It seems like everywhere I turn there’s a sign or ad for “Cash for Gold”—as well as invites flooding my inbox for “gold parties.” The whole concept piqued my interest since I had a few pieces of gold from the 1980s and even charms from the 70s (no kidding!) that I no longer wear. I called various shops and talked to friends who had sold their gold. I narrowed down the various sellers and got some bids. Eventually my search led me to Calabasas residents Stacey and Michael Silberman because the greatest number of referrals I received pointed back to them.
I first spoke with Stacey over the phone and told her what I had to sell. Michael followed up with more answers. Since I had already received prices for my gold at a couple other places, I was prepared with the ballpark price I would accept. The Silbermans quoted a 15% higher profit for me than other gold buyers. However, it wasn’t just the price that sold me, it was their calm manner as they explained the process of selling gold. They both enjoy educating their customers and go out of their way to teach. I didn’t feel pushed to sell to them, but because I had checked around, I knew they were giving me the best price. I didn’t go to a gold party, but rather made an individual appointment. I asked the Silbermans to explain their business, as well as the ins and out of selling gold, to share with Patch.com readers.
Q: What is Gold Party Girls?
The Gold Party Girls is a small family-run business we started after we had a gold party for our closest friends, neighbors and family. People loved this new concept and it hadn’t caught on yet in sunny California. Stacey enjoys the art of sales and has always loved throwing a good party —that’s how we came up with the name Gold Party Girls. Michael is affectionately referred to as the Gold Party Girls’ ‘Guy’— as he is often the life of the party using his charm and good looks (said Stacey) to create a comfortable environment at the event. Today, the Gold Party Girls has evolved, catering mainly to women 40 and older, who’ve had the time to collect old, broken, outdated jewelry they no longer wear or want. In fact, most people forget that they have the jewelry stored away in some hidden place. As we tell them, “Just look and see what you’ve got.”
When our clients sell their gold, it’s like finding a hidden treasure trove of cash, which they usually use for discriminatory spending on things like clothes, fashion jewelry, designer bags, vacations, or whatever it is they’ve deprived themselves of because of economic concerns. Or just to pay their bills. The gold party industry has helped support local businesses, providing an infusion of cash to people who’ve had to cut spending in half, due to financial worries. “Found” cash from unused gold jewelry provides guilt-free spending and brings a lot of joy into people’s otherwise stressed-out lives.
Q: There are signs for “We buy gold” all over the streets. Why is your business different?
We are a small family-owned business, operating almost entirely from referrals, which keeps our cost of doing business much lower than jewelry stores, pawnshops and kiosks. We have low overhead and don’t spend much on advertising, which allows us to pass on a higher percentage payout to our clients. We have an excellent reputation which is why we have succeeded in a highly competitive market. If a client is not sure about selling something, our policy is to say “No” and to “please keep it” until they are absolutely sure they want to sell. There is never any pressure to sell. We are honest business people and treat all of our clients with respect. We answer questions thoroughly and walk our clients through each and every transaction, making sure they understand the process of evaluation and pricing. We don’t look for transactional business, but seek a long-term relationship with customers. That’s what sets us apart.
Q: Is there an advantage to attending a party over an individual appointment?
The sale of personal jewelry, coins, diamonds and sterling silver sets can be emotional for some, which is why many women prefer the party environment. It feels much less daunting to attend a Gold Party than a visit to the Gold store. Many prefer private appointments too. We are sensitive to the needs of our clients, who come from all walks of life and circumstances. It is that ‘personal touch’ among other things that has made our business thrive. A lot of our clients return to us several times.
Q: Do you buy other metals besides gold?
Yes we do! We buy gold, sterling silver and platinum jewelry, gold and silver coins, sterling silver sets, platters, bowls, flatware, diamonds etc. We provide a highly personalized service through individual appointments, gold and silver parties, fundraisers, multi-vendor boutiques, and more. We also receive calls and emails from people around the country seeking advice on how to sell their gold in small towns and cities across the country. As a result, we’ve encouraged people to send their gold and silver by Federal Express for a much better payout then they’d receive back home. Plus, we’ve started a service which helps our clients find buyers for their collectibles and antiques as well.
Q: If a customer comes in with a diamond or gems in their jewelry, such as in rings or necklaces, will you buy them? And if so, how do you figure out pricing?
Quick answer, we do buy diamonds but not colored stones with exception. Pricing is determined based on the quality of the stone and which market may be more suitable in which to resell it. Also whether it is more prudent to sell as a loose stone or to keep it in the setting and sell the entire piece. We do not buy all diamonds and what we do and do not buy is discussed in depth in the Questions & Answers section of our website.
Q: What should a seller be aware of when selling their gold?
Sellers should make sure they are selling to a reputable business or individual who knows what they are doing. Be aware of businesses that offer you a low-ball price and then raise it significantly when you start to walk out the door. This is a practice that some of our clients have encountered when getting a competitive price for their gold.
Q: How much does the fluctuating market affect gold sales?
We buy our metals based on the New York Spot Market. The world Gold Market is based upon pure 24 karat Gold. Most jewelry is only 40% to 75% gold content depending on the karat of the jewelry. We have to pro-rate the gold based on the market price, percentage of gold and percentage paid. For the average transaction, small movements in the market make little difference, but our rates do vary from day to day depending on the market price for silver, gold and platinum.
Q: There seems to be a gold party at someone’s house every week. How does your party differ?
Professionalism and education. We like to say, don’t ask us, ask the almost 8,000 individuals, churches, temples, school districts, schools, sports teams, small businesses, boutique vendors and charitable organizations we’ve already served. They will happily say that the Gold Party Girls create the most fun and pay the most money. We get people excited through hostess coaching, joy, and a knack for throwing a good party! We’ve had numerous clients tell us that we put them at ease during transactions. We are skilled at what we do and enjoy helping people understand gold and silver. We remember and share fascinating information and stories we’ve learned over the years and make ourselves interesting in a safe and drama-free place. We spend a good deal of time educating clients through each and every transaction. All of our business is by referral. We do not require a minimum number of guests for a party. We assist you through the entire process and create an email flyer or printable fliers as needed.
Also, we have a new addition to our business that can be included in parties. We added Stella & Dot to offer combination ‘boutique’ events where attendees can also buy stylish fashion jewelry.
Q: What do I receive if I have a party?
Hostesses earn 10% of the total amount paid at the party. If the event is a fundraiser then we would donate 15% directly to the organization. Plus, if friends and family can’t attend for any reason, we schedule private appointments before or after the event, usually, within a two-week window and Hostesses still receive the 10% commission. On parties over $5,000, we also pay up to $100 for refreshments served at the party. That is for a job well done! We are so grateful every time we meet new friends at a party. We can’t thank you enough! The 10% fee does not take away from sellers, but is built into our competitive rate schedule. We also pay referral fees between $25 and $100 depending on the amount of the sale referred—it’s a “win” for everybody!
Q: How can I have a party, make an appointment or find out about Stella & Dot?
About this column: Like to shop? Like to dine? So does Karen Young, and she's going to share the best of the San Fernando Valley for this column. A longtime local resident, creator of the online lifestyle magazine MyDailyFind.com and a mom with two teens, you know she knows the best places to go.