Editor's note:

  This is the People's Livelihood Investigation Bureau, investigating changes in people's livelihood where no one has seen it before. Pay attention to what you want to pay attention to and what you haven’t paid attention to, and investigate what you want to see and what you haven’t seen.

  China News Service, February 20 (China News Financial Reporter Zuo Yuqing) Under the wave of "the more expensive gold is, the more you buy it", the superimposed effect of the Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon and Valentine's Day has once again added fuel to the gold rush.

  On the 18th, the China Gold Association stated that during the Spring Festival, despite the high price of gold, gold consumption in my country was still hot, with gold jewelry and Year of the Dragon gold bars becoming the most popular products.

  In a gold store, consumers are shopping for goods. Photo by Zuo Yuqing

The New Year of the Dragon kicks off another “gold rush” with many types of gold sold out

  “Several gold store clerks who had joined WeChat before started sending me gold discount information before the Spring Festival.” Linlin (pseudonym), a post-90s generation, told China News Finance that she has been “bombarded” by gold sales recently.

  Sino-Singapore Finance’s visit found that under the combined effect of the Year of the Dragon Spring Festival and Valentine’s Day, consumer demand for gold jewelry has surged, and most gold stores have also increased gold discounts. For example, in a certain shopping mall, Chow Tai Fook has launched a "10 discount", Lao Feng Xiang has launched a "50 discount", and Chow Tai Sang, China Gold, and Lao Miao Gold have launched a "100 discount" and other discounts. Many consumers shuttle between gold stores and compare gold prices store by store.

  A gold store clerk told Sino-Singapore Finance that the best-selling items in the store recently are transfer beads with dragon elements, and some people also choose Valentine's Day-related accessories such as "peach blossoms." "Peach Blossom's pendant has been sold out, and some dragon element transport beads are out of stock."

  In addition to gold jewelry, investment gold products are also hot in sales. Sino-Singapore Finance has noticed that while some banks are intensively launching gold products such as Year of the Dragon gold bars, transfer beads, gold banknotes, gold coins, and gold medals, they have also launched a "gold accumulation" marketing campaign.

The recycling price of small golden beans was "disliked"

  The continued popularity of gold products is attributed to gold’s value-preserving and safe-haven properties. Young people who have succeeded Chinese aunts and become the new main force in gold consumption have even included monthly purchases of small golden beans in their financial management system.

  However, although buying gold is exciting for a while, many people "stumble" when gold is cashed out.

  "Five years ago, when the gold price was still 358 yuan/gram, I bought a gold necklace and gold earrings. Recently, the gold price has risen sharply, so I wanted to recycle them. As a result, the staff at the gold store said that the color of my gold was poor, and the recycling price was only I paid 450 yuan, and the normal recycling price in the store at that time was 470 yuan." Recently, Ms. Qi told Sino-Singapore Finance that it was difficult for her to accept the gold store's reason for lowering the price.

  "Some gold may have poor composition when purchased, be mixed with brass and other impurities, or may be stained with dust or worn when worn, and the weight of the burned gold will be deviated. If the burned gold is not of good quality, we will not accept it. ." In this regard, a staff member of the gold exchange office of a gold store explained to China News Finance.

  In February 2024, citizens purchased gold jewelry in shopping malls. Photo by China News Service reporter Yu Jing

  Ms. Qi's experience is not an isolated case. Xiaojindou, which is very popular among young people, has been "rejected" by some merchants.

  The staff of the above-mentioned gold recycling store told China News Finance that because many small gold beans on the market are not pure enough, their store no longer recycles gold beans.

  "The premiums of big brand golden beans are relatively high, so I usually wait for major platforms to buy coupons when there are coupons, or choose to buy them in small stores, but the golden beans in small stores are also easy to be adulterated." I was once addicted to the golden beans. Linlin, born in the 1990s, told China News Finance that when she sent the gold beans she saved to be made into jewelry, she found that some of the gold beans were not pure enough.

  On January 31, the China Consumers Association released an analysis of complaints accepted by the National Consumers Association in 2023. It was mentioned that the number of complaints about gold jewelry has increased significantly. First, the product quality, purity, and ingredients are inconsistent with the label. Some merchants sell "gold beans" and other jewelry products that are mixed with brass, and the actual "gold content" is far lower than the advertised standard. Second, the "fixed price" gold pricing model is opaque. Operators deliberately conceal the weight or replacement restrictions of gold jewelry when selling, leading to problems such as inducing consumption and price fraud.

"Stealing gold" is hard to detect and there are endless ways to prevent gold collection.

  China News Finance has noticed that although gold recycling prices vary among gold shops, individual gold recycling shops are often much higher than branded gold shops. For example, when the market price of gold is about 482 yuan, the recycling price of pure gold in brand gold stores is between 460-470 yuan, while the recycling price of some individual gold stores has reached 480-490 yuan.

  In the gold recycling process, consumers often choose “the one with the highest price gets it”. However, gold shops under the banner of "high-price recycling" usually set up various tricks behind the high prices, using reasons such as poor gold quality to keep prices down.

  Screenshot from the WeChat official account of Gongshu Market Supervision Bureau

  Previously, a blogger posted a video saying that a gold store in Hangzhou weighed only 62 grams of a 77-gram gold necklace when recycling gold. Subsequently, the Hangzhou Gongshu District Market Supervision Bureau reported the relevant situation, saying that after identification by the technical agency, the electronic scale was unqualified and had illegal modifications. At present, a penalty decision has been made in this case in accordance with the law, the electronic scale was confiscated and the merchant was fined 22,000 yuan.

  On social platforms, there are many posts complaining about being cheated during gold recycling. "I was told at first that there would be losses when burning gold, but after burning 43 grams of gold, I only had 38 grams. The other party said that this was normal loss." Some netizens said that they had been deceived by a combination of a brand gold store clerk and a private old gold recycling company. . "The counter sister melted the gold and if there was dirt on the surface, she said the gold was impure. She wanted to help me contact an outside old gold recycling company, but she found a gold store that added borax, and there was no problem at all after burning it."

  During the visit, China News Finance found that some gold shops also set additional fees such as exchange fees and depreciation fees when recycling gold. For example, some gold shops ask for a handling fee of 10 yuan/gram. Some individual gold shops are very secretive about the gold recycling process, requiring customers to show gold jewelry before they are willing to inform the specific details.

  Some shops that recycle gold at high prices. Photo by Zuo Yuqing

  Many regular gold stores told China News Finance that receipts are not required for gold recycling. If the gold is of good quality, the weight deviation is generally not large. "The general loss is about 0.01-0.03 grams, and the normal recycling price is about 10 yuan lower than the market. If the price is close to the market or higher than the market, there are basically tricks." A store clerk told China News Finance. (over)