Gold Selling Process

While the process to sell your gold online isn’t overly complicated, it is good to understand exactly how it happens. This way, you won’t worry along the way and you know exactly what to expect. All of the online gold buyers use the same basic process to complete a transaction.

Since we’ve taken a lot of the guesswork out of the process for you, you shouldn’t need to concern yourself too much with finding a company that grades gold accurately (you can just check our reviews for payouts). However, if you’re going to take a chance with a company that hasn’t been reviewed, then make sure you understand exactly what you’ve got. If everything is marked for you, use our gold valuation calculator to figure out exactly what your gold is worth to set up realistic expectations. You could take it to a couple local gold dealers for a quote too, as you can watch them test the valuables right in front of you. If you’re selling locally, make sure to take it to 2-3 jewelers to ensure you get the best price.

If you’ve decided to sell online, you can expect this to be the general process:

1) Fill out the form on your favorite Gold Buyer website

There are generally two options after you submit this form: Request a Pack, or Print a Mailing Label. Not all companies offer both of these options, but they certainly do one of the two.

2) Get your pack ready for mailing

If you choose “request a pack” or “mail me my pack” the company will send you a prepaid envelope along with instructions of how to mail your gold to them. It will typically arrive in 2-4 business days, depending on how far the gold buyer is from you. Sending it back is of course free, and most companies use FedEx, but a few still use USPS. Some of the “packs” companies give you are better than others. You can see pictures of what they sent us in the reviews sections. Some of the packs are very thin bubble mailers, and you can clearly hear the gold clinking in the packages. We recommend that you use something a little more secure so people can’t hear what’s going on inside the mailer (you don’t want your valuables stolen!).

The other option is “printing a pack” – or printing a free mailing label from the company to put on your own package. The nice thing about this is that you can do it instantly, and package it however you would like. Make sure to use a well-supported package or separate your pieces so they don’t clank together and make it obvious that you’re shipping jewelry. The only downside here is you’ve got to pay the $2-3 for your own bubble mailer.

3) Mail your pack

Make sure you take note of the prepaid shipping option that you’re using. Don’t put a USPS mailer in a FedEx box. If you used the “request a pack” feature, many of the cash for gold companies include a list of near-by FedEx drop-off locations to make it easy for you to find one. You can always take it to an official mailing center and get a receipt, but FedEx is a pretty trustworthy place and we just used the drop box for our shipments.

4) Receive an offer from the online gold buyer

At least one of the companies we received allowed you to receive an instant payment and opt out of looking at the offer. Don’t do that! It’s just telling them to give you a lower offer! Make sure you take a look at the offer and let the company know whether you are going to accept or not.

Companies generally send offers in 1 of 3 different ways:
Check: Some companies send a check. In most cases they send it immediately so you have it in your hands as soon as possible. The only downside here is you have to send it back if you want your gold and jewelry back, so it can take a little longer in that direction.
Paypal: Many companies offer to pay you instantly for your gold via Paypal. If you have Paypal, this is usually a pretty good option, but you’ve got to pay an extra 2-3% to Paypal for the processing.
E-mail: A few online gold buyers will e-mail or call you with an offer before processing it at all. As long as you’re pretty attentive with your e-mail then this usually isn’t a problem.

5) Accept or Reject your offer

If you decide to accept the offer they sent you, you’re done! Congratulations! You just cashed in on high gold prices.

If you want to reject the offer, we recommend you contact the companies first before taking any other action. There are a couple reasons for this:
– Some of the companies have relatively short “guarantees”. Our higher rated companies give you 20-30 days to return the gold, but some are as low as 7 days. If you’re sending things across the country, you want to make sure your gold doesn’t get melted down before you get a chance to have it return.
– Companies might raise your offer a little bit into a range that you would find acceptable for your gold. Our top few companies don’t really do that, because quite frankly they said they were already paying the highest rate they could – but some of the “lower payout” companies were a little happier to negotiate. In most cases they didn’t raise them as high as our top 2-3 buyers, but they were willing to move the prices up a bit.

5a) If you rejected your offer, return the payment as soon as possible

There’s no reason to wait in returning the check or payment after you’ve talked to the company and decided you’d like your money back. If you took payment via Paypal, just refund the payment. If it was an e-mail, simply follow-up with your previous contact and tell them you’d like your valuables back. If you received payment via check, occasionally a company will just have you rip it up and take pictures (which is OK if you’ve got a camera or scanner or something), but most of the time it’s best just to send it back to them through the mail intact. We used delivery confirmation so we know when they get it (with USPS you’ll be spending around $2 total).

5b) Wait for the return of your items

Even if your check is being shipped back across the country, it’s probably going to take no longer than a week to get there (if you used delivery confirmation you’ll know). Once it gets there, you might want to follow-up and just ask them to let you know when your gold and jewelry are sent back out, but typically companies are pretty good about it. Give them a week to process it, another week for it to arrive, and only start worrying and making angry phone calls after 10-14 days.


There can be a couple complications if you don’t use a top-ranked company (which is why we ranked them at the top) or end up wanting to have your gold jewelry returned, but all in all the process should go pretty smoothly.

We’re always looking to improve this section! If you have any tips or experienced something different than we did during our tests, feel free to contact us with details and we’ll get things updated!