Just because it cost YOU a lot of money, does not mean it is worth anything.
If you have ever purchased an item at a large franchise jewelry store and then tried to resell it, you’ve probably learned this the hard way. Worth is a funny concept and truly hard to pin down for any given item. Although an item may sell for $5,000 at one store, it may be considerably less (or more) expensive at a different location. The worth of an item is whatever someone is willing to pay for something, and this can vary from region to region and store to store. There are various types of values one can attribute to an item: retail price, sales price, appraisal value, scrap price or what you can reasonably expect to receive if you resell your item to a jewelry store.
Consider that each time you purchase an item, built into the price is a fee for the store’s advertising, rent/mortgage, payroll, commission, jewelry stock, equipment, taxes, displays and design, lawyers, accountants, etc. The fee at a large store would likely be much higher than the fee at a small mom & pop location. If the store that you purchase your item from runs expensive advertising campaigns and maintains a location in a very expensive shopping district, it stands to reason that your purchase will help to offset that expense.
If the time comes that you decide you want to sell your item, you should not expect to receive the same amount of money that you paid. Far too often we see customers that have purchased an item at high cost only to be sorely disappointed at the amount of money we can offer them. There are many reasons for this.
- Jewelry stores are in the business of making money. When purchasing an item from a customer, they take many factors into consideration. If they purchased a piece at the same price it normally sells for, they would be forced to increase the price of the item when they resell it to another customer to turn a profit. There is no incentive to do such a thing for the purchasing store.
- Is your item out of date? Often, we buy pieces that are no longer trendy. At this point, we must consider that upon purchasing, we may sit on this item for months or even years. That is a long time to have money tied up in one piece. Although you may have paid a lot for this item originally, the value of it could have decreased significantly over the years to the point that it only maintains scrap value.
- Can we purchase your item from a wholesaler? Quite often an item we purchase can also be purchased by us from one of our wholesale distributors. From that wholesale distributor we also receive a brand new piece, a warranty on that piece and the option to return it. We will always offer less than wholesale for this reason.
- Broken and worn items are good for nothing but scrap value. If it isn’t in fantastic condition, we will be forced to sell it for gold scrap. This means you will get the lowest offer for your item, based solely on the karat and gram weight.
- Did you pay too much? Just because you paid $2,000 for an item does not mean we can also get that price at our store. As stated earlier, markets vary and for this reason, you may be offered far less than you feel your item is worth.
- Many non-precious metal items, such as watches, hold no intrinsic value. Although they may sell somewhere for a particular price, there may not be a market for these items for resale. We must consider that non-gold items that are currently trendy cannot be scrapped out if need be. There is no guarantee that we, as the purchaser, could recoup our investment.
- Stones are a dime a dozen. Yes, diamonds are worth something, but like us, most jewelry stores have a seemingly endless supply. Particularly, very small melee diamonds are plentiful and do not bolster an offer much if any. We begin to factor a price for a diamond when a single stone is 1/2ct or larger. For gemstones this varies tremendously, but by and large we do not offer much for them for similar reasons as the melee diamonds.
For those times when an offer is just too low for a customer to accept, we often recommend one of two options. You may try to sell your item to an individual, either in person to someone you know or on the internet, or you may consider consignment. Both of these choices provide a better opportunity to get the price you are seeking, but can take considerable time. If time is not a factor, it might be a lucrative choice.