PORTLAND -- With the price of gold at a record high and the economy in a downturn, the State of Oregon was warning consumers to watch out for scams when trying to sell precious metals.
This month, state inspectors are cracking down on gold buying establishments and making sure they're weighing by the rules.
On Wednesday, KGW Newschannel 8 tagged along with inspector Josh Nelson as he paid a visit to A North Portland pawn shop to check it’s scale. It’s a crack-down service customers like Shane Ashley said he appreciates.
He said, with the price of gold at about $1,200 an ounce right now, he decided to pawn some of his gold. "The economy is tough, people need to pay their bills. That's why I do it. You basically got to do what you got to do to just make ends meet these days," said Ashley.
But as more people look to sell, not all businesses were following the rules, according to the state. So, to protect the consumer, inspectors with the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Measurement Standards Division were conducting scale tests.
The "All that Glitters" pawn shop passed the check with flying colors, but store manager Teresa Rohde says a lot of customers were coming to her after being grossly under-quoted by other businesses.
"I actually had a gal come in with a ring with a tag on it saying $7 and she said, 'how much can I get for this?' and I said $126," she recalled.
The state had these tips for anyone wanting to sell gold:
- Make sure the buyer’s scale has an approval sticker on it showing that it’s been tested and licensed.
- Have the buyer weigh your items in plain sight so you can see for yourself how much they weigh.
- Steer clear of traveling buyers.
"Someone who is just set up in some hotel room or in a back room somewhere is not necessarily on the up and up," added Nelson.