Tesco launches cash-for-gold serviceSupermarket to buy unwanted jewellery

04 January 2011

Gold jewellery

The cash for gold industry has sprung up because the price of gold is so high

Tesco has introduced an online cash-for-gold service. The retailer has pledged to offer competitive rates and raise standards in a market that has been much criticised by Which?.

Pawnbrokers, jewellers and online cash-for-gold specialists have huge competition following the announcement that Tesco is entering the market to sell secondhand gold and jewellery. A total of 15 Tesco stores will trial an online pawnbroker service, which will run along similar lines to the kind of operations run by the likes of Cashforgold.com. 

Cash-for-gold process 

Aside from turning up at one of the 15 stores currently trialling the gold exchange service, customers can sell their gold by applying online or by filling in an in-store leaflet. They can also phone the retailer's helpline. 

They are sent a bag to protect the items for sale and an Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope, which they post to Tesco, which then contacts the customer with a quote. If this is accepted, the cash is paid directly into their account. Customers can also earn Tesco Clubcard points.

Gold sellers criticised

The online cash-for-gold sector has been severely criticised for offering appalling prices for customers' gold, when compared to the amounts high street jewellers are willing to pay. 

When Which? investigated the market last year we found that online buyers paid around 6% the retail value for gold items we purchased and sought to sell on. High street jewellers would give us 25% on average. This would have seen us get £6.43 for a £115 gold chain from one online buyer, while a jeweller would pay £39.

A Tesco spokesman said: 'Customers have been poorly served in this area so we're pleased that we can trial a trustworthy service that is transparent and offers market-leading value.'

Tesco must reward loyalty

Which? senior researcher Dan Moore said: 'Tesco has a loyal customer base, many of whom may welcome the opportunity to sell their unwanted jewellery. We hope that they don't let these people down by offering less competitive prices.' 

In February 2010 Which? investigated the cash-for-gold market. You can read more about our findings online. If you use the Tesco service, or any other cash-for-gold service, tell us about your experiences at dan.moore@which.co.uk. 

pound coins

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