Things to Know When Buying and Reselling Brand-name Jewelry
We live in a world surrounded by Brands. Branded items are everywhere we look, drive, eat and sleep. Brands evolved as a way to be certain of consistent quality and experience – and to enable businesses to charge a certain premium.
When buying and selling jewelry, there’s a lot you should keep in mind. This is especially true for prestige brand name jewelry. Most people prefer brand name jewelry that is popular because they get a sense of security from the brand and they know that they can feel good about wearing it for its recognition value. But unbeknownst to many, when it comes time to sell your jewelry, it is very difficult to recoup even a quarter of the money you spent on that brand-name piece of jewelry.
To expand on this, let’s look at a man—let’s call him Jim—when he bought and sold a piece of brand-name jewelry. He could have easily saved himself a lot of money if he had only known a few vital pieces of information for both the buying and selling side of the process. The truth is that you will never recuperate the full price you paid for a piece of jewelry when reselling it, but you can minimize your losses by being a knowledgeable consumer. Because Vasco believes an educated consumer is a better consumer, we are going to fill you in on exactly what you need to know when buying and reselling brand name jewelry.
By taking a look at the mistakes Jim made, I will tell you exactly what he should have done in each scenario to ensure she got the best value for his money.
Jim went to a prestige brand-name chain jewelry store to buy his wife a piece of jewelry. He walked in having done no research on buying high-end brand-name jewelry. He was instantly taken by the beauty of several pieces, and pointed out one particularly dazzling pair of earrings to the jeweler. They were perfect, he thought. Just her style! He bought them on the spot and got the idea to surprise his wife by hanging them on a bouquet of flowers, so he discarded the box that they came in since it had no use to him.
What should Jim have known?
While Jim bought from a trustable name-brand, his transaction wasn’t perfect. He could have done better if he followed these tips that all prestige name-brand jewelry shoppers should keep in mind.
One of the most important things to know when thinking about where to buy jewelry from is that you have options. It is unfortunate that the average person assumes they know more than they really do about buying jewelry. While it might be tempting to walk into a retail store, people often get much better value for their money from mom and pop shops that offer the expertise to keep you from making a bad purchase. You might also consider attending a jewelry auction. In general you’re best off avoiding prestige brand name retail stores because the cost of overhead and promoting the brand is included in the final sale price, causing you to pay for more than just the jewelry.
It’s all too easy to simply misjudge how the person you’re buying jewelry for will react to it. Sometimes a piece of jewelry just doesn’t fit her or her style, or they might already have a very similar piece in their jewelry box. Taking the time to be sure of what kind of item the recipient would want can save you a lot of trouble. Don’t be afraid to go to a few different stores to compare prices and view a variety of styles. The differences in price can be vast depending on what you’re looking for.
When talking to a dealer or retailer, always ask for laboratory certificates for any gem. Name brand retail jewelry stores should have the necessary certification for their products, but this is an important thing to know when buying gems. Certificates are created by gemologists and include a detailed description of the gem they are attached to. They show that the gem has gone through professional inspection. There are four main institutes doing this: GIA, EGL, IGI, and AGS, but the most credible one—and the one you should be looking for—is GIA.
Many prestige brand name stores will create their own certificates. Depending on the store, these may not fairly represent the jewelry you are looking to purchase.
Not keeping these is a big mistake that can – and will – drastically lower your jewelry’s resale value. Unfortunately, this is something that a lot of people overlook. In general, people who are looking to buy name brand jewelry want to buy it new, so you are already at a disadvantage. Not having the box it comes in, the paperwork that shows its authenticity, and the purchase receipt decreases its value in the eyes of potential buyers, making it harder for you or a jeweler to sell.
When Jim finally revealed the earrings to his wife, he could tell by her reaction that something was wrong. When he inquired, she went to her jewelry box and pulled out the exact same pair of earrings! Although she appreciated the gesture, they both decided that returning the earrings for another pair would be the best thing to do. Jim just needed to find the receipt, but to his surprise it was nowhere to be found. Suddenly he remembered; he put it in the box that he had thrown away! This headache could have been avoided if he only made sure to keep the box and receipt, knew in advance what he was looking for, and explored other buying options for a cheaper deal.
A couple months later, Jim took the earrings to a local jeweler to try and recover some of his losses. He was shocked when the clerk valued the earrings at 75% less than what he paid for them. Dismayed, Jim went to another store in the area. They gave him an estimate that was slightly better than that of the other shop. Figuring he probably wouldn’t find a much better deal, he sold the earrings on the spot and walked away with a sliver of what he initially paid.
The market is always smaller for second-hand jewelry
Selling jewelry second-hand is not easy. The truth is that most people don’t want to buy jewelry second-hand. In some cases, it’s due to superstition when it comes to used jewelry. For whatever reasons, people often will not buy an item second-hand even if it could save them thousands. Also, jewelers have to turn a profit on an item that already sells at a disadvantage due to the fact that it’s used. This means you are likely to receive much less than its original value. Because the value of your second-hand jewelry has already declined so steeply, things like having the box and the certification for your piece become crucial to preserving as much value as possible.
The brand doesn’t add much value
There’s nothing wrong with buying brand-name jewelry if you know what you’re getting out of it. However, It is a misconception that prestige brand names add a significant amount of value to jewelry. While the brand name may give it a slight boost, the majority of the value comes from the materials used. Sometimes, the value of your piece is not dependent on the style of the setting and based solely on the gem. In this case, the jeweler may sell the setting as scrap, rendering the additional monies spent on it moot.
It is important to know how the jeweler is valuing your item. Know that brands aren’t everything, and in fact they sometimes mean nothing at all. Don’t discount the option of buying a non-branded item from a reputable jeweler as the money you would have spent buying the “brand” could instead go toward getting a better quality diamond.
When it comes to selling your jewelry, you have a few methods to consider. Ultimately, the equation that comes into play is how much money you’ll make versus how much time you’re willing to spend trying to sell it. If you’re willing to put a lot of time and energy into selling your piece with a chance for a higher payout, you might consider selling on Ebay or Craigslist. This tends to be time consuming when you consider time spent negotiating online, dealing with bots and spam, and simply waiting for a response to your listing. There is also an element of risk in dealing with potential scammers and meeting buyers in person. However, the effort can sometimes pay off, depending on how much an end user is willing to pay. Similarly, you can try selling to friends and family members. It’s not a bad idea to try to sell your jewelry to people you know, as they may be more inclined to buy an item they would have bought anyway at a cheaper price from someone they know. On the flip side, you won’t get very close to what you initially paid since the buyer can just buy the same product from a store that also offers warranties, packaging, etc.
Selling to a jeweler is a good option if you want to sell fast but for a relatively low price. As I mentioned before, jewelry retailers need to cover their cost of business with the money they’re making off your piece. In addition to the overhead, there’s an element of risk they are taking on when they buy jewelry that they don’t have an immediate buyer for. This reduces the amount they are willing to pay for a piece of jewelry, even if it means you’re getting less than a quarter of what you paid.
While retailers are motivated by what they can make off your piece, an expert can help you discover what your jewelry is really worth. There are many factors that go into valuing a piece, but with the right help you have the benefit of knowing exactly how much money your piece commands, giving you an advantage when it’s time to sell. A reliable and established luxury commodity buyer like Vasco Assets can evaluate your piece, taking into account every angle and facet, and provide you the best price possible. We are able to take our expertise and deep knowledge of global luxury, jewelry and diamond markets to provide our clients with the best valuation for their jewelry. So if your jewelry demands a higher price in Asia, Vasco Assets is able to take advantage of its networks to pay you more for your jewelry and resell it to buyers in Asia.
It is clear that Jim made some bad decisions through this process. When selling brand-name jewelry, it is of the utmost importance that you steer clear of the common misconceptions that cause a lot of people to lose money unnecessarily. Remember these tips to help you be a smart consumer and not get caught up in paying more than you should for your jewelry.
At Vasco Assets, we believe that every consumer of luxury items should come into the transaction with the advantage of knowing exactly how to get the most out of their jewelry, whether they are buying or selling. The process can be tricky when it comes to name brands, but following the above tips can help you in any jewelry transaction.
Vasco Assets believes that a knowledgeable consumer is a better consumer. We are proud to present the straight-talk about luxury commodity assets of all types, including diamonds. If you have any questions or would like more information about anything you’ve read, please reach out to us.
About Vasco Assets:
Vasco Assets Inc. is a privately held international investment firm located in Newport Beach, California. Vasco Assets has over 35 years of industry expertise from investing, lending, buying and selling of luxury items to collaborating with charities in developing custom offerings and much more. At Vasco Assets, we create and cultivate long-term, multi-generational relationships with our clients.
Vasco Assets’ diversification in the global economy helps maintain our position as an independent international institution that is not subject to the fluctuations in the market conditions. In recent years, we’ve been making significant investments in our patent-pending technological platform and applying them to lending, investments, and fostering our client relationships.