GoldPaq, GoldKit and Cash4Gold are some of the companies that buy gold by the ounce through the mail. In addition to these national companies, most urban areas have local pawn shops and agents that specialize in buying gold, and these establishments allow customers to sell in person.
Both mail-away and in-person gold buyers give sellers a percentage of the total value of the gold. Other expenses, such as paying a smelter to melt down the gold, reduce the final amount paid to the seller. In addition, some gold items are purer than others; a 24-carat gold item is worth more by the ounce than less pure samples.