Locally-based website buys old jewelry for cash

January 28, 2009 12:33:29 PM PST
If you have single earrings, broken bracelets or knotted necklaces, there's an easy way to turn them into cash.

When Kara Gibbons' sister was diagnosed with colon cancer, Kara started an email campaign, asking her friends -- and their friends -- to send their unwanted jewelry into RedSwan.com. RedSwan is an online jewelry-purchasing site.

"We raised almost $10,000," Gibbons says. "And it started from just five emails."

Amy Steel of RedSwan.com explains, "It's really simple. You go onto RedSwan.com, you order yourself a starter kit, we'll send you a kit in the mail, you fill out the form, you put your jewelry in, and send it to us. Within 48 hours, we'll send you a check for your goods."

Customers can decide whether to keep the money for themselves or donate it to any number of charities.

The items are insured when they're mailed.

Each person's jewelry is given a unique barcode and kept separate, as appraisers evaluate the gold and stones and assign each piece a dollar value.

If you disagree with the appraisal and the amount of your check, you have ten days to call Red Swan and tell them.

Steel says they'll then send your items back, at no charge.

She says the website works well for women who might feel uncomfortable selling their jewelry in public.

She says many people don't want to carry their jewelry into a pawn shop or jewelry store, haggle over the price, and carry around cash.

"If you go to a pawn shop or another retail outlet, not only is your jewelry being appraised, but you're being appraised," Steel says.

If you accept the amount of your check, your jewelry is taken apart. The gold is melted down. The stones made into new jewelry.

A few designer pieces and some high-end watches are sold intact to other jewelers.

To view a slideshow of some submissions to Red Swan, and how much their owners were paid, Click Here.

To get to RedSwan.com, Click Here.

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