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Woman regrets selling gold at low price

April 24, 2012 7:17:25 PM PDT
Selling off your old gold jewelry is still a very popular way to earn quick cash, but how do you know you're getting a fair price? One woman claims she sold her jewelry, only to find out it was worth a lot more.

As I've reported before, it's important to calculate the value of your gold before you go out and sell it. However, this woman says she didn't do her research before she took the first offer and regretted it instantly.

"I know she gave it to me with a lot of love," said Sandra Carranza.

The chunky gold bracelet is missing from Carranza's wrist. It was a gift bequeathed by a friend. Sandra didn't want to sell it, but she needed the cash.

"It's hard to get rid of something you are so close to... but circumstances," said Carranza.

So, Carranza took the bracelet to the dealer San Francisco Gold Buyer. The dealer offered her $23 per gram, or $1,300 for the bracelet. Sandra accepted.

"I said OK without realizing that I should have asked," said Carranza.

Instantly she regretted the sale, when a friend told her she could get a lot more for 18-karat gold.

"And I was very upset. I was very upset," said Carranza.

Carranza went back to the gold buyer and asked for a better price or she wanted her bracelet back.

"He says, 'No, you accepted the price that I gave you. You didn't ask any questions,'" said Carranza.

Carranza contacted 7 On Your Side and we contacted the San Francisco Gold Buyer.

"She had a bracelet with a lot of lead in it," said San Francisco Gold Buyer owner Huntley Barad.

He tells us he carefully examined Carranza's bracelet. Barad says Carranza's piece was full of lead so he paid $23 per gram instead of $35 per gram he would pay for pure 18 karat gold.

"We assayed it, looked at it from every angle, there were parts of it that looked like they had been soldered together with lead and then other was other parts that looked like there was lead underneath the gold," said Barad.

Still, Carranza believed she could get a better price and wished she had figured out the value before selling it.

"It was my fault, I should have known what I was selling and I should have known what I should have gotten for it," said Carranza.

That's exactly the advice I gave in a 7 On Your Side report in November. Before you sell your gold, find out the estimated value. You can do this by multiplying the weight, times the purity, times the going rate for gold. Then shop around for a dealer who will pay around 80 percent of the market rate.

"I'm very unhappy about the way she feels about it and our reputation means everything to us and we have a ton of really happy customers," said Barad.

Barad wanted to satisfy Carranza, so he agreed to sell the bracelet back to her for the same price he paid. At first he said Carranza had to pay a sales tax of $125 which is required by the state, but Carranza was so unhappy about that, Barad went the extra step.

"We agreed that we would pay the sales tax so we're on the hook for the sales tax," said Barad.

Sandra got her bracelet back and brought it to another dealer; that one paid $2,000 for the piece -- $700 more. Barad says he stands by his original assessment.

"We did our best on the assay and we made her an offer and she accepted," said Barad.

"My advice to people that are selling gold is do your homework, do your research before turning in your goodies," said Carranza.

If you are planning to sell your gold, check out my report showing you exactly how to calculate its value. Then shop around for the best price.


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