The Best Places to Sell an Engagement Ring Online
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When you receive an engagement ring, one of the last things you think about is how to sell it. Unfortunately, sometimes even seemingly best circumstances eventually lead people to seek out a place to sell their engagement ring.
When singer and celebrity Mariah Carey got engaged to billionaire James Packer, the engagement ring was as in front and center as the engagement itself. Packer proposed with a 35-carat diamond ring that was reportedly worth anywhere from seven to ten million dollars.
As stunning as it was, the romance itself was short-lived: the couple split, after realizing their relationship wasn’t right for either of them. But despite the fact that the couple split up two years ago, it wasn’t until May of this year that Carey’s representatives reported she’d sold her engagement ring. A spokesperson explained that she wanted to be able to move forward with her life and ‘leave personal baggage’ behind.
Why would anyone want to sell their engagement ring?
No one really wants to sell their engagement ring, and finding a place to sell it can be difficult and emotionally trying. But that said, there are many reasons someone might end up selling their engagement ring:
- Debt: This is by no means to advocate for this, but some couples, financially squeezed, may resort to selling their engagement ring. Whether that’s from unpaid credit card bills or student loans, selling an engagement ring has been reported by some who simply are desperate for some financial relief. Some couples might opt to buy a cheaper replacement, or not replace it at all.
- Divorce or Broken Engagement: This is likely one of the most common reasons to sell an engagement ring. A broken engagement can be painful, and getting rid of an engagement ring may be less of a financial decision than an emotional one (though a divorce can also be expensive). It’s even healing for some who find they have a lingering emotional attachment that’s causing them pain.
- Death: Most hang on to their rings after the death of a spouse, but sometimes it’s also a source of pain.
- The Wrong Fit: Occasionally, someone might sell an engagement ring for other reasons. It might be a metal that someone proves allergic or sensitive to; the ring may be too big or otherwise not practical; or there might be other cosmetic concerns.
Are there any legal concerns about selling an engagement ring?
In general, engagement rings are considered gifts, and thus the property of whoever received the ring. However, engagement rings technically fall under family law, which is different on a state by state basis. But in general, there are three stipulations which must be satisfied in order for the ring to be considered a gift:
- The giver intended the ring as a gift
- The receiver accepted the ring as a gift
- The gift was physically given
Lawsuits surrounding selling of engagement rings do happen, but usually are rarer and are under cases of financial strain. For instance, there was a case where a broken engagement resulted in a man suing for the price of the engagement ring (which he was still paying off while facing enormous debt).
In case of a divorce, you should consult a divorce expert or attorney. WP Diamonds, which is a retailer you can sell your engagement ring online to, provides a map of laws by state that simplifies who gets the ring in the case of a divorce or a broken engagement.
There’s also the issue of taxes. You may be required to report the sale–but only on the very unlikely chance, you’re coming out with a net profit. To be safe, you might want to consult a tax law attorney, if you have a ring that’s worth more than a few thousand dollars and you think it might be an issue.
I know I want to, and can legally sell my engagement ring. Is there anything I should be wary of?
If you’re selling something as valuable as an engagement ring, particularly if you’re selling somewhere online, you have to be careful to avoid to pitfalls: outright scams and undervaluation.
Scams and fraud abound, but you might think about such issues as more endemic when you’re trying to purchase. Still, you want to make sure you’re selling to a reputable place. A report by AARP warned that some companies refuse to return jewelry, violate their own code of ethics, and have generated hundreds of complaints through the Better Business Bureau. While this report is older, it doesn’t mean this doesn’t continue to happen.
You also want to make sure your information is secure and that the transaction isn’t being used by a hacker of some kind trying to install tracking software to get your personal information. This may sound far-fetched, but in e-commerce, it has and will continue to happen. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Never give out your social security number
- Only accept through a secure payment transaction, such as Paypal
- Never download attachments you do not know the contents of
- A recent scam has consumers directed to Skype, where they are then instructed to download a document. This is a keystroke program, meant to provide sensitive data from your computer.
- Always research the company. Information must be verified outside of the company’s external website. Consumer reviews and BBB are good places to start.
- Make sure the website itself looks professional. Broken links, strange web addresses, and grammatical errors are all red flags.
How do I make sure my engagement ring is not undervalued?
Ideally, when you first buy an engagement ring, it should be appraised, if it was purchased for $1,000 or more. If it hasn’t been appraised, do it now before it’s sold. You can also get a diamond grading report, though an appraisal provides the value of your entire ring.
If you’re looking for an appraiser, the American Gem Society is a great place. They can point you to certified professionals. Appraisers are also often partnered with larger jewelers. Appraisers cost around fifty to one hundred dollars on average; you’ll also want to be able to provide information about any insurance if you have any.
Keep a hold of these documents, so you have proof of your engagement ring’s value. If you feel the appraisal was low, you could also get a second opinion. Regardless, by having a record of your engagement ring’s value, you will know whether or not you’re getting a good value for your sale.
That said, don’t expect to make money off of selling your engagement ring. For one, engagement rings, just like cars, depreciate in value over time, depending on factors like condition and the current market. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your engagement ring appraised, it may be good to get a more updated estimate.
Finally, all companies have to turn a profit, so know you won’t be getting the full price, likely, of what the ring was purchased for. For gold, for instance, the typical company will pay you a rate of about 50 cents to a dollar of scrap value. This does, of course, have a lot of variabilities, but it’s good to go in without expecting to make a ton of money. The best way to know you’re being undervalued is to get quotes from a few places and compare.
I’m ready to sell. Where are the best places to sell my engagement ring online?
You can try to take your engagement ring to a local jeweler, but how many will take your ring, and for a good value, is more limited. In terms of selling an engagement ring online, you have a number of options.
Our list is by no means inclusive but gives a peek at some of the more reputable companies you can go with. We’ve noted the general terms, as well as any ratings or outside information that may be useful in helping you decide which is the best place for selling your engagement ring.
Worthy describes itself as a “luxury online marketplace” where buyers and sellers can sell and purchase valuables like fine jewelry. Started in 2011, they’ve sold over $20 million worth of items, and hold a BBB rating of an A+, with an average consumer rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
They claim their services focus on the principles of:
- Transparency (buyers and sellers are provided original market value and final bidding numbers)
- Integrity (each item is physically examined by professionals)
- Convenience and ‘Stellar’ Service
- Value (Claims to provide highest market values)
How it works: Lofty objectives aside, Worthy is not unlike eBay, where you have control over how much you sell your ring for, though experts will provide some guidance. And like eBay, you’ll be dealing with third-party buyers, at least in part. It is better than eBay, however, because it’s more specialized, includes expert advice and care, and you yourself are not handling the shipping of the jewelry to the buyer.
They also take steps to ensure transactions and take steps against fraud. You have an option to receive payment via PayPal or bank transfer.
Selling an item on Worthy consists of five steps:
- Fill out an item description via a submission form
- Send item via secure, prepaid FedEx shipping
- Professionals clean, photograph, and evaluate. You are then asked to set a minimum buying price and a ‘buy it now’ price.
- Auctions run up to 48 hours
- Payment is processed
Fees: Worthy does not charge anything up front. Instead, it takes a percent of commision, as detailed in the chart below:
Up to $5,000
$5,001 – $50,000
$50,001 – $250,000
$250,001 – Above
2. White Pine Trading (also under the name White Diamonds)
White Pine Trading is second in our list of best places to sell an engagement ring online. White Pine Trading has offices in New York, Hong Kong, and the UK and has been accredited with the BBB since 2012, with an A+ rating but no customer reviews on the BBB page. On Trustpilot, it holds a 9.6 (out of 10) rating based upon just under 400 customer reviews.
The company places an emphasis also on its accreditation with the American Gem Society, the Jewelers Board of Trade, and the UK National Association of Jewelers. They also tout the ability to send your engagement ring via free shipping, with other options for countries like Canada and Australia
How it works: Funny enough, White Pine Trading also touts a five step selling process. They also provide perks like direct contact lines to ask questions and discuss details with jewelry experts and claims their process is better service than an auction based site:
- Complete a valuation form
- Receive an initial valuation via phone or email
- Ship items via secured and free FedEx
- You are contacted with a final value estimate
- You may choose to accept the offer. If you do, you will receive payment with 24 hours.
There are pros and cons to this approach. You have less control over what price you sell your engagement ring for, but White Pine Trading (compared with Worthy) also lets you know sooner in the process the general estimated value of their ring, plus there are more transparent outlets for direct contact.
Fees: Because you’re selling essential to White Pine, and not to a third party, you get the option of either accepting or declining the price quoted (there are not many hints as to an offer to negotiate). However, you also will not have to pay any fees or any commission.
Third on our list of best places to sell an engagement ring online is Truval. Truval has been accredited with the BBB for four years and holds an A+ rating, with an average of 5 stars from 36 customer reviews. It has one physical location, in New York City, and is a member of the American Gem Trade Association, and works alongside FedEX, the Gem Institute of America, and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
With their motto “sell with confidence,” Truval claims to “unlock your jewelry’s potential” by closely examining not only your diamond carat but multiple other factors, such as designs on an engagement ring.
How it works: Truval’s four-step process is not unlike White Pine’s, in that you are not participating in an auction, but selling more directly to them. Payment options are a little more varied and include cash, check, and bank wire, though there does not appear to be a Paypal option, which might be a downside for some. The four steps consist of:
- Submitting an inquiry by completing a “Get a Quote” form online or calling directly
- Ship via FedEx for free, with insurance, or sell in person (New York City)
- Get a final quote after evaluation by experts of the engagement ring’s design, carat, metal, and market trends
- Accept or decline the offer.
This is a simple and straightforward process. If true, there’s a benefit that Truval seems to offer a slightly more comprehensive evaluation than other places. They also boast positive reviews and affiliations. The no Paypal option is a downside, and you can’t have much control over how much you sell your engagement ring for.
Fees: There are no fees associated with selling to Truval.
Other Options: While there are many other places to sell an engagement ring online, we selected these three due to their ratings, affiliations with professionals, simple process, and upfront transparency. High ratings, as well as proven sales and times spent in the business, were also important considerations, as well offers for quick and secure payment.
You can sell on general marketplaces, like an auction site, but we recommend against it. For one, you won’t be provided expert consultation or cleaning to help sell your item. For another, something of such value should be sold on sites that actively do a bit more to secure against fraud and secure your payments.
If you don’t think that selling an engagement ring online is the best place for you, you can always check through local jewelers. Just be sure they follow the proper steps to get your engagement ring appraised and insured, and know what it’s value is. And no matter what you do, make sure that you’re ready to sell your engagement ring–it’s a decision that should never be made lightly.
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