For those in Boca Raton, Florida who have accumulated jewelry over the years or now find themselves in charge of an estate to liquidate, it’s quite common to find one’s self in the situation of needing to reduce a personal inventory and sell some times. However, how one goes about selling that jewelry can often mean the difference between high risk and a safe liquidation process. It can also be the difference in being safe as well as being defrauded. There are simply too many ways these days to foul up a person trying to go about selling quality jewelry on his own. That said, some believe that it’s still quite possible to manage a private sale; bad things won’t happen. Here’s is a bit of summary of the type of risks a person faces with the various avenues available for private jewelry sales.
The idea of guessing what jewelry may be worth is simply silly, yet people do it all the time. Sometimes they overestimate, but more often they underestimate and then sell the items for far less than what they are really worth. This is often the case with pieces of high craftsmanship that are rare, were manufactured by a particular artisan, and have a high collectability value above their base material worth.
If one really wants to know the actual market value of a jewelry item, he needs to obtain the services of a licensed appraisal. However, that will cost a fee for a certified examination, and some shy away from the cost believing it’s a waste. There’s a common assumption that just finding similar items offers a good way to guess an item price. That too can be a mistake.
Private Classified Sales
Posting an ad in a local newspaper or, more commonly, through an online ad service, is quite easy and can be done at low or little cost. However, it often means transacting a sale in-person, which is probably the highest risk a person could put himself into when trying to sell jewelry privately.
First off, a person has no idea whom he is dealing with. Anyone could respond to an ad, and there’s been many cases were people responded pretending to be buyers only to rob the seller face-first of his item to be sold as well as anything available and on-hand.
Second, one often has to give his contact information to create a sale. That leaves a person open to further contact down the road. Boca Raton is not a big place, so providing contact information can be figured out very quickly.
Third, even if a person tries to handle a sale via shipping and mail, assuming a buyer is willing to send money to an unknown party, there are few ways to confirm the payment is good unless it’s a money order or cash.
Ebay and Online Auctions
A second common option is to post jewelry for sale via online auction sites. Ebay is the biggest, but it is not the only one. That said, most of these sites have some sort of rating system. As a result, sellers have some basic tools by which to evaluate buyers. However, the same tool evaluates the seller as well. For big transactions with higher value jewelry, the seller needs to have quite a track record for buyers to take the deal seriously. That means for new sellers they will likely need to work with and trust a third party auction seller to manage the sale, one who already has a high transaction count record with good sales.
The other issue with online auctions is that the jewelry will often only sell for what people are willing to pay for it. That often means it won’t sell for it’s true worth. When one takes into account all the costs of an auction, the expenses can quickly eat into the value of a sale. Auctions online often include a 2 to 3 percent total value charge for being a middle party for a sale. Then there are shipping and insurance costs to protect the item on delivery. Finally, any safe way to accept payment electronically means additional fees, as third party merchant processors like Paypal or similar will also charge 2 to 3 percent of total payment as well. By the time a sale is done and completely taken care of, a seller could find himself losing anywhere from 8 to 15 percent of the sale in expenses if he doesn’t add them on top of the price. And that doesn’t include taxes eventually paid on any profit made as well as any inheritance tax that applies. All of the above in turn make a jewelry item on an auction list less competitive with others, so it’s a tough decision to eat the loss or demand the higher price.
Payment Issues and Chargebacks
Working online or through the mail to sell jewelry has its risks as well. While a smart buyer won’t send anything until a payment is received, there can still be problems. Paper payments are pretty much suspect unless paid by recognized money order or cash, which most people won’t send.
Electronic payments can seem far safer, but a seller needs to make sure that the buyer has committed to the payment properly. Paypal, for example, allows a buyer to trigger what is called a chargeback if he is not a certified buyer in their system. This means he can buy something for a set price, make the payment, the seller send the item, and then the buyer turns around and complains to Paypal he wants a refund because the item was never sent. Absent certification and mailing proof, Paypal will credit the buyer back the funds out of the seller’s account. Now the seller has lost both the payment and the jewelry. It’s a common scam that has happened again and again online.
Working with a Licensed Jewelry Buyer
The benefit of working with a licensed jewelry buyer is multiple. First off, a licensed buyer is often trained and certified in appraisal as well, which means the office can provide a valid worth of a jewelry piece, including its added value beyond just material worth. This means there is no obligation to sell the jewelry there and then, but it does provide a valuable piece of information.
Secondly, a sale with a licensed jewelry buyer in Boca Raton means the payment is valid and won’t come with any risk of a reversal. A licensed business is not interested in losing its reputation and business license over one bad transaction.
Finally, licensed jewelry buyers provide a transaction that gives the value of the jewelry without all the expenses involved that a private sale may have, especially one online. While a licensed buyer may offer a price that’s lower than what seems online, it will be a fair price allowing for his markup and it won’t come with all the fees. The only cost a buyer then has to deal with is taxes on any profit. It’s a far easier financial position to be in when liquidating jewelry.
Yes, anyone can sell jewelry on his own in Boca Raton or elsewhere, but it comes with far more challenges than seem apparent at first. Working with a licensed jewelry buyer can be far less riskier and more predictable as well as fair. Considering the options, it’s one of the better paths to take with high value jewelry.