The results of my research

 

I have included for each company, distinguishing positive and negative features as were apparent to me during this exercise.

I am passing on my experience as it happened, in an honest and open way. I leave you to draw conclusions and make up your own mind.

I am not explicitly comparing these buyers with each other (largely, the results speak for themselves) or to any others that are in this market - I simply don't have the knowledge or experience to be able to do this.

I was extremely surprised by the range in value of the quotations. As I expected, most companies were prepared to increase their offer when their initial one, and often, subsequent ones, were rejected.

Here is a summary of how these companies fared.



1st Place: GoldRefiners.co.uk

The Gold Refiners website was clear and easy to navigate. Requesting a gold pack was straightforward. It arrived the following day. 

Packaging and sending off the gold items was also straightforward. I selected to receive my valuation by email - the only one of this test bunch to offer this option. Within 24 hours (as they explicitly promise on their website) I received their offer by email. This offer was for £178.43. 

When I replied to this, declining the offer, I received a phone call the same day offering me another £10, as a "gesture of good will". When I declined this, the person I spoke to agreed to return the items, without any fuss or pressure. The items were back with me, sent by registered post, the following morning.

Overall, I was pleased with the service provided. As I understand it, the price I was offered for the items was about 80% of their estimated true value. When you consider some of the costs involved in running this type of operation, the need for the company to return a profit and the volatility of the price of gold, I believe this represented reasonable value. It is, I feel, considerably greater than a number of the other companies in the comparison would have been prepared to offer, given the low offers received from them during our test.

Positive:              Good price offered; Rapid offer by email

Negative:            None


2nd place: The British Gold Refinery 

The British Gold Refinery website is clear and easy to navigate. Requesting a gold-sellers pack is straight forward. There is a freephone contact number if you want to speak to someone. If you know the weight and carat of the gold you are selling, there is a calculator on their home page which they claim will provide you with “a guide spot price of gold” with a caution that “Testing, evaluation and admin costs will be reflected in the price we offer.” I didn’t use the calculator, so I cannot attest to its usefulness or how it reflects the actual offer you will receive.

I requested a gold pack using their online form but didn’t receive one. When I contacted them by phone, I was advised that they had received my request but a known problem with the way that their website can incorrectly record my house number, meant that they did not have a valid address on file. To their credit, the person I spoke to was honest, professional and friendly.

I received the gold pack 5 days after I initially requested it – I noted that the first line of my address was still incorrect.

If you require a “quote-only”, you are required to tick the appropriate box on the form you are requested to complete – otherwise they will simply send you a cheque for their valuation of the gold you send them. I would personally always choose the “quote-only” option if you want to get the best price for your gold.

I was contacted by telephone two days after I send the gold pack enclosing my gold. I rejected their initial offer of £88.00. Over the course of the next week this was gradually increased to £125.00

Uniquely amongst the test group, The British Gold Refinery offered an explanation of their valuation. They advised me that one of the items was inconclusive when tested – their offer excluded any value attributed to this item and this would just be returned to me. They also claimed that an 18ct chain was actually just under 18ct when tested. I didn’t seek to verify these claims.

Slightly annoying was the fact that when they had increased their offer to a final £110.00, I asked for the items to be returned to me. Instead of this, four days later, when I was expecting to receive the returned gold items, I received a further phone call increasing the offer to £120.00 and finally £125.00. Rejecting this, it was agreed that the items would be returned to me. I received them by recorded delivery four days later.

Positive:              Detailed explanation of valuation; Good customer service

Negative:            Average price offered. Incorrect address due to website processing error


3rd place: Postal Gold: 

Their website is straightforward and easy to navigate. Requesting a gold kit is, once again, simply a matter of completing an online form, which can be found on their home page. A freephone number is available should you need it.

There is a facility on this website where Postal Gold claim that you can track your Gold Kit using the reference number you will be provided with. Unfortunately, this failed to work for me and I ended up having to use their freephone number in order to chase up progress.

I requested a pack and this failed to arrive, prompting me to call Postal Gold. I re-requested the pack with the operator I spoke to. This was received the following day.

Postal Gold request that you complete and return the form that they provide if you require a quotation, as opposed to allowing them to simply issue you with a cheque for their valuation of your gold. It seems clear to me from the way this form is worded, that this quotation-only option is not one that they want you to select. I did and it made no difference.

I sent off the gold items and heard nothing. After 3 days, I rang Postal Gold again to be told that it was being processed and I would hear from them shortly. I received a cheque (remember I selected the quotation-only option) for £35.21. I found this annoying.

I followed their instructions regarding returning the cheque. I rang them to tell them that the offer was unacceptable and returned the cheque to them. It was 11 days later that I received back my gold items. The returned package contained the form on which I had requested the quotation-only service!

There was no opportunity for negotiation and no suggestion of an increased offer from this company.

Positive:              None

Negative:            Very low offer; Cheque issued when I had requested quotation-only; Length of time it took to receive back my gold items. 


4th place: Post Cash For Gold: 

Their website is straightforward and easy to navigate. I received their gold pack the day after I requested it. I received a telephone offer the day after I sent off the gold items. Mind you, it was the lowest offer I received from any of the companies, at just £28.00 if I wanted cash and bizarrely, £37.00 for accepting a cheque. The cash offer represented around 11% of the estimated value of the gold items. I rejected the offer. Three days later, having heard nothing more, I contacted the company. Later that day they telephoned me with a revised offer which I rejected. I received my gold items back 2 days later.

Positive:             Fast response for gold pack and quote.

Negative:           Lowest initial offer made by any of the gold buyers.