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Nancy Hankin's Blog

By Nancy Hankin, REALTOR | Broker in Palm Springs, CA

Beware of These Internet Scams

I came across an article from my insurance company, Jewelers Mutual, that could apply to anyone buying or selling anything over the Internet and I wanted to “pass this on” to you. There are so many scams nowadays, and so many folks getting scammed because they just don’t realize how dangerous the Internet can be when it comes to Buying or Selling ANYTHING to people you do not personally know. Here’s what the article said, and as you read it, keep in mind that this applies to ANYTHING YOU MIGHT BUY OR SELL over the Internet.

As summer comes to its peak, so is rummage sale season. It’s the time of year when my addiction to bargain hunting kicks into high gear as I set my sights on the best deals. You can also find me looking for ways to sell unwanted items to make room for my newfound treasures. One category that is popular to sell is jewelry because it can bring in larger amounts of cash. That being said, here comes my word of caution… While selling your outdated and unwanted jewelry can be profitable, it also comes with risks that sellers, and buyers alike, need to be aware of.

The savvy seller should first weigh the desire of a larger profit versus a safer sale. Selling your jewelry (or any item of value) over the Internet in a personal transaction is the way to make the largest amount of money. However, it pays to play it safe. When using sites such as Craigslist or eBay, I recommend following these helpful tips:

  • Never sell an item overseas and avoid an out-of-state transaction if possible.
  • Always try to sell locally and meet the person if possible.
  • NEVER INVITE THE BUYER TO YOUR HOME OR PROVIDE PERSONAL INFORMATION IN YOUR AD. Try to meet the buyer at a public place. You never know if the buyer is trying to scope out your home or personal possessions. Burglars often scour the Internet for vulnerable people who are selling high-end items.
  • Never accept funds that are wired, or in the form of a cashier’s check, money order or have gone through Western Union or an escrow service. Often times these funds will appear to clear initially, and then weeks later your bank may call to tell you the funds never came through.
  • Only accept cash. You may use a service such as PayPalâ„¢ which is generally safe if you follow certain guidelines listed on their web site, such as never divulging your user name and password.
  • Never give out any financial information.
  • If the person is corresponding through email, watch for spelling errors, typos and also emails that just do not make sense. This is an indicator that either a computer program is responding to you or the sender of the email is in a different country, both red flags that it may be a scam.
  • Watch for emails where the subject line reads exactly the same as the title of your ad. For example, your ad says, “1ct. Diamond For Sale in Maple Town”. The email subject line has this exact line. This again is an indicator that computer software is likely generating the email and it is a scam.

The safest way to sell your jewelry is to a local jeweler that you trust. Expect that you will not get top dollar or the appraised value for the item, but you won’t need to worry about a thief preying on you, or compromising your identity. What you may likely receive is the scrap value of the item. For metals, the scrap value is determined by taking the gram weight of the ring and multiplying it by the daily metal price.

When buying jewelry in a personal transaction, make sure that a current appraisal accompanies it. Consider calling the jeweler to confirm it is a genuine appraisal of the item. Question deals that seem too good to be true and follow your gut instinct.

I hope these tips help you the next time you participate in the secondary market. Happy sales!

Also, Beware of Charity Scams

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply. 

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
Nancy Hankin

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