How to Make Money Buying Scrap Gold


It is easier than you think to make money buying scrap gold. The price of gold is reaching record proportions, and that means more and more people are looking to sell their gold. Many of these people are willing to sell gold, especially broken or damaged scrap items, for less than what the actual melt value of the gold is. This creates an opportunity for you to make some serious cash, while at the same time providing a service of making it easy for people to liquidate their unwanted gold. If this sounds like something you would enjoy doing, keep reading to learn how to make money buying scrap gold.

Things You'll Need

  • Investment money
  • Digital scale

How to Buy Scrap Gold

  • Ask friends and family about any unwanted gold items that they may wish to part with. You probably know several people who have broken necklaces, missing earrings, damaged rings or other scrap gold items. Check how many carats (k) these items are, weigh them on your digital scale, and offer a price that the person will be happy with, while still leaving room for you to profit.

  • Place classified ads in your local newspaper. Many people who see the ad will have gold to sell you. Another good trick is to place an ad in the help wanted section stating that they can earn money by selling gold to you, since people browsing that section are more likely to need money immediately. Just keep in mind that the price of the classified ad will cut into your profits, so you’ll need to adjust your offers accordingly.

  • Place an advertisement on Craigs List ( This is very much like having a classified advertisement in the newspaper, with the exception that Craigs List is entirely free. Since it doesn’t cost you anything to post the ad, you really have nothing to do by providing a note saying that you buy unwanted gold items.

  • Keep a close eye on online auction sites. Many people will sell gold items on auction sites, and the highest bid will often be lower than what the melt value of the gold is. This translates into easy money for you, while also satisfying the seller’s need to make money on the item. Just be careful to take shipping costs into account, since this will quickly cut into your profits.

  • Form relationships with local pawnshops. Tell them to pass on your phone number if anyone should bring in broken or damaged gold items that they will not buy. Sometimes pawnshops buy these items for scrap, sometimes they do not. If you find a pawnshop that turns those customers away, you may as well get a sale out of it yourself.

How to Sell Scrap Gold

  • Locate a refinery that will purchase scrap gold. There are a number of refineries that will purchase gold by mail, without the need to actually visit the office. If you have a local refinery in your area then stick with them, but if not, consider using one of the mail order refineries listed in the “Resources” section, below.

  • Request a gold kit from the refinery. This will provide you with a prepaid, insured, secure envelop for mailing your gold items. Once the kit arrives, fill out the short form with your name and address, place it in the envelop along with your gold, and drop the package off at your local post office.

  • Wait 7-10 business days for your check to arrive in the mail. Many refiners offer a direct bank transfer for faster service, but this may cost extra. For most people, waiting for the check to arrive in the mail is sufficient. Inspect the amount of the check as compared to what you expected to get for the gold. If the check is unsatisfactory, you can return it and get your gold back so that you may try another refiner.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you intend to buy and sell scrap gold, your earliest investment should be in a digital scale that can tell you precisely how many grams of gold an item weighs.
  • Stay away from gold leaf flake. This stuff is nearly worthless to a refiner and most will not accept it at all. Nuggets are OK, but what you are really after is old rings, necklaces, earrings.

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  • Photo Credit brokenchopstick, Creative Commons License
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