Cash-for-gold firms ‘rip off consumers’

Cash-for-gold merchants are ripping off Irish consumers by offering them only a fifth of what their jewellery is worth, according to a major survey of cash-for-gold firms operating in Ireland by precious metal specialists Goldcore.

Goldcore claims a ring originally bought for €1,000 will return only approximately €212.50 to a seller. Research director of Goldcore Mark O’Byrne urged consumers to be more careful when trying to convert gold into cash.

“While it may seem an attractive proposition in the short term due to the current economic environment, when you factor in the original purchase price, you can see that Irish consumers are getting a very bad deal overall,” he said.

The survey found the range of prices offered by the cash-for-gold operators was quite narrow. Gold Rush offered €12.01 per gramme, but the seller only received €8.52 with the remaining €3.49 donated to the Jack and Jill foundation.

Gold Party offered €10.25, while the lowest offering was Forgotten Gold offering €10. At these prices Mr O’Byrne said people looking to turn jewellery into cash were selling at the wrong time.

“Selling gold jewellery in this manner is a classic case of buying high and selling very low — akin to ‘selling the family silver’ for appalling prices. The public is being misled that now is a good time to sell gold. At $1,300 and €1,000 today, gold is well below its record high of $2,400 per ounce in 1980 in real terms when adjusted for inflation,” he said.


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