Anyhow, let me give you the tl;dr version of the best parts of the second post
So here's what they did: Along with their parent company (Consumer Reports), they got "24 identical gold pendants and chains to Cash4Gold and some of its national competitors. The necklaces were purchased for $175 each. We calculated their "melt value" – meaning how much the raw gold was worth – as about $70 each"
How much did C4G offer for the gold?
"Cash4Gold sent back checks ranging from $7.60 to $12.72 (or 11% to 18% of melt value)"
This is how their business works: they undervalue everything by huge amounts and then pocket the profits. Hoping to get $70 selling jewelry? Hope you've got like 6 to send in. When people call in to contest the low amount, they will then give another higher offer of often double or triple. The CSRs get bonuses based on what they [don't] pay out:
"As she describes it, reps got a $15 bonus for getting a customer to accept less than double the first check. And they got $10 for keeping the payout under three times as much. Liberis provided paystubs showing her earning as much as $815 in bonuses over two weeks – nearly doubling her pay of $906 for the period."Quite the business. Check out the full post if you want to read about the lawsuit that C4G has against The Consumerist for publishing these posts.