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Writing A Good Advertisement

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Many people find themselves in the position of having a piece of jewelry that they no longer want and that they would like to sell. This could be from a divorce, an inheritance, a financial need or just an item that they don’t wear any more. In any case, they quickly find that reselling jewelry is considerably more difficult than most folks expect.


We would like to help.


Here are some thoughts about making an advertisement that will increase your chances of getting a sale:


1) Provide details. There’s really no upper limit to the size of a post and serious customers will have no problem reading what you have to say. Give sizes, counts, grades, dimensions, manufactures names and anything else you know. A lot of this can come off of the appraisal or the original paperwork that the jeweler gave you when you bought it and, if you don’t have an appraisal that includes it, considering hiring an appraiser to help. Romance is good to include with adjectives like 'exquisite' and 'stunning' but don't kid yourself into thinking that these are substitutes for the facts.


2) Photographs. Good photos are essential and a lot harder to take than people expect. Someday I’ll write a tutorial about this but practice helps a lot. Read the manual that came with your camera and pay special attention to the section on Macro pictures. It’s not the same thing as just zooming in to the maximum. Many of the camera manufacturers have free online tutorials that can be very helpful with this. Lots of light and a tripod or similar very stable platform helps a lot. Take a lot of pictures and choose the best. Crop out all the unnecessary things so buyers get a good view of your item and give them several views from different directions. You probably got some software with your camera but if you don't have a cropping program, there's a free one at www.picasa.google.com. Uploading pictures here is a bit tricky and most people do it by uploading the picture to one of the free hosting sites like www.photobucket.com and then linking to it in your advertisement. Your appraiser may already have taken some that you can use. Avoid the tendency to use photos from the manufacturer's website or catalog because it's not the exact ring you're selling and potential buyers are quite reasonably very nervous about photos of a representative ring.


3) Explain your sources for grading. If you’ve got a lab report on the stone, upload a scan of the whole report. If you’re basing it on an appraisal, say who the appraiser is and quote exactly what they said. Shoppers here are a pretty savvy bunch and they may be looking for something different than what you were when you bought it so include everything you know.


4) Prices, especially for diamonds. ‘Appraised for $20,000, will sacrifice for $7,000’ isn't a persuasive ad. Really, it’s not. Appraisers overvalue things all the time and buyers are well aware of this. An opinion from an unknown and unnamed appraiser is meaningless. Here’s another strategy. Use the link at the top of the page titled ‘find online jeweler’ to find offers for comparable stones. The ONLY reason that someone will buy a diamond from an individual rather than a dealer is because the price is better and these guys are your competition. You can sort the dealer offers by price by clicking on the headline of the price column and then price accordingly. Only you know which ones are best to choose as comparable stones but try to be realistic and if you choose on the high end, be prepared to explain it to your potential customer. While we're on pricing, do list a price. 'Make offer' rarely works out well.


5) Prices for jewelry. This is harder because its more difficult to get direct offers for comparison. Remember you’re selling used merchandise and that there is often some serious malarkey buried in the paperwork that you were given by the selling jeweler. In looking at comps, look for actual transaction prices or at least for dealers that you have some reason to believe are making real sales at the listed prices, not at supposed comparable ‘value’ that was told to you by the seller and be very nervous about the manufacturers suggested retail price unless you've got some good reason to believe that someone actually are making sales at that price. Price it to make your own offer look attractive. Especially with engagement rings the buyers are going to be interested primarily in the center diamond with the intention of taking it out of the setting to put it in something else. Since you’re probably selling the whole thing as one package, they are going to see the mounting as expensive part of the packaging. The resale of most mountings is not nearly as high a percentage of the original sale as with diamonds. It’s more like clothing where you generally get a fraction of the original price. You can use ebay as a way to search for comps but make sure to only use completed auctions and use only auctions that actually resulted in a sale.


6) Feedback. This is where you can help the forum. If you post something here for sale and someone buys it, post a comment about how it went and that the item is no longer available. Even if you sell somewhere else, this will be helpful for future buyers. It'll help future sellers if you tell them how much you actually got. Monitor the forum so that if someone has a question they get an immediate answer. There's a nifty utility at the top under 'my controls' that will do this automatically for you and email you if someone responds to your ad.


7) Pay attention to your personal security. Don't ship things without cleared funds in the bank, don't invite strangers over to your home for an inspection, don't include your home phone number or address in the ad, etc. There are sharks out there and this medium is open to anyone in the world who cares to look at it and they do not all have your best interests at heart. Use common sense.


I hope this helps. Happy selling.



Edited by denverappraiser
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