Inflation and high interest rates have people looking for money in different ways.
According to Premier Jewellery and Loans in Kelowna, more people seem to be rummaging through old jewellery boxes and stopping by the shop to help make ends meet.
“We have definitely seen a large increase in clients coming in. It could be post Christmas, it could be the effects of inflation or possibly a recession coming. But we have definitely seen an increase,” said owner Martin Strasser.
“You have gold, diamonds or watches sitting in a box and now you have a bill that’s due or inflation is hitting you. Your money doesn’t go as far as it used to, so you want to find a way to stretch those dollars.”
Premier Jewellery and Loans loaned Castanet two pieces of jewellery and a gold coin to help in a market assessment of local and pop-up jewellery buyers.
Premier provided a 9.61 gram 10K yellow gold ring, an older style engagement ring with 18K gold and 0.42 carat diamonds and a one ounce Canadian gold coin .
Castanet took the same two rings and the gold coin and had them appraised at Canadian Jewellery Exchange in Kelowna and GLK Gold, a pop-up buyer that visited the city last weekend.
Premier was the only shop aware Castanet was running the story at the time appraisal.
Jewellery Exchange offered a comparative appraisal to Premier and was open about the engagement ring‘s potential lack of movement in consignment.
Jewellery Exchange appraiser Mark Schlitt said in an interview afterwards every shop has different interests.
“Premier might have a different clientele for jewellery than we do. In their case they may have a buyer for a certain piece or we may have a buyer for a certain piece and they don’t so it just depends on the end user what the final price is going to be.”
Travelling gold buyer GLK Gold stood by its appraisals in an interview afterwards.
GLK employee Rejean Dupuy chalked up the difference to a conversion between the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar, but added “there is always a part of negotiation. If you come selling me your car I probably won’t take the first price that you give me.”
“We have been very fair to our customers,” he added
GLK Gold is a Canadian company headquartered in Quebec.
But both Schlit and Strasser say the difference in appraisals show the need for sellers to do their homework.
“I was actually mortified to be honest,” Strasser said. “The local buyers, ourselves included…we decimated the values that were offered by the pop-up hotel buyers.”
“You have people that if they are selling these things because they need that money to meet a bill or they need that money because there is an expense and to be offered in some cases a third for what we would have paid for the same item… I mean it is not criminal, but it is definitely not ethical in my opinion,” Strasser said.
Strasser advises residents to shop around.
“There is no time pressure. You can come into a store like ours or Jewellery Exchange or several other very reputable local buyers… get a pre-quote. Then you can go to this hotel and get an offer and you can see how competitive they are and that way you pick the best offer for you,” he said.
The travelling buyers come under a variety of brands and companies with varying track records, making it even more important for sellers to do their research.
“There is normal market fluctuation store to store…but when you are talking 30, 40, 50 per cent price flexes that’s enough money when you are talking gold to be hundreds of thousands of dollars so it absolutely pays to do your diligence,” Strasser said.