Like to watch? Kay Jewelers' shows you where your gold goes

Earlier today, Kay Jewelers, the nationally-recognized jewelry chain, announced that it is going into the mail-based cash for gold business. Unlike its competitors, however, Kay is banking on the transparency of its operation.

Customers who are nervous about the gold-buying process will be able to watch online videos of their jewelry being unpacked and weighed. Moreover, Kay also allows patrons up to 14 days to return their checks and cancel the transaction. By comparison, Cash4Gold only gives its customers 10 days.
In some ways, Kay's service could provide the perfect bookend to many home videos. Just imagine it: in part 1, the young swain rests on bended knee, presenting a champagne flute, at the bottom of which rests a huge diamond in a delicate 14-carat princess setting. Fast forward to clip 2, in which the young woman, walking into a bar, removes the ring and drops it in her purse. Clip 3 shows an unnamed Kay Jeweler employee opening an envelope, weighing the ring, and making a notation. Frankly, this is the kind of careful, restrained storytelling that would make Alfred Hitchcock weep with envy.

Jokes aside, for people who are getting rid of old or under-appreciated jewelry, Kay's video service seems very promising. The company's best-known rival, Cash4Gold, has embarked on a few particularly tacky marketing campaigns (a notable exception were their Ed McMahon ads, which had a light, humorous touch). Moreover, with persistent rumors that the company engages in exploitative scams, the market is primed for the introduction of a solid competitor.

Kay is a respected and familiar name in jewelry, which means that it is already a step up when it comes to marketing its gold-buying services. With the video element added in, its apparent willingness to be completely transparent about the sad business of buying discarded baubles could easily make the difference for nervous consumers who are worried about the safety of their heirlooms.

I wonder where I left my high school ring...
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