How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Cash4Gold

UPDATE: Cash4Gold Offers Blogger $3,000 To Remove Negative Post

Rob at saw a late night commercial for Cash4Gold (“Sell your jewelry NOW!”), so he decided to test their service. His friend Brent gathered up some scrap gold and first had it appraised at a local pawn shop. Then, armed with a baseline of what to expect, he mailed it in to Cash4Gold. Their offer: $60, or one third of the appraised value. When he called and rejected it, they countered with a surprising new figure.

Brent called Cash4Gold and immediately and asked for his stuff back. They made a new offer on the phone: $178!

Can you imagine? They covered their smell a little by suggesting that they could manipulate the numbers on their end so that it would look as though he sent in more than he had….suggesting that they were doing HIM a favor by upping his offer to this new, more attractive number.

The two things to remember if you send in your gold to Cash4Gold:

  1. Get your gold appraised first so you know what’s fair, and reject any unreasonably low offer over the phone so that they have the option of making a counter offer;
  2. Do not use their “FAST CASH” option, which offers a direct deposit into your bank account, but forces you to accept their first offer. You will almost certainly be paid a fraction of what your gold is worth.

“Cash4Gold Will Offer One-Third of the Actual Value for your Gold “ [] (Thanks to Michael!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ct_price says:

    Wow, what a rip! I wondered how a service like this worked. Wonder what happens if you cancel the entire thing…do they send it back or do they charge you to return it?

  2. cashmerewhore says:

    But would the pawn shop have offered him $180 cash for the gold?

    ::takes notes for unwanted jewelry from an ex….::

  3. Laffy Daffy says:

    This is a surprise?

  4. Roclawzi says:

    Yeah, If you didn’t know they were going to rip you about 60-70% of the value of your gold in exchange for their “free” envelope, then you were ripe to be plucked. All you can do to top that is go take some roofies and sleep them off in a frat house.

    But it’s good to know that not only did someone check it out, but discovered that playing hardball with them made a huge difference. I have no kudos to offer, but instead I offer some legos, which I assume are similar.

    • Jabberkaty says:

      @Roclawzi: I always picture the delicious, chewy granola bar anytime someone offers up kudos, and think that it’s not a bad deal. ;)

    • spryte says:

      @Roclawzi: I agree with you that people should totally know they’re going to get ripped off with these things…but was the rape humor necessary? You do see that what you’re implying there, yes? Just unnecessary and not appropriate, IMO.

      • Roclawzi says:

        @spryte: Yeah, see, I’m a guy, and my first instinct in response to passing out at a frat house is more like to wake up in your underwear taped to a lawn chair with an eyebrow shaved off and your clothes in a mail box. But I suppose the association with roofies could lead you to think rape.

  5. xredgambit says:

    You mean to tell me that a late night commercial would not be what it says to be? Outragious. At least the internet is truthful.

  6. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    So, random question. Who else, from only glancing at the headline, though this article was going to be about World of Warcraft?

  7. QimatFennec says:

    I never understood why people would use this service! I can’t believe that people would send all of their valuables in the mail to some P.O. box.

  8. sljepi says:

    Most jewelers will give you .50 on the dollar for your scrap gold. Then they turn around and sell it to Kitco for 95% of the price. Anyone can sell their gold to Kitco instead of these vultures.

  9. How to avoid getting ripped off by Cash4gold: avoid them. Much better to just hold on to your gold and sell your first born or an organ. I hear livers go for a lot on the black market.

  10. 2Wheelsor4: The Moto-Stig says:

    I think this follows a theory that seems applicable to anything seen on late night television. Much like the late night lawyer advertising his services..

    “Wow, he has lots of legal looking books behind him! He must be good!”

  11. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Counters’ Axiom: Any business with a number in its name substituting for a real word is a scam.

  12. Aesteval says:

    Yeah well you know, any company that utilizes numbers in its name to
    replace words always has my “ghetto vote of confidence.” That as seen
    on TV stamp just adds to it.

  13. jedthehumanoid says:

    I’ve seen these commercials. Does anyone else have any gold scraps lying around? What is a gold scrap anyway.

  14. JustinAche says:

    Man, I miss Robs site. He used to do these great “How Much Inside” things, great stuff…hasn’t updated in a while though :(

    • PipeRifle says:

      @DemolitionMan: I’m also glad to see his name back in lights. I was a fan of his site for a really long time and actually ended up moving to Sacramento for a while. While I was there I thought “I wonder if I’ll meet Rob Cockerham?” and even though it was foolish to expect in a city so large, I did end up selling him a bagel from the Noah’s NY Bagels I was working at. I was like “Hey, Rob Cockerham! Love the site” and he was like “aw, thanks.” He seemed pretty bewildered, to be honest.

    • Toshie says:

      @DemolitionMan: Married with kid will kill your free time every single time… :-(

      He still does regular updates. They’re just not as regular. :-)

  15. ivanthemute says:

    As freakin’ always, buyer beware. I’d rather go to a pawn shop that sells scrap gold then send it away to have it ‘appraised.’ Hell, one pawn shop I’ve used took it, looked at it, weighed it, tested it and the guy said “The value of this is about $xxx.xx. I’ll give you $yyy.yy” which was exactly half of the value he could get for it, selling it to a metals dealer as scrap.

  16. On the subject of selling gold, how does one go about selling a diamond?

    My cousin’s wedding ring was bought for 6k, she has all the certifications from it, but noone locally will give her more than 500 bucks for it. If I understand diamonds correctly, and I think I do, a diamond is a diamond, so how do I help her get out of it at least some of that money?

    • laserjobs says:

      @RamV10: eBay it with all the specificatons. Check out []

    • Geekybiker says:

      @RamV10: First, has someone looked at it to make sure it still has the real stone?

      In any case, selling it yourself via craigslist of ebay will net you far more money than selling it to a shop.

      If its a solitaire (where the ring itself is worth almost nothing) you may do better selling the diamond loose and scrapping the ring.

      • @Geekybiker: yeah she had it certified through a local place, and when it was done they offered her 1200 bucks for it…she didn’t take it, hoping she could get more elsewhere. She didn’t do well anywhere else and went back, and they rescinded their previous offer and offered her 350.


        • kingmanic says:

          @RamV10: Diamonds are a scam in general. They have little resale value as the primary market for them is first sale engagement rings. No one wants someone else failed engagement/marriage ring. The only ones after a used ring are those who can’t afford a new one and they won’t be able to spend 6k. The lack of demand in the resale market and the lack of cash int hat market means resale prices are very low. ebay and craigslist have markets for it but it’s not a huge amount either.

          • John says:

            @kingmanic: Think of it this way: Diamonds are supposedly expensived because of their rarity in the gem world, but go to a jewelry store and dang if diamonds don’t outnumber all other stones combined by a vast majority. Anything below a full carat, and nearly flawless and colorless are ripoffs at retail.

            • kingmanic says:

              @John: I just bought one of those for my fiancee. I have no illusions that the whole thing itself has no resale value but it has value in other ways. It’s something she enjoys wearing and looking at, it’s something that makes her feel special, and it’s something that says I’m willing to spend a couple months pay on something pretty for you so I must be pretty dedicated. Other then that I have no expectations of it.

              Diamonds themselves aren’t’ a very rare stone in nature. It’s a fairly common stone. Sapphires, Emeralds, and rubies are all rarer. Diamonds have been valued simply because of the monopoly behind it and the cultural inertia is gained in the last 100 years. Every year DeBeers mines enough diamonds to last a decade. They’ve been doing this for a long time and simply warehousing the excess. I bought a Canadian diamond to circumnavigate DeBeers and since I’m in Canada it wasn’t any more expensive. But again, it has no value except the emotional value we’ve now placed on it.

          • @kingmanic: I may buy the thing from her actually…I’ll take it to be graded on my own if I do, but I may end up needing one soon, so if it’s a decent deal maybe I’ll take it now.

    • mk says:

      @RamV10: this is why the DeBeers cartel sucks. There is no after market for diamonds. Best thing would probably try to sell it on ebay imo.

    • bsalamon says:

      @RamV10: what about exchanging the diamond…or just holding on to it and giving it to a child.

    • chauncy that billups says:

      @E A G L E S:

      If you’re feeling like shaking down the system, there’s always insurance fraud.

  17. stardeo says:

    I see on Kitco’s site: “Please note: Kitco’s Refining Department purchases unrecognized bars and coins from private clients, however we do not buy scrap material from individuals.” I am looking to sell scrap silver, is there anyplace else that is reliable and useful? Pawn shop?

  18. VeiledThreats says:

    Sadly, it’s a myth that diamonds are “investments” and that anyone would ever pay nearly as much as for it than you paid for it, much less likely more than you paid for it. All the certificates and other stuff are only useful for insurance purposes and bragging rights. I never got the whole diamond thing, I’d rather wear a CZ and drive a nicer car. Who’s going to know anyway?

    • ivanthemute says:

      @numberoneasa: Agreed. My wife didn’t want a diamond, but instead wanted colored stones on a standard gold band. Got a 3 carat garnet (what she wanted) with 2 1.5 carat sapphires on a 18 carat band and wrap. Total cost, $690. Total cost for the eqivalent in diamonds over $12,000. That, and her ring was custom made to order, and looks prettier (nothing uglier than a colorless ring.)

  19. rpm773 says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard diamonds aren’t a good investment.

    When I bought my wife her engagement ring, I talked to the local gemologist who put it together. In order for him to buy from DeBeers directly, he needs to buy a certain amount of diamonds each month, which he obviously has to sell to stay in business.

    Therefore, he and others like him aren’t to interested in paying full value for diamonds not from DeBeers…It just means they have another thing to move. At least that was my take on why diamonds don’t retain much monetary value.

    • rpm773 says:

      @rpm773: Oops…this was supposed to be a reply to RamV10 above

    • Elvisisdead says:

      @rpm773: Well, and the simple fact is that it will almost never need to be cashed in. Hundreds of years ago, jewelery was a great way to carry portable wealth. Not so much any more.Unless you REALLY get into trouble, your wife will NEVER let it go.

      Exception – Tiffany & Co. Their jewelery maintains value very well, and I believe they offer a trade in program…

  20. Trencher93 says:

    Rule: Anyone who buys time for “a late night commercial” is going to either be expensive or low-ball you because they will have a huge advertising budget to stay on TV. Doesn’t really matter what it is.

  21. Canino says:

    I don’t see how this is a rip off. You send in something, they make an offer. You are free to accept it or not, or to attempt to negotiate. How is this different from any other consumer transaction?

    No one is obligated to give you the price per ounce you see on the evening news.

    • cmdrsass says:

      @Canino: This is typical. When a consumer makes a low ball offer, it’s a smart negotiating tactic. When a corporation makes a low ball offer, it’s an evil scam. It’s not like the price of gold is a state secret.

      • agnamus says:

        @cmdrsass: It’s a rip off in that: 1. People are reluctant to ask for their gold back because some of it might accidentally get lost in transit. And by accidentally, I mean it happens all the freaking time. 2. People assume that there is competition in the market for anything they buy. With the exception of cars, we assume that most business dealings we have are close to the fair market price. That isn’t the case here. 3. They’re notorious for misweighing the gold you send in. If your grocer’s scale weighs your produce a pound heavy, you’d feel scammed rather than feeling like “I knew who I was dealing with.” 4. Their commercials mislead you to think that the price of gold has shot up so high that the gold in your jewelery has appreciated beyond the price of the jewelery itself–it hasn’t and never will.

  22. aristan says:

    Just wanted to make sure everyone’s reading the first half of this: []

    Cash4Gold first sent Rob a check for gold, even when he’d just sent them random things spray painted gold.

    Here’s another where Rob tests whether a torn up credit application is still good:

    • Toshie says:

      @aristan: Actually, it was ‘GoldKit’, not Cash4Gold that paid up on the spray-painted stuff.

      Not that it matters, there are always more than enough scammers vying for our money… :-(

  23. yikz says:

    A pawn shop is good at evaluating items. A pawn shop is never going to give you full value for your items. They will give you a fraction of that as a loan. When you repay the loan plus the pawn fee, you regain your item. If you forego repayment, you lose the item to the pawn shop, and they will sell it and claim a profit.

    Selling your old gold items is completely negotiable. The fact that the merchant is low-balling the seller is completely expected. Neogotiation is required in order for the seller to maximize income from any sale. The problem lies in people having too much trust, and they think it’s “fast and easy”.

    • @yikz: Fifty bucks? No, no, no. This is a Rouchefoucauld. The thinnest water-resistant watch in the world. Singularly unique, sculptured in design, hand-crafted in Switzerland, and water resistant to three atmospheres. This is *the* sports watch of the ’80s. Six thousand, nine hundred and fifty five dollars retail! Look, it tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.

      Pawnbroker: In Philadelphia, it’s worth 50 bucks.
      Louis Winthorpe III: Just give me the money. [looking in display case] How much for the gun?

  24. Snarkysnake says:

    I’ve always wondered what kind of person sends something valuable (like real gold,not spray painted) to a company in a faraway place with just the vague promise to pay you something,sometime…Later.

    These people probably play high stakes poker over the phone…

  25. marike says:

    crazy. i always see the commercials and wonder about it. but i dont have any gold laying around. or gold spray paint.

  26. RStewie says:

    My dad uses a local jeweler for all his purchases: Dean’s Jewelers in Montgomery, AL. The guy makes the stuff and sells it, it’s always TOP quality, and they are wonderful to deal with, even AFTER the sale is made.

    Forget DeBeers, use your local craftsman. If you can find one. They’re much better than the canned jewelery stores.

  27. TexasScout says:

    I thought about cashing is some old gold stuff I had. I went to 4 or 5 places. Offers ranged from $650 to $435. GET SEVERAL APPRAISALS!

  28. INsano says:

    I decided on an important business principle when I was young; If a business couldn’t afford to spell out or properly punctuate their own name, I probably shouldn’t do business with them. Your “Shop-Rite”s, your “EZ-Loan”s, whatever. They’re either skeezy, or full of cheap shite made in S.E. Asia.

  29. vastrightwing says:

    Late night advertising is funny. I decided to Google several ads and was amused at all the comments on the rip off sites about all of them. Makes me wonder how they continue to run ads. Wow.
    How about those silly structured settlement ads? Do they pay up to 50% of the settlement or much less?

  30. Zulujines says:

    They aggressively advertise on the Howard Stern show on Sirius. I started seeing the advertisements on TV and figure they must be doing pretty well for all the ads they have. I don’t think the idea is to get top dollar for your jewelry–I think the allure is that it’s fast and easy, and you’re paying for the convenience. It’s for people who have old jewelry laying around and want some quick cash.

  31. John Gage says:

    Even if they were completely legitimate, I would not use them. Their commercials really annoy me.

    My first thought when I heard of this company was that I would much prefer to do something like this in person.

  32. econobiker says:

    I loved the spay painted stuff he sent in.

  33. kbarrett says:

    Only two groups of people would use this service:

    Idiots, and thieves.

    Pretty convenient service for thieves … send the gold in, get cash. No hassles with local cops.

  34. Nytmare says:

    A lot of local jewelry shops have started putting up signs saying “cash for gold”, so even if they’re all low-ball offers at least there is competition now. Not sure why it’s suddenly such a fad, did the price of gold cross some value threshold lately, or are businesses just jumping on the bandwagon?

  35. SkokieGuy says:

    Does anyone find it interesting that the ‘value’ of the gold scrap is determined by a pawn shop?

    I’m not suprised the Cash4Gold site isn’t paying top dollar, but I’m not sure the pawnshop appraisal is a fair test of the scrap’s true value.

  36. redandjonny says:

    I’m still have trouble with the term ” Scrap Gold”

  37. nsv says:

    I feel much better now, because I was ripped off by a local jeweler instead.


  38. ajlei says:

    Huh, funny, I got a spam email from them this morning! They must think that with the times call for desperate measures.

  39. samson says:

    Maybe having some gold around the house with no sentimental value and you only have to dial a number and mail it in to get $ is a good idea. Fifty percent of the value of something is better than no value. How much do we know commercials + smelting + call center costs. Maybe their making money hand over fist or just making a profit, So What? How much money do I give to cola and cigarette companies that just kill me a little every time. Enzyte was a total scam. A legitimate company that pays people for some item is not a ripoff. It may be a worse deal than if you took it to the pawn shop so take it to the pawnshop or craig list. Besides aren’t like all diamonds a big scam anyway. Debeers own all diamond mines. God I am getting bored with myself.

  40. kaylabear says:

    Whenever I see these ‘cash for gold’ commercials, I laugh. I think any so-called ‘business’ that asks you to send your valuables by mail before giving you anything is pretty shady to begin with, and the thought of anyone genuinely believing that they might just honor their end of the bargain is a little silly. I mean, come on – this ‘business’ could just as easily take the gold (and your money) and run. It’s pretty easy to get a new P.O. box and set up shop elsewhere.

  41. loslosbaby says:

    If its on TV, its crap, duh!

  42. thenerdykatie says:

    I always wondered who would send there gold to these people. I also wondered if you got your real jewelry back if you didn’t get there offer. Another thing, why not just go the pawn shop? You get your money even faster, you don’t have to give out your banking info, and if you change your mind, you just get your stuff back.

  43. Hyman Decent says:

    I have some old watches and coins that I’d like to sell but I’ve never done it and I’m unsure how to go about it. Any advice? Do I just go to jewelry stores and coin shops and ask them how much they’d give me?

  44. scienceclub says:

    That’s right. Just march into the store and ask how much they would give you.

  45. ELC says:

    Why do this? “Get your gold appraised first so you know what’s fair, and reject any unreasonably low offer over the phone so that they have the option of making a counter offer.” couldn’t you just get it appraised somewhere that will pay you for it, thus cutting out the mailing/receiving step?

  46. Nichabod says:

    I worked at a pawn shop for several years, and I can tell you that we paid about 10% of retail for diamonds. for a solitaire stone of average clarity and color, we’d pay about $100. We’d in turn resell it for about $750. Sounds unfair? Nothing compared to the retail jewelry stores. Their markups put ours to SHAME. Stones that were smaller than a 1/4ct we wouldn’t even pay for we had so damn many. and when the owner went to sell them at a jewelery show no one wanted them. We just bought the stuff for the gold price.

  47. coolkiwilivin says:

    Dang why didn’t you guys post this 7 months ago. My wife got $4 for a $200 classring. Can I take them to small claims court?

  48. c5ripper says:


  49. c5ripper says:

    Stay away from this company at all cost. They took 3.2 ounces of 14k gold from me. They Have many many many complaints with the Florida attorney general, federal trade comission and The broward county BBB. They do not answer phone calls to their service desk. If you send them your gold good luck, they just got rich off of you. I am waiting for the feds to shut them down and arrest the lot of them. Thousands of people are being scammed of their gold.

  50. c5ripper says:

    They stole 3.2 ounces of 14k gold from me. After 20+ phone calls with no answer. After filing a complaint with the ftc,Florida Attorney general and Pompano beach BBB. They call me. They said that they would return my call. I still waiting.

  51. c5ripper says:


  52. Japheaux says:

    When no one was looking, I took all my scrap gold and threw it in the dumpster. No one is going to take advantage of me having to walk all the way to the mailbox just to send off some useless gold.

    This reminds me of the ‘bring in your coins’ to Wal-Mart machine that takes a percentage to sort your change. Of course it’s ripping you off, but as stated previously, it’s a service that some will just take advantage of. I do like their marketing: ,”I just took all of my ‘old’ [insinuate worthless] gold and got rid of it [like the plague].” That is genius.

  53. Anonymous says:

    “Scrap gold” is another term for gold that has been stolen and which you don’t want the locals to know about. Pawn shops, at least here in Washington State, are required to keep thorough records to allow the police to track down stolen items. And smart victims and police check eBay listings and Craigslist ads to see if their stolen property gets advertised. So, getting 33 cents on the dollar is still a good return for fenced goods.

  54. Anonymous says:


  55. axylfyre says:

    a friend of mine sent in her high school senior ring a while back. She got a check for 10 cents back! a huge $.10 for a ring that probably costs around $300.

  56. liddellsandra says:

    Enter text… I have not used Cash4Gold, nor will I. All of negative comments I have read about it on the various consumer websites and the fact that the Better Business Bureau does not approve them have strongly influenced me. I did use Cash for Gold USA. They have the BBB stamp. There are many positive comments about them on the Internet. I sent in a ring to them by registered mail. They sent me a check for it. I was not satisfied with the price they offered.
    I should have done more research to find out their prices. Anyway, I called them and told them the price was too low. They offered me more, but the price was still lower than I wanted. They then gave me instructions on how to return the check. I sent the check back using certified mail. They sent my ring back within a week. They sent it by certified mail. I found them to be very professional. If I were hurting for money, I probablyi would have accepted their second offer.