A recent investigation has revealed that companies that offer to buy unwanted gold are paying shockingly low prices. Consumers should avoid these gold buyers because they can get a much higher price for their gold elsewhere.

Which? compared four TV gold buyers with three pawnbrokers and three independent jewellers by offering to sell three brand new pieces of gold jewellery, in an attempt to find out which ones would offer the highest prices for identical pieces of gold. The lowest quotes were consistently given by the gold buyers that advertised their services on television.

The company that offered the lowest of all prices was CashMyGold. For the three pieces of jewellery that were purchased new for £729, CashMyGold offered only £38.57. The worst was an offer of less than £19 for 9ct gold bangle that had been purchased for £215. For the same piece, a jeweller offered £54.

The average amount offered by the TV gold buyers was about 6% of the gold’s retail price, compared to approximately 25% which was offered by the high street retailers – a considerable difference, especially for higher priced pieces.

Money4Gold claimed that a 9ct gold necklace that had been bought new for £399 was not real gold, and held the piece, demanding that the researcher pay £10.95 to have it returned.

To the researcher’s surprise, Postal Gold increased its offer for all of the pieces of jewellery when the researcher rejected the first offer. This company nearly doubled the offer for the £215 bangle and the £115 bracelet, but the quotes were still much lower than the ones given by the pawnbrokers and independent jewellers.

Another cause for concern was the indiscreet labelling used by some of the companies on the envelopes that were used to mail in the gold. The Postal Gold envelope clearly displayed the name of the company, and the word ‘gold’ was printed on the envelope from CashMyGold.

According to the chief executive of Which?, this investigation has raised serious concerns regarding fair treatment of consumers by TV gold buyers. Cash for gold companies are taking advantage of an unregulated market by offering shockingly poor value for the money. People should use caution when selling gold and avoid these TV buyers because they are almost guaranteed to get a better price for their unwanted gold elsewhere.