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Trading Or Selling A Diamond


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Hello there.


I am hoping someone here might be able to provide me some advice. I have a former engagement ring that I would like to sell or trade in for a new stone. What would be the best way to retain as much of the value of the ring as possible? The stone is a GIA certified 1.52 oval brilliant, H, VS1 in a custom platinum setting.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Tough question. In my view, eBay (or Craigslist) is not necessarily the best route as a private seller: the competition/noise is huge, and unless you are offering something that is very attractively priced, have excellent feedback and are pretty good at marketing stuff, it may sit there for a long while. Then there are security/safety concerns around payment and shipment. On the other hand, listing fees are low, the audience is as large as it gets and you may get 10-20% higher price than consignment or trade-in.


If you are buying something else, do consider trade in. It may turn into an interesting game of two halves (the trade in value of your ring and the price of the new item), but it's not necessarily a bad deal. Just make sure you keep track of what you are getting and what you are paying, and don't get caught in psychological games like this poster... http://www.diamondre...ed-leo-diamond/ It's also free and getting a quote doesn't commit you to accepting it; if you go down this route, make sure you bargain on the new item first - it may lower the offer on your trade in, but it's much easier to understand what's going on.


Consignment may also be an interesting option, depending on where you live and whether you need the money quickly.


Plain reselling to a jeweller is not an attractive route unless you have something rather special or you have a long-standing relationship with the dealer. Same goes for the major auction houses. JMHO.

Edited by davidelevi
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There are 4 basic options available for consumers wishing to sell a diamond and all have their advantages and disadvantages.


1) Direct retail to someone you know. Friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers, etc. This often produces the most money but it does run the risk of losing friends if something goes wrong. It’s also highly dependent on who you hang out with. Some people know a lot more prospective grooms who are looking for a ring than others.


2) Direct sale to someone you don’t know. This usually comes from ebay, craigslist, newspaper and similar advertising. There are a lot more prospective buyers out there but it does require some talent, some time and effort and there are a LOT of sharks out there. Use good sense. Don’t ship things without money in hand, don’t do business in Africa, don’t meet behind the 7-11 to do a cash deal etc. Inexperienced sellers don’t generally do all that well but ads are cheap and sometimes you get lucky.


3) Consignment. There are lots of jewelry stores and websites that will offer to do the sales work for you in exchange for a cut of the proceeds. For the right kind of goods it works pretty well. The deals range from full blown jewelry stores that completely refurbish the piece and market it through their showrooms to traditional auction houses to people who will do the ebay work for you to discount websites that work off of no more than a picture. Fees range from 15% - 50% of the proceeds depending on the dealer and what sorts of services are being offered. It often works pretty well for folks but be aware of what you’re getting into. You are becoming partners with the jeweler and you need to pay attention to whether they are doing their job. Are they actually marketing your item? Are they paying their bills? Asking a high price and charging a cheap commission only does you any good if they actually get their price and actually pay the bill after all.


4) Direct sale to jewelers and professional buyers. This is generally the fastest, it comes with no costs to you, and it produces the least money. They take the risks, they do the work and they get the profits. If you don’t have time, don't have the right friends, don’t have patience for the creeps and wierdos of craigslist and/or don’t have the talent for ebay, and the like it’s worth considering. Get several bids. They can bid whatever they want but that doesn’t mean you can’t get more elsewhere so it pays to shop around. Most towns have quite a few people in this business and bids are usually free. Don’t let them do destructive tests. People are generally shocked at how different resale prices are from both the retail prices you pay and the ‘appraisal’ value that the jewelers tell you things are worth so be prepared.


5) Tradein. This is actually a subset of #4 above. This is where you make a deal with a jeweler to sell one thing and buy another. Often it’s a good path as well if you want something they have and you don’t need the money. The trick here is to understand both the buying and selling numbers. The jeweler is going to make money on both sides of the deal, which is fine, but jewelers tend to want to mash them together into one deal so you don’t know either what you’re paying or what your being paid but the discount from their ‘regular’ price looks attractive.



Advertising time: For private sellers, assistance from a professional appraiser can be very helpful. It both helps you know what you’ve got and what to expect in terms of resale and they can help you design a marketing strategy that works for merchandise and your situation. Nearly every seller goes into the deal with some serious misconceptions about what they have, what it's 'worth', and/or how the diamond business works. Working with someone on your side of the counter as a reality check can be very helpful. If needed, they can assist you in getting lab documentation from the likes of GIA and EGL and in some circumstances their reports can be used as advertisements to your prospective buyer.

Edited by denverappraiser
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