Selling jewelry or diamonds? What do you ask a buyer for?

When you have jewelry or diamonds to sell, you don’t need to ask for an “appraisal”.  Many appraisers and gemologists will immediately sell you an appraisal report which will add nothing to the secondary market value of your items and create yet another expense for you to pay out good money.  Instead, when you want to sell jewelry or diamonds, go to people or firms who advertise they are “buyers” and simply ask them to tell you what they would be willing to pay you.  Ask for an “offer” or a “bid”, not an “appraisal”.  Unless you have a large quantity of items and/or show an attitude of unwillingness to do business, a buyer will give you their offer or bid for no cost.  Once you have collected a few bids, then you are in an excellent position to know what the items are actually worth to those who you have found willing to exchange cash for your items.  In this process, you will likely also find those who would offer to take your items on a long term consignment in order to offer them for sale to their customers, but who won’t pay you anything unless and until the item(s) are sold.  If you have time, this may be a bit better for you.  Remember, you will have to put your trust in the firm and person you are making a consignment with.  They have everything and all you’ll have is a receipt.  It may take considerable time and may never result in a sale.

Auctions will take your items for consignment to to place on sale at upcoming auction dates.  At least you have a hoped for sale date, but please look at the amount of fees the auction loads onto any amount you will obtain.  There are buyers fees, sellers fees and sometimes insurance and photo fees which will come out of the total value the auction can get for your pieces.  You may get less than 2/3 of the money the items brought at the auction and be no better off than selling such items outright to a dealer and have been paid months sooner.  You have to make this judgment about time, money and trust.

The point of all of this is that you do not need to request an “appraisal” when you want to sell.  What you need to request is an “offer”.  Be sure to get assurance that you have a few days to a couple weeks to “make up your mind” or to “consult with your family members” before the offer expires.  Also, if a buyer says “Will you take $xxxx for these items?” be certain to respond, “Are you offering to buy these pieces at that price or are you just asking me a question and not making a firm offer?”  You will find many buyers are not going to be straight about making a bid until you get past this tricky question they often like to ask.

These words and techniques will help to give you time to make sure you are accepting the best available offer, to eliminate mis-understanding fake offers which really were just probing questions and not offers, and to have no regrets later on about choosing to sell your jewelry or diamonds.