Selling Your Gold? Read This First

Last Updated Sep 1, 2009 6:35 PM EDT

Think twice before sending your old jewelry to a mail-in smelter.
Combine near record gold prices with a recession that's got people scrambling for cash and you create a vibrant market for a dozen mail-in smelters that promise to pay "top dollar" for your clunky old jewelry. These companies say they'll melt down your ugly gold chains and send you a check for the gold value.

The problem is that people get a fraction of the gold value--far less than what they could receive by bringing the jewelry to an old-fashioned pawn shop. Consumer complaints about the sorry returns have been reported extensively in the Los Angeles Times and in a half-dozen online complaint sites.

After the Consumerist, an online forum for consumer news and tips, took on Cash4Gold for being the granddaddy of these anti-consumer practices earlier this year, the site got named in a lawsuit demanding that it knock off the negative news and stop reporting the claims of a former Cash4Gold employee, who detailed a host of smarmy practices.

Instead of backing down, the Consumerist sicked the mystery shoppers employed by their sister company Consumer Reports on them. The result is quite a revealing read and well worth checking out.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App