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Tesco now wants to buy your gold

Model supermarket trolley filled with gold coins

Tesco’s moving into the cash-for-gold market, exploiting the strong price of gold to give you money for your jewellery. Shameless profiteering or is Tesco actually trying to give its customers the best value for money?

With Christmas over, it’s fair to say that some of us will be scratching around for ways to pay off what we spent. One option might be to sell your unwanted jewellery at the supermarket. No, seriously.

If you want to sell your unwanted gold, you need to visit high street jewellers, pawnbrokers or online via cash-for-gold specialists, right? Not so, as there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s a bruiser – Tesco.

Britain’s biggest supermarket chain has opened a trial cash-for-gold scheme at 15 of its stores. It promises to offer a superior service (whatever that means) and highly competitive prices.

This seems a strange direction for the retailer to take. Normally the ‘kerching!’ you associate with Tesco leads to money rolling into its tills, not out. But the supermarket maintains it’s entering the market to give customers the best deals around.

In-store and online gold sales

Now, I’ve not read all the details, but I’m guessing that we won’t be seeing hoards of bling buccaneers staggering along to the already stretched queues with their treasure chests, while the rest of us are just trying to get our weekly shop paid for.

And I can’t see Dale Winton donning a Tesco overall to lend a hand, despite his sterling work advertising one cash-for-gold site, not to mention his redoubtable experience heading up Supermarket Sweep.

In reality, the stores will feature gold specialists and there will be an online cash-for-gold service that’s eerily similar to the way current cash-for-gold sites operate – the very same ones Which? slated when we investigated the sector last year.

These are tough times

I’m not convinced by Tesco’s initiative. Times are tough right now, and it seems like Tesco is jumping on the wrong bandwagon. Sure, it’ll make a bomb – otherwise why enter this market? But it seems to me that Tesco’s relying on loyal customers to make it a pretty penny.

And launching the service straight after Christmas, when so many of us are desperately scrabbling around for ways to pay off our credit card bills, appears a little cynical.

Tesco’s slogan is ‘Every little helps’. In this case, I wonder who’s giving – and who’s getting – that help.