October 1, 2011

6 Tips For Selling/Buying Jewelry (Safely) on Craigslist

Posted in appraisal, diamonds, gemologist, gemstones, Gifts, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, ring sizing, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:08 pm by rosediamonds

Most people nowadays could use a few bucks.  Many are liquidating their unused jewelry on Craigslist for profit, and you can find legitimate “deals” and fun pieces listed online.

 

Rose Diamonds has begun offering mediation services (for free) to buyers and sellers to minimize the risk to both (and yes, meet potential repair and appraisal clients).  There have been many stories on the news from coast to coast of people meeting to exchange services or products listed on craigslist and meeting with a sticky end.  I have compiled a few basic tips if you’re thinking of posting an item for sell or purchasing.

For Sellers:

  1. Be detailed in your description and honest in your listing.  It will save time in the long run if you’re not calling or emailing back and forth a million times.  Remember to include 10K, 14K, carat weight (if you know it) or stone type and measurements in mm.  Ring size, length of chains and bracelets (in inches), whether a watch is working, etc.
  2. If you still have any original receipts or appraisals, offer to present these items for inspection (in person only since these often have private information such as credit card numbers or home addresses) to potential buyers.
  3. Include a (good) picture.  It will make more people pay attention to your listing.  Jewelry can be very tricky to photograph because it’s shiny, so try a variety of background colors and lighting.  Jewelry that is being worn (you can crop out faces) can give potential buyers an idea of the jewelry scale/size.
  4. Decide before you list whether you are willing to bargain with people and know your absolute lowest number.  Many people get caught up in the excitement of a potential sale and loose sight of their goal.  That being said, understand that some buyers will not be satisfied unless they get you to reduce your price.  It can be as little as a $5 discount, but it makes them feel accomplished at negotiating.
  5. Skip your life story/sob story details.  There are bad people out there who could be using the information you give (about your divorce and being so lonely and alone on weekends–a great time to rob or accost you).  Be wary of giving out personal phone numbers, addresses, emails, etc.  A hotmail or gmail account can be set up in a few minutes for free.
  6. Meet people in public and use the buddy system.  If your buyer refuses, so can you.  No amount of potential money is worth your safety.
For Buyers
  1. Have realistic expectations on the condition of used jewelry.  It will probably not be your rings size.  Most will have scratches in the metal and be dirty behind/between the stones.  This is easily fixed by repolishing and a good clean; rings can (usually) be resized.  Stone abrasion (which is normal with everyday wear and tear) is NOT easily fixed and can end up costing more than the ring for repolishing.  Look for dullness, surface scratching, and chips
  2. Meet sellers in public and use the buddy system.  By offering to buy an item, you have just told a relative stranger that you have money in hand.  Don’t be ridiculous and offer to have them deliver anything to your home.
  3. Ask questions and seek a professional opinion on large purchases.  Most craigslist sellers are not professional jewelers or gemologists.  They can legitimately make mistakes in their claims and promises that can end up ruining a deal.
  4. Take a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe with you.  You can then better see inclusions in gems, check the item for damage and verify gold karat marks.  These are tiny and can be found on the inside of the ring, the lever on hoop earrings, and the clasp on bracelets, and chains, etc.
  5. Feel for rough spots on chains and bracelets gently with your fingers.  This can expose weaknesses/possible future breaking sites.
  6. Understand stone replaceablity.  Turquoise and strange shaped stones are MUCH harder/impossible to replace if damaged or missing.  Faceted stones like diamonds, birthstones, etc are usually replaced starting at $15 for little tiny ones.
In the end, if a deal seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
No appointment is necessary if clients want to meet at the shop.  We are located at 4560 S. Campbell Ave. Ste. F Springfield, MO 65810.  We offer onsite sizing, prong tightening, chain shortening/lengthening, stone replacement, diamond and gemstone grading/testing, complete appraisal service, and jewelry repair/refurbishment.

 

 

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9 Comments »

  1. […] More: 6 Tips For Selling/Buying Jewelry (Safely) on Craigslist « Rose … […]

  2. Highly informative. I hadn’t considered Craigslist for jewelry sales.

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