“Turn your unwanted, broken or mismatched jewelry into cold, hard cash, because if you’re selling, Cash4Gold.com is buying!”
You probably have heard that cheery message blare from your television one late night (see down below). It’s apparently a hot Internet business, and one that is being aggressively guarded by a start-up performing the job.
Green Bullion Financial Services LLC, doing business as Cash4Gold, has sued Money4Gold Holdings Inc., accusing the rival company of copyright infringement and false advertising.
Cash4Gold, launched in 2007, allows people to send in their gold, silver or platinum jewelry and receive money in return. The company is now the largest gold buyer online with over 50,000 transactions per month, the company’s filing stated. Thanks in part to $40 million in equity backing from Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst Partners, according to PEhub, its advertisements have been ubiquitous on television in recent months.
However, Boca Raton, Fla.-based Money4Gold, launched in 2008, is a “copycat business” that has been deceiving consumers into thinking they are going to Cash4Gold sites but instead going to Money4Gold sites, according to Cash4Gold’s Jan. 6 filing in the federal suit filed in the Southern District Court of Florida.
Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Cash4Gold’s Chief Executive Jeff Aronson said in an emailed statement, “We hope this lawsuit will deliver our message that we intend to vigorously defend the Cash4Gold brand against infringement by any third party. Specifically, where an infringement continues after the Company has demanded that it cease, we will aggressively pursue our legal right to redress and damages against any and all responsible parties.”
Money4Gold President Dan Brauser said he could not comment on the legal case, but described the need for his company’s service. “There’s increasing demand each year [for gold] and stagnant or flat supply from mines… But you’ve got valuable items sitting around and through our service we can help you change that into cash,” Brauser said.
Money4Gold uses spoof Web sites such as FastCash4Gold.net, TheMostCash4Gold.com and others that are designed to make people think they are at Cash4Gold’s site, Cash4Gold alleged. In one example, Money4Gold used a logo “The Most Cash4Gold” that looks similar to Cash4Gold’s logo, a filing said. Money4Gold also used the “As Seen on TV” logo to make people think they are at Cash4Gold’s site, according to the filing.
After filing suit against Money4Gold on Jan. 6, Cash4Gold CEO Jeff Aronson did a Google search for his company on Jan. 16 and found a site Cash4GoldTV.com that directed people to Money4Gold’s sites, Aronson stated in a legal filing.
Money4Gold went public through a reverse merger in July 2008 and took in $2.4 million in private placement, Brauser said. The company, which trades over the counter, partners with a precious metals refining company to melt down the metal, while Cash4Gold has its own refining facility in Florida.
Here’s a video of one of their commercials. If you haven’t it yet, you’ll be introduced to it during the Super Bowl. Apparently MC Hammer and Ed McMahon are featured in it. We guess that’s where much of its venture backing is going.