When it’s time to sell jewelry you no longer want or need, it’s very important to work with trusted buyers. While you may be tempted to use garage-sale type websites or newspaper ads, these venues are frequented by thieves who pose as serious buyers. Some of their victims are robbed in person, and others are fooled by fraudulent “buyers” who use fake or stolen accounts to make it look like an actual payment has been received. Although our goal isn’t to frighten anyone, you deserve to be as well-informed as possible. With your well-being in mind, here are some of the best ways to avoid jewelry fraud.
- Check Diamond Buyers’ Reputations
Trustworthy diamond buyers have stellar reputations, complete with recommendations. One of the best ways to avoid jewelry fraud is to use an analytical approach and take some time to conduct some research. Look to see whether there are reviews available, and if so, spend a while reading what others had to say about their experiences with the buyer. Were they happy with the outcome of the sale? Did they feel as if they received a fair price? How did they feel about the service they received throughout the course of the transaction? Was the jewelry buyer cordial and professional when communicating?
- Be on the Lookout for Quality, Professional Services
It’s very easy for anyone to set up a website these days. Protect yourself and minimize risk by looking for well-established jewelry buyers who offer a high level of service. The best jewelry buyers are easy to contact via phone or internet, and they typically provide you with a solid estimate of your item’s fair market value based on professional grading by the GIA or another trusted gemological lab.
Besides offering grading, certification, and authentication services designed to ensure that you receive fair market value for your jewelry, the best jewelry buyers provide secure shipping for your items and normally include insurance. Although it is highly unlikely that your valuables will be lost or stolen while en route to the buyer, insurance coverage provides you with a high level of protection against financial losses.
- Take a Look at the Buyer’s Items for Sale
If the jewelry buyer you’re considering is offering to consign, auction, or sell items on your behalf, it’s advisable to spend a little bit of time looking at the way jewelry is presented for sale. Are the photos professional and appealing? Are the descriptions written in a clear, professional manner? Does this look like a good place to buy jewelry? While this step does take a little bit of time to complete, it will give you a good idea of the way your own jewelry will be presented to potential purchasers.
- Ensure that the Buyer Carries the Proper Certifications and Licenses
Unless you are selling jewelry to a private party, it’s important to look beyond the buyer’s storefront or home page and see what type of certifications and/or licenses the business possesses. Do they carry a rating from the Better Business Bureau? Have they been certified to handle and/or facilitate the sale of previously owned jewelry? What kind of security, insurance, and shipping companies do they use to ensure that their trading partners enjoy safe transactions?
Legitimate businesses provide their customers with detailed information about the certifications and licenses that they carry. Be wary of any jewelry buyer who seems evasive, or who does not offer such information when asked. The best, most trustworthy jewelry and diamond buyers tend toward transparency, giving their licenses and certifications pride of place in their storefronts and on their websites.
- Reputable Buyers are Best
The best way to avoid jewelry and diamond fraud is to watch out for promises that seem a bit too amazing, and to do your best to deal with reputable buyers. When selling diamonds or jewelry, ensure that there are safety measures in place. If you’re selling your jewelry in person, go to a public venue and insist on verified funds before turning your jewelry over to the buyer. Pawn shops and jewelry stores are generally safe, as there are stringent regulations governing these businesses. When selling online, be sure to use verified methods of payment. If the sale takes place in auction format, ensure that you work with a company that extracts payment from buyers before shipping items to them, and double-check to ensure that your payment will be sent securely.
Whether you’re selling online or in person, always look for high standards. Transparency should be a priority when selling jewelry, as should customer satisfaction. If you feel that there’s anything strange about a transaction, you’re probably right. Trust your instinct and you’ll be far more likely to enjoy a successful sale and come out on top.