Sell old gold for cash
The scoop: These companies advertise heavily on local television, stating they'll be at a hotel near you and will offer "top dollar" for your gold.
The benefits: Sometimes these operations will buy more than just your gold -- if you have collectibles, you may be able to sell them at the same time.
The drawbacks: The limited-time engagement can encourage high-pressure sales tactics and little recourse if you feel duped. Their high travel, rent and advertising expenses mean you'll rarely receive more than 40 percent of scrap value.
The bottom line: Do your homework, know a fair price and wait for the pitch, says David Morgan, publisher of Silver Investor in Colbert, Wash. "You've got gold jewelry, they've got cash. Everybody's happy, right? Everybody except the people who know they have a bracelet that, when melted down, is worth $100, and they're offered $40."