Selling your assets is sometimes a better alternative than borrowing money. Payday loans often have a 300-400% APR, and they might set you on a debt spiral that you won’t be able to escape that easily. So, if you have some valuable jewelry you aren’t wearing or emotionally attached to, why not just sell it? For those who think this is a good idea, here’s how you can do this.
1. Do your homework
The first thing you need to start with is determining the price of the jewelry. If you went to the jewelry store right now with a piece you own, chances are you would have no clue whether the price they’ve offered you is fair.
At best, you know how much you paid for the piece, but the prices of jewelry back then and today are entirely different. So, this is an unfair comparison from the very start. Second, chances are that you didn’t even buy the piece in question. What if it’s an heirloom or a gift? Desperate times call for desperate measures; sometimes, even these items get sold.
It’s also important that you can’t just weigh a piece, multiply it by the gold value and get a figure. Old jewelry may have different values (lower if worn out and higher if antique). Also, it’s not just gold. If a diamond or a precious stone is in place, this, too, is a factor. So, you need to weigh that in, as well.
You don’t need to have an exact price. You need a vague idea of what you’re dealing with to get a fair deal. Still, you won’t get a final cost until you go there in person.
2. Find the right pawn store
Not all pawn shops are made equal. Some have a questionable reputation, and avoiding them is in your best interest. However, how do you spot a good pawn store? Well, there are a few methods that might work.
While this is not a rule, you might also want to look at the neighborhood. For instance, a pawn shop in Scottsdale is a safer bet than one in a shoddier part of town. Remember that this is not necessarily the fault of the pawn shop owner. If their clientele is untrustworthy or the environment is more hostile, they might have to update their practices for better resilience to local socio-economic norms.
Ideally, you would look for reviews and testimonials, but pawn stores don’t often get them. So, your best bet is to get a good WOM recommendation from someone who has done business with them.
3. Prepare it for the sale
Cleaning your jewelry before taking it to the store may affect the price you ultimately get. While a commercial jewelry cleaner does the best job, you won’t have access to it. So, you need to do your best with baking soda and water.
The critical thing is that you rub gently because precious metals are softer than they first appear. The last thing you want is to scratch it further. While this may not sound too promising, the truth is that you can get some impressive results.
With warm soapy water, you can loosen grease and grime. Over the course of years, chances are that quite a bit has accumulated. Getting it out will restore your jewelry to its former shine.
To avoid damaging jewelry, try to use a lint-free microfiber cloth. Ideally, you would use the kind you normally would wipe glasses with. In fact, this can prove to be a great substitute.
4. Go there with the right attitude
Don’t be too desperate to sell. Experienced pawn shop keepers can sense your desperation and use it to drive negotiations their way. Instead, you need to go there calmly and use this to get as much leverage as possible.
Even if the negotiations are botched, you can always go someplace else. You’re desperate to sell but don’t have to sell there. This is not the only pawn shop around; if you’re unhappy, you should walk. Try your luck someplace else. You can eventually settle for this offer if no one offers better terms. However, you should at least try to get the best deal possible.
Be ready to negotiate. To do this, you need to complete your research before selling. Asking for more is fine, but what if they’re already offering more than fair-price? How much more can you afford to ask to still seem like you know what you’re talking about? What is a realistic offer?
Other than this, it might be worth your while to learn a thing or two about the art of negotiations. There are a lot of great books about negotiations and haggling. Finding an audiobook, ordering one, or downloading it online can serve you well. Sure, if you need to sell it today, you may not have the time for reading. Still, this is something that you should eventually do either way.
5. Don’t pawn sentimental pieces
People going to the pawn store are looking for some quick money and fully intend to buy back the pieces they’re pawning. However, there’s no guarantee that this will be the case. So, when pawning, ensure you’re not pawning any sentimental pieces. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Also, if you intend to buy the item back, develop a plan on how you will make payments and buy it back. If you’re selling, this is fine, but pawning is an entirely different story. In other words, try to think ahead no matter how desperate you are.
There’s nothing less productive than making several extension payments only to give up. At that point, you might be at a serious deficit. Again, no one starts with this plan, but things sometimes turn out this way.
Research to get an estimate and then find the right pawn shop to get a quote. Prepare your jewelry for sale and clean it to make it more presentable. Lastly, don’t pawn pieces that you can’t part with. Pawning and selling are not the same thing but can lead to a permanent loss of an asset.