FAQs - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

FOR BUYERS

FOR SELLERS

AUCTION

CONSIGNMENT

FIREARMS


GENERAL
What is the Jewelry Exchange & Auction?
Do you also deal in furniture? Electronics? Tools? Clothing?
What does "spot price" mean?
Someone told me that you're not really jewelers. Is that correct?
Why does your store look so empty sometimes?


FOR BUYERS
How do I bid?
How do I bid on Proxibid?
What forms of payment do you accept for purchases of bullion?
When I buy bullion, do you report it to the government?
Are purchases of precious metals exempt from Texas Sales and Use Tax?
What do I need to buy/transfer a firearm?
I have a Texas Sale and Use Tax Resale Permit. How do I make sure that you don't charge me sales tax?


FOR SELLERS
What types of jewelry do you buy?
Do you buy and sell diamonds, too?
What types of coins and currency do you buy?
What types of silverware do you buy?
What do you pay for gold?
I have something that I might want to sell. What should I do?
How do I know whether to sell you my unwanted valuables or to consign them for auction?
How do I know if my silverware, bowls and trays are valuable or not?
I have firearms I don't want anymore. What should I do?


AUCTION
Where do you hold your auctions?
Can anyone come to your auctions?
How do I bid?
How do I bid on Proxibid?
How much is your buyers' premium (buyers' fee)?
What's hot and what's not at your Saturday evening auctions?
If I can't attend on Saturday evening, can I bid some other way?


CONSIGNMENT
What is in your consignment agreement?
If I consign something for auction, what will you charge me?
If I consign something for auction, may I set a minimum sales price?
How do I know that I can trust you with my valuables?


FIREARMS
Do you have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms?
Do you transfer firearms from online sales?
What do I need to buy/transfer a firearm?
What do I need to buy ammunition?
I have firearms I don't want anymore. What should I do?



Q. What is the Jewelry Exchange & Auction?
A. We're many things! But, mainly, we're a clearinghouse for all unwanted valuables. Jewelry, coins, currency, stamps, sterling, small antiques, firearms, porcelain, china, crystal, sports memorabilia... even cars, motorcycles and much, much more. We buy outright or accept on consignment. Whatever valuables you want to liquidate, let's talk and figure out the best way to do it. In addition, we trade gold, silver and platinum bullion in all forms, we make a market in estate diamonds of all cuts, carats and clarity, and we represent Stuller, one of America's largest distributors of new jewelry. Whatever you're doing with jewelry, precious metals or collectibles, you really should talk to us before you make any final decision!

Q. Do you also deal in furniture? Electronics? Tools? Clothing?
A. In general, no. However, we'd like to see certain types of furniture (small antique or doll furniture), electronics (vintage video games or toys), tools (jewelry-making tools and equipment) and clothing (military uniforms, for example). When in doubt, just ask us! We'd love to consider almost anything that our customers may find of interest!

Q. What does "spot price" mean?
A. The "spot price" of precious metals that we quote on our homepage is the up-to-the-second New York Mercantile Exchange sale price for a specific quantity of a specific metal before additional charges for commission and shipping. Simply stated, for example, the spot price for gold refers to a 100-troy ounce bar of pure gold before the broker charges his commission, and before the shipping company charges their delivery fee. In general, you should expect to pay more than spot whenever you buy gold, and you should expect to receive less than spot whenever you sell gold. In reality, "spot" is simply a reference point: essentially no one really gets to buy or sell at the spot price.

Q. Someone told me that you're not really jewelers. Is that correct?
A. Yes, that's correct... and we're proud of it! We're jewelry traders: knowledgeable dealers of gold, silver and platinum in all forms, offering most of the same merchandise you'll find in jewelry stores. If you want something that we don't have, we'll go get it for you. And, we present a lively market for estate jewelry. Remember: jewelry isn't an investment; it's for fun and, maybe, a little flash. Why should you pay "keystone" (double, or even triple cost) at a regular jewelry store?!? Check out "What's It Worth" in our Library to learn how jewelry is priced.

Q. Why does your store look so empty sometimes?
A. We aren't jewelers or antique dealers, and we certainly don't run a museum! We're jewelry traders and auctioneers. Our job is to buy and sell merchandise in a knowledgeable and ethical manner, but only at true market prices. If certain merchandise isn't selling, we drop our prices or auction it off... period! Then, we're ready to start all over again. That's why our store will look different every time you come in! Don't see what you want? Let us know! We'll go get it for you!

Q. What forms of payment do you accept for purchases of bullion?
A. For bullion purchases, we accept cash or bank wire. We cannot accept personal checks, cashier's checks, or credit cards for bullion purchases. Bullion purchased by bank wire will be held until funds are irrevocably credited to our account. There is a $10 fee for bank wires.

Q. When I buy bullion, do you report it to the government?
A. No. However, the Patriot Act requires us to file IRS Form 8300 whenever anybody pays us more than $10,000 in cash for any reason. "Cash" includes a cashier's check or a money order, but not a personal check or a bank wire. For more information, click on the link provided above in this FAQ.

Q. Are purchases of precious metals exempt from Texas Sales and Use Tax?
A. Purchases of gold, silver and platinum bullion or coins are exempt from Texas Sales and Use Tax. Numismatics (collectable coins) are also included in this category. However, all sales of jewelry, antiques, other collectibles, and general merchandise are taxable unless you present us with your valid Texas Sales and Use Tax Resale Certificate or Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification before or at the time of purchase. The current tax rate for our location is 8.25%.

Q. I have a Texas Sale and Use Tax Resale Permit. How do I make sure that you don't charge me sales tax?
A. To avoid sales tax, simple print and complete the Texas Sales and Use Tax Resale Certificate, then either mail or email it to us. Please note that simply telling us your permit number or sending us a copy of your actual permit is not legally sufficient to exempt you from paying sales tax in Texas. (See FAQs on Texas State website.)

Q. What types of jewelry do you buy?
A. We buy any and all jewelry... period!

Q. Do you buy and sell diamonds, too?
A. Of course! We buy and sell any and all diamonds. What do we pay? That depends on "the 4 Cs": carat, cut, clarity and color. Anyone will buy the biggest, nicest diamonds, but we'll buy even the smallest diamonds, the same diamonds that others won't buy. And, our profit margin on diamonds averages about 30%: that's a far cry for the 100% to 200% mark-ups typical in the jewelry business. Whether you're buying or selling diamonds (and any other precious stones, for that matter!), it's important to hear what we have to say first.

Q. What types of coins and currency do you buy?
A. We buy any and all coins and currency... period!

Q. What types of silverware do you buy?
A. We buy any and all silverware... period!

Q. What do you pay for gold?
A. We're happy to pay more than the scrap component value for all types of merchandise that will bring a higher price at auction. We buy gold (silver and platinum, too) based on its resale value, not simply its scrap value. You certainly wouldn't sell your old car as scrap metal, would you? Why should you sell your old jewelry that way? We pay more for undamaged, resalable jewelry. And, we pay even more for antique and collectible pieces. We're also aggressive buyers of gold, silver and platinum bullion, numismatics and scrap/broken jewelry. We'll pay you cash today but, if you're not in a hurry, we offer several ways for you to get even more! So, don't sell your jewelry or coins to anyone else before you see our quote! We'll make you an offer in writing so you can compare it to our competitors'. It's free and without obligation.

Q. I have something that I might want to sell. What should I do?
A. Bring it in! It's impossible for us to be specific about most items without seeing them in person. Don't clean it! Believe me, we'll be able to see right through the dirt and, for some items, cleaning will take away from the value. If you have a written appraisal or an original sales receipt, it might help to bring that with you. Once we see your merchandise, we can discuss how you can get the most money for it: sale or auction consignment (see our consignment policies). We hope to see you soon!

Q. How do I know whether to sell you my unwanted valuables or to consign them for auction?
A. Let's talk about that! We'll figure out the best method together. But, here are a couple of guidelines: It takes about 3 weeks from the time of consignment until you have a check in your hand. Can't wait that long? Then plan on selling outright. Also, consider that some merchandise (such as small diamonds or common date, circulated silver dollars) has a set value or a value that falls into a narrow range. There's no reason to consign that type of merchandise as it's highly unlikely that you'll end up with more money by consigning than we would pay you on the spot. In any case, we're always happy to discuss all of the possible scenarios with you. After decades and decades in this business, we're confident that we'll be able to guide you to the correct conclusion.

Q. How do I know if my silverware, bowls and trays are valuable or not?
A. In general, valuable silver is marked "sterling", "925", "coin" or "800". There are some exceptions, but not many! Otherwise, your silver is probably only plated with a very thin layer of silver. Although silver-plated merchandise can still be valuable, it is usually not worth very much. We are always happy to examine your silver and help you to understand its value, and we're always happy to make you an offer for any of your unwanted valuables, whether they're worth a lot or a only a little.

Q. Where do you hold your auctions?
A. Our Saturday evening auctions are held in our Stone Oak (San Antonio, Texas) gallery with an international simulcast over Proxibid.com that reaches 10,000 to 25,000 participants weekly. Also, we conduct offsite auctions for individuals, companies and non-profit organizations throughout the year. If you'd like to be notified of each upcoming sale via email, be sure to subscribe to our email blasts for dates, descriptions and photographs of key lots.

Q. Can anyone come to your auctions?
A. Yes! Our auctions are open to the public, and there is no fee to register or to attend. We host a free champagne reception each Saturday evening at 6pm, and our auctions begin at 7pm. A typical auction consists of approximately 300 lots and lasts about 3 hours. If you purchase merchandise, you may check out whenever you're ready: you're not required to stay until the end.

Q. How much is your buyers' premium (buyers' fee)?
A. The buyers' premium (also known as the "buyers' fee") is the amount that's added onto your final invoice in addition to the cost of the merchandise that you bought. That amount is for the auction company only: it is not shared with the consignor. Although buyers' premiums at other galleries can run from 10% to 20%, our fee for gallery bidders is 0%. Nothing. Gallery bidders pay only the amount of their successful bids, plus sales tax (if applicable). Our online bidders are charged a fee of 15% and absentee bidders are charged a 10% buyer's premium to help cover administrative and handling costs. If possible you should plan to attend our auction in person to save the buyers' premium.

Q. What's hot and what's not at your Saturday evening auctions?
A. Hot: designer jewelry, rare coins, authenticated sports memorabilia, and top-of-the-line brand names in almost any category of collectibles. Not: fine art, decorative pieces, commercial jewelry (although we'll pay top dollar for its precious metal value!), and almost anything marked "collector's edition"). Give us a call or bring it in if you'd like to talk about it. We never promise that you'll like what we say, but we always promise that it will be truthful and accurate!

Q. How do I bid?
A. There are many ways to bid. We want to make it easy for everybody from newbies to veterans. For some great tips for bidding, check out our "Beginner's Guide to Bidding at Auction".

Q. How do I bid on Proxibid?
A. Check out Proxibid's bidding tutorial to get started.

Q. If I can't attend on Saturday evening, can I bid some other way?
A. Yes, there are 2 other ways to bid. You may visit our gallery in person to preview and complete an absentee bidder form anytime between 10am and 5pm on Tuesday through Saturday. Or, anytime from Wednesday morning up to the conclusion of the auction, you can visit our homepage at www.jewelryexchangeandauction.com and click on the big blue button to preview or bid immediately via our online auction platform on Proxibid.com. Questions? Our friendly staff will show you how easy it is!

Q. What is in your consignment agreement?
A. Our consignment agreement is your receipt for the merchandise you consign, complete with your minimum required sale price ("reserve"), if any. Our commission rate and any possible fee is clearly shown. We exchange contact information, and we ask you to certify that the merchandise is yours to sell. We promise to pay you within 7 days after we get paid, and we explain how you can report us to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation if you believe that we did anything wrong. We hate surprises, and so do you! That's why everything is clearly spelled out before we ask you to agree to anything, and you leave our gallery with our signature on your copy of the consignment agreement. At that point, we are all partners: the more you get, the more we get. That's how you know that we'll do our best for you!

Q. If I consign something for auction, what will you charge me?
A. Our commission rates (and other charges, if any) depend entirely on the type of merchandise you have to offer, the quality and quantity of the merchandise, its condition, and even your expectations. Although our usual rate will be 30%, we regularly make exceptions. And, we will never turn down an opportunity to sell your property to a willing buyer simply because we wouldn't be able to net our full commission: if we can net a commission of even 10%, we will make the sale!

Q. If I consign something for auction, may I set a minimum sales price?
A. Yes, that's called a "reserve". However, we won't accept merchandise with a reserve unless the reserve seems reasonable to us. And, bear in mind that if we are unable to reach your reserve after listing, photographing, uploading and offering your merchandise for sale, you will be responsible for a reserve fee of 3% of the reserve price or $15, whichever is greater. And, you will get your merchandise back. So, it's generally unwise to set a reserve unless your merchandise is very valuable. It's best to consign only the merchandise that you genuinely want to sell!

Q. How do I know that I can trust you with my valuables?
A. We'll always provide you with detailed receipts for any merchandise that you leave with us for any reason, so you'll always have a clear paper trail of your transaction. We are members of the Better Business Bureau and the American Numismatic Association, so you'll always have a higher authority to appeal to if you feel that we treated you unfairly. Our auction is conducted under guidelines prescribed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (LIC #16604 & #16643): you can reach them at (800) 803-9202. Your merchandise is fully insured at all times while it's in our care and, at your request, we will be happy to provide you with business and personal references.

Q. Do you have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms?
A. Yes. Our license number is 57405529. You may download a copy of our license.

Q. Do you transfer firearms from online sales?
A. Yes, we do! If you buy a firearm from anyone out of your area, they can ship it to us and we will do the necessary paperwork to deliver the firearm to you. We charge a transfer fee of $25 for the first firearm and $10 for each additional firearm in the same transaction. The seller will need a copy of our FFL so they'll know they can legally ship the firearm to us. Please notify us prior to shipment so that we'll be prepared to assist you when your firearm arrives.

Q. What do I need to buy/transfer a firearm?
A. Federal law requires that you must be at least 18 to buy a long gun and at least 21 to buy a handgun to receive a gun from us in our San Antonio gallery. You will need a current government-issued photo ID showing that you are a Texas resident. A combination of government documents is also acceptable. We are required to perform a NICS background check unless you have a current Texas Concealed Handgun License. If you cannot pass the NICS background check, we cannot release any firearms to you. Most transfers can be performed in just a few minutes and you can leave with your firearm upon completion. If the firearm is purchased from us, we never charge a transfer fee. Check out our live auctions for upcoming firearms or browse our catalog of firearms that we sell over-the-counter.

Q. What do I need to buy ammunition?
A. The ATF does not regulate ammunition. Federal law requires that you must be at least 18 to buy long gun ammunition and at least 21 to buy handgun ammunition. Be prepared to show valid photo ID.

Q. I have firearms I don't want anymore. What should I do?
A. We need your unwanted firearms! As with any other type of merchandise, we can either pay you on the spot or you can consign them for auction. Let's talk!


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