The price of gold is hovering around an all-time high. So, it’s no wonder people are unloading their jewelry to pay their bills. With so many offers promising you cash for gold, it might be tempting, but is it worth it? It wasn’t for one disappointed customer. According to NBC News, Patricia Count saw a commercial from a company that bought gold. So, she packed up some gold jewelry she rarely wore and mailed it to them. She expected to make at least $100, but the check she got was only for $26. It left her furious, and wondering if they ripped her off.

Donald A. Palmieri is a gem expert. He says that when it comes to gold, most people don’t have any idea what it’s worth, and there’s no question that companies buying gold are taking advantage of this. For example: As a test, Palmieri gave investigators identical pieces of 14-karat gold each worth $450. The pieces were mailed to different gold-buying companies on the same day. The best offer was for $393 – or about 90 percent of the value of the gold. The worst offer was for $38 – a measly 8 percent of the value of the gold! This offer was from a company whose website claims they give you “the best price for your gold.” According to the Better Business Bureau, complaints about gold-buying companies have tripled in the last year, and even lawmakers are looking into it.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help you get the best price for any gold you want to sell:

  • Find out the value by visiting an appraiser at a jewelry shop you trust.
  • If you mail in gold and aren’t happy with the amount they offer, ask them to return your pieces ASAP. Also, make sure you decline the payment before the designated time limit expires.
  • Another gold-selling tip: Don’t hesitate to haggle until you get a fair price. Most jewelers and buyers will negotiate.
  • Finally, if you can’t resolve your issue, file a complaint against the gold-buyer with the Better Business Bureau. They’re online at BBB.org.