If you are in the market for quality estate jewelry, you have many options to find and purchase your items. With modern technology, many individuals are skipping the middle-man, such as a pawnbroker or jewelry broker, and selling their estate pieces direct-to-buyer through online venues including auctions and various online classified advertisement services. While you may think these provide the best way to buy jewelry at a fair price, there are several reasons that you should consider an established pawn shop instead.
You Can Examine the Jewelry Before Purchasing
While an online auction or advertisement may post several photographs of the jewelry they are selling and any certificates that come with the jewelry, you can only tell the true quality of jewelry by holding it in your hand and examining it thoroughly, preferably with a loupe if you are looking at jewelry with gemstones. A physical store allows you to sift through several options and find a piece that fits your predetermined parameters.
While you hope that your online seller is honest, you may receive an item that has unexpected defects because the seller was dishonest or simply did not know how to properly assess their jewelry on their own.
Most Pawnshops Have a Liberal Return Policy
If you do not know how to assess jewelry, most pawnshops offer a liberal return policy that will allow you to take your jewelry to a professional for an assessment and return it within a specified period of time if you feel you made a poor decision. While online dealers may offer a return policy, the time it takes to ship an item to you, assess it, and ship it back to the seller may make you feel rushed. Additionally, there are some sellers that may claim they never received your return shipment or agreed to a return, meaning that you run the risk of losing your money and your jewelry.
You should keep in mind, however, that not all pawnshops allow returns on jewelry. Before you make a purchase, you should ask about the return policy and get it in writing if you plan to utilize it.
You May Get a Better Deal
Pawnbrokers generally purchase jewelry at 50-70% of its intrinsic value. This is the value, by weight, of the metal and gemstones, which is much less than a piece of new jewelry is sold for. They then sell the jewelry for its intrinsic value plus some percentage. However, a personal seller often prices their jewelry based on how much they paid for it originally or the sentimental value of the jewelry. This can mean that you would pay a much higher price than you would at a pawnshop.
The Pawnshop Has Already Evaluated the Jewelry
Pawnbrokers usually have years of experience at evaluating jewelry. Generally, they can tell the estimated value of a piece of jewelry without much error. Some pawnshops even employ professional appraisers to evaluate more complex or expensive pieces of jewelry before they purchase them. While the pawnbroker will sell the jewelry for more than they purchased it for, it is unlikely that they will price a piece of jewelry way out of its general value, as this could hurt their reputation and cost them clients. Of course, you should be prepared to haggle and know the general worth of various types of jewelry, but you can generally trust when a pawnbroker tells you the value of a piece of jewelry.
For these reasons, if you are looking to purchase estate jewelry, it may be a better idea to head out to your local pawnshop than make your purchases online. Contact a shop like Chauncey's Pawn & Gun to get started.