Cash for Gold: How not to get taken

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"We buy gold... lots of gold" says Stan Grossman from Glendale Pawn and Jewelry. "One reason there's such a strong emphasis on gold is that everything else has gone down."

Grossman has been in the jewelry business for 40 years. This past year, he's seen a massive gold rush with customers looking to make a quick buck off whatever gold jewelry or scraps they are able to sell.

On the glass counter in the front of his store, Grossman dumped out a massive pile of gold jewelry from a plastic bag. Just nine days worth of gold he's bought from customers is worth about $20,000.

"For most people gold has a very emotional attachment to it," Goldman said. "People who are buying gold, they are just buying a commodity."

And since the value of that commodity has gone up, so has the number of companies looking for golden opportunities to cash in.

Glendale resident Barbara Best was taken in by television commercials offering a quick exchange: Send in your gold, they send you cash.  After seeing an ad for a company called Cash4Gold, which encourages people to mail in their scrap gold for payment later on, Barbara decided to take action.  She showed us the list of items she mailed in back in November.  Nearly two months later she said she has nothing to show for it.

Barbara says the company, which is now in the middle of a class action lawsuit, claims that they never received any of her jewelry.

"It's hurtful," she says, "because the grand-kids will be here on Christmas morning and I have nothing to give them." 
Barbara was hoping to get the cash to help with the holidays.

At Glendale Pawn and Jewelry, Stan Grossman has this advice for people looking to sell their gold to make a quick buck: First, take it to several reputable local shops to see what kind of trade in they would offer.  Grossman says in today's market, he's paying $21 a gram for 22 karat gold. 

Next, he says, make sure they weigh it and test it in front of you to determine what karat it is: 10, 14, 18 or even pure gold.  And if the pieces are really sentimental, Grossman advises keeping them.  Because, he says, "The memories are worth more than the dollars."

Cash4Gold says it believes the class action lawsuit is without merit and intends to vigorously defend the case.  Meantime, the company has told Barbara that she will receive $80 for the jewelry she sent in.  While she expected more, she hopes that at least the $80 will arrive.  No time frame has been specified for her payment, but a person with the Cash4Gold PR team told 3 On Your Side, "Cash4Gold usually waits for the signed insurance forms to come back, but in this case Cash4Gold wanted to send the check out as soon as possible to ensure Barbara was happy."

For more information Glendale Pawn & Jewelry and their tips to consumers looking to sell gold, you can go to http://www.arizonapawnshops.com/.