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How to sell your Jewellery


This question must be the most common one I get asked. If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question over the last 30 years, I wouldn’t be here late at night typing this, I would be sitting in a 5-star resort drinking a pretty drink with an umbrella in it!!

I have been in the trade now for 30 years and have been a Valuer for 25 of those years, I don’t have a magical answer, but I can impart some common-sense advice.

You must relinquish any sentiment you have with your piece of jewellery. People don’t pay for your sentiment. Jewellery is a commodity, just like anything else, and should be treated so when selling.

Question… Why can’t I sell it for what I bought it for?

Because your piece of jewellery is now second hand – it doesn’t matter that you only wore it once a month when the moon was high, and it is in great condition – it is still second hand. If you bought a fridge 1 year ago for $2000- and it is in great condition, but you now need to sell it, what would you expect to sell it for? Certainly not for $2000!

Question… Why does a pawn-broker offer me such a low price?

The simple reason is that is where they sit in the ladder. They buy at the bottom of the ladder, but they also on-sell only the next rung up that ladder. That is the nature of their business. They usually pay 10% of the Valuation or scrap gold price. This will vary from store to store.

Question… Why can’t I sell it to a retail jeweller?

You can certainly approach a retailer, but there are things to be aware of. 1) The jeweller must hold a second-hand buyer’s licence. 2) The item is still second hand and the jeweller will then want to sell it, but he can only on-sell it at a second-hand price and he also must collect GST on top and send that to ATO. The retailer will obviously need to put a margin on for himself as well. The outlay of holding it until he can sell it which could be 1 month or 5 years+! So, you can see by the time you work that out – the retailer will be probably offering you not much more than the pawnbroker. So please don’t be offended when your jeweller won’t want to buy the item. It’s a simple business decision for each business. Most retailers don’t buy.

Question… What % of my Valuation can I expect to sell it for?

My answer is always “Its only worth what someone wants to buy it for and what you want to sell it for!” As a Valuer, our governing body gives a guideline that for the current market a 30% figure is deemed fair to both buyer and seller. That is 30% OF the Valuation, not OFF it! i.e. If the Valuation says $2000- 30% would be $600-. A pawnbroker usually offers 10% of the Valuation figure. As I said it is a guideline. Many factors will be in play - the condition the item is in – if it needs repairs then that needs to be considered – is it something that is easily commercially available – is it something of very high end - has it a rarity or a collectable factor? Also, what plays a big part is the time frame for selling.

Question… Why does time frame affect selling price?

The ‘Fair Market Value’ of anything is directly related to time needed to sell the item. i.e. Medium to Long Term would be considered as 3 to 12 months, and you are happy to wait until just the right person comes along and you are ready to sell, so theoretically your 30%(approximately) would be in play. Short Term would be considered as days or weeks. i.e., you MUST sell and sell quickly, then like anything, the price will be dropped dramatically, and you would expect bottom $ at around 10% or whatever someone offers you. Remember, this piece of jewellery is ‘just a thing’ – no sentiment plays a part here.

Question… Where can I sell it?

Firstly, I tell people to look at your own family / social network. Spread the word of what you have and put it out on your own social media platforms – you will be surprised how that can spread. Secondly there are many internet based selling platforms. Facebook has a local marketplace site which I hear does pretty well. Then of course you have Etsy, EBay etc etc. The larger newspapers still have classifieds for selling and of course they are also in digital media platform. Again, think of selling that fridge… it is exactly the same process.

Question… How can I safely advertise?

In whatever platform you are using, never put your home address or home phone number in. Only use a mobile number and a fist name. If you are meeting someone to show them the item, meet in a public place – café – busy public park. Never meet at your home. If you can, have someone go with you. At least with a piece of jewellery you can put it in your handbag – unlike your fridge!

Question… Do I need a Valuation to sell my piece of Jewellery?

I know it is a ‘catch 22’… you don’t want to spend money before you even try to sell it! I get it! But, this is my answer… A Valuation produced by a ‘Registered Valuer’ is a legal document with a great deal of information on the page as well as the Retail Replacement Value. Retail Replacement Value is best described as a ‘new for old replacement’. This is NOT a selling figure. This is the 100% Value that you work backwards from to achieve your selling price. Most people understand this concept. The Valuation gives confidence to both the buyer and the seller. For the buyer, it gives confidence that whatever is on the page is correct so they can confidently purchase. For the seller it gives confidence that you are making good decisions, hopefully, and selling fairly, so nothing comes back to bite you.

Question… If I have an old valuation can I use that?

Of course, there is no simple answer. 1) Is the old Valuation produced by a ‘Registered Valuer’? There should be a red(usually) Notary Seal on the bottom of the page. The Valuer signing this should have letters after their name… FGAA at least – if not more and should state their Valuer #. If it is NOT done professionally, then you really shouldn’t be using it. You could be making bad decisions based on bad information. 2) If it is done professionally, then you are one step ahead. How old is it will be the next question? The next thing to consider is if you have a large Diamond content then the Value of your item will be directly related to the AU$ exchange rate. Diamonds are based on the US$ internationally, so when our dollar is low, your Diamond will be valued high. When our dollar is high, your Diamond will be valued low. If your Valuer had done his/her job correctly, somewhere on the page should give you the AU$ and Gold $ on that day. This will help you decide if you need to upgrade it. By talking to a Registered Valuer, they will help you decide what will be best for you. If you are still unsure if you should use it, then take it to a Registered Valuer and get their advice.

Question… Is there a charge to produce a Valuation?

Yes. A Registered Valuer is a very professional person with many years of study and continual ongoing study constantly. They must be at least a Gemmologist and Diamond Grader. Some of us have higher Qualifications, including Diamond Technology and others.

***If You have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at any time***

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