How to Make Money Buying Precious Metals on eBay

Hundreds of items made from gold, silver and platinum are listed on eBay every day.  The fastest and easiest way to find them is to use, an online service that automates eBay searches for you.

How Works

Photo of old gold-plated commemorative trophies that can be recycled and refined by Gold, part of Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

Visit, create an account, and enter the key terms that you want the service to find for you on eBay. You then enter your email address and specify how often you want to get email alerts. Then your email alerts begin to arrive.

For example, I personally have searches set up for “platinum,” “silver” and “gold.” Once a day, I get emails that display all the newly listed items on eBay that contain those words. It saves me the trouble of going to eBay daily to hunt for them. On a typical day, I get more than 100 listings that I can quickly review.

What You Will Find

My daily alerts list hundreds of pieces of jewelry. That’s kind of predictable. But I also discover items like these, some of which are pretty surprising . . .

  • Trophies – There are engraved sports trophies of all kinds. Most are gold-plated or silver-plated, but some are pure sterling.  Well worth looking at!
  • Lighters and smokers’ accessories – I have found cigarette and cigar holders, lighters, and ashtrays.  There have been some surprises too, like a cigar cutter with silver inlays, an antique gold alloy tabletop cigarette lighter and a platinum cigarette case. I expect to find more items in this category as smoking becomes less popular.
  • Barware – Who knew that gold-plated shot glasses were once popular, that old cocktail shakers could have tops made of sterling silver, or that companies once produced sterling silver sticks for stirring cocktails? Those are some of the surprises that I have found via
  • Religious items – There are interesting and surprising items in this category, ranging from gold religious medals to crucifixes. I’ve also gotten alerts for silver Torah pointers – the little metal pointers that are used when worshipers read from Torah scrolls during Jewish services.
  • Fountain pens and mechanical pencils – I think the number of platinum and gold items in this category will surprise you. Some are new, recently manufactured items, while other are antiques.
Photo of antique fountain pens containing platinum gold and silver that can be recycled profitably by Gold, part of Specialty Metals.

The Challenges of Buying on eBay

Few eBay listings list the weight of the gold, silver, or platinum that is contained in the items that are for sale. So in a sense, bidding and buying is a bit like gambling. Will that platinum cigarette case contain platinum that is worth twice what you will pay for the item, for example? Does a gold-plated Zippo lighter contain enough gold?

Yet as you review listings, you will also find some items – maybe one in 200 – that seem to be very good candidates for profitable recycling, like a silver-plated golf trophy cup that turned up in my alerts recently. It was awarded by a country club in 1933. It’s four inches tall, measures a 1 5/8” in diameter at the top, and bidding opens at only $14.95.

I’m in, how about you? After you’ve snagged a quantity of precious metal items, call Gold Refiners, part of Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, at 800-426-2344. We’ll help you turn your discoveries into bright shiny cash. 

Related Posts:

Make Money by Recycling Gold Buttons, Buckles and Cufflinks
Finding Gold and Silver in Ceremonial Religious Items and Artifacts
What We Found while Hunting for Precious Metals on eBay
There Could Be More Gold in Old Commemoratives and Trophies than You Think