I still get a lot of questions from people about how to sell their jewelry. I recently wrote a post about it, outlining some channels you can use, and steps to make it as painless as possible. I have since discovered a couple of other options that I want you to be aware of.
I Do Now I Don’t (www.idonowidon’t.com) is a site with an admittedly catchy name. This site was started by Josh Opperman when he found himself with an engagement ring he, um, no longer needed. The premise is sound: a marketplace with previously-owned jewelry where the fees are reasonable for the seller and the buyer can get a good deal compared to retail. You can list a jewelry item for sale for FREE (you keep the item in your possession and provide all the listing details and images). Buyers can make you offers based on your asking price, or you can choose to do an auction (you can set a reserve price). Once the seller accepts an offer, you send the item in to I Do’s office, and their Gemologist verifies that the jewelry is what was represented. Then the escrow company releases the funds to the seller and the items gets shipped directly to the buyer. I Do Now I Don’t collects 12% of the final negotiated purchase price, plus the fee for the Paypal transaction (Buyer pays the shipping costs, typically). The company claims on the site that most sellers net between 40-60% of the retail price for their jewelry, which is a pretty good return if this is actually the case. And it’s fairly low risk for both seller and buyer, which makes it a better option than the free-for-all of eBay.com.
I Do Now I Don’t emphasizes telling a story for the jewelry listings (“I bought this stunning ring…then I got a text message saying “Left the ring on the table, sorry”), stating that the back story is what helps sell the item. Now, here’s the thing. My main problem with this site is that I DON’T THINK I WANT TO KNOW. People typically buy jewelry to celebrate a significant milestone or a new start. They don’t want bad juju. My other issue with this site is that I don’t think there are that many buyers, and they seem to do a better job of catering to the sellers than the buyers. But if you are a seller and are willing to set a realistic price, this could be a good option (if there are actual buyers).
Portero (www.portero.com) has created a marketplace for luxury items like jewelry, watches, handbags and art with an eye towards credibility and trust (again unlike eBay). They use auctions as the primary selling vehicle, which is interesting, given that other major companies like Amazon and eBay are moving away from online auctions. Portero authenticates every item that sells through their marketplace. They have partnerships with designers like Kwiat and Robert Lee Morris, and retailers like Tourneau. Their selection is very good, with some really fine collectible jewelry and watches, beautiful items that are assets as well as wearable art. Because of the great site navigation, layout, images, etc., I get the feeling that Portero caters more to buyers than sellers, which is good, because without that critical element, you don’t have a marketplace.
To sell on Portero, you first contact them with some details about your item for evaluation and pricing. If you want to pursue listing it through them, you send your item to them (insured, of course). For $25, they handle everything for the listing: research, pricing, professional imaging, description, payment, and finalizing the sale. If you sell your item, you pay them 30% of the final sale price, and they handle the transaction and shipping to the buyer. I don’t think this is out of line given that they appear to have a large marketplace with potentially lots of exposure for your item, AND it is a very secure transaction for both seller and buyer. A local jeweler will charge at least 25-30% to sell your item on consignment, and will have only local exposure versus national. I think Portero is worth a shot, particularly if you have a more expensive or rare piece of jewelry or watch.
Anyone out there with a success story of selling their jewelry? Comment and let us know…