7 Tips for Selling Estate and Designer Jewelry Collections
Are you looking to sell an entire collection of quality designer jewelry? Or perhaps you have some amazing antique or vintage diamond and gemstone items. Even fine quality modern jewelry collections can still fetch a good amount of cash. The best way to sell these items for the most money is to schedule a meeting with a reputable, well educated jewelry buyer who understands the market value of these pieces, and pays accordingly, while working on a small profit margin. Read the tips below and you will be well equipped to get the most for your pieces with the least amount of effort.
1) Don’t sell to cash for gold stores or pawn shops
You’ve probably heard this before, but for peace of mind, let me tell you again. Avoid selling your high end jewelry collection to a cash for gold buyer or pawnshop, who usually will only pay scrap price on the gold, will pay little to nothing for diamonds and gemstones, and will not care if your piece is a designer item such as David Yurman, or Tiffany & Co.. Most of these buyers will not be educated on the value of top designer items, or vintage and antique fine jewelry. It is important to find a buyer that knows the market value of these items, and pays you for it.
2) Don’t sell your items on consignment at a jewelry store
Don’t bother with consigning your items to a fine jewelry store, where they will sit for months without selling, and if it does sell, the store will take anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the sale price. Every time I have bought an item from a customer after they took it to a couple stores for consignment, they have always received at least the same amount then they would have netted after the store takes their large cut of the sale.
And they didn’t have to wait, they were paid on the spot. Basically you are giving a store free merchandise, with zero risk on their part. You are forced to simply wait until it sells. Then when it does finally sell, you’re giving up a large portion of your item’s value. That really isn’t fair to you.
3) Avoid trying to sell on EBay yourself, instead, find a buyer who has a successful EBay store
Listing and selling high end antique and designer jewelry on EBay is not an easy task. If you run an auction, you could end up very disappointed in the final sale price. It’s always better to create a “Buy It Now” listing to avoid a super low auction close. Even still, you must take professional photos, write accurate and detailed descriptions, and wait months, sometimes even a year or more to make a sale.
Then you have to hope the buyer actual pays, and that there will not be any fraudulent activity after you have shipped your valuable item. And even if that all goes well, the buyer may simply decide they don’t like the item in person, and send it back for a refund. That puts you right back where you started after all that effort and waiting.
It’s best to find a local buyer who runs a large EBay store specializing in antique and modern fine jewelry, and designer items from brands such as Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and other high end designers.
Even if you wanted to sell your items on EBay yourself, you would likely get the same amount or less then this buyer can pay directly because he is able to realize much higher prices for his items. This is due to his reputation as a specialist in the field, a large EBay store inventory and 100% positive feedback with thousands of completed sales.
As long as the buyer is willing to pay you a fair price and work on a profit margin of around 15%, you will still come out ahead, without doing any of the work, waiting, or taking on any risk, and walk out with payment on the spot.
4) Look for a buyer with low overhead willing to work on small profit margins
It is in your best interest to find a buyer with low overhead and small profit margins. Most buyers are not going to discuss their profit margin with you, but if you see the buyer has a lot of overhead to cover, you can bet his profit margin must be around 50% or more. A large fancy store, with some employees is a good sign that you will not be getting the most for your collection.
Also, if you see the business does a lot of online and other media advertising, then you know they have to pay for that somehow. Just think about how expensive it can be to run a Google Ad-word campaign. It can run hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month for a prominent Google listing.
Selling Estate & Designer Jewelry Collections to a buyer with a small or no office, and no employees, that meets one on one with individuals is most likely to be able to pay the most for your pieces. I can tell you directly as a buyer that my average profit margin is around 15 to 20 percent. If I am buying a higher priced antique or modern diamond item, or an entire collection of great designer pieces, I may even work around 10% profit margin just to be able to add great items to my inventory and be the strongest buyer.
5) Read Reviews and Look for BBB accredited a rated businesses
Naturally you should read reviews for a buyer on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and if they have close to 5 stars total, with at least a handful of reviews, most likely they are doing good business. Read the reviews in detail and see what previous customers experiences were with the buyer. It is also a good idea to check if the business is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). An A or A+ rating with zero complaints is usually a good sign.
6) Find an honest and transparent buyer
Jewelry buyers owe it to their clients to always be upfront and honest with their offers, especially since you as a seller may not know the true value of your collection. A smart buyer will try to make a small profit and look forward to repeat business from you, and referrals of your friends and family in the future.
A buyer should be willing to research the market price for your collection and show you complete sales results when possible. Then discuss with you a price that leaves him a small profit, and leaves you with the most money.
So how can you tell if a buyer is an honest buyer or not? Give them a call or shoot them an email, with a few pictures of your collection, and some details and see if they will give you an estimate. Then do the same with a few more buyers. Compare the results. You will see that a lot of the buyers will not even be willing to do this, and will just insist that you bring your jewelry in to their shop. Often they will proceed to pressure you into selling once you are in there store.
Any good buyer will understand that you are doing your due diligence, and be happy to come up with a ballpark figure, assuming you have provided enough information for them to do so.
7) Find a buyer that is convenient to you
Do you live in a suburb? Maybe you live in the suburbs because you cannot stand going in to the city, fighting with traffic downtown, and paying huge valet parking charges just for the privilege. If you think you need to sacrifice your time, energy, and money to make a trip into the jeweler’s district just to get the most for your high end diamonds, and designer jewelry like Van Cleef & Arpels, and Cartier, think again! As long as the buyer passes the other 6 tips listed above, you can rest assured you will get the most for your items, even if the buyer is not located in the heart of the city. In fact, that is most likely the main reason you will get more, because he isn’t wasting money on high rents!
– Mike Jacobson, Cook County Buyers
Before Selling Estate and Designer Jewelry Collections, Meet Mike the Owner of Cook County Buyers in Skokie IL.
Mike specializes in buying entire collections of designer jewelry from brands such as Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, just to name a few.
Mike also pays very well for beautiful antique and vintage platinum and gold diamond and gemstone jewelry. Modern 14k, 18k, and platinum jewelry with or without diamonds and gemstones will also be purchased at an aggressive price.
Mike prefers you to send pictures of your items, and any appraisals, certificates, receipts, etc and he will give you an estimate of what he can pay first, before even meeting! This way you will already feel comfortable with the price range and there won’t be any surprises or disappointments. Time is valuable and it is best to make sure everyone is on the same page for price before meeting.
Mike frequently meet with his clients along Chicago’s North Shore. We are frequently in Kenilworth, Winnetka, Wilmette, Barrington, Highland Park, Skokie, Northbrook, and also travels to Downtown Chicago, and other suburbs like North Barrington, Lake Forest, and Oak Brook just to name a few. You can also schedule an appointment at his Skokie Office. Just give him a call, and discuss your special collection today!