Falling Out Of Love

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Breakups suck. Unfortunately, falling out of love is part of life for many. With Valentine's Day looming, it may be hard to resist a quick trip down memory lane recalling relationships past. So here's an idea for those dealing with a breakup: Sell the leftover baubles and even the cancelled wedding.

A few Internet entrepreneurs have taken a pragmatic look at the implications of falling out of love and found there's money to be made -- and saved -- in the aftermath. The sites may seem a bit brash, but they can help salvage some cash from the trauma of dealing with a breakup.

The first site, Exboyfriend Jewelry, focuses on unloading the gems and trinkets that remind you of a former flame. Some men's jewelry is available on the site, and occasionally men offer up gifts bought before the whole falling out of love thing. As the site's name suggests, though, the bulk of the items are adornments such as rings, earrings, and necklaces being sold by women who want to dispense with reminders of relationships gone bad. Each piece is accompanied by a picture, a description, a condition rating (provided by the seller), the shipped-from location, and of course, the price. Wearing a memento from someone else's breakup may feel unsettling, so "the scoop" about the jewelry is also detailed. The stories aren't all sad -- some describe good guys but bad timing -- although the term "jerk" is thrown around a lot.

The site is still in its infancy. We noticed that pictures didn't show up in the Google Chrome browser during our research but easily appeared with Firefox. Currently the site lets you contact the seller directly and remains uninvolved in the transaction. But with such high value items being exchanged, watch out for scammers. Exboyfriend Jewelry suggests using a third-party online escrow business, Safefunds, for transaction security and offers tips on identifying fake items and scams. Although it's hard to find substantial discounts on the site, deals can be had. For example, a gold penguin pendant with diamonds was selling for $130 the day we searched compared with $147 (plus tax and shipping) at Walmart for what appears to be the same piece. A listing for a diamond engagement ring bought at Jared that the seller claims cost $5,000 was going for half price.

Dealing with breakups before the ceremony but after the wedding plans have been finalized is the province of Bridal Brokerage. Consider that florists, planners, and caterers have contracts and the down payment for the venue has been made. Falling out of love inevitably means calling off the wedding, but Bridal Brokerage can sell the party to another couple. Sellers recoup some of their losses and the purchasing couple saves time and money on their "prepackaged" wedding. Who buys these deals? According to Bridal Brokerage, that would be thrifty couples, last-minute elopers, and those who simply don't like to spend a ton of time making plans. This is a win-win for everyone except the relationship.

Bridal Brokerage is a startup and not yet fully developed. The site is very basic, with an "about us" page and a form to fill out, so proceed with caution. On the other hand, working with a young and growing business may net more personalized service.

The Bottom Line.

Falling out of love is not pretty but these two companies try to leverage difficult and awkward circumstances. Giving newly single people an opportunity to recover financially from their emotional loss and couples a chance to find discounted services is the frugal upside to a breakup.

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