As a test, Johnston had his son mail in some gold earrings that he had bought from customers for $187.50.
The company mailed back a cheque for $51.93. When his son called the company to turn down the cheque, he received a second offer of $140 for the gold.
Colin Nash of Nash Jewelers said scrap jewelry is only worth a small fraction of its initial value so he offers customers a trade-in value on new jewelry as an alternative.
Evidently, anyone who wishes to sell his or her scrap jewelry to one of those places had better like haggling. For those who don't, and can't find a reputable buyer that's earned their trust, there's always eBay.
While I'm on the subject: I wonder if anyone, as a test, ever sent in a bullion coin to those mail-in companies to see what they would pay...