The Friday Rant: The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Seen


5 minute read

October 16, 2009

If you own a television, chances are, you’ve seen the commercials for both Dollars4Gold and Cash For Gold.

I cringe each time I see these advertisements.

Not only because there are people dumb enough to mail their valuables to complete strangers, but also because I didn’t think of the idea first!


I remember the first time I received a “participant” ribbon in a science fair as a child.

I also recall the first “participant” trophy I got in soccer a few years later.

The trend had become obvious – do away with “winners” and “losers,” and make sure that everybody is considered an equal part of the process.  Everybody takes part, everybody has fun!

In grade seven, we stopped getting marks like “86%” and instead were given a mark range that showed “80-89%.”

I began to think that the entire world would eventually even-out, and that everybody would soon be equal.

But as long as there are people stupid enough to stuff an envelope full of their gold watches, bracelets, and rings, and turn around and mail it across the continent to a complete stranger in hopes of possibly receiving an undisclosed amount of money, there will always be “winners” and “losers.”

There will always be “rich” and “poor.”

There will always be “haves” and “have-nots.”

There will be recessions.  And there will be capitalism.

There will be government social programs because there has to be.

And there will be different tax brackets for different people who live in different neighborhoods and work different jobs.

Cash For Gold and Dollars4Gold perfectly emulates how completely unsophisticated a large portion of our society truly is.

For those of you that don’t know, Cash For Gold and Dollars 4 Gold, which I’ll refer to from now on as “The Companies,” are two businesses who advertise on television (mostly during the day to hit that all important unemployed demographic) in attempts to swindle these people out of their valuables.

The idea is a simple one: The Companies expect you to take your gold, put it in an envelope that they provide, and mail it to their headquarters.  They will then send you a cheque.

How incredibly stupid is this?

If you haven’t seen the ad, click here:


I actually get angry when I watch this commercial.

I just can’t believe The Companies exist!

Did you watch the video?

What do you notice first?

Well first of all, the guy has a British accent.  In the last few years we’ve learned to trust British accents, as the pitch-man for ING Direct first started talking about “banks shrinking your savings with their high service charges” in his thick British accent.  So naturally, we’re inclined to trust this man.

Second, they flash his name up on the screen as if we’re supposed to know who “Anthony Sullivan” is.  Who is he?  Well, he’s a pitch-man in real life, just like in this commercial for Dollars4Gold.

So what is the sales pitch?

You’re supposed to take all your “scrap gold” and gold that is “just laying around” and sell it to The Companies.

What the hell is “scrap gold?”  How can the very commodity that set the gold standard ever be considered “scrap?”

All that gold that is just “collecting dust” and that is “broken” and “unwanted” could be turned into $$$$.  But wait – it could be turned into more than just dollar-signs – it could be turned into actual money!


This is an actual photo from The Company’s website.

We’re led to believe that we’ll have so much money that we can haphazardly throw it into the air without a care in the world!

So what is the process?

Well, first you call the number on your screen (because you’re too fat and lazy to do anything but reach for a phone) and then they send you the “G-Pak.”

The “G-Pak” is a very special product that The Companies use as part of their three-step process.

You take your unwanted, broken, and unused scrap jewelry that is just collecting dust, and put it in the G-Pak to send to The Company headquarters.

And just what is this special G-Pak?

It’s a goddam ZIPLOC BAG!

It’s a friggin’ plastic bag!


But they call it a “G-Pak,” so you know that it’s something special!

You “request” this G-Pak from the TV offer, and they send it to you…..get ready for it…..FREE!

Your very own “G-Pak” (read: plastic bag) that you can use to send your valuables to The Company so that they can send you a cheque.

So, just how much is this cheque going to be for?

And what criteria do they use to determine how much money they’re going to send you?

Well there’s the rub, Johnny!  They don’t tell you!

They want you to send all your gold to them in a plastic bag, and then they’ll send you a cheque for whatever they bloody-well feel like!

You know grandma’s antique gold bracelet that is worth $3,500?  Send it to The Companies and they’ll send you a cheque for $867.55!

If you have any qualms about this whatsoever, don’t worry!  They advertise “We’re a publicly traded company.  So you know you can trust Dollars4Gold.”  Really?  Oh yeah that’s right!!  There’s never been a single publicly traded company to ever do anything wrong…

So who uses this service?

Well sadly, I think it’s the people who least fit the profile in their advertisements.

In the TV ads, they show these well-off people who have so much gold jewelry it’s just “laying around.”  But in the real world, anybody who has so much jewelry that it’s truly just laying around wouldn’t NEED the money so bad that they’d stuff their gold in an envelope and mail it to a stranger!

And anybody that is wealthy enough to have “extra” jewelry would probably be intelligent enough to take a normal course of action when selling their gold.  You know – like, get it appraised, or maybe consider not blindly closing their eyes, holding out their hand, and hoping to see a wad of cash on their palm when they open their eyes!  Maybe find out how much it’s worth!  Maybe spend five minutes to inquire as to how valuable this “valuable” actually is before selling it, and maybe, just maybe, agree upon the sum of money before entering into the transaction!

But I think when you sit on a couch all day eating raw hot-dogs as you dip them into a tin of vanilla icing, you’re probably not the type of person who has any doubts about The Companies and their service.

The Companies are preying on the most unsophisticated, unsuspecting fraction of our society.

But wait – there’s more!

At the end of The Companies’ advertisements, they both mention, “We even accept diamonds.”

This is great news!

They “even accept” the most precious and valuable commody on the entire planet!

Which word is more superfluous – “even” or “accept”?

They say “accept” as if they are doing you a favor by ridding you of these useless items!

They say “even” as if there’s a reason why they shouldn’t be doing this!  Like this was a serious decision on their part of whether or not to buy diamonds from stupid people at a fraction of their value.


What the hell is wrong with the world?

How can the public ever cry foul over the moves that politicians and governments make on their behalf when some of them are stuffing gold into envelopes and mailing it to The Companies for undisclosed sums of money?

Or better yet, how can the public complain about the “corporate fat cats” who caused the last recession with their decisions when they are allowing British pitch-men to swindle them out of their valuables with the promise of a “free” plastic bag?

I don’t think I realized how unsophisticated a good portion of our society really is until I realized that in order for companies like Dollars4Gold and Cash For Gold to be in business, people must be using them!

I get frustrated every time I see those commercials.

I get visibly upset and angry, and I’m not sure why.

In my favorite historical quote ever, P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

And as long as there are people stupid enough to put their gold into plastic bags and mail it to strangers, there will be people looking to exploit them…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. earth mother

    at 8:16 am

    Great blog post David… I totally agree with P.T. Barnum… these gold Companies are just modern day snake-oil pitchmen…i.e. they make promises based on faith… No better than faith-healers, they target the gullible… And by the way, who trusts the mail service either?

  2. Geoff

    at 8:21 am

    Good post. I agree, they’re preying on society’s weakest, basically.

    But the ING guy’s accent is Dutch, not English.

  3. Ryan

    at 9:36 am

    I don’t think they tell you they are a publicly traded company so that you will trust them. It is incase you are too smart to send them you’re gold, you can buy shares and profit from others stupidity. If you really wish you thought of it first, now is your second chance. At 22 cents a share it tempting.

  4. Aguduser

    at 11:38 am

    Here’s a TV show about the commercial and they did an experiment, sending off some pieces of gold to see how much they would get from the company:

  5. Aguduser

    at 10:24 am

    Something suddenly dawned on me this morning: it’s not the laziness+depression/stupidity that is the reason for some people not wanting to get out of their house to go to the pawn shop! It’s SHAME that makes these people prefer to send their gold pieces away in an envelop in the hope of getting some cash for them.

    They could be the people who never have set foot in a pawn shop before, and they feel shame and pain to have to go there now.

    Dollars4Gold or Cash For Gold doesn’t prey on STUPIDITY or LAZINESS. They prey on SHAME!

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