mind parting with a piece of jewelry. Whatever your reason for reselling jewelry, getting top dollar for the piece protects your interests. If selling your jewelry causes you anxiety, check out our tips for reselling your jewelry.
Make Sure You’re Ready to Sell
The thought of a big payday is alluring, but selling your jewelry before you’re ready may leave you with regret, sadness or even anger. Even though a piece of jewelry is just a material object, it often carries some sort of emotional attachment or meaning. It reminds you of a particular person, memory or stage in life.
Make sure you’re ready to say good-bye to those reminders of past times before you put that prized ring, necklace or other jewelry piece up for sale. Selling family heirloom pieces in particular can sometimes cause regret. If you’re focusing only on the money, take some time to reflect on the personal value of the piece.
In some cases, selling jewelry with an emotional connection can help you move on. For example, you might hang onto your wedding ring after a divorce because you’re not quite ready to let go. Selling the ring may seem emotionally challenging, but getting rid of the tangible reminder may help you heal emotionally.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you’re ready to sell:
- Do I ever wear this jewelry?
- Will I have an occasion to wear it in the future?
- Do I still like the style of the jewelry?
- Am I okay with never seeing the jewelry again?
- Is there anyone to whom I can pass down the jewelry?
- Will my kids, nieces, nephews or other family members someday want the jewelry piece?
- Will selling the jewelry make me feel sad or cause regret?
- Am I only thinking of the money and ignoring the emotional aspect of selling the jewelry?
- Can I get enough money for the jewelry to justify giving it up?
Ultimately, whether or not you’re emotionally ready to sell jewelry is a decision only you can make. Before rushing into the sale, think about the piece to ensure you won’t regret the decision.
Get an Appraisal
“How much is my jewelry worth?” This is likely the top question on your mind when you consider selling any piece of jewelry. In some cases, you might not know the original cost or value of the ring. For example, you received a piece of jewelry as a gift from a partner, or a relative gave you a piece of heirloom jewelry. Even if you purchased the jewelry yourself, the value changes all the time, so you likely don’t know the current value.
Take the jewelry piece to a qualified appraisal specialist to get a current value for the piece. Look for a knowledgeable appraiser with extensive experience. Mountz Jewelers has certified gemologist appraisers on staff to ensure you get an accurate appraisal.
The appraisal determines the current fair market value to give you a starting point for pricing your jewelry. The current jewelry value depends on a number of variables, including:
- Type and quality of the metal
- Type and quality of the gemstones
- Size of gemstones
- Condition of the jewelry
- Repairs needed
- Jewelry designer
The appraiser may also be able to offer advice in terms of pricing strategies in various markets. This helps you evaluate your options and potential profit to guide your sale.
Set a Realistic Price
You have your appraisal in hand, and you probably have a dollar amount in your head you hope to get. That number is often skewed if you have an emotional attachment to the jewelry piece. But don’t go overboard when setting your price. If you price the jewelry too high, you might scare off potential buyers and completely miss the chance to negotiate. You may see greater value in Great Aunt Sally’s ring because of the sentimental attachment, but a random buyer doesn’t have that same emotional connection and just wants a good deal.
Keep in mind the appraisal value is the cost for retail replacement — that is, the cost to buy a comparable replacement at retail. When people buy jewelry from private sellers, they want to get a deal, or they want to buy at a low enough price to resell at a profit. Just because your jewelry appraises at a particular dollar amount doesn’t mean you can actually get that amount when you resell the piece.
Establish a general range that is an acceptable price for your jewelry. Doing a little research can help you come up with a reasonable range. Check online auction sites for similar jewelry pieces. Note if the pieces actually sold at the listed price or if they failed to garner a single bid. Check out the cost of similar gemstones online and in retail stores, keeping in mind any signs of wear and tear lower that price.
Generate your starting price at the higher end of the acceptable range, being careful not to scare away buyers by overpricing. By starting a little higher than your lowest acceptable amount, you leave yourself some wiggle room for negotiations when you find an interested buyer.
Consider Your Terms
Establishing terms helps the jewelry sale go the way you want it to go. Consider your expectations for the sale. How do you envision it happening?
Consider these terms:
- Timeframe: How fast do you want to sell the jewelry? If you’re looking for a quick sale, set your price on the low end to attract buyers who are ready to purchase. If you prefer to get top dollar and don’t mind waiting, setting a higher price and waiting for the right buyer can be a successful approach.
- Negotiations: Any time you advertise something for sale, you open yourself up to people offering you a lower price. Everyone wants a deal, so people will often try to get a lower price. Decide ahead of time if you’re willing to negotiate on the sale price. If not, be very clear that the price is firm when you create your listing.
- Payment method: In a perfect world, every person would be honest. Unfortunately, some people set out to scam others. When selling your jewelry, consider the type of payments you’re willing to accept. Cash is an easy, safe way to ensure you get the agreed-upon amount for the ring. Scammers can forge any type of check, including cashier’s checks and money orders.
Prepare the Jewelry
Cleaning your jewelry gives it a sparkling appearance when you sell it. While you can clean your jewelry at home, some chemicals and cleaning tools can cause damage to certain metals and gemstones. Taking your pieces to a professional jeweler who offers cleaning services gives you a clean piece of jewelry without any additional damage.
If your jewelry has damage, weigh the cost of repairing the jewelry with the value of the repair. If you can get the damage repaired inexpensively and the repair will get you a lot more money, go ahead and have the repairs made. In many cases, the repair costs more than the additional amount you would get from the piece. Do your research before paying for repairs to ensure a good return on investment.
Choose Your Selling Avenue
Another important decision is how you’ll actually go about selling your jewelry. You have many options to sell, both to private individuals and to businesses. Within each type of buyer, you have more options for actually advertising or selling the piece. Each comes with pros and cons.
Explore the following selling options:
- Private sales: If you want to sell the jewelry quickly, private sales are often an easy route. These sales take place locally with an in-person exchange of cash for the jewelry. Ways to find buyers include alerting acquaintances, posting a local ad, posting on Craigslist or listing the jewelry in another format that reaches local buyers.
- Online private sales: Another option to sell your jewelry yourself is to list the jewelry with an online selling site. eBay is a popular option. I Do… Now I Don’t is another online selling option for jewelry.
- Pawn shops: When you don’t want to wait for a buyer, a local pawn shop is an option. You may not get as much as you would when you sell to an individual, but this can be a quick-cash option.
- Auction houses: Local auction houses may provide a format for auctioning off your higher value jewelry. The final price you get varies significantly depending on the audience on the day of the auction. Ensure you understand how the arrangement works in terms of reserves, your amount and other terms.
- Consignment jewelers: When you sell a piece of jewelry on consignment, you typically receive a certain portion of the sales price. Most consignors don’t pay you until your piece sells. If the store doesn’t get a lot of traffic, you may have to wait a while to get your payout.
- Scrap: If you don’t think you can get much for your jewelry, consider selling it for scrap. Gold buyers pay you for the cost of the materials. These pieces often get melted down to create other items.
- Mountz Jewelers: When you want a safe place to sell your jewelry, come visit us at Mountz Jewelers. Our qualified appraisers and gemologists thoroughly inspect your jewelry to ensure an accurate and fair appraisal. Selling your jewelry at Mountz saves you time on creating an ad, and you know you’re selling to a trustworthy buyer.
Create an Accurate Listing
If you sell the jewelry on your own, an accurate, detailed description with quality pictures is essential. People are more likely to purchase your items if they know exactly what they’re getting. Seeing pictures of the jewelry is just as important.
When creating your listing, use these tips:
- Be honest: Describe the jewelry piece accurately without embellishing the description to make it sound better than it really is. If the jewelry has damage, reveal that information so the buyer is informed. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and consider how you would feel buying misrepresented jewelry.
- Provide details: There are thousands of diamond rings, gold necklaces and pearl earrings for sale at any given time. What sets your piece apart from the crowd? Describe the ring in detail to paint a picture for the potential buyer. When you buy something, you want as many details as possible to determine if the item meets your needs. Do the same for your potential buyers.
- Create a clean layout: Instead of typing one long paragraph, break up the information to make it easy to scan. Bulleted lists of specific features work well. You can also separate the information into smaller paragraphs.
- Give clear contact information: Buyers need an easy way to contact you if they are interested in your jewelry. Tell buyers explicitly how to contact you. Let them know your preferred method of contact and any time restrictions.
Photos in your listing can also make the difference in a sale. Use these tips for taking quality photos of your jewelry:
- Use a plain background: A white or black background typically provides the best contrast for jewelry photos. This plain background lets the jewelry take center stage.
- Focus the image: A fuzzy image detracts from the listing. Retake photos that aren’t clear.
- Add lighting: Adequate lighting gives the most accurate representation of the jewelry. Natural light is best, with indirect sunlight providing illumination without a lot of shadows. You can also use lamps, overhead lights and other light sources to get the best look in the images.
- Provide different shots: Give potential buyers a well-rounded view of the ring with photos taken from different angles. Include full-view shots and close-ups of specific features. If the jewelry has any damage, include a photo of the blemish, so the buyer can see the extent of the damage. Images of someone wearing the jewelry helps the buyer get a sense of the scale.
Negotiate on Price
Prepare for a negotiation when selling your jewelry, especially if you list the piece on the higher end of the price range. Know your absolute rock bottom price before you begin negotiations. This helps you determine your counteroffers if someone asks you to accept less than your list price. Come back with a price higher than the offer and higher than your absolute lowest price, yet lower than your initial asking price. This gives you additional wiggle room if the buyer counters again.
Some people enjoy negotiating while others avoid it at all costs. If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating, it’s okay to decline the offer and wait for another buyer.
Exchange Payment for Jewelry Safely
You found a buyer. Congrats! Before you start celebrating, plan your safe and successful exchange of money for jewelry. While most people are good, taking precautions is very important to ensure your own safety.
Follow these guidelines when you complete the transaction:
- Meet in public: Never give out your address to a stranger. Instead, arrange a public meeting spot to make the transaction. This adds the safety of having other people around without you needing to reveal your address.
- Take a friend: Having your own partner during the exchange increases your safety.
- Let someone know: If you’re going to the exchange point on your own, let someone know you’re going. Plan to call the person after the transaction to verify that you are safe.
- Bring a phone: Keep your phone close at hand in case you need to make an emergency call during the exchange.
- Scan the area: Put your senses on high alert as you enter the exchange. Look for unusual behaviors or a person standing a short distance away watching the transaction. Paying attention to your surroundings can help you spot a problem early.
- Know your jewelry: Some scammers try to switch your jewelry for a fake while they “inspect” it. Always keep a close eye on your jewelry. Being aware of a particular trait of the real piece helps you ensure the piece is actually your original when you get it back.
- Trust your instincts: Often your instincts are a good indicator that something isn’t quite right. Pay attention to those instincts before and during the transaction.
- Don’t let the risks scare you: The majority of people honestly want to buy your jewelry, so don’t let the potential risks scare you away from selling your jewelry. Use safety precautions to make the transaction go smoothly.
When you’re ready for appraising and selling jewelry, come visit us at Mountz Jewelers. Our certified gemologist appraisers give you an accurate, reliable appraisal for your jewelry pieces to ensure you get a fair price. If you’re ready to sell, visit us for a safe, trustworthy option.