• Is Cash4Gold a Scam or Just Unfairly Targeted? :: The True Story of The Mail-In Gold Buyer

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    The Consumerist recently had a series of articles focusing on the online, mail-in gold buyer, Cash4Gold. You may have seen some of their commercials, most notably, their Super Bowl commercial featuring MC Hammer and Ed Mcmahon. Cash4Gold even goes so far as to call itself the “World’s #1 Gold Buyer.”


    The company has recently found itself at the center of some major controversy resulting from the claims made by a former employee, a blogger, and some investigative trials of their services. Here’s what the former employee has claimed:


    • Cash4Gold intentionally took longer than necessary to process gold and send the initial offer after they receive the gold.
    • Employees doing the testing experienced very hazardous working conditions due to poor ventilation and the chemicals used to test the gold. Also the “company was temporarily closed recently due to health and code violations.”
    • Cash4Gold wrote offer checks and then intentionally waited several days, sometimes up to a week, before mailing the checks so that the consumer would have less time to use the “10 Day Guarantee” in which to refuse the offer.
    • When customers called to refuse/negotiate the initial offer, Cash4Gold’s employees actually received bonuses for getting customers to accept offers that were less than 3 times the original offer, including an extra bonus if the customer agreed to accept less than 2 times the original offer.


    A well respected blogger has also wrote about an experience he had with Cash4Gold. According to Rob Cockerham of Cockeyed.com, he sent Cash4Gold some of his old gold jewelry and they offered far lass than a fair value. Wisely, he first had his gold appraised at a pawn shop which valued his gold at $198. Then he sent it to Cash4Gold. Their first offer was $60! That’s less than a third of what the pawn shop offered him. Rob then refused Cash4Gold’s initial offer and rightly so. Surprisingly, Cash4Gold then upped their offer to $178, almost 3 times their initial offer!


    As you can see, it pays to get your gold appraised at multiple sources before agreeing to a sale. Read here for more tips on Selling your Gold Jewelry


    In light of all these allegations, Consumerist.com decided to check out Cash4Gold’s services themselves. They sent in 24 identical gold pendants to Cash4Gold and some competitors. The pendants had been purchased for $175 each and the market price of their “melt value” was $70 at the time.


    After sending in the pendants over the course of a couple months, they received Cash4Gold offers from $7.60 to $12.72. They also sent mystery shoppers ot local jewelry and pawn shops, receiving offers for $25 to $50.


    The bottom line is that if you are looking to sell your gold without leaving your house, Cash4Gold could be a decent option. However, don’t expect to get top dollar, especially not with the first offer. You should also plan to spend some time waiting and some time negotiating to get decent money for your gold.