Trading Standards are urging people to shop around when they are selling gold after an operation uncovered the huge differences in prices being offered.
South Yorkshire Police and Trading Standards took part in the two day operation which saw them visit 17 outlets across the borough.
They were offered between £759 and £1,350 for the same amount of scrap gold.
During the operation officers entered each premise with a known weight of scrap gold. The gold was weighed on each occasion, however this was not always in the presence of the seller or on the correct type of weighing scales.
The law requires that all transactions in gold must be made using Class II stamped trade equipment.
In addition, although there is no legal requirement to do so, none of the buyers revealed to customers the current unit price of scrap gold, which goes up and down according to international market fluctuations.
The operation was held after Rotherham Council’s Trading Standards department received intelligence over the huge disparity in prices being offered by gold dealers.
Using the incorrect weighing equipment is illegal and so the department will be following up the issue with those traders who did not conform to the law.
Ken Wyatt, cabinet member for health and well being for Rotherham Council, said: “The advice is always shop around before agreeing to the transaction.”
“We know that gold is very big business at the moment with the public wanting to earn cash for their scrap metal. But the results from the operation are really surprising and the clear message is that people should shop around when they want to sell.”
“They should certainly not accept the first amount they are offered because the huge difference in prices mean they could miss out on substantial amounts of money.”