Cash4Gold. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to turn unwanted gold into cash? Sounds great, but why would I want to send my gold to a complete stranger who is telling me to trust them on something of value like gold. How can I be certain my packet of gold will be bought at fair market value? I can’t and that’s the problem with Cash4Gold.
Cash4Gold encourages people with unwanted gold (who doesn’t want gold) jewelry to drop their valuable pieces in any old mailbox in return for top dollar for their gold jewelry. This is only a good idea for Cash4Gold who has been successful in luring people into sending them a valuable commodity to enrich themselves. You will not receive top dollar for your gold jewelry. They are counting on you, the customer, not being savvy enough to have your gold appraised before sending it to them.
Gold prices for 2009 are above $800.00 an ounce. Some predict an upswing this year that could push gold over the $1,000.00 mark. With prices that high, it’s not surprising to find companies trying to buy gold jewelry at rock bottom prices in order to cash in on a lucrative market.
Cash4Gold is not the only company trying to convince people to part with their golden heirlooms or pieces of jewelry they no longer wear. It sounds like a good way to clean out that jewelry box or drawer to make room for newer pieces, but not so fast. Think before you mail that envelope.
I don’t think it would be going to far to say Cash4Gold is a rip off. Any company who promises something and then doesn’t honor their promise is a rip off. They do indeed pay you for your gold. However, it’s not exactly fair market value. An employee at Cockeyed.com decided to see just how great of a deal Cash4Gold would give them for their unwanted gold pieces. They collected old necklaces, bracelets and any other gold pieces they could find. Before submitting their gold to Cash4Gold, they went one step farther and took all of the pieces to be appraised at a pawn shop. Their offer by the pawn shop was $198.00. They mailed in their collection to Cash4Gold. A few days later, a check from Cash4Gold in the amount of $60.00 came in the mail. A difference of $138.00 from the pawn shop appraisal. Doesn’t sound like fair market value, does it. Of course you don’t have to accept the check, but if you neglected to have your pieces appraised before sending them to Cash4Gold, you have no idea what the fair market value should be.
After receiving their check, the employee from Cockeyed.com who sent in the gold pieces called Cash4Gold and asked to have their pieces returned. Now here’s where it gets good. Cash4Gold suddenly made them a better offer. Apparently, if you call up and complain (provided you have not cashed your check), they will sweeten the pot. In this case, Cockeyed.com was offered $178.00 the second time around. A better offer, but still under the appraised value from the pawn shop. They were told at Cockeyed.com that Cash4Gold could up their first offer by manipulating the count on their end to essentially hide the true amount of gold Cockeyed.com had sent in. So, is that fixing the books?
Some people opt in to a speedy option of receiving their money for the gold pieces they sent in. Direct deposit into your bank account. It’s called the “Fast Cash” option. Good for them, not so good for you. With the fast cash option, you are stuck with Cash4Gold’s first offer. If your gold was worth $198.00 in fair market value and you only received $60.00, it’s your loss. You traded in fast and easy for $138.00 difference in the amount you should have received. Complaints have been numerous and people do request their gold back. Cash4Gold is happy to comply with the request, but it can take up to a month or longer before your pieces are safely back in your hands. You will have to pay shipping and handling to have your gold returned.
So is Cash4Gold a rip off? The company does send you a check within a few days of receiving your gold jewelry. However, they will try to hold off sending you a check by saying they haven’t received your pieces yet when they have. They will also cut you a check, then hold on to it for a couple of days before mailing it. This could work to their advantage because after receiving your check, you have 10 days to return it if you don’t like their offer. The ten days starts with the date on your check issued by Cash4Gold. After that, the check is yours and your gold jewelry is theirs. Regardless of whether the fair market value was paid or not. They will try to please you with a higher offer if you call and complain. Although, if you found out your payout was $138.00 less than it should have been, you would probably say it is a rip off.
A former employee has stepped forward in an effort to warn the public that Cash4Gold is a scam and a rip off. This person has remained anonymous, but has an eye opening expose into the behind the scenes operation of the company. This former customer service representitive has reveled how Cash4Gold paid some customers as little as 1 cent for their gold jewelry.
Our economy has become tough for a lot of people. Resist temptation of false promises for top dollar for your gold. Although it may seem like a good way to pick up some extra cash to pay a month’s rent or buy some groceries, you will be disappointed. Don’t be afraid of your local pawn shop or jeweler. These are people who live in your neighborhood and do business with locals in your area. Your better course of action, if you have gold jewelry you would like to sell, is to take your pieces to a reputable pawn shop or individual who will give you an honest appraisal and a fair market value offer. Cash4Gold may sound good and may be easier than trying to locate someone in your area to sell to, but you will probably be happier and have more cash in your pocket by dealing with someone more reputable.
It should be noted that Cash4Gold has made attempts to keep unflattering articles away from the public venue. Offers of pay to some writers to not publish articles concerning how the company operates have been made by Cash4Gold.
David Bogoslaw, Should Investors Bet on Gold in 2009?, BusinessWeek
Cash4Gold, Complaints Board
Cash4Gold Will Offer One-Third of the Actual Value For Your Gold, Cockeyed.com