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Is Cash4Gold.com Misleading People?

By JLP | February 11, 2009

If you watch any TV at all, you have probably seen the Cash4Gold commercials like this one:

I remember thinking the first time I saw the commercial. “Yeah, riiiiiiight…I’m going to send them my jewelry and trust them to send me back a fair dollar amount.”

I was quite skeptical (skepticism is in my genes).

It turns out that my skepticism was warranted according to this article I read in the Houston Chronicle.

The article talks about how CBS Inside Edition sent Cash4Gold 23 pieces of jewelry that were valued at around $1,000. They got back a check for $209.81. Granted, Cash4Gold is not appraising for market value but for salvage value (or content value). Still, the commercials are highly misleading because some of the people are saying stuff like, “I was able to take the vacation of a lifetime.”

Think about it. If Cash4Gold is only paying out 20% of what the jewelry is worth, and that woman took a $5,000 vacation (I pulled the number out of thin air), she would have to have $25,000 worth of old jewelry sitting around. That’s a lot of jewelry.

Also according to the article, people who aren’t happy with their check amounts are having a difficult time getting their jewelry back. Ya think? If you send a company your jewelry, who do you think is in the driver’s seat?

Sometimes it pays to be skeptical.

Topics: Miscellaneous | 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Is Cash4Gold.com Misleading People?”

  1. Katharine Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Sometimes it pays to read consumerist ;)

    http://consumerist.com/5144296/10-confessions-of-a-cash4gold-employee

    Seriously though, Cash4Gold is bad news.

  2. Mike Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Never underestimate the stupidity of our fellow citizens.

  3. Craig Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve read in many posts that it is a scam. Do you agree?

  4. JLP Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Craig,

    I wouldn’t send them my jewelry…that’s for sure.

  5. TedStevens Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    maybe we should spend tax dollars to protect the innocent who fall victim to such evil scams.

  6. JLP Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Ted,

    I’m sure there’s somebody somewhere who thinks that’s a good idea.

  7. SuburbanDollar Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    They had a commercial with MC Hammer in it… I mean come on, we all know how good he was with money.

  8. christopher Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Its MC Hammer and Ed McMahon, pretty funny actually since they both went bankrupt. My kids think this commercial is the greatest thing ever and keep telling me to send in all my jewelry for “CASH”. They don’t even know what “cash” is. I suppose they probably have the money skills that the commercial is targeted at though.

  9. Ken Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Ted,

    I called my senator’s office to put my vote in for some bailout money towards protecting the victims of the mass jewelery heist of 2008.

  10. DollarDream$ Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I just saw a TV commercial for this stupid Cash4Gold and started laughing. The lady in that ad says, I just sold my jewlleary for $500 and took a vacation of a life-time! Are you kidding me? It’s so funny!

  11. David Says:
    February 12th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Unfortunately the people that are falling for this are people that are incredibly desperate for money, and don’t realize that they’d be better off just taking their gold to a pawn shop.

  12. sam Says:
    February 12th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    You answered your own question in the title of the post.

  13. Tim Says:
    February 12th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    jewelry in its form isn’t worth anything unless you can sell it; otherwise, it is only worth scrap price of the materials. i don’t know, everything on their website indicates scrap metal. they also have side company that you can sell jewelry (obviously name brand) as jewelry rather than for scrap.

  14. kitty Says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    This is stupid. If they want to sell their jewelry why don’t they just try to sell it on ebay? A lot of people would buy nice jewelry for less than they’d have to pay in a store yet for more than just the cost of scrap metal. They may even be able to find someone who’d fall in love with the item and pay more for it. They may even try to reach some agreement with a local small jewelry store where the jewelry store would try to sell it then gives them half.

    Tim, this may well be true, but based on the Consumerist article referenced in first reply, this company is making it difficult to get jewelry back if you are unsatisfied.

  15. Diana Says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I just wanted to mention that many jewelers will buy old jewelry (gold, silver, precious stones, etc.) for a much better price than Cash4Gold or a pawn shop would. If someone wants to sell their jewelry to someone reputable, first have it appraised, then take it to a jeweler.

  16. thomas Says:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    The cockroaches sure do come out when the outlook looks grim.

  17. J. Money Says:
    February 16th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Now don’t forget about “Cash FOR Gold, USA”! They def. take the cake in craziness if you ask me, and I don’t think they’re related at all (although i could be wrong).

    Check out this commercial that my co-worker actually saw on TV! I still can’t believe it…

  18. Anne Says:
    February 17th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I actually used Cash4Gold! Not to sell my priceless heirlooms, mind you. I found a single, broken gold earring on the street one day and picked it up. Now, what am I going to do with one broken earring? Send it to C4G! It was the easiest thing to do–I didn’t even have to go home–just request the prepaid envelope, send in the earring, and wait. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever hear from them, but I did–a few weeks later I had a check for FIVE BUCKS! Sweet!

    Seriously though, that is about the only reason I would ever use C4G. I certainly wouldn’t send in anything that I cared about, or any jewelry that was unbroken and thus had resale value.

  19. Anne Says:
    February 17th, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Oops – “didn’t even have to go home” should be “didn’t have to leave home.”

  20. Richard Says:
    February 19th, 2009 at 12:32 am

    The first thing I thought of when seeing the C4G commercials was that this company just made it easier for thieves to cash in the jewelry they steal. No longer did they have to take their heist to the local pawn shop, but now they can send it in an envelope, out of site of the local authorities.

    It is a shame that these types of companies pop up when people fall on tough economic times.

  21. ramy Says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I seen a cash 4 gold commerical regarding family/friend of sleeping /dead person pulling the gold teeth out of their mouth.. how terrible that as adults they would even air this kind of CRAP! This only implies to the children and less educated adults that its ok to go and cause harm on a person (ELDERLY) !
    To Pull Teeth From A Dead Person’s Mouth
    shame shame shame

  22. Jrenee Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    After looking on their site, they just put this out http://www.cash4gold.com/newspr/press-releases/cash4gold-provides-cash-for-the-golden-state-worlds-1-gold-buyer-donates-to-red-cross-to-help-with-california-wildfire-relief-efforts/

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