NEW YORK (
) -- Valentine's Day may be a time to express love and devotion to your significant other, but it's also a time for breakups.
According to a 2011 survey by
, a free ratings and profile service for attorneys and doctors in the U.S., the number of Americans seeking divorce lawyers and divorce-related information "skyrockets" around Valentine's Day.
The reasons could be several: people delaying divorce until after the holidays, waiting for bonuses to come in or even seeing if a relationship can be reconciled based on what's planned for Valentine's Day, the survey found.
Six years ago, Josh Opperman saw an opportunity in the "break-up" industry after experiencing his own broken engagement.
Opperman, now 35, was looking to get reimbursed for the more than $10,000 he shelled out for an engagement ring, only to find that most places were only willing to give him a fraction (in some cases just 35%) of what he paid, he says. Opperman decided to create the marketplace so that others wouldn't have to go through what he did.
I Do ... Now I Don't
in February 2007.
The site has become a popular place for sellers to get rid of unwanted jewelry at better prices than in the retail market, and for buyers, especially in this cost-conscious economy, to potentially get an engagement ring of their dreams for less than the retail cost.
Last year, about $2.5 million worth of items were sold through the site, according to Opperman.
So far the most expensive was a $75,000 engagement ring, he says.
The idea takes the pawn and consignment industries to a whole new level. It also threatens the $30 billion retail jewelry market, which has been struggling since the recession, according to
"Price-conscious consumers have found new ways to get deals on jewelry," as the December report says. "Department stores, warehouse retailers and online outlets threaten traditional jewelry retailers by offering consumers a low-priced one-stop shop for their jewelry needs. When consumers shop at these stores more often than traditional jewelry stores, industry revenue will decline."