Tuesday, March 24, 2009, AM | Leave Comment
Forget the Tupperware party. Today’s social as well as business craze is the gold party. Beth Maynard started Gold Rush at Home a little more than a year ago after a 20-year career in mortgage lending, joining dozens of similar entrepreneurs across the country. As gold prices have skyrocketed to more than $900 an ounce while paychecks and job prospects have been shrinking, gold parties have tapped into a powerful market. Maynard isn’t interested in the artistic or decorative value of the items. She’s strictly after the gold, which she sells to refiners.
Gold parties – the recession answer to Tupperware parties – have become increasingly popular around the country as people cast about for ways to raise money. A professional gold buyer tests and appraises the guests’ jewelry and then pays them on the spot.
Guests say getting together with friends in somebody’s living room makes it a fun, social occasion, and feels more respectable than hocking their rings, necklaces and brooches at seedy pawn shops or selling them back to jewelry stores.
Gold prices are close to their highest levels on record, hovering around $900 per ounce, up from $400 five years ago. Analysts say investors looking for a safe haven for their money while the stock market is in a meltdown could keep gold prices high for some time.
That – together with aggressive advertising by online scrap gold buyers, jewelry stores and gold party organizers – has led many people to clean out their jewelry boxes and dresser drawers.
Several companies are mining the phenomenon, which first began to thrive in Michigan a couple of years ago amid the struggles of the auto industry. My Gold Party LLC now has at least 35 representatives running parties in 21 states and is looking for more, said January Thomas, co-owner of the Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.-based company.
None of the companies, namely, Gold Rush at Home, the Gold Refinery and My Gold Party LLC, have any complaints listed against them with the Better Business Bureau. But the organization advised sellers to get more than one offer for their items, because the offers at gold parties sometimes come in well below what a seller might be able to get from a registered jeweler.
In a Nutshell
If you have some gold jewelery, even some old high school rings that are collecting dust in your desk drawers and you almost don’t even remember you have them, bring them out. Have a party. Bring it into circulation and get some money while doing it.
To be fair and for balance presentation, read The Gold Party Scams How They Do It…Facebook.com/doable.finance