How to Cash In on Your Ex

Wayne Hendrickson had held on to an engagement ring for nearly a year after his relationship ended.

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Things were over, and selling back the ring was all there was left to do. He turned to where others like him had found closure, and some cash, by selling jewelry from rocky relationships, called-off engagements and even amicable splits.

“I was ready to get rid of it,” 28-year old Hendrickson said. “I had already moved on, which allowed me to sell it. I was ready to.”

Within two weeks, Hendrickson said he made back about 30% of what he had originally paid for the ring.  The process was quick, simple, and unlike many breakups: painless.

Making money off of jewelry from past relationships is not a new concept, but men and women all over the country are flocking to jewelry-selling Web sites to seek revenge, make a quick buck, or just simply move on from their past romances. is giving scorned lovers even more of a chance to sell and vent, by allowing sellers to post their own stories along with the items they are selling online. Sellers can buy a post on the site for $1.99 to tell the story behind the jewelry they are trying to get rid of. Co-founder Megahn Perry says the story-telling aspect of the site has allowed buyers and sellers alike to bond and move on.

“Selling your ex’s jewelry is representative of something pretty important in life,” Perry says. “It’s not like your grandma gave it to you and you never thought of it again. This aspect allows them to get the story off their chest and the piece of jewelry out of their life.”

The site has more than 40,000 registered users since it was founded in 2008, Perry says, and the average time to sell an item is about two weeks.

“We offer a community,” she says. “Women and men that are in the same spot—you aren’t selling in this anonymous, faceless, nameless venue.”

Josh Opperman, founder of started the site after his own engagement was called off and his fiancée left him with nothing but the diamond ring he had given her. Knowing there are very few options out there for people looking to sell back such pieces, Opperman launched his own business in 2007, and sold more than $1.1 million in jewelry this past year.

“As soon as the recession hit, the site really started to take off,” Opperman says. “It is very hard to sell this type of jewelry, especially if it is a high-value item. You can sell it to a jeweler or a pawn shop, but they give you very little back.”

Opperman’s site works with an independent gemologist and authenticates the rings. Most items sell for between 50% and 80% off the retail price, according to Opperman. Mara Opperman, Josh’s sister and co-founder of the site, said the business also gives the jewelry a “karma cleanse” before selling it.

“We like to market the site toward men and women,” Mara sasys. “They are both taking the steps to try and figure out how to get some money back for a high-value item. It’s an emotional relief, and the first step to moving on.”

Melissa Schorr, owner of said that although the jewelry comes from relationships that have ended for better or for worse, the idea of owning a diamond that once belonged to someone else doesn’t bother her customers.

“With a diamond, it has probably had two or three previous owners unless somebody didn’t cut the stone,” she says. “It’s not a bad vibe business; a lot of really good things have come out of it. I don’t have hard luck, depressing people coming to me.”

Schorr says her site attracts more people selling their jewelry than buying, and her customers don’t focus on the fact that the jewelry was pre-owned, but instead they care about getting a good deal.

“Somebody else always wants it,” she says of the pieces she sells. “They are just happy to get it at a great price.”

Perry said she believes her site is therapeutic to its users, and dispels any bad karma buyers may be concerned about inheriting when purchasing her jewelry.

“Its cathartic nature helps buyers to understand they are helping someone else out,” she says. “It blows the bad juju off the item.”