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Cash4Gold: How NOT To Sell Gold

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Gold BarsDid you see the Cash4Gold commercial starring Ed McMahon and MC Hammer? Did anyone else get the funny feeling like you were watching an infomercial at 2AM and not Super Bowl commercial?

I hadn’t heard much about Cash4Gold until the commercial but I never liked the idea of pawning gold for cash. Maybe it’s because I’ve always seen those “We Buy Gold!” signs in rougher areas (Atlantic City is a mixture of gentlemen’s clubs, casinos, and “We Buy Gold!” stores) or maybe because the only piece of gold I own is my wedding ring, and I’d have to be in a pretty rough spot to pawn it. I have no similar feelings towards pawn shops though, just ones that exist solely to trade in gold.

Anyway, I started to do a little more digging about Cash4Gold, I even requested a refiner’s kit to learn more, and found a lot of reasons to avoid them.

How You Sell Gold

When you bring your scrap gold to a pawn shop, it’s priced entirely based on the gold. They don’t care about the design, they don’t care about anything else, they simply look up the price per DWT and quote you that. It’s very much a commodity. DWT stands for “Denarius Weight,” Denarius being an old Roman coin. It’s also commonly referred to as a pennyweight, with one DWT equal about 1.555 grams. When you bring in your gold, you’ll be quoted the price based on the gold percentage (so one price for 18K gold, one price for 14K, etc.).

How Cash4Gold Works

They send you a “refiner’s kit” and you send them their gold. They look at your gold, determine it’s value, and send you a check. It turns out that this is how every online gold pawning service works and each one is probably going to hose you.

One First-Hand Experience

The gentlemen at Cockeyed.com decided to run a test to compare how much they could get at their local pawn shop versus how much they’d get from Cash4Gold. The pawn shop took his 11 DWT of 14K gold and 11 DWT of 10K gold and quoted him $198. They requested their refiner’s kit, sent in the scrap gold, and were sent back a check for $60. The pawn shop was going to give them $138 more than what Cash4Gold sent. They called Cash4Gold and demanded their gold back and Cash4Gold offered $178 this time. The article is well worth the read if you’re considering Cash4Gold or other similar services.

One Cash4Gold Insider’s Experience

If one individual’s experience with Cash4Gold isn’t enough, how about this insider’s look at the business practices of Cash4Gold? A former Cash4Gold employee sent a scathing insider’s look of the company’s business practices to complaintsboard.com.

8. For those who do get in touch with us within the allotted time frame, we already know what you are calling about. Customers want their items returned, because there check amount is so insultingly LOW. The first thing a Rep will ask you is “HOW MUCH WERE YOU EXPECTING TO GET BACK?” This way we can know how much to “BONUS” you.

*Definition of a BONUS: We issue low checks just to have you call us back if you are smart enough to realize that you just got scammed. For the smart one’s we are paid to offer u a bonus up to 3x the original amount of your check and you accept. For ex: Sally Smith receives a check for $27.86 for a Rolex watch(which we don’t issue value for), a class ring, a ring with diamond chips, a pair of earrings with emeralds, as well as a few sterling silver pieces, and maybe a few items that were really of no value. Now Sally Smith calls the cust srvc dept, where she speaks to a rep who seems so concerned and will see if she can do better with the amount by speaking to a “SUPERVISOR”. We then place the caller on Mute, and speak to our neighbors or doodle on a sheet, or twiddle with our hair for about 45 seconds, while we are supposedly speaking to our supervisor about Ms. Smith’s complaint. We then come back with an offer to “BUMP UP YOUR MELT DATE or any other lies the cust srvc reps can think of, and offer you a total amount of $53.20 which is a little under double the amount of your original check; in which case if you accept, the cust srvc rep makes a 15.00 bonus off of your transaction. If the customer service rep offers you under triple the amount of your orig check, he/she makes 10.oo in bonuses.

My advice is that you probably don’t want to work with this company, but the Super Bowl commercial was funny if you’re into schadenfreude. :)

Super Bowl ad after the jump.

Cash4Gold Super Bowl Ad

(Photo: bullionvault)

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22 Responses to “Cash4Gold: How NOT To Sell Gold”

  1. Adam says:

    What a joke! I have heard of some scams in my life but this one is close to the top. If all of that is true, I cannot believe that they are allowed to do business. It’s an outrage! I did think the commercial was funny though! MC Hammer is still a desperate man.

  2. Courtney says:

    One thing to also keep in mind is that according to the consumerist.com, Cash4Gold tried to pay a blogger $3,000 to remove his negative review of Cash4Gold. I wouldn’t put any trust in a company that does that.

  3. Beth says:

    I hate to say it, but it sounds like another company looking to cash in on the fear factor of today’s economy. Thanks for this informative post.

  4. I saw the ad last night, but have long thought they were crooks. The normal guy they use in their regular commercials is sleezy enough. Then you can throw in the one girl that says “I sent in my gold from my first marriage.” Gag.

    I just read this on Consumerist, thanks for posting it and adding your thoughts.

    If you must sell your gold, go to a reputable jeweler and get an estimate for its worth FIRST.

  5. Pete says:

    It’s pretty funny that I read this in my email first, and guess what ad appeared on the email? Cash4Gold of course!

    Ha, the joke is on them I guess since their ad is showing on a negative review of their business..

  6. David says:

    This is terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. nickel says:

    What a frigging scam.

  8. EffTee says:

    I read that NBC offered Cash4Gold or whatever it’s called the spot out of apparent desperation. The network was down to two spots that needed to be filled, and since no companies were forthcoming to take them, Cash4Gold got one of the spots. (Good description about feeling like we were watching an infomercial in the wee hours of the morning.)

    • Jim says:

      Looks like that’s what USA Today discovered too:
      Cash4Gold snaps up a slot for Super Bowl XLIII ad : “The Cash4Gold ad puts a direct-response advertiser on stage with a lineup of top-tier marketers and may not have been NBC’s first choice to fill one of the game’s 67 ad slots. But after selling 85% of Super Bowl ad time by September, NBC has struggled to unload the rest as the economy, ad spending and consumer confidence spiraled down.”

  9. thomas says:

    The commercial was at least funny.

  10. Rob says:

    Good post Jim. I can’t stand watching all those Cash4Gold commercials… there’s such a huge market out there for scrap gold… and C4G isn’t the way to go. Lots of people sell scrap gold as is on Ebay, and do far better. Pawnshops can work too.. and there are even some refineries that accept small lots. Midwest Refineries comes to mind – I used them once with good results.

  11. jordan says:

    Anyone that would even think about sending their gold in for money to this company is an idiot. Especially whenever they just give you any amount of money they want.. geez… I WAS A TELEMARKETER (asking for donations to the vets).. But this is bad..

    Obama, you want to change something? Here’s your first chance. lol

    STOP MONEY GRUBBING PRICKS!

  12. John says:

    Good article. Also good to know that you have no problem stealing HUGE blocks of content from other websites. If you look up the definition of “fair use” I’m sure it probably says “publish every single thing word-for-word”

    • Jim says:

      You mean from ComplaintsBoard? I link to it before I posted the text of the message.

      • John says:

        That’s doesn’t make it right.

        What if I had a blog where I republished your entire posts word-for-word. Would it be okay as long as I link to you before each post? Of course not, that’s a splog.

        Even though this is probably the first time you’ve done it, you’re still doing the exact same thing.

        You should have summarized in your own words what was said and then linked to the site so people can go there if they want to read the original.

        • Jim says:

          Fair enough, I had just seen it republished numerous times elsewhere but your point is still valid either way. I’ll edit it to summarize with a small inclusion rather than include the entire letter.

  13. Doug M says:

    Hahaha! I appreciate any article that can work the word ‘schadenfreude’ in.

    “Boy, those Germans have a word for everything.”

  14. Muhammad says:

    I am intersting in buy and sell gold, i am new commer and don’t know about this business. can any help me as i have some money of my friends for this business, they trust upon me and my honesty. hope someone will help me. Thanks

  15. William Escobar says:

    After reading about those CASH 4 GOLD scams, I was weary about selling my gold to those late-night TV commercials. I actually took the time to research various gold buying companies and after seeing the positive reviews that ABC & CNN gave U.S. Gold Buyers, Inc., I was convinced they were the best in the biz!

    I shopped around for several days and their prices were always the best on the net. They are an extremely professional company and offered free shipping, price quotes and payments within 24 hrs of the receipt of my items!

    Do your homework before selling your gold…if you do, you’ll realize that U.S. Gold Buyers are 100% official!

  16. john says:

    Escobar probably works for one of these companies.

    Your basically an idiot to use one of these gold for money companies. If your desperate for cash then take your jewelry to a pawn shop where you will receive probably double the amount. Gold has gone up drastically in recent years. Hold on to is an investment for the future. In harsh economic time these companies that buy gold are scams that prey on the naive and uneducated.

  17. thunderthighs says:

    I don’t think it’s a scam, you are indeed paying a hefty price for convenience, though. But that doesn’t mean it’s a smart idea.


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