Gullible Consumers May Get Gored on Gold Price: Sellers Beware
As cash-strapped consumers sell their gold to pay for everyday necessities, complaints against gold dealers have risen. The biggest offenders according to a recent tally on the Better Business Bureau’s website, BBB.org, are cash for gold buying companies advertising heavily to buy unwanted gold jewelry on cable television channels. One company had 369 complaints in the previous 36 months. Another had 197. The complaints range from pricing discrepancies and misleading advertising to customer service issues and claims for lost shipments.
“Not every Internet gold buyer is dishonest,” says Michael H. Gusky, whose company, GoldFellow.com has no complaints against it after serving more than 60,000 customers. “GoldFellow.com,” according to Gusky, “was created to provide consumers a safe, competitive and easy method to sell unwanted gold, sterling silver and platinum.”
A 30+ year gold jewelry industry veteran, Gusky attributes his company’s success and rapid growth to a higher level of trust achieved through his company’s transparent business practices and higher payments.
“The owners of GoldFellow® are the most honest and ethical dealers I have had the pleasure to do business with,” says Carla Stern who first tried to sell her unwanted jewelry to two other Internet gold buyers. “GoldFellow® paid me $1800 for the same package I had sent to a highly advertised on TV and Internet dealer, who tried to pay me only $310,” explains Stern.
Gusky has a theory for why his pricing is so much higher than the competition’s.
“We could spend millions on television like the competition – or we could put the cash in our customer’s pockets. We prefer to pay the customer higher prices,” he says.
Still, consumers report the primary obstacle in selling unwanted gold jewelry is confusion about their gold’s true value. Lack of knowledge about the weight of their gold and unfamiliar terms like pennyweights (dwt), grams and troy ounces, confuse and intimidate many seeking a buyer for their gold.
“Honestly, we’ve been communicating in the wrong language,” realized Gusky. So GoldFellow® developed a real solution, launching the “Gold Payments Gallery” on its website.
“Our new interactive tool is a virtual show and tell,” said Mary Hamilton, a customer support manager who has worked for Gusky since 1987. “It gives people selling gold an opportunity to view hundreds of photos, maybe find items similar or identical to something they own and see the actual dollar amount paid to an individual seller for that particular piece of gold jewelry.”
‘We have taken the mystery out of gold selling – it’s entertaining and educational,” added Gusky who is very proud of GoldFellow®’s latest innovation. “As consumer advocates, we’re always looking for innovative ways to help people make intelligent financial decisions.”
According to the company’s website, www.GoldFellow.com, the company’s competitive differences include providing every customer with free FedEx® shipping and insuring each package for $1000. Its complete online payment schedule is updated daily and unlike many competitors, GoldFellow® customers must see and accept their cash for gold offer before they are paid.
“Don’t take my word for it,” says Gusky. “Do your homework. Ask how much you will be paid for one pennyweight of 14 karat gold jewelry. Ask if you will be notified of your value before you’re paid,” he suggests. “And for goodness sake, never agree to drop your valuables in a regular mailbox. There’s no record or proof that it has been mailed – and it’s not insured although many of our competitors would like you to believe otherwise.”
Gusky, and his wife Robin, who is also active in the company, made their reputation during 30 years in the gold jewelry business. Their company grew to become the largest karat gold jewelry manufacturer in America, culminating with a sale to Warren Buffett’s, Berkshire-Hathaway in 2007.