Gold and silver prices are at historic highs, which has attracted attention from consumers looking to make a buck.And with the busiest shopping season of the year under way, many people want to turn old jewelry into extra cash.
From mail offers to gold parties to traveling shows to brick-and-mortar businesses, a seller has options when it comes to trading valuable items for money .But as precious metal prices have soared, so have scams.
Some companies offer to pay for gold jewelry mailed to them, which provides the seller little recourse if he or she is unhappy with the price offered or if their items are “lost” in transit.Gold parties are also becoming a popular way to bring in cash, for a business and the party host. While the parties can be legitimate, experts say sellers get less for their valuables because a percentage goes to both the company and the host.
Over the holidays, temporary kiosks are also set up in malls to cash in on the gold and silver rush.Bill Dyer, who opened CSA Coin & Jewelry in 1997, said he has watched the number of traders proliferate over the years as precious metal prices have increased.
“Now there are people everywhere in this business,” he said. “Because the price of gold and silver has gone up so quick, it’s become a get-rich-quick scheme.” He and other local traders are encouraging customers to steer clear of a controversial traveling show currently set up at the Ramada Inn in Queensbury.
Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery is in town through Saturday to buy collectibles, antiques, gold and silver. This is the second time the company has visited the area; it came to Glens Falls in June under the name Treasure Hunters Roadshow.
In addition to online complaints alleging scams, the parent company is being sued by the creators of the popular PBS program “Antiques Roadshow,” for infringing on the show’s name and logo. The lawsuit, filed in February, also claims Treasure Hunters has acquired a reputation for buying valuables for pennies on the dollar.
Derik Overholser, show manager at the Queensbury event, said the name “Roadshow” isn’t proprietary, and his company doesn’t appraise items for insurance purposes like the PBS show.
Overholser argues Treasure Hunters and Ohio Valley can offer higher prices for scrap gold because the company operates its own refinery. He also noted the company has 60 shows across the county in any given week, which lowers its overhead.