A Short Guide To Successfully Selling Opals Online

The avenues available for selling opals are as diverse as the opals themselves! Figuring out what to do with a rough opal or a ‘specimen’ can pose quite a challenge. You might discover that the value of a large uncut specimen exceeds that of the finished product, or vice versa. Deciding when to cut, how to maximise value, and weighing the risks are best tackled through thorough research. Remember this key statement: "people buy colour"!

Opals - known and revered as ‘October’s Birthstone’ - boasts a captivating allure, formed from their base composition of silicon dioxide and water. With various types like white, crystal, black, and semi black, understanding your opal's type, rarity of pattern, and overall condition is pivotal to securing a profitable sale. Here's a step-by-step guide to navigate the online market: 

Step 1: Appraise Your Opal

Engage a qualified jeweller to appraise your opal. Distinguishing between high-quality natural opals and lab-created ones requires trained expertise. Factors such as intensity, colour (with red indicating superior quality), and direction of colour flashes determine an opal's value. To a trained eye, these differences are quite easy to assess. Australian Opal Cutters can help with this process. 

Step 2: Capture Compelling Imagery

Photograph your opal from various angles against a dark, solid backdrop with ample lighting to showcase its brilliance and detail. The key to any sale is GREAT photos. Fill the frame with the opal and show off any colour in the gem. Taking a video in bright sunlight while dipping your opal in a dish of water is a great step, but make sure it is clear and in focus! 

Step 3: Utilise Online Marketplace Platforms

Maximise your reach by listing your opals on online marketplace platforms such as eBay or Etsy. You can also expand your online presence through platforms like Etsy, Gumtree, Instagram, and Craigslist. It's crucial to consider the different fees associated with each platform. For example, eBay charges for listing and a final value fee, while Etsy imposes a monthly fee for listings. 

When selling on eBay, begin by creating or logging into your account and filling in the required details. Craft a compelling title and a thorough description of your opal, accompanied by clear, high-quality images. Choose between a fixed-price or auction format for your listing and set your terms.

Safety should never be compromised when selling online. Always prioritise secure transactions and consider avoiding in-person meetings with buyers when possible. Utilise Opal Buying groups available on various sites to share your listings safely. With competitive pricing, you can expect a swift sale of your opals across these platforms.

Step 4: Explore Local Jewellers

Consider selling your opal to reputable jewellers in your area. Please note that jewellers buy at miners' production "cost prices" so you will usually get 1/5th what you could get selling yourself online which is similar to a Pawn Shop Option. 

As a last resort for immediate cash, visit a pawn shop. Bear in mind that the offered amount may fall short of the appraised value, as pawn shops aim to turn a profit. 

By following these steps and leveraging online resources, you can maximise the sale potential of your opal gemstones.