Gold prices flirted with the $2,000 mark in early November for the first time since May 2023, amid the conflict in Israel and optimism that we've reached the peak of Fed rate hikes.1
What's that mean for you? Now is a great time to sell.
What's the best way to sell your gold jewelry, coins, or scrap? It depends on what's important to you.
We assessed online and in-person gold buying options, based on:
- Online reviews from customers
- Better Business Bureau ratings
- Reports from reputable publications
- Age of the company
- Ease of use of their websites
- Transparency into their process
- Overall sentiment that these are quality businesses that care about their customers
Keep reading to learn more about best places to sell gold, including our No. 1 recommendation for selling gold online for cash, CashforGoldUSA, which pays within 24 hours, a 100% highest-price guarantee, and has an A+ rating with the BBB.
This post is a good read if you need to understand gold prices today, as well as how to assess the value of your gold.
- Search for “online gold buyer”
- Search for “gold buyers near me”
- Search for “cash for gold near me”
- Pawn shops
- Coin dealers
- Jewelry stores
- Antique stores
- Online marketplaces
1. Search for “online gold buyers”
Selling online can be scary. What if your item gets lost in the mail? Stolen? How can you trust an online gold, silver or jewelry buyer? I asked myself these questions, too, when I was looking for a gold buyer near me.
The benefits of selling your gold online include:
- Online gold buying is a very competitive space, and therefore it behooves buyers to be ethical, fair and maintain a very high reputation both online with users and reviews, as well as with their trade organizations, the Better Business Bureau and other agencies.
- Easy. Quality online gold buyers will send you a FedEx or USPS mailer, or a link to print out a label from home. Then schedule your package be picked up, or you drop it off. Note that most gold buyers also buy silver — coins, flatware, jewelry, candlesticks, and more. CashforGoldUSA also buys diamonds and gemstones.
- Private. Some people are embarrassed to walk into a pawnshop or be seen selling family items at the local jeweler.
To find who is buying, search for “online gold buyers” or “online gold dealers.” You will see a lot of results and wonder if selling gold online is safe, and whether these are reputable online gold buyers.
Best gold buyers online: CashforGoldUSA
CashforGoldUSA is our choice for gold buyers online because they meet our requirements: paying within 24 hours, offering a 10% bonus if you ship within a week of receiving your mailer, and 100% free shipping if you chose not to sell your item. They offer insured shipping up to $100,000 through Jeweler's Mutual Insurance and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Typically, the process of selling your gold online works like this:
- Get a quote online through the gold buyer, based on the weight and quality of your item. If you don't know the details, just estimate.
- The gold buyer should send you a free FedEx or USPS mailer, with a tracking number. They should also insure your item for free.
- Within a couple days, a quality online gold buyer should make you an offer. Accept or reject it.
- A gold buyer should then pay within a few days by PayPal or send a check, if you prefer.
- A quality online gold buyer should also offer to return your item for free via a trackable shipper if you choose not to sell.
Learn more about the pros and cons of CashforGoldUSA with our review.
Other online gold buyers
Those we considered other online gold dealers when evaluating the “best” gold buyer included:
- Abe Mor [read our Abe Mor review]
- JM Bullion
- Liberty Gold and Silver
- Money Metals Exchange
- US Gold Buyers
While most of these have strong Better Business Bureau and other online reivews and are certainly legit, trustworthy businesses, most of them have high minimum thresholds of $1,000 or more, at at best, take about a week to complete the transaction.
After an exhaustive review of these companies, here are all the reasons we ruled them out and why CashforGoldUSA is the best fit for the majority of people looking to sell their gold:
- Accepts 100% of all real gold, no matter the weight or karat.
- Strong customer service focus, which is reflected in the BBB and TrustPilot ratings, as well as prompt communication through whichever communication the customer prefers: Text, phone, or email.
- Highest-offer guarantee
- 10% bonus
- Free shipping and insurance with a global brand.
- CashforGoldUSA is one of the oldest, most established and largest online gold buyers, having been founded in 2005.
- 24-hour payment is unprecedented in the industry.
Their other site, Diamonds USA accepts all diamond sizes and qualities.
2. Search for “gold buyers near me” or “who buys gold near me”
If you searched online for or are thinking about searching for “gold buying near me,” (or silver buyers) here’s what you’re likely to find: jewelry stores, pawn shops, and cash for gold stores that advertise “we buy gold.”
Where can I sell gold near me?
Jewelry stores, cash-for-gold outfits and pawn shops typically buy gold. This may be the quickest route to getting cash for your gold, due to low competition in local markets and the overhead of maintaining a retail store, selling your gold locally may not get you the most money.
However, you are free to shop around and negotiate and see what you can get for your gold.
Also, it can be much easier to ship and sell your item to a quality online gold buyer. There are many reputable jewelers who can offer a jewelry appraisal that can help you understand the quality and value of your item — whether or not you choose to sell to your jewelry.
Who pays the most for gold: pawn shops or we-buy-gold-buyers near me?
Cash for gold stores, or “We Buy Gold” stores are locations that solely buy gold, and sometimes silver, and pay cash (just like the name says!). Pawnbrokers and jewelry stores will deal in metals, jewelry, engagement rings as well as other items.
Pawn brokers and gold buyers or cash-for-gold shops typically pay similarly — anywhere from 25% to 85% of the day's spot price of gold.
As of , the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.
The only way to find out what gold buyers near you are paying, take your gold to several local businesses collect your offers.
3. Search “cash for gold near me”
How much is gold or silver worth at a cash-for-gold?
Generally, cash-for-gold stores typically pay a maximum of 70% of melt price, while pawn shops pay even less. CashforGoldUSA reports paying an average of 80% of gold melt price for jewelry, inclusive of all insurance and shipping — including free returns. For gold coins and gold bars, expect 95% melt price.
Whether you are selling your metal item at a pawn shop, local jeweler, or a cash-for-gold / gold exchange location, the answer is: It depends.
You can look up your local gold buyers on Yelp and the Better Business Bureau for info on a reputable buyer, and call them to ask their gold melt price.
Typically, the more cash for gold buyers in your area, the more competitive they are, and will offer you a higher price.
Ask the gold buyer how much they pay above “spot,” which is the base market rate and shop around before deciding where to sell your gold.
How do cash for gold stores work?
Whether you sell online or near you, cash-for-gold buyers (a.k.a. gold exchanges) work like this:
- You bring in your gold jewelry, coins, dental gold or gold scrap.
- The buyer weighs your item and tells you what karat gold it is.
- The buyer offers you a price for your item.
- Take it or leave it.
What percentage does a cash for gold pay?
Each gold buyer offers what they feel like paying — a percentage they may or may not explicitly disclose. In larger markets where there is more competition — including on the internet — cash for gold buyers may take just 3% to 5% on top of the spot price of gold that day, especially for gold bullion: Coins and bars.
It is typical for a gold exchange to earn 20% on each transaction, but of course that is before their expenses such as rent, taxes and payroll. Many take up to 50%.
Avoid cash for gold scams
When you’re selling gold, it’s important to do your research to make sure you’re selling to a reputable gold buyer. Here are some tips to avoid cash-for-gold scams:
- Look up current gold prices so you know the difference between realistic, too low, and too-good-to-be-true offers.
- Look at reviews on third-party sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot. Top online gold buyers like CashforGoldUSA are accredited by the BBB and have an A+ rating.
In other words, don’t just dial a random number on a billboard without vetting the company first.
4. Pawn shops
5. Coin dealers
6. Jewelry stores
Jewelry stores often buy scrap gold, as well as vintage or estate pieces — whether for cash or store credit.
7. Antique stores and auctions
Gold and silver recyclers are in the business of taking your scrap metal or old jewelry and turning it into cash.
9. Online marketplaces
You can sell gold online on sites like ebay, where online buyers can either buy your gold for a set price or bid on it in an auction-style sale. Gold jewelry can be sold to online consignment shops like Poshmark and Mercari or I Do Now I Don't.
Frequently asked questions about gold buyers
Gold buyers and sellers can seem mysterious and untrustworthy. There are quality places near you that buy gold of all kinds.
Get answers to common questions that can help you find a trustworthy, reputable gold buyer.
How do gold buyers make money?
Gold buyers make commissions one of three ways:
- Buy your gold coins, raw gold, jewelry or bullion, and then sell it to another buyer — either wholesale or retail buyer — for a higher price.
- Buy your broken or old jewelry, gold teeth or scrap gold and sell it to a smelter, who melts down the gold, extracting out the pure gold metal from the impurities and alloys, so it can be reused for other purposes.
- Hold on to gold he or she buys, and resell it when the price of gold goes up.
Is it safe to sell gold online?
It is very safe to sell gold online to a reputable online gold buyer like CashforGoldUSA, which offers insured shipping up to $100,000 through Jeweler's Mutual insurance.
What are online gold buyers paying?
Online gold buyers typically pay gold sellers based on the current spot gold price, plus any commission or fee that they want to make a profit. A 20% profit is common and fair. Sometimes you can negotiate the price the gold buyer offers to pay you.
As of , the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.
In early November 2023, gold prices teetered around the $2,000 per ounce mark for the first time since May 2023.
How do I find a reputable online gold buyer?
The cash for gold, pawn shop, gold exchange and online gold buyer industry can have a shady reputation, with plenty of stories of innocent people getting ripped off.
To find a reputable gold buyer online before selling your gold:
- Ask friends and family for a recommendation
- Check reviews and ratings from the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot and Yelp!
- Google the name of a potential gold buyer + review
- Only work with online gold buyers that insure your item, and have a guarantee to return your item free of charge should you decide not to sell after sending in your coin, scrap or jewelry.
Which online gold buyer pays the most?
Bottom line: Should I look for “gold buyers near me?”
If you need cash fast, search for “gold buyers near me” to find local pawn shops, jewelry stores, and cash for gold buyers in your area.
But if you want to get the most money for your gold items, we recommend getting a quote from CashforGoldUSA because:
- Payouts within 24 hours of receiving your gold
- 10% bonus if you ship within 7 days
- A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- Price match guarantee
- Free return guarantee
- Insured up to $100,000 by Lloyds of London while held
- Pays by your choice: Paypal, print-at-home check, direct deposit, personal check by Fedex or First Class USPS or Virtual Visa credit card
- Buys all weight and karat of gold, as well as all diamonds and silver
- “Wall Street analysts see virtually no downside for gold prices, retail investors maintain bullish outlook,” by Ernest Hoffman, Kitco News. November 03, 2023. https://www.kitco.com/news/2023-11-03/Wall-Street-analysts-see-virtually-no-downside-for-gold-prices-retail-investors-maintain-bullish-outlook.html
Gold buyers typically pay gold sellers based on the current spot gold price, plus a commission. A 20% profit is common and fair. Sometimes you can negotiate the price the gold buyer offers to pay you.
It is typical for a gold exchange to pay 80% of spot value of your gold.
Gold buyers make money one of three ways: reselling your gold item for a higher price, selling your broken jewelry to a smelter, or holding on to the gold until the price goes up when they can sell for an even greater profit.
Gold buyers typically take a 20% commission, though the portion varies.