What it's like to be a Jewelry Buyer

The last blog was on my prices compared to a regular jewelry store.  Now I would like to talk about me as a buyer.  In this economic times, the truth is there are not a lot of stores that have the money to buy pre-owned (loved) jewelry items.  Or they sell at ridiculous retail prices and can’t look there customer in the eye and tell them that they have lost 80% of the value their purchase.  These are the two main reasons most jewelers do not buy used jewelry and watches. The last reason would be they would have to have someone on there staff that has the knowledge to buy from the public.  Is it real or fake?  Is there a market for the item? What is the value of said piece?  Most sales people in the retail stores have very limited knowledge of what they are selling, they just are sales people trying to close the deal before you leave the store.

I have been buying and loaning money on fine jewelry items, Rolex watches and estate pieces since 1989.  Many of my clients that sell to me end up coming back to buy from me when they get back on there feet.  You don’t sell me a diamond for say 2000 and then when you want to buy one back, it cost you 3 times that.  Like I have said before, low overhead is the key.  Working on closer profit margins is the difference.  When you hear a jeweler on TV or the radio advertising.  It cost money.  Then you go to the store and there are ten people working there and its in a huge building or in the mall.  Who is paying that giant overhead.  Their customers are !!!  60, 70, 80% off sales!!!! Off of what??? These are all games to make you think you are getting a great deal.  I have a very close friend that used to manage one of the big retail stores in a local mall.  He told me that when they have a 70% off sale they would re-tag all the prices higher so they could sell for 70% off and still double there money on what they sold.  Wow, I feel sorry for the people who bought the week before at full price.  Why do you think diamond brokers on the Internet can sell so much cheaper than a retail brick n mortar store.   OVERHEAD !!!

  And please, stay away from jewelers that only sell but do not buy.  Can you imagine going down to the local Ford dealership to buy your wife a brand new car.  You find the perfect car, your working on the price, ready to pull the trigger.  You ask them, how much will you give me on my car?  The sales person says, I am sorry but we don’t take trade-ins here :(     Think about it………

The other thing is the stores that only take trade-ins if you bought it from them.  Sure, you have to buy something that cost more and you ending up getting buried deeper on the next piece you buy.  We take in all jewelry on trade or just to purchase out right, as long as its high quality.

I have been buying diamonds, gold, Rolex and fine jewelry/watches since 1989.  When you need to sell your items because of divorce, loss of income or from an inheritance, you need to find a store that has a great reputation and a track record for paying fair value for this items. 

Find someone that deals in Jewelry only.  Pawns shops that deal with guns, TVs, lawn equipment, etc… are not going to have the knowledge or clientele to pay you top dollar.  You could try the flea markets but you will find that same problems.  Some people try Craigslist which works sometimes but in my opinion is very dangerous meeting a complete stranger at a pre-detremined location and end up selling it for what the pawnshop is willing to pay you.

I know many people that have tried Ebay.  Remember about Ebay, the price that you see folks asking for their diamond or watch is just that, an asking price.  Thats why most of the items on Ebay are sitting there with no bids.  So Ebay is an OK way to sell but it takes time, there are fee’s and do not think that you are going to get a retail price on your stuff.  In fact, don’t be supprized if your items even get bids on them.  Ebay buyers are very sharp and are looking for deals or they would be shopping at the mall.

If you are in need of money quickly, then find a jeweler like myself that purchases pre-owned jewelry.  You will get paid on the spot in cash or check.  No waiting.  Sold!!!  In doing so, remember that we are dealers so we also need to resell the jewelry we buy. 

I have the buying power and the knowledge to pay you the most money for your jewelry items.  21 years of experience.  Many of the people who sell to me are referrals, just the same as my buying clients.  I pay more than the other stores because I have a very small overhead so I can work on tighter profit margins.  I buy hundreds of Rolex watches every year and countless engagement ring from 1ct to 10 cts.  I pay a premium for 2ct plus sizes……

One factor that will determine what your item is worth is, current trends.  Is it in fashion?  White gold and platinum make up 90% of all my custom designed jewelry.  What shape is the center stone?  Rounds, princess, radiant and the other square cut diamonds are in style now.  In the eighties and early nineties, it was Marquise, pear, oval and emerald cuts.  Next thing would be the setting.  Today, everything is pave set diamonds that recreate the look of the antique or estate periods of yesterdays.

For a quick example, if you brought me in a 1ct Marquise cut diamond engagement ring in yellow gold with baguettes cut side diamonds VS a 1ct round cut diamond engagement ring in platinum with pave set diamonds around the center stone. and both diamonds were of equal quality, I would pay maybe 50% more for the round because I could most likely sell it 10 tens faster than a Marquise in yellow gold.  The platinum round engagement ring can be polished up to look like new and resold in my showcase.  Where as the yellow gold marquise would be melted down for the scrap gold value and the diamond put away for resell for God only knows how long (marquise could make a come back) it might take.  I do have a son that might get into the business sometime. LOL