Thursday, January 21, 2010

All that Glitters

Encouraging people to sell 'Old Gold' is an increasingly popular business in these hard times and I see that 'Which' magazine, has revealed that the public are being ripped-off by advertisements in the press and on TV offering good value for items of jewellery.

The Daily Mail reports "The Which? Money magazine picked out three items of jewellery on the high street, a £115 bracelet, £215 bangle and £399 necklace, and purchased four of each. In November 2009 it sent them to four TV gold buyers, as well as getting quotes from three high street pawnbrokers and three jewellers.

CashMyGold offered the lowest prices on all three items, offering just £38.57 in total for the three pieces.

The firm offered just under £10 for the 9ct gold bangle. This compared to a scrap metal price quote of £54 from an independent jeweller. In one instance, Money4Gold told a Which? Money researcher that a 9ct necklace he bought for £399 was 'not gold' and it would cost him £10.95 to have it returned."

The salient paragraph in the 'Which' report is: 'Companies that encourage people to sell their unwanted gold by post are offering consumers shockingly bad value and should be avoided.'

Here in Thanet, I've also read warnings over a number of new, so-called, debt advice agencies operating in the area, taking advantage of the recession and the post-Christmas financial crisis among many hard-pressed families. The Citizens Advice Bureau is invariably the best place to start for impartial advice for many people and doorstep salesman and seemingly attractive offers through the post should best be avoided. Sadly however, getting to the people who need the best advice about such matters is frequently one of the most difficult tasks for the agencies involved.

We heard from the Prime Minister yesterday how unemployment has fallen from the first time since the recession began but the Total Politics website takes a less rosy view of yesterday's figures, reporting:

"A less superficial reading of today’s employment figures suggests that there are some tell-tell signs that the economic crisis is far from over and is becoming increasingly entrenched. The employment rate (the percentage of the labour force in work) was down 0.1 per cent to 72.4, the lowest since before Labour came to power in 1997. Full time employment fell massively by 113,000, counteracted by a rise in part-time employment of 99,000 to a record high of 7.71 million. 

What this tends to reveal is that people are making do with incredibly tough circumstances by going into part-time or self-employed work. In total there were 1.03 million employees and self-employed people working part times because they could not find a full-time job, the highest since records began for this statistic in 1992. This will have a knock on effect as part-time work leaves people will less money to spend on non-essentials."

All that glitters most brightly in politics and statistics isn't always Gold!


ascu75 aka Don said...

it is scandalous that these firms are able to blatantly rip people off

Tony Beachcomber said...

Interesting newspaper article, which I also read from a copy I found on the train on my homeward train journey from St Pancras this afternoon.
It is true that most postal gold companies are making a killing at the moment by underpaying. However, I also think the which magazine is being a teenie weenie bit misleading. When a gold item is purchased from a town centre shop the item is sold by the value of the gold content + the cost of the workmanship + retailers mark up + VAT. If an item is sold by the owner for its gold content that is all the value of the item is, the gold content. All companies that are buying gold at present advertise they are only buying gold for the gold content which is part of a chain that sees the gold refined into bars and coins for investors and central banks due to instability in the capitalist system.
Most reputable companies pay anything from 90% to 97% of the value of the gold in the item. With the upper end of the scale purchased by refiners and the lower 90% the traders. In most cases the public are selling direct to the traders and as the Which article points out some are only paying less than 40% of the value of the gold which is a total rip off. Scrap Gold today was £7.97 (trade price) for a gramme of 9ct carat gold at Presman's refiners in Hatton Garden. Other outlets were paying around £7.20 to £7.60 off the street which is more than the postal companies are paying and even more than the £4.00 to £4.50 that is being paid locally. All I can say if you are selling gold for gold content it pays to shop around.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Answer is easy really - Don't send your Gold off to these CROOK'S -