questionswhat is the best way to sell an engagement ring?

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Well, can't be yours, father of binary boy (at least I certainly hope it isn't). If the person selling it already has an eBay presence, then it might work out, but I'd think there were other ways to do it first. I know a great deal about jewelry (not as much as Catbert the Great, but quite a bit). Here's the skinny.

First off, the holder of said ring is about to discover that jewelry, like most cars, loses value the second it leaves the lot. While gold has indeed gone up by a scary amount, that's the commodity price, and not the price that a ring is worth. The diamond (you did say engagement ring, so I'm expecting at least one diamond) is going to be worth much less in a sale than it was appraised for as well. By the way, on this ring, I'm assuming at least 14k, otherwise it's just junk.

Appraisals are for insurance purposes, and only give a relative value for a piece [Continued]

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[continued] with a piece appraised at $1000 being worth around twice as much as a piece appraised at $500. For the 1k piece, you would be happy with $600 or so (for example), and that's only if it was truly worthy of the appraisal.

To sell it, you would need a professional appraisal, whether it's on eBay or elsewhere. Unfortunately, with the crazy ads that promise riches for old jewelry (and deliver pennies), the market for used jewelry is not wonderful.

Is the piece unusual, or especially valuable? You have my email; you are welcome to send a photo (or post a link to a photo here). Do you have an appraisal already?

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Personally, I'd avoid trying to sell it on eBay. Maybe try a local jewelry shop (not a chain). You may get a better deal from them since they're more likely, IMO, to turn around a resell it than a chain would be.

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Western Washington (and many other places) is a dangerous place to try and sell a ring on Craig's List or through the paper -

http://www.komonews.com/news/92388324.html

A reputable jeweler is probably your best bet.

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How about asking a jeweler to have it made into a different piece of jewelry? Would that be possible?

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@shawnmiller: I do not recommend trying to sell jewelry on eBay (and after reading the article posted in another comment, my opinion of craigslist is unchanged shudder). If you know someone with a shop on Rubylane, they might be willing to list your ring for a small percentage of the sale.

[Edit] Thanks, @squirtle456, for reminding me of why it would be a bad idea. That was a pretty sad story.

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Why not get engaged to someone else and use the ring for that?

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@mikeq: nothing like saying "honey, i love you just like my last fiancee. here's her ring. marry me." lol

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@smtatertot13: What's the worst that could happen?

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@mikeq: well, for starters, you would be turned down. from there, i expect massive embarrassment from the internets after she posts the story online, complete with pictures of the reused ring. from there, i expect you'll get fired, lose your home and cause the apocalypse. after that, noone can tell for sure :p

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Slow and painful death by having the ring used to eviscerate you whilst tied to a table having acid dripped on your hands and feet.

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@smtatertot13: Why would she have to know? Your logic is flawed.

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@iggz: because you'd be a total tool not to tell her. logic isn't the point - being honest to a person you love enough to marry is.

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For the record, not all women are like that. I was perfectly happy having my husband take the returned diamond out of its setting and having it set for me. ~shrug~ guess I'm not as materialistic as others.

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@brendarichardson: i feel, for me, it's less about being materialistic and more about feeling like that ring will always be a reminder of another woman. if i were that materialistic, i'd be off gold-digging so i could get the giant diamond of my dreams ;)

i don't have a huge rock & we actually didn't even pick my rings. we were lucky enough to have rings handed down from my grandmother that simply needed work done. we were even luckier that we both love this ring set - because we didn't have much of a choice.

it's awesome that you & hubby were able to reset the diamond and i'm glad that it worked for you. i'm just not sure i'd be okay with it, but it is always cool to hear from the other side :)

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So... can we get back to the best way to sell an engagement ring?

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@shawnmiller: I made some suggestions. I know reputable people in your area. Any possibility of further information about the ring?

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@shawnmiller: Take it to the pawn shop down the road. All told.

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@shawnmiller: nope :p

my $.02 is to shop it to a couple reputable jewelery places that aren't chains, as well as 1-2 chains for good measure. i would definitely avoid anything with unknown buyers and crap like sellusyourjeweleryforawesomeamountsofcoldhardcash.com are surely to be avoided.

honestly, as is quite often here, i think @shrdlu already answered the question quite well.

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@shrdlu: Thanks for your suggestions. I honestly don't know too many details about it. I'm asking for a friend. Princess cut I think. Just under 1 caret. White gold band.

I haven't sold anything on ebay.com in years. Do potential bidders always know your address?

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@shawnmiller: eBay is a great place to sell certain items, but in this economy, you will discover that the only price you can get will be marginal at best. The diamond sounds decent enough, and the setting sounds modern (which eliminates collectors).

eBay:
On the one side, to sell to anyone willing to buy such a thing sight unseen, you'd have to be a current seller, with an excellent reputation, and be already known for such items. On the other, you have that horrid dance of [I want the money first|I want the item before I give you the money] that I see quite often on eBay.

Pawn Shops:
This is actually a good suggestion, since they are more likely than some to give a good price. You just have to expect it to be a fraction of what it cost, unfortunately.

Jewelers:
Most jewelry stores will want to buy this ring at gold salvage prices, which can be disheartening. A ring which may have sold for 1k is often worth around $100. To answer intelligently, I need a photo or appraisal.

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@shawnmiller: Sorry, I didn't answer the second part of your question, since I'm not sure. I don't sell anything, but I buy things. I don't think your personal information is there for bidders, but it is unlikely that anyone serious is going to bid on something where the seller has no information about themselves.

I'll check back later...

[Edit] @woothulu: Gold and Mitsubishi, FTW! :-D

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@shawnmiller: Don't pawn it, you'll get nowhere near it's value. The cost to make a custom piece out of another peice would be comparable to what he paid for it.

White gold is just yellow gold with rhodium plating, which can be buffed off, if the buyer wants yellow.

Gem dealers might give you a decent amount for the stone, and you could just save the band to melt down in the furute.

@shrdlu is right, the markup on gold alone was 300% when i was in the biz, and that was 10 years ag. It can make it as frustrating to resell as a Mitsubishi.

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To the Original Poster... A lot of jewelery stores allow for returns and "upgrades". Usually, they will take the ring back if you trade it in for something of higher value. Kay Jeweler for instance, here does a buy back program. THey will buy back a ring for what you paid, if you purchase something worth 1.5 x's (or more) that rings price.

For instance. $1000 ring, trade it in for a $1,500 item would only cost you the Ring + $500+tax. This may not necessary be the best option if you're looking to get cash back into your pocket. But it's a way to get your complete value back on the ring and be able to.. buy a nice Tag Heuer watch?

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My two cents...

Jewelers would probably be your best bet, but I think that's been discussed in enough detail. eBay could be worth investigating, they've updated their policies lately to be pretty good for both parties. If you have a good description of the ring and a brief statement about why you're selling it (maybe) then I'm sure it would sell. I would get it appraised and have the appraisal value in the description. Another thing to do if you want a certain amount of money for it is to have a reserve amount. If the reserve isn't met, the ring doesn't sell and you don't lose out. Alternatively, you could include a buy it now option for a price that you like, and if someone goes for it, awesome.

I've never actually seen a case of conflict between paying first and getting the item first on ebay, it's always "pay, then I will send it" which, again, can be addressed in the description.

eBay might not end up working out, but I think it's certainly worth investigating.

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@shawnmiller: I just double checked my eBay and Paypal accounts. The seller gets the buyers shipping address. The buyer only gets your email, and whatever information is in your listing like city and state.
When you ship something, you will want a return address on it. Maybe a post office box could be rented for a short time to protect your privacy.
Also, on the eBay listing make sure to list with the minimum amount you are willing to take for the ring. If someone bids, great! If not, it can be relisted, and if it sells the second time you only have to pay one listing fee. Good luck!

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Been there, done that (successfully).
1) Do you have a certification for the ring? GIA etc?
2) Research reputable local jewelers
3) Make them an offer based on research with other jewelers
-- I wouldn't expect "suggested replacement value" I would expect a value based on quality and on the value of diamonds for the day.

Best,
Felix

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If you sell it to an unknown individual, be sure to make the transaction / meet the individual in a public place, financial district, or in the parking lot of a bank.
Individuals may be inclined to try and rob you if you meet in some random parking lot and law enforcement (unmarked) tend to flood financial districts and are VERY quick to respond.

Best,
Felix

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Has your friend checked with the store he originally bought it from? Given the nature of engagement rings -- not all proposals are accepted and not all engagements work out -- some stores are willing to take back an engagement ring, sometimes for store credit, as long as it isn't custom, engraved, etc. You probably won't get back 100%, but you might well do better than a private sale.

By the way -- we are talking about the person who gave the ring, not the one who received it, right? In many states, by law the ring goes back to the one who bought it regardless of the reason the engagement was broken off. (Engagement rings are treated differently from other gifts given between couples; they are considered to be specifically given in anticipation of marriage.)

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Step one, remove from the severed finger...

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I love how buying a previously owned ring (non-antique) is considered such a faux pas even though everyone knows these things are way over valued out the gate.

Trade in is a good idea if you want more jewelry. If you don't I would keep an ear out for a friend of a friend type situation. Someone not in your circle, but you know isn't a serial killer. It'll help you both as he can save some of the depreciation you'll never recoup.

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@fharpster: I don't think anyone here was saying that being a buyer of a previously owned ring is bad. In fact, given the deal-seeker that I am, I'd be fine if my husband got a good deal on a "used" ring, as long as it didn't have some specific marker like having the inside engraved with "love you always Tina". (my name isn't Tina, hence the problem.) As long is it was picked for me, I'd be fine with it. I think the issue of this conversation was more focused on one guy using the same ring for 2 girls. putting the word out to friends to tell their friends that you've got a ring might not be a bad way to go - as long as your friends don't have shady friends.

anyways, i think that @czetie has a good point that should be confirmed, as far as legality with engagement rings goes. definitely worth checking out before any sale is made.

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In the long run you'll save more money (i.e. attorneys, alimony, child support, etc.) if you keep the ring, frame it in a large picture frame and hang it in your living room as a constant reminder to NEVER do anything so stupid again.

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I don't know about the "best" way, you most likely will not get full value for your ring, but I recently unloaded the "ex" jewelry on craigslist. It went pretty well. I worked locally, in person, cash only. Included all paperwork I had on the items.

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@thumperchick: while i'm sure it's not the most common thing, you should check out @squirtle456's post (http://deals.woot.com/questions/comment/421af7aa-39c5-408f-8b3c-5b8d935d1676) - glad you stayed safe in your craig's list sale :)

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Can you even be sure when you buy new diamond jewelry - especially "imporant" pieces that the diamonds are new, out of the mine? I wonder if the diamond dealers use stones from other settings and older pieces to make new jewelry. I don't know but it would seem reasonable that they do so.

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@klozitshoper: I'm certain they do. When I bought my wife's engagement ring, from the store my grandmother worked at, the certification it came with showed it'd been sold in the 80's before the diamond came to their store where it was reset.

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If it would have been a week ago, I might have been interested in buying it. But, I bought a ring last week.

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Hello,

Have you thought about posting/listing your items on sites like the ones below? I have personally dealt with weddingbee classifieds and bravobride. Most of the people on weddingbee classifieds are wonderful and very nice. You never know - some people might be looking to "upgrade" their ring. I know a lot of couples who choose to buy a cheaper ring or ring set and then upgrade it on an anniversary or when they have more money. Just a thought...

http://classifieds.weddingbee.com/category/jewelry

http://www.bravobride.com/c/engagement-ring.html

http://www.recycledbride.com/listing-by-category/Jewelry_%5E_Accessories

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@smtatertot13: And THAT is why you don't give strangers your address. Some people are horrible.

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You can't sell it.

Once you buy it, you must take it to your grave with you.

So says the almighty DeBeers.

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New to the jewelry world myself. Just bought an engagement ring recently =) (shhh she hasnt received it yet ) but I was given some other jewelry from my Mom to sell from her and my Fathers divorce to put towards the ring I bought because he has since passed and she has no tie to the items anymore. The way I had the most success and the best results in selling some diamonds and such (especially gold) was at a local shop. The guy paid more than anywhere else and was better than any deals I'd found online.

My vote is with the people who say do it at a local shop. Chances are they have a heart and havent been corrupted by the machine =)

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What about selling it to the local non-chain jewelry store who appraised it for me? Would that be a fetch a better price? I also like the idea of trading it in for a Tag watch!

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@pyrosdav: i like the Tag idea too! (pronounced 'tog' by the discerning or snooty)

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How about you put an ad on craigslist and you call a few jewlery stores to see if someone will verify that is is real and legit and you can complete the sale in a supervised and safe enviroment. Offer to throw the guy a few bucks for his time.