DATCP NEWS RELEASE: All That Glitters is Not Gold at Resale Roadshows
September 28, 2012
Contact: Jerad Albracht, Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020
MADISON – The increasing value of gold is a staple on the nightly news and consumers nationwide have eagerly sold heirlooms, coins and jewelry to resale companies for cold, hard cash. But for attendees looking to cash in at resale events held by THR & Associates, the path to easy money may not always be golden.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has received a handful of consumer complaints about THR & Associates, an Illinois-based company that buys goods from consumers at events booked in hotels and conference centers nationwide. Consumers are complaining about bounced checks that they received for items they sold to the company at events in Elkhorn and Prairie du Chien.
Wisconsin consumers and consumers who attended THR & Associates events in Wisconsin are asked to file a written complaint with DATCP if they received bad checks from the company or believe they were otherwise defrauded. Visit the DATCP website (datcp.wi.gov) to file a complaint online or to download a complaint form.
THR & Associates is not the only company currently buying valuables from the public, and given gold’s continuing rise, the resale industry will likely remain popular for some time. The safest bet for getting your money’s worth for your items and avoiding a scam is to sell your goods to a local business with an established track record rather than to a buyer at a roadshow.
“Be cautious about selling to transient gold buyers,” said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “These businesses may set up at a local hotel promising to pay top dollar for gold, and leave town quickly. Unfortunately, they also may leave unpaid or underpaid victims behind.”
To protect yourself from getting ripped off by unscrupulous purchasers, DATCP offers the following tips to consumers hoping to make quick money selling their jewelry and valuables:
- Shop around. Visit at least two stores in one day and compare offers to guarantee that you are getting the best price.
- The price paid for gold is based on the purity (karat) and weight. As a seller, you have the right to observe the buyer weighing your gold. Make sure the scale has been inspected, sealed by DATCP or a city sealer, and approved for weighing precious metals. The scale should be level and read “zero” before beginning to weigh.
- If you know the karat weight of your item, verify that it matches the buyer’s estimate. Buyers may use acid to establish purity of the gold. Ask questions about the kind of acid being used and whether it is appropriate for your gold.
- Get written estimates that include details of the items and their worth.
- Verify that the weight and karat value on the receipt matches the weight on the scale and results of the acid test.
For additional information, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.
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