If you contact enough buyers, you will get a pretty good idea of what your jewelry is worth in the re-sale (or "secondary") market. You will be doing your own price research. How many buyers are enough? As a general rule, three is best. But who are these legitimate buyers who are willing to write a check on the spot?
Here is a partial list, roughly grouped according to type of market:
- Scrap gold buyers
- Second-hand dealers, including pawn and "antique” shops
- Advertised estate dealers and a few independently owned retail jewelry stores
- Auction houses (local, regional or international)
- Private buyers of all kinds
A few rules:
If you are sure you would never pay to have the item "appraised," you may already know that what you have isn't worth much money.
If you have absolutely no idea, first try soliciting opinions from a jeweler with whom you have done business.
Research! If you know what your item is, search completed eBay sales for similar pieces.We live in a brave new world of online data, so take advantage of it as much as possible.
Quality and quantity trump all else. Fine and small is usually better than big and bad. Fine and too small is not much better than mediocre, but bad to mediocre may add up to more when it is big enough.
If at all possible, own great jewelry, preferably signed by famous makers.
Go through no one to sell your jewelry. Find a private buyer, on your own. If this statement makes you frown, it's not for you. Get help.
Do you have any rules for selling jewelry that have worked for you? I would love to hear of them, as would others. Please contact me and I will publish and comment on them.