Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan - email
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With the price of gold hovering near $900 an ounce, the scrap gold market is booming.
New internet companies are spawning to take advantage of the new market, such as cash4gold.com.
They've become a high profile company, with ads running during this year's Super Bowl.
One local man has come forward to talk about his bad experience with that company.
This man - who we'll call Jake - has spent a lot of time walking the halls of his local post office lately.
He's been exchanging correspondence with cash4gold.com.
Jake and his wife saw the TV ads and were intrigued by the prospect of selling some of his wife's old jewelry she had accumulated from a previous marriage. They sent cash4gold a ring that cost more than $750 new more than 25 years ago, when gold was only $200 an ounce, not $900, like it is today.
After all this time, Jake didn't think he'd get the full retail price.
"I thought, you know, $500 to me sounds like it would be a reasonable offer. And if it had been $400 or $350, I probably would have said okay."
So imagine Jake's surprise when his check arrived in the mail, made payable to him for $68.57.
"The whole thing just didn't set right with me. I just didn't trust them."
And there's another catch - since the check arrived over a holiday, Jake had just two business days to notify the company he wouldn't accept their offer. If he didn't, they'd melt down his jewelry, and he's be stuck accepting the $68 check. He called them the next day, and even when they offered to double their offer, Jake said no.
"I don't know that much about jewelry, but this was an insult. And, you know, they gotta be making some pretty good money if this is the way they treat everyone."
Chris Decapri owns Capri Jewelers and, like several local jewelers, has been buying scrap gold for years. He's always been puzzled that anyone would even consider sending off their jewelry to someone they don't know.
"You have no idea of their value what so ever, as scrap gold," said Decapri. "To send it away is one of the craziest things I've ever seen. I can't imagine that people really do that."
"Jake" also points out that if cash4gold.com does return the jewelry, they only insure the package for $100. So if the jewelry is worth more and it gets lost, you lose.