Not only are the markets in the U.S. starting to look very shaky, but markets in countries such as Australia and Japan are looking bad themselves. In times such as these, there is an understandable desire to make room in the monthly budget, get rid of major debt, and in general find ways to make money go just a little further.

While saving money and cutting down on expenses is a great long term solution, many people find themselves suddenly in the need of a little extra money in order to bridge gaps and shortfalls. If you are one such person, perhaps it is time for you to consider selling your scrap gold online.

Right now the demand for gold is still pretty high. Though it has peaked out, there still is and always will be a demand for gold. The good news is that you might have sources of gold right under your nose. Remember that old bracelet that broke and you never really thought about again? Or perhaps you lost an earring and still have its twin. Right now is a great time to dig them out and consider selling them.

If you know you have some scrap gold that you would be willing to get rid of there are probably some questions you might have. The first is what kind of gold you are looking for. The answer is that you want to make sure all your gold is in between 10 and 24 karat. Karat is a measure of the gold’s purity, the closer to 24 the more pure the gold. 10 Karat is about as low as you want to go because under that amount the gold is generally not worth very much. You also generally only want to sell jewelry and other gold items that would be considered scrap. Such items are things like broken jewelry, scratched or broken knick knacks and other similar pieces.

Once you have the gold picked out that you want to sell, the next question that will probably come up is where to sell the gold. While there are several options aside from selling your gold online, most of them are not as attractive. Sure everyone has probably seen advertisement from “gold brokers” in the news paper announcing they will pay top dollar for your gold jewelry. However, the truth is that often these “gold brokers” are little more than local pawn shops. Pawn shops not only tend to be located in dangerous areas, but they also have a notorious reputation for not giving anywhere near the value of the item you sell them.

For this reason your best bet is choosing an online buyer. They try very hard to ensure you that they are honest and trustworthy. For instance, if you need too, you can contact them live. Also they use insured mailers to conduct their business. Most less than honest “gold brokers” do not offer this service. Then once they receive the mailer with your gold in it they will make an offer. You are free to accept or reject the offer. If you accept it they send you a check, if you reject it they send you back your gold.

There are some important facts to realize about scrap gold and its value. First scrap gold is not worth the same amount as a pristine piece of jewelry. Second, the reason that there is a market for scrap gold is because of its gold content. In order for a buyer to get their money out of the gold they have to smelt it down along with other pieces of gold. This process costs money. Also there are appraisers to pay as well and a good appraiser does not come cheaply.

So when you are looking through your jewelry remember to not try and sell super valuable or pristine pieces. Not only are you likely to regret this decision, you most likely won’t get the value you feel you should from these pieces. Also while times are rough, most people don’t need to get rid of everything in order to make things stretch, they only need a little room.

Selling scrap and broken gold jewelry and other such items will help you make that stretch. You won’t get rich but with the extra money from selling your scrap gold you can probably pay down a couple overdue bills, catch up on a credit card, or even just put it away for saving for another rainy day. The important thing is that while things are as shaky as they are, there are still ways for us to make our lives a little bit more solid.