If you have gold or silver jewellery or coins you want to sell, it’s not as simple as, say, heading to a pawn shop to get rid of an old guitar. In your community, no matter where you are in the world, there are likely dozens of shifty gold buyers whose sole goal is to fleece you out of your valuable items.
If you’re desperate for much-needed cash, especially in a time like today’s pandemic-struck quarantine, gold buyers can sniff that desperation a smile away. They might grin wide and tell you a thousand tales about how valuable your gold or jewellery may be, but you might be getting in bed with a rogue buyer who only wants to give you the lowest amount possible.
This business can be very competitive, pitting buyers against each so ruthlessly that they even get violent, as Toronto saw several years ago in the Bathurst and Glencairn area.
We wanted to reveal to you the signals to be aware of when you’re prowling for a respectable precious-metals buyer so you can avoid getting swindled, and also to help you find a respected outlet known for giving the best value for your jewellery and heirlooms. To provide an expert opinion on the topic, we spoke to Max Smirnov, owner of Muzeum.
Q: What are some red flags that jewellery and gold sellers should notice when they’re looking for a trusted buyer?
Smirnov: First, have you noticed that the transaction is happening in front of you or does the buyer pick up your gold or other valuables and take it to another room or another part of office?
You also want to determine if the information is clear in how much they're paying for different grams, such as 10k versus 14k, for example.
Does the buyer separate the gold by it karat value or is he lumping everything together?
What is also important is the buyer being transparent about the offer for your items. You want to see the breakdown of each item’s worth, which is what legit buyers will do.
Q: When searching online for a gold buyer, how can someone know if a business is legit or not? Any signals on someone's site that they aren't trustworthy or legit?
Smirnov: You want to look for two main signs: Is the gold buyer advertising their prices? If they're advertising their prices, they are being transparent and not playing any games. If they're not advertising prices, it could mean they're hoping to catch a seller who is uninformed, hoping to take advantage of him.
Also, read their reviews, which may be on Google or Yelp. Reviews give you a good sense of how customers react to in-store interactions, their offers, how they behave, and much more.
Q: Share with us some characteristics of a trusted gold buying company.
Smirnov: The prices are advertised openly, the transactions are transparent, the precious metal content in your item is explained clearly, and you feel comfortable working with the store’s personnel.
Q: In this time of quarantine, how can someone trust a gold buying company they might not be able to meet in person? Is an email back and forth OK or is it always preferable to talk on the phone or maybe use apps like Zoom?
Smirnov: A buyer needs to have the product in front of them to really identify its value. At Muzeum, we send out a fully insured package to interested sellers so items are picked up and delivered securely.
We analyze the items right in front of the customer via tech platforms such as Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp, whatever the customer is most comfortable with. We make an offer and if the customer accepts it, the money will be sent immediately. If the customer declines the offer, the products will be sent back immediately with no charge to them.
As we can see from Smirnov’s expertise, a trusted gold buyer such as Muzeum can give people a fair deal on what they bring into the office, whether in person or via delivery.
To add to Smirnov’s point about transparency, Muzeum’s Daniel Ilmer also told us recently:
Another customer we often see if someone who has items laying around the house, whether broken or intact. They are often shocked by the actual value of what they bring to us. That’s why we decided to advertise our prices on our website in order to be as transparent as possible.
In another interview, Smirnov also illustrated why Muzeum sets itself apart from the competition:
The main difference is that when you deal with a typical antique store or an expert in online antiques, you are dealing with just one person or firm. Their ability to give you information and a fair price is based on whatever they know or can afford.
We have a vast collection of experts and collectors built over 10 years travelling across Canada, Europe and Asia. If you bring to us an item with little information attached to it, we work pour extensive network to get you the highest price possible, usually the best and highest price out of eight offers.
If you’re interested in our completely FREE evaluations for all gold, silver, coins, bullion and paper money contact us anytime.
We are currently operating on an appointments basis during the COVID-19 crisis - so call us today at 1 800 746 0902to speak to our friendly customer service team with any questions you may have or to book your appointment.
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