A gold dealer is alerting people to online and door-to-door scammers.
Phil Williams of Swindon firm Gold Traders UK spoke out as the precious metal reached an all-time high of £1,310 per ounce.
As the impact of lockdown continues, some people are looking to raise extra money by selling off scrap gold and other precious metals, and some are tempted by online services because there is no need for face-to-face contact.
Mr Williams urges caution and hopes potential sellers will do research to ensure they are not ripped off.
He said: “This is proving to be a busy time for us at the moment. For a couple of reasons, people are worried about money and are searching their homes for gold jewellery, coins or other items that they no longer need or want.
“The downside is it’s easy to become a victim of unscrupulous dealers who will not pay you a fair price for your gold, especially if you are doing this for the first time.
"There has also been at least one out-of-down dealer going door to door offering to buy gold – at a price which I believe to be unfair. Once your gold is gone, it’s gone.”
Phil established his dealership 13 years ago and mainly works online, buying a range of items. Once a client has submitted items, he makes an offer and pays promptly if it is accepted.
He said: “I’ve always prided myself on treating clients fairly. I offer them more than 90 percent of the spot value on any one day – in the past, I’ve seen traders offer as little as 40 percent of that value.
"The latest door-to-door dealer was offering a low value. If you don’t know the right questions to ask, how will you know if you are getting a good deal?”
The term 'spot value' in the precious metals world simply refers to the latest price.
Phil's advice to anyone who is thinking of selling their scrap precious metal is:
- Ask the right questions, such as current spot value
- Ask what percentage of that value you will receive
- Check the answers by doing your own research online before committing
- Read reviews of the dealers you are interested in to get a feel for their customer service
- Get a couple of estimates from different dealers to see who is offering the best deal
- Check that there are no hidden charges which become apparent later, such as for postage and packing
- If answers are not given in a timely manner, do not proceed
Phil added: “I just want people to know that there are risks if you just panic and send your scrap gold off to the first dealer you see online. By taking a little more time and perhaps asking around your contacts for a recommendation, you may get a much better outcome."
His business website is at https://www.gold-traders.co.uk