Move Over Pampered Chef Here Come the Gold and Silver Parties

I admit it – I have a Facebook account. I enjoy an afternoon laugh at some of the updates that people in my network post. Here are a few updates from today:

A CEO: XX is going flying Editor’s Note: Cool

A working mom: HI HO HI HO It’s off to work I go……Wait a minute…..Isn’t this my day off? Editor’s Note: Yawn

A professional colleague: XX thinks the Hungryman dinners (lunch) included Brownie is surprisingly good! Editor’s Note: Is this guy really in my professional network?

You get the idea. But here was something I had not seen before, an invitation in my inbox to:

“Sell Your Old Gold and Silver Jewelry Party”

Next Friday – 6:30ish – 8:30ish Please RSVP, so I can get an idea of how many people might be here. Email, call or Facebook Thanks………Lisa

I have to admit, because it came from someone whom I last talked to in 1982, I didn’t pay much attention to it until I saw this article from Crain’s Chicago. Forget about Tupperware, Pampered Chef or candle parties. The new party is a Sell Your Jewelry and Walk out With a Check Party. Now I realize most people would be thrilled by the prospects of actually getting money rather than buying useless trinkets and trash but come on, I’m in the metals sourcing industry. And I can’t help but think a scam may be in the midst. Before we assess the scam factor, allow us a brief description of the parties. They are exactly as they sound ¦.bring in your old jewelry, meet privately (at the party) with a jewelry consultant and obtain an assessed value of your ware. You receive one check for the total contribution made at the party!

According to the Crain’s article, Mr. Sunderland (a jewelry consultant) pays about 88% of the spot price per ounce for pure gold, which he rarely sees; 58.5% for 14-karat gold, and 41% for 10-karat, now let’s break out exactly what this means. 24-karat gold represents 99.9% purity. 18-karat represents 75% purity, 14-karat represents 58% purity and 10-karat represents 41% purity. What conclusions or lessons learned can one draw from the payout schema? Well, based on these economics, party-goers receive a better deal on less pure jewelry than the 24-karat stuff. The payout ratios correspond one to one to purity levels at the 14 and 10 karat levels. But an 88% payout on 24-karat gold leaves a 12% “loss.”

Critics of these parties say a better deal can be had on eBay or a live auction. Well, that’s for sure ¦.nothing like a little competition to bid up the price for something. But eBay may be more suited for selling the actual pieces. Mr. Sunderland more likely scraps or sells the jewelry for re-melt. Still by the sound of it, receiving a check at a jewelry party probably beats a stick in the eye, as a wise friend once told me.

–Lisa Reisman

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