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March 21, 2009

Let’s Party

gold party.jpg

I guess the first thing that gets me suspicious about these gold parties is the reference to a “party.” You would think, at this point, we’d be about done with that term when it comes to money.

And then, looking at some of the items here, especially those earrings on top of the box with the precious stones in them, I’m wondering: are these people buying jewelry based on the scrap value of the metal when the overall aesthetic or content value of the item make it worth more? Also, are these people licensed? (Just noticed the pink business cards.) Finally, hold onto your wallet when the MSM (in this flimsy ABC piece tossing out terms like “quick cash” and “unwanted trinkets“) looks past the country’s financial desperation to make recession seem like fun. The “money” quote:

It’s your grandma’s new-age Tupperware party, (January) Thomas said. “The only big difference is that instead of having to buy anything, you leave with money. There’s no other party like that.

I suppose January never head of derivatives and credit default swaps.

(image: Daniel Barry/Getty Images via Boston.com/Big Picture: caption: Katie Kupferschmid (left) and Lisa Arata test gold jewelry at a gold party March 12, 2009 in West Orange, New Jersey. Gold parties are a growing trend in the United States where a hostess invites friends and family to bring their unwanted gold to sell for extra income. The price is based on karat content, weight and the market price of gold that day.)

  • cenoxo

    And now some commodity investment advice from one of the world’s foremost gold bugs…

    …”“Mine mine mine! I’m rich! I’m independently wealthy! I’m comfortably well off!
    (Daffy Duck in the 1957 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon, Ali Baba Bunny (1957), directed by Chuck Jones.)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    I suppose January never head of derivatives and credit default swaps
    Michael, that’s a sexist remark. If anything, these women are being very hard-headed and unsentimental, especially January herself. She went out and bought pricey equipment to offer realistic appraisals based on measurable content. That’s just the opposite of what today’s economic victims have done. They bought things that weren’t worth what they paid for them.
    Incidentally, there’s nothing stopping these gold buyers from finding a different market for the jewelry they purchase. It doesn’t have to be melted down. If they find somebody willing to pay more for a piece, they can sell it for the greater profit. However, the marketing expense of reselling old jewelry makes that impractical. Jewelry styles go out of fashion like any other accessory.
    January is a feminist. Today’s women are not as all about cooking and homemaking as were the women who attended Tupperware parties. They know their own best interest and they don’t bother with other people’s notions of what’s important. They decide for themselves.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156e3db1fe970c WilliamK

    Nice Party! The “hostess” must send out an invite that says: “Hi, I am a sucker who is going to get ripped off and I’d like to take you down with me!”
    They have no clue what they could really get for their gold. They need to take a look at http://SilverAndGoldExchange.com and see the live price chart. Better not let her friends see it!

  • JM

    A derisive remark does not become a sexist remark just because it’s made about a woman. And Ms. Thomas may well be a feminist, but there’s nothing in this story to suggest she is or isn’t. Entrepreneurism and feminism are not the same thing. Try seeing Thomas as a person before you see her as a woman, and you’ll be doing better as a feminist ally.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    I don’t understand the tone of disapproval for what these women are doing. They’re buying up junk jewelry for scrap metal. Why would anybody have a problem with that?
    There’s nothing wrong with calling these events “parties” – perhaps the mood needs to be light and festive to get people to overcome their hesitancy to part with objects that surely have sentimental value.
    Michael’s remark, I suppose January never head of derivatives and credit default swaps, struck me as dismissive. Perhaps you’re correct that dismissiveness should not be taken as sexism. But I don’t see any other basis for the remark. Is there some reason that these women should not be doing what they’re doing? If that’s the case, I’m missing the point.

  • http://twitter.com/ceabaird ceabaird

    Is it just me, or do these events, along with the commercials for “SELL YOUR SCRAP GOLD!!” really convey a sense of desperation? I mean, how many people have valuable “scrap gold” lying around their house?

  • Joe Blow

    Hey! I have a bunch of old silver coins. I started grabbing and keeping every one I saw after they debased the currency when I was young…
    and my grandma had a pile….
    maybe I should cash them in…

  • Kmac

    A year or so ago, I read a blog post about a guy who took a handful of odd junk, plastic, and a least one grape stem, and painted them with gold spraypaint. He sent them in to one of those cash for gold services as a lark. Along the way, he pointed out the drawbacks of such a service, for instance, that they explicitly say that gem stones of any kind are worth nothing to the service, but they’ll take them anyway (how nice of them).
    In the end, the joke was on him. They sent him back a check for a dollar something, much to his surprise. Who knew gold painted junk was worth anything?
    Can’t find the link, sorry. It was a funny story.

  • KMac

    Ah, I found it… it sounded like something I’d seen on Boing Boing… http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/08/rob-cockerham-hacks.html
    “To test their system and discover their exchange price, I should have sent in a known quantity of pure gold. Unfortunately, real gold is very rare, and hella expensive. Even after checking the whole recycling bin and both garbage cans, I found that I had absolutely no gold scraps in the house.
    I grabbed some doo-dads out of the junk drawer and some gold spray-paint out of the garage. Soon I had a gold bottle cap, a gold stem from a bunch of grapes, a gold pop-top, a gold zip-tie, a gold ‘S’ hook, a gold nut and the elusive gold nickel.
    In all, a nice sack of treasure!”

  • Katie

    This is Katie Kupferschmid, and YES I am licensed and bonded by the State of New Jersey.
    If I think a piece is worth more due to it’s “aesthetic” value, I tell the owner so. It’s then their decision to decide to sell the piece or not.
    I have had many, many, people come to me after visiting jewelry stores to get prices, and in every instance, I pay more, sometimes twice what they were offered.
    And the business cards are purple, not pink

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