Gold Buyer Job Description

Gold buyers buy items including scrap gold, jewelry, coins, and gold bars from customers, either in a shop or as independent buyers at markets. They also resell gold, either to retail customers or to refiners who pay for scrap gold to re-use. In this role, gold buyers assess item values based on either weight or potential resale prices and negotiate prices with customers. They keep up with current gold prices to ensure profitability and understand the resale market.

Gold buyers also need to manage cash, both during transactions and while making deposits, since their business tends to be largely cash-based. Gold buyers may also need to conduct material tests to verify the gold content of items and maintain records in case sellers bring in stolen or counterfeit items.


Gold Buyer Duties and Responsibilities

Based on job postings that we examined, gold buyers share several essential responsibilities:

Evaluate Gold Items

The foremost duty of a gold buyer is evaluating items that customers bring in, including gold coins, jewelry, scrap gold, and gold bars or bullion. The gold buyer may weigh these items to determine their value or estimate resale value. Additionally, a gold buyer may conduct material tests using a variety of methods to determine the items’ gold content and veracity as they make price estimates.

Provide Cash Offers to Customers

After evaluating a customer’s items, gold buyers present a cash offer. In this aspect of the job, the gold buyer may negotiate with customers to arrive at a mutually agreeable price. Gold buyers should be aware of current per-ounce prices of gold and precious metals and should also consider the resale value of the customer’s items and potential for profit.

Resell Gold Items

Gold buyers also resell gold items. For gold scrap and some jewelry, this involves bringing the items to a refiner and receiving payment based on item weight. The gold buyer also prepares items by removing non-gold elements such as stones and clasps. For items that will be resold in a retail setting, the gold buyer determines asking prices and enters the items in inventory while also managing displays, merchandizing, and online sales channels.

Maintain Transaction Records

Gold buyers also maintain detailed transaction records, which help with day-to-day inventory management and provide insights on customer value and trends. Additionally, gold buyers may need to provide these records to police who are investigating stolen items that customers may have sold to local gold buyers or pawn shops.

Manage Cash Flow and Deposits

Gold buyers also manage their store’s day-to-day cash flow activities by ensuring that they have sufficient cash on hand to complete customer transactions and maintaining records of sales and purchases. Gold buyers also manage deposits and withdrawals, ensuring that cash drawer amounts and deposit forms are complete and accurate and that they retain deposit receipts for tax payments and bookkeeping.


Gold Buyer Skills and Qualifications

Gold buyers spend a lot of their time interacting with customers and developing value estimates for gold items. While this role doesn’t have any formal educational requirements, gold buyers frequently use the following skills:

  • Assessment and evaluation – gold buyers assess values by weight and on a per-item basis, so they should be familiar with current gold prices and resale value for items like jewelry and coins
  • Negotiation – negotiation is another key skill for gold buyers, since they work with customers to provide cash offers for scrap gold, coins, and other items to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction
  • Customer service – this role also requires strong customer service skills to successfully interact with gold sellers and resale buyers
  • Mathematics – gold buyers should be familiar with mathematical principles, since they need to calculate values based on gold weight and accurately determine resale prices
  • Cash management – this role also requires good cash management skills to ensure correct payouts and that deposits are handled correctly and kept secure
  • Attention to detail – gold buyers should also be highly attentive and able to spot counterfeit items and attempts by customers to sell less valuable items that are not pure gold


Gold Buyer Education and Training

Gold buyers do not require any formal education, although most companies prefer to hire candidates with at least a high school diploma or GED. Gold buyers do need some experience with evaluating items and determining the gold content of materials like bars, coins, and jewelry. Customer service and cash handling experience are also helpful, since gold buyers interact directly with customers to buy gold items and are in charge of handling money in transactions and deposits.


Gold Buyer Salary and Outlook

Gold buyer salaries can depend on whether the buyer works for a larger organization or independently. Gold buyers who work hourly earn $10 to $15 per hour, according to Glassdoor salary estimates. Independent gold buyers make most of their earnings from resale, either to customers or to refiners, so income can depend largely on the spread between the amount the buyer pays for gold, jewelry, and coins, and the amount they ultimately gain from selling these items.


Helpful Resources

We searched the web and found several resources if you’d like to learn more about the day-to-day life of a gold buyer:

“Industry Pitfalls and Poor Business Practices” – read this blog post to learn about best practices in buying and selling gold, including how to ensure that bullion and coins are legitimate and properly valued

Gold, Silver and Rare Coins: A Complete Guide to Finding, Buying, Selling, Investing – tailored toward buyers and investors, this book teaches readers about valuable coins as well as prices for gold and silver

“Gold: 7 Things to Know Before You Sell” – this blog post explores the changing gold market, including online marketplaces and pop-up sellers, and provides useful advice for gold buyers and sellers to promote fairness and transparency

Scrap Gold Buyers Handbook: Cash for Gold Scrap, Silver, Platinum, Diamonds, and Gems – gold buyers can use this reference guide to better evaluate and assess coins, jewelry, and scrap gold


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