How to Sell Jewelry

We all end up with jewelry that just doesn't speak to us. Maybe we inherited it from a distant aunt. Maybe a sometimes-friend gave it to us and they just didn't know us very well. Maybe it's from an ex. How do you sell that jewelry and get the best value for it?

First, while it's tempting to go to local jewelry stores and turn over your items to them, you're going to get a quite low prices as a result. Even if they sold it to you in the first place, they get an influx of inexpensive items coming at them every day. They have no incentive at all to pay a high price for something when there is a non-stop stream of low priced items clamboring for them to take on.

So what do you do to sell your item?

First, do your research to find out what a fair price is. That way you know what to aim for. Be sure to compare with "used" items - not brand new ones. Get a professional appraisal if the item is worth a fair amount. That way when you offer it to someone you can prove it's worth that amount. Take high quality photos of it that show it off in its best light.

Start with your family and friends. Sure, you might assume that none of them would be interested in a hot-pink ring or in a necklace with bright orange dangles. However, you never know! It might be that their best friend absolutely loves hot pink and is about to turn fifty. Send the news of your item around to your local group. If they all say no, nothing is lost.

Next, widen the field slightly. Go with locals you can meet in person to do your transaction, so there is the lowest chance of fraud. Use CraigsList or other local-listing systems. Make sure you stay anonymous at the beginning, especially if it's a high priced item. Never say where you live. Meet in a neutral location where other people are present. Do the transaction in cash.

If you're not finding anybody locally, go a bit further out. It's time to look into online sales sites.

For example, ebay is popular with sales. As of 2012 you can list up to 50 items a month for free. So if they don't sell, they're free. If it's an auction style entry, you then pay 9% of its final sale price. If you decide to do a fixed-price listing instead, you pay a tiered percentage. You pay 11% of the first $50, 6% of the rest up to $1000, and 2% after that. So for example if you list something for $250, you'll pay $5.50 + $12 = $17.50 in fees to ebay. You'll also pay PayPal a commission for their processing. PayPal charges 2.9% so that's $7.25 there. Total - $24.75.

You can also choose to use Etsy. Etsy is a crafting site that also lets you sell antique jewelry. Etsy has lower fees - only 20 cents to list and 3.5% final transaction fee. If you use Etsy's payment system, that's another 3% there. So the same $250 sale would have you pay about $7.25 for the sale and $7.25 for the payment, $14.50 total.

So I would explore ebay, explore etsy, and see which appeals to you most. Then try there!

Only if that ends up failing would I then fall back to a local store.

Lisa Shea's Jewelry

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