The saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is never more relevant than in a down economy. People sell their “privately pampered” pieces of jewelry for a variety of reasons, for those of us looking to make a sound investment in personal items it can be great news. Most of the time it is a monetary need and jewels as we know, are as good as money in the bank. Some of us just want to rid ourselves of old, unworn, unwanted or broken jewelry. Many times, these sellers come to be pleasantly surprised when they see what their treasures are worth. It doesn’t cost a lot for a jeweler to simply repair and/or refinish any broken pieces and make them as good as new. No matter the motivation of the seller, you as the buyer will reap the benefits. There is a lot of noise on the web, on television, and around the neighborhood about how best to buy “previously pampered” jewelry.
If you desire an addition to your collection and you want to profit from the enormous used jewelry market there are ways to come out ahead. Purchasing previously owned jewelry is an attractive and economical option saving you hundreds and perhaps even thousands. What is going to get you the best value for your money? Doing your homework and comparison shopping will save you time, effort and will return an investment you can be proud of for years to come.
Most people already have a price in mind when deciding to buy an item. It is helpful to know the original price that was paid for the jewelry to help determine its resale value. Expect to spend about 40-75% of the item’s original price. Negotiation can be a key to buying great used jewelry. When you are negotiating in a private purchase, it’s important to agree on a number that you are both comfortable with for the sale. However because there are so many different ways to buy jewelry there are a few rules that may help in the process.
Rule number one: Take your time to compare sites and prices, do your homework.
When beginning your search, try to have an idea of what kind of piece you are going to buy. Decide and then let your fingers do the walking. Naturally the internet is where you’ll want to begin. Not all sites are created equal and for this reason I suggest you start with the mainstream sites. eBay.com, Overstock.com and Amazon.com are great places because they’ll give you an idea of what’s out there and will show you photos of similar items. Always keep notes and write down which pieces spark an interest and what you liked about them. You can then take those notes with you through rule number two.
Rule number two: Shop smarter and not harder, touch and feel the piece before you buy.
You rarely buy a car without driving it or pair of shoes without trying them on so why buy jewelry you’ve never seen or felt before? If you know your jewelry perhaps you can make these decisions based on a photo but if you are like the majority of us you have to depend on your senses, which means touching and feeling the item you want. Check out at least 2-3 reputable stores in your area and call them beforehand or check their websites to see if they offer what you’re looking for. Always be aware and have those notes handy from your internet research!
Rule number three: There are no stupid questions, ask and you shall be answered.
Before making a final decision, try to find a local authority on fine jewelry and get to know them by asking questions. Jewelers and gemologists alike spend an enormous amount of time learning the science of appraisal and all the intricate detailing that goes into a proper value. Always bear in mind there is no wrong question. A jeweler, such as Rogers Jewelry, of Quincy, MA has long offered every current and potential customer his “Ask the Gemologist” service. This free service will save you money, time and the pains of buyer’s remorse. By giving you unlimited access to the experts you can rest assured that you are making the most educated decision for your need and your budget.
GIA Graduate Gemologist (a title not easily attained) and Rogers owner, Jeff Bertman, encourages his customers to ask any question any time. He tells his customers “You need to be confident in your investment”, confident customers are happy customers. The only thing that is objective in diamond grading is the actual weight of the stone when weighed on a diamond scale; all the rest are subjective opinions based on personal examination. By asking questions and previewing the items available you will be absolutely sure you’ve gotten the best piece at the right price.”