Recession watch: Selling your gold at home parties


This post is part of a series about real-life signs we're in a recession.

Move over Pampered Chef and Mary Kay. The latest in-home sales "party" concept has reversed the usual guest-to-rep cash flow. Instead of pixie-sized portions of a demonstration omelet, or a makeover that makes your dog bark at you when you get home, the new guest takeaway is cash.

So claim the many "gold party" services cropping up (curiously, overwhelmingly headquartered in Detroit). Companies like My Gold Party and Gold Party by ADI offer to help convert your friends' gold to cash, either by supplying you (for a fee) with the equipment and training for do-it-yourself appraisals or by sending a representative to your home who will set up shop in your kitchen.

Trading your bling-bling for cash is nothing new, of course. Many folks have turned to the jewelry chest when times are hard. Traditionally, you don a scarf and dark glasses and do it quietly in a back room across town. What's new is the idea that parting with Mom's locket or Dad's pocket watch is a rollicking good way to spend a Friday night, accompanied by spinach dip and boxed wine.

As has been reported by WalletPop previously, would-be gold brokers should proceed with caution, particularly if they are required to make an investment upfront. And there are compelling arguments for keeping the lid on your jewelry box for now.

Kyran Pittman blogs at Notes to Self.

Originally published