Cash for Gold (cash4gold.com)
One of the biggest scrap gold advertisers is cash4gold.com in the USA. Cash for Gold actually pay some of the lowest prices anywhere.
There are a number of examples of cash4gold.com TV adverts posted on YouTube. We found them quite entertaining, but obviously aimed at the sort of people who watch Big Brother and other "reality" shows.
As we are based in the UK, and cash4gold are in the USA, it's hard for us to give first-hand information about them, but the circumstantial evidence from numerous online forums all points in the same direction.
Typical Forum Post
Ever see those ads for cash 4 gold? Here is how the scam works.
You guys are using the word "scam" pretty loosely here.
They don't keep the gold if you tell them not to. They don't send you a bum check. They make an offer, and you're free to take it or not. And, apparently, they're even willing to haggle if you refuse the first offer.
I agree, they are shady, and their offers are certainly a joke. But making lowball offers to people trying to sell a good, and then being willing to bargain, does NOT constitute a "scam." Not by any reasonable definition of the word.
I once did a test of these services (just for fun). I didn't use Cash4gold, I used Gold Kit. Here's how it went down:
First, these services advertise "insured" handling, however, they only insure your shipment for up to $100 (or $300 if you had your items appraised). So if you send them $5000 in gold they could theoretically just "lose" it and cut you a check for $100.
Knowing this insurance limit, I sent them $100 in gold. It so happens I have access to 5N (99.999% pure) gold. I sent them the exact weight in gold which would be $100 as 24K (99.9%) but it was actually 99.999% pure (so there would be no excuses).
The other thing you need to realize is that the "offer" is not on the table for long. I believe it was 10 days from the time they print the offer check. No response means they just keep your gold, melt it down, and you're SOL*. That means from the time they print the check until the time they receive your returned check rejecting their payment must be less than 10 days. When my check arrived in the mail, it was 7 days old (which meant I had to mail the check and have it back to their mailbox in 3 days).
So, my check arrives (7 days after it was printed) for $4 and change. That's right, I sent the maximum insured amount and they offered a measly $4 for it.
So, to get any more than $4, you would either need to have your items appraised or send items which exceed the insured value. Also, if you want your money back, you pretty much have to mail them the check the same day it arrives, or it will likely be too late.
I hesitate to call it a scam, but it's definitely an extreme rip-off with many pitfalls which are very likely to trip up people using these offers in good faith.
Fox News did a report on them and called them a "rip off."
I don't consider their advertising "false" or even "deceptive" -- it's just vague (i.e., by not saying how much you'll be payed).
We had to Google this, and it apparently stands for "Shit Out of Luck".
Appears to be an offshoot of the infamous cash4gold.com.
Scrap Gold Buying Rip Off
Many jewellers & dealers advertising to buy scrap gold jewellery in the UK are ripping people off with low prices & misleading claims. We contribute our advice and expert opinion.
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Over more than 40 years in this business, we have seen a stream of similar cash buyers, advertisers, and leafleteers, most of whom pay low prices. We would recommend that any potential seller shops round a little. If you are not satisfied by the price you can get locally, you could always post it or bring it to us, and will almost certainly get a better price than from your local jewellers and dealers.
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