Customers warned against ‘free envelope’ cash for gold companies as the cost of living crisis bites

Think twice before selling your gold
  • Gold-Traders commissioned an independent company to put the ‘best price’ guarantees of two popular free envelope companies to the test
  • Gold-Traders have launched two ‘price match’ tools, allowing customers of Post Gold For Cash and Cash4Gold to challenge their initial valuations with a formal written valuation from us, so they can get more money for their gold

If you’re thinking about selling unwanted gold to earn cash, then you’ll want to get the best deal, now more than ever.

Online gold-buying companies want to make it easy for you to sell old jewellery and coins by sending you free postage envelopes. But do these services really get you a good deal?

We commissioned an independent company to put two popular free envelope gold dealers to the test, in the hopes of highlighting the risks associated with these services.

What we found was shocking. Our research showed that you could lose about 50% of the value of your gold when you opt for a free envelope service. With energy, food and fuel prices going up, that’s money we’d all rather have in our pockets.

Here’s how you can avoid being short changed when you sell gold online.

What are free envelope gold companies?

If you’ve sold gold online then you may have been offered a ‘free’ postal pack. Request one and you’ll receive a pre-paid delivery envelope, ready for you to fill with items and take to the post office.

So what’s the catch?

Well, when you opt for a company that sends out free envelopes you know they’re focused on marketing and won’t necessarily offer transparent prices. Postal packs cost gold buyers to send out and many will go unused, or will be returned with nothing of value. Dealers who rely on envelopes recoup costs by much lower rates for your gold.

When you send your items to Gold-Traders using Royal Mail Special Delivery, you get the same tracked and insured service that free envelopes offer, without the hidden fees, followed by a clear valuation from the UK’s only Trading Standards-approved precious metals dealer.

Free envelope cash for gold companies can’t beat our prices

PostGoldForCash ( and Cash4Gold Online (in partnership with Cash4Gold-now ( / both offer free envelopes and a best price guarantee. If you can provide them with a written quote for scrap precious metal from a competitor, they say they’ll match it.

To test this, our research company sent each business exactly 17.4 grams of clean, fully hallmarked nine-carat gold for valuation, using each company’s postal packs.

When the items arrived with PostGoldForCash on 13 September 2022 the spot price for 17.4 grams of nine-carat gold (at the time of valuation) was £309.20. The spot price is the value of gold on the precious metal market. It fluctuates depending on supply, demand and investor behaviour.

PostGoldForCash verbally quoted £206 for our gold on the day they received it. That was only 66.6% of the spot price. Gold-Traders could have offered a minimum of £287.97 for the same amount of gold: more than £70 more than PostGoldForCash’s initial offer and 93.1% of the spot valuation.

View our up-to-date scrap gold prices and use our online calculator to generate an instant valuation today.

Our gold arrived with Cash4Gold on 28 September 2022. On that day, the spot valuation was £318.52. By email, Cash4Gold offered us £155. That’s a whopping 52.5% less than the £295.28 that a Gold-Traders customer could have received on the same day, for the same gold.

We challenged both companies’ best price guarantees using a valuation from Gold-Traders, generated with our online calculator. PostGold4Cash upped their offer to £240 in response (still just 77.6% of the spot value and £40 less than our price). They didn’t believe we would pay out the amount we quoted and argued that shipping, refining, postage and insurance costs weren’t included in the valuation.

Well, you just have to look at our reviews to see that our customers get paid exactly what we quote them.

Cash4Gold immediately increased their offer to match the Gold-Traders price but they still took off £8 for shipping costs, despite advertising a ‘free’ envelope service. This means that their final offer was £287.28.

Our Director, Jon, has been campaigning for more transparency with online gold dealers for over a decade. After seeing the results of our experiment he said,

‘This test has proved what we’ve known and tried to open up our customers’ eyes to for a long time, that free envelope cash-for-gold businesses don’t necessarily offer consumers the best deal. If a customer had chosen to accept Cash4Gold Online’s first offer, they would have lost out on over £140 – an amount that would make a huge difference to many households right now.

‘Cases like these are exactly why we sought to achieve Trading Standards accreditation, because we believe in treating our customers fairly and transparently. While free envelope services might appear to be a convenient, easy and affordable way to sell unwanted valuables, consumers could be missing out on a lot of extra cash. What’s more and as our experiment shows, the shipping costs are normally sneakily knocked off the quote they offer on items, so the envelopes aren’t really free after all. If a gold-buying company fails to clearly publish their actual buying prices or doesn’t stick to their best price promise, I would strongly advise you to walk away and take your items elsewhere.’

Further reading

2 Responses to “Customers warned against ‘free envelope’ cash for gold companies as the cost of living crisis bites”

  1. Anonymous says:

    How can I send you my gold

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October 14th, 2022 2 Comments » Industry News |