With the success of Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, people everywhere are tossing basically everything. If it no longer serves you, toss it. That includes thousands of divorced women who are sitting on engagement rings, wedding bands, and expensive “I’m sorry” jewelry that they’d rather sell.
The problem is, when you go to a local jewelry store or pawn shop or the diamond district, you'll probably get lowballed when looking to sell your pieces — “especially if you are a woman," according to Judy Herbst, Director of PR and Partnerships at Worthy, an online marketplace for pre-owned jewelry. That's why Worthy aims to help people sell their jewelry efficiently and wisely.
And the major trend the company is seeing lately is divorced women selling their goods. Divorced women have become loyal clients, Herbst explained, because they realize the financial windfall they'll likely receive when they get rid of the jewelry, which probably isn't sparking much joy anyway.
In the past, many women would just stuck pieces in their drawer or in a bank vault, and forget about it. In fact, the founder of Worthy, Ben De Kalo, estimates that there are “$1 trillion worth of diamonds sitting in drawers across the country.”
But now, things have changed. “Everyone is cleaning out their old stuff,” Herbst said, "and we saw that customers who were using every day were women going through a divorce.”
“They’ve already passed the divorce and and are cleaning out their lives. That involves selling gifted jewelry that they didn’t know what to do with,” she said. “Now they’re sparked by the trends out there and women are realizing they might as well get the financial windfall.”
She explained engagement rings are the most popular re-seller, along with “jewelry boxes in general.” “It’s easier to get rid of than they ever thought,” she added.
Basically, Worthy doesn't sit on the product. What it does is act as a middleman to vetted professional buyers, who then re-purpose the diamonds and and make modern pieces (unlike a jewelry or pawn shop, who will sit on an item until it sells, which it may never do).
Worthy takes a commission only if someone gets a sale, Herbst explained, which is 22 percent for a piece that sells for $5,000 and under, then it varies.
“I love that we are helping people, but mostly helping women learn what they have and move on,” Herbst said. “There are women who are selling a ring and saving their house, many put the money into a new business. We put the woman in control and she learns all the facts.”
One “I’m sorry” divorce jewelry box can give you a huge kickstart financially. Once you sell your piece or pieces, you are paid out within 48-72 hours. Herbst concluded, “It works because there’s a constant supply.”
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