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Websites, Pawn Shops, or Flora Gems?

When selling your gold, silver, diamonds and other jewelry, your choices are limited to gold-buying websites, pawn shops, or fine jewelry stores.

Posted August 01, 2019

Websites

Websites are notorious for offering very little for your gold and silver. As a matter of fact, they gained such a bad reputation in such a short amount of time that I can't even remember the last time I had a conversation with a customer who sent gold to a website. The best rule of thumb here is NOT to send your valuables away to be evaluated. There's no need for it, and you won't realize the full value of your gold jewelry.

Pawn Shops

What's the first thing you think of when the words "pawn shop" are uttered. I'm going to guess it has something to do with a lack of trust, and an expectation that you will receive a low offer on your valuable jewelry items. Whereas I'm sure there are scrupulous pawn shops out there, most of us have never been in one, nor plan on going into one. Reputations are earned. Have you ever watched the TV show Pawn Stars? It's entertaining, but there are some things that the shop's buyers do that we here at Flora Gems would NEVER do.

We NEVER ask, "How much do you want for your diamond ring?"

This question is asked in order to assess whether a customer has any idea of the value of the item she has brought in. Whenever a selling customer answers this question with a specific amount, she usually suffers, and the buyer comes out ahead. Let's say you have a diamond ring that the pawn shop owner has examined, and has determined to have a cash value of $1,000, but instead of offering you $1,000, he asks you, "How much do you want for your diamond ring?" Your answer might be something like this ... "Well, I'm not really sure. It was my grandmother's originally, and I don't have any paperwork for it. Maybe, $200 or $300?" ... Guess what? In this scenario you are going to get between $200 and $300. You leave the shop thinking you did alright, but you're not really sure. The pawn shop owner just bought your grandmother's diamond ring for $700 less than he was willing to pay. Is it legal? Yes. Is it sketchy and unscrupulous? You bet it is.

At Flora Gems, once we determine your diamond ring is worth $1,000, we say something like, "I can pay you $1,000 for your ring. If that's acceptable to you, I'm happy to write a check right now. Would you like me to do that?" Of course, we could play those pawn shop games and try to get a lower price, but we just feel like making a fair offer is the right thing to do. Like I said earlier, reputations are earned.

Pawn shops haggle over the price in order to beat you out of every dollar they can.

If, in the scenario above, the selling customer had said she wanted $2,000 for the ring that is worth $1,000, the pawn shop owner would have immediately started telling her everything that is wrong with the ring, how difficult it is to sell, and how he could never pay $1,000. He'd have offered something much lower, and then, if the customer had chosen to engage in it, haggling over the price would have begun.

At Flora Gems, we understand that most of our customers don't want to haggle over price because most people just aren't comfortable doing it. If I offer $1,000 for a diamond ring, and my customer tells me that she was expecting something closer to $2,000, I explain the realities of the estate jewelry market, and apologize for not being able to do any better for her, but that we always put our best foot forward on all offers to buy items of value. I wish her luck getting $2,000. When our customers leave after such a transaction, at least we have shown them respect, not belittled them, and not made them feel like their treasured jewelry is worthless. And oftentimes, those customers come back and accept my offer after taking some time to shop around only to realize that my offer is the best one after all.

Flora Gems vs. other jewelry stores

Let me relate to you a real life story that is very typical for us.

Last week, a nice woman came in with a simple request. She had two diamonds she wanted to sell, and asked if I would like to look at them and make an offer to buy them. We sat down in my office, and at my desk we talked and got to know each other while I evaluated her diamonds. In less than 10 minutes I offered her $2,350 for both diamonds, and she immediately accepted my offer.

As I wrote the check, we continued to talk, and she offered up information about her previous attempt at selling her diamonds at another local jewelry store. This jeweler sent her diamonds to Chicago, and for a period of 4 months this customer waited for her diamonds NOT to get sold. To make matters worse, she had to ask more than once for her diamonds to be returned to her. The other jeweler (conditionally) offered a little over $3,000, but what good is a higher offer if it never materializes? It might as well be $5,000, or $20,000, or $1,000,000 for that matter.

The Gist

If you are considering selling your gold, silver, diamonds, or other jewelry, please take it to your local, independent jeweler where you are made to feel comfortable. Flora Gems has been trusted since 1856. We believe in keeping things simple. If you bring us something to purchase from you, we'll take the necessary time to evaluate it, and then we'll look you in the eye and let you know exactly what we can pay for it. No funny business. No ploys. And, if you accept our offer, we write you a check immediately. You leave with money in hand, and a promise from us to find a new home for the items you sold. We think this is simple, and honest.

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