Cockeyed.com has a thing for scrap gold companies -- last year he sent a collection of household items spray-painted in gold to Goldkit.com and actually received $1.01 for his assortment of metallic colored items.
Given this fascination, it's no surprise that he teamed up with Brent, a Cockeyed reader, to test Cash4Gold's appraisal and payout methods. Brent rounded up his treasure trove of gold and went to his local pawn shop to find out the weight and value of his haul. After securing an appraisal of $198, Brent sent his gold off to Cash4Gold whose Web site had promised higher prices than his local pawn shop based on weight.
After a short wait, he received a check for $60, roughly a third of the actual value of his family treasure. Dissatisfied with this offer, he called up Cash4Gold and asked them to return his items. Cash4 Gold countered by tripling the amount to $178 which was much more competitive with the actual value of his gold goods.
But wait -- it gets better, or worse if you're Cash4Gold!
After Cash4Gold found out that their low-ball offers and shady practices had been cataloged for the world to see, and that the post about it had attained the number two search spot on Google for "Cash4Gold," they tried to bribe the site into removing the post. Their reputation manager, who just tripled the need for his services, offered Rob Cockerham several thousand dollars or a donation to his favorite charity if he removed the damning post!
Rather than cave into the sweet temptation of cash Rob posted the entire conversation to Cockeyed.com for the world to see and laugh at. In the course of the attempted bribe, it came to light that this wasn't the first time Cash4Gold had bought off a critic. Their reputation manager claimed that another consumer Web site had been swayed recently when Cash4Gold bought into their advocacy program!
So what's an honest consumer to do with their scrap gold? The answer is simple: Get educated and look locally. BankRate.com offers a guide to gold reselling covering the specifics of dealing with gold coins, dental gold, and jewelry as well as a primer on how gold is valued. Spending 5 minutes learning what troy ounce means and how much a pennyweight weighs could help you get a better return on your old gold.
Most local jewelers will appraise your gold for free making it easy to compare prices without worrying about paying for return shipping. This method works out particularly well if you have a regular jeweler, as they have more to lose by ripping you off than a company located thousands of miles away.
As if this story wasn't enough to scare you off of Cash4Gold, check out these 10 confessions of a former Cash4Gold employee!