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Secure Locations To Sell Jewellery Privately


Kittykat
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Hello,

 

Thank you in advance for all the valuable advice on this forum. I find this place one of the most educating forums to visit.

 

I have a questions about selling jewellery privately such as on free classifieds or ebay.

 

If a person wants to meet and view an item before purchasing are there secure locations that would be recommended? Is it possible that a jeweller would be happy to provide a secure location for the transaction to take place? If a jeweller were to provide a location will commission of the sale also be provided to them, and if so, how much would be reasonable?

 

Thank you again for all your brilliant information.

 

Kind Regards,

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I do this regularly. I do, and charge for, an appraisal on behalf of the buyer.

 

Both buyer and seller meet at my office in a secured building near downtown Denver. I do the inspection in the presence of both and then send the seller to a waiting area down the hall with the item in hand. The goods never leave the sight of the seller throughout the process. I then have a private conversation with the buyer where we discuss things like grading, condition, age and whatever else they want to talk about. They then go down to meet with the seller and make a deal or not as they wish. That's up to them. If they do a deal they come back in my office and do it under the video cameras. If not, they go their merry way. Either way I charge the same and the charges are 100% to the buyer.

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Hi Denver, thank you, if I lived in the US that would be perfect for me, unfortunately I don't live near you :(

 

If I was to approach a local person, should I seek a jeweller or an appraiser? How would I phrase it when I ask them?

 

Would the charge to oversee the transaction be approximately the same charge as an appraisal?

Edited by Kittykat
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Oh I just clicked sorry, that you would provide the service to the buyer.

 

What if I am the seller, I have a buyer who is interested in seeing an item I am selling, and I want to do the sale on a secure premises. Would this be a service anyone would provide?

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Banks often have a good location for this. Choose a bank that you have a relationship with and ask. Don't just show up in the lobby and look like you're doing a drug deal.

 

Appraisals are regularly done for sellers but the fundamental question here is one for the buyer. Are they getting what they are expecting? I've never been asked to effectively serve as a surrogate showroom but I don't really see a great problem with it as long as both sides understand what is going on. I would not be willing to advocate for the seller, and that would probably be a deal killer. Others may see it differently. It doesn't hurt to ask.

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Banks often have a good location for this. Choose a bank that you have a relationship with and ask. Don't just show up in the lobby and look like you're doing a drug deal.

Hahahaha, this had me laughing so hard. That was precisely the reason I was hesitant of using a bank for the fear of looking like a shifty drug dealer in the lobby.

 

I'll try giving my bank a call and see what they say.

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I've never been asked to effectively serve as a surrogate showroom....

This had me laughing as well, you are so astute and pertinent. This was exactly my worry of speaking with a jeweller as it not really being a symbiotic relationship...

Edited by Kittykat
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I'd say that in addition to banks and jewellers, any decent commercial premises which are known to both parties and offer a safe environment (other people around, some privacy, possibly with extra security such as video) are fine. It really depends on who (or the buyer) you know.

 

If you are doing this on a regular basis, it's probably worthwhile offering to pay a "service fee" and getting things clear from the outset; I wouldn't mind a one-off transaction happening in my office if one of the two parties is a friend; if you show up every other day, I wouldn't be delighted.

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Hi DavidDelvi,

 

I agree, it would be nice to have an upfront agreement in place. However with regards to a jeweller I can't even think of how to approach the subject without as Denver said having them feel like a surrogate showroom. I'd want it to be a win win and I don't know how much of a benefit the jeweller would feel in the situation apart from a fee for providing the environment.

 

A commercial location would be good, and less overwhelming than a police station or even a bank. It's not really the most conducive place selling being in a police station, even a bank, is a bit awkward.

 

My only thoughts with a commercial location is it will need to be during the week. I don't know how a formal arrangement would also happen with regards to paying a fee with a commercial location as well.

 

I have to admit its doing my head in a bit!

Edited by Kittykat
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I would only approach a jeweller if I knew them well, being a relatively regular customer. You are asking them to help you compete with themselves, in a sense, so it could get awkward. A bank has no such problem, and neither does another type of shop.

 

I'd start from who you know: which shops are you a customer of? Which ones of these are owned locally and you feel comfortable in? Approach the owner(s) and explain what you would like; the worst they can say is "no". Even a nice café/hotel hall is a possibility, as long as you time things properly.

 

I don't know where you are, but pretty much all shops are open on a Saturday, and often quite a few are open on Sunday too.

 

The extent to which you want to get a formal arrangement for fee paying depends on how often you need to do this "let's meet at X shop, I'll show you the goods and you can bring the money" routine. If it's an infrequent, possibly one-off matter, I'd try to keep things informal, if clearly agreed upfront. If this is something that you see happening regularly and frequently, that's the point where things get complicated - not least because (again depending on where you are, whether the shop owns the premises or leases them and a host of other things) there may be some significant legal boundaries to deal with.

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So do you think the security of a cafe within a mall would be okay? That's relaxed enough that at least I'm purchasing food/coffees, and the right to sit there, and being within a mall means if the buyer does happen to up and run there will be numerous witness and possibly cameras as they need to navigate their way out of the cafe and then navigate out of the mall?

 

I really appreciate knowing that asking a jeweller is a bit weird, as I wouldn't want to have asked 10 jewellers and been given the cold shoulder.

 

Alternatively for a corporate premises, is my husbands office. However in the weekend there would be no security, only ourselves, we would have access however. During the week would be different as there would be people around, lifts to access, etc.

 

It wouldn't be a regular occurrence at this stage, but I would like to think of something long term eventually.

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I think the key is to inform the owner/manager of the place - whether it's a cafe or anywhere else - of what is happening. The last thing you want is them calling the police because they have seen two people mumbling over something and then exchanging it for a big stash of banknotes... and conversely no-one noticing that you have been KO'd and the person you were talking to has disappeared with your purse.

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This security question goes both ways. The buyer doesn't know you either, and they probably have a bag of money with them in order to make the deal if it turns out to be what they want. That means they have exactly the same issues that you do, possibly more so. I'm not big on police stations because they're chock full of creeps and wierdos and they tend to be packed with people, some of whom are dangerous. At least around here there's not really a place to do transactions there.

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Years ago I was a retail jeweler and I would not have been cooperative. If you wanted to consign things to me, I would have considered it depending on what it was and the general details of the deal. My own salespeople would do the presentation, we would warranty the piece as with everything else we sold and yes, I would charge a commission. Every store runs differently, of course, and as Davide points out, it doesn't hurt to ask, but I wouldn't be offended if the answer is no.

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I've completed a number of Ebay transactions of various types in face-to-face meetings.  Usually this is in a parking lot at an easily-identified commercial place (restaurant, mall, etc.)  A couple times, it was outside the seller's workplace during lunch break.

 

This would be (1) where I'd like to examine the merchandise with the seller present; (2) a cash transaction might enable the seller to skip some Ebay fees; (3) I have no interest in having this person come to my home, nor see where he lives; (4) shipping is not necessary because it has already been identified that we are within a decent driving range for both.

 

However, I would rely instead on Ebay guarantees with shipping/transaction data recorded for certain other sellers -- like those with zero recorded history of sales.

 

In the case of jewelry, I was ready to send my wife to Hong Kong a few years ago to collect an Audemars Piguet Star Wheel, since the cost of the transaction was high enough.  However, the seller was able to provide complete authentication and we completed the sale in a normal (mail) manner.

 

If I was dealing specifically with diamonds from a private seller, I might use escrow.com.  That's a secured process where they (1) receive the money for the purchase, (2) instruct the seller to send the item to the buyer, (3) allow the buyer several days after receipt to examine the product, and (4) release the funds to the seller.  I used them only once -- when I had reason to believe the brand new laptop I was purchasing might have "fallen off a truck" owing to the seller's non-history and apparent infamiliarity with Ebay procedures.  (I likely wouldn't bother using them again, but they do have certain uses.)

 

The smartest way relative to this forum is to do what Neil proposed: use the offices of the independent appraiser you will employ, if possible.  Hallmarks on metal can easily be faked; jewelry can be precious or worthless.  Look at the huge Ebay selling inventory of "near-gem-quality" stones, which are often just polished pieces of rubble.  (A ruby is a sapphire is a piece of corundum, more commonly known as aluminum oxide.  The difference is in the details. :) )

 

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