Now that we’ve learned a bit about where to buy gold, how to buy gold coins and how to buy gold bars, we’re going to “refine” our discussion a bit (get it? gold?… refine?) and talk about where to find the best prices for gold that you want to buy and the best place to buy gold bullion. We going to present this information, though, in an inverted way. To begin, here are some of the “not best places to buy gold (and silver):”
Television ads – These are definitely NOT the best place to buy gold coins. I’ve been seeing more TV ads offering incredible prices for gold coins and they sound very convincing, but these are mainly gold-plated or “gold-clad” coins; having more of anything but gold than actual gold in them. Stay away from deals that sound too good to be true. A purchase of anything like this is wasted money.
Telemarketers – I will never, ever do business with a one-time phone solicitor. Because of past experience, I don’t trust this type of business (mainly because I was a phone solicitor in the past!) These people are some of the most highly trained sales specialists with whom you will deal. They have a list of every possible objection you might have and multiple responses to each objection. This is why it’s so hard to get off the phone with them, because they’ll keep looping the conversation around in order to make that sale. Anything anyone tells you on the phone is going to sound incredible. Here’s what you do: Ask them to send you printed materials or have them direct you to the information on the Internet so that you can look over the deal and read the fine print. If they make any excuses why they cannot do this, get off the phone immediately. They may truly have a special offer for you, but you’re going to do your research on it and make an educated decision. Any offer that must be made over the phone immediately is not an offer you should make.
Dealers Offering Margin Accounts or Storage – There are dealers out there who will offer to sell you gold and silver in margin accounts (aka “leverage”). In other words, they’ll sell you gold and silver and will hold it for you and they will allow you to purchase more gold or silver on margin using your physical metal as collateral. This extra metal is not really yours; they’re purchasing gold and silver futures for you, and this can be a dangerous business. If the price of your metal goes up, that’s fantastic because everyone wins. If the price of your metal goes down, you will not only lose money, you could possible lose some or all of your real physical gold. Profits in deals like this are tempting, but the risks are too great – especially for beginners. When I was first starting out, I worked with a dealer like this called Monex out of California, and I actually made money on the deal because the metals were rising at the time. Had we experienced one of our common downdrafts, I could have lost a bunch of money.
Ebay – The selection is not bad here, but prices are dubious; buyers may have a tendency to get caught up in the bidding and sometimes will pay more than they have to.
Amazon – Amazon’s been getting into the precious metals game, selling some gold and silver bullion, but a quick check of the site shows that anything worth purchasing couldn’t be found at a more reputable dealer.
A dealer who is pushing “rare” coins or trying to frighten you with a confiscation scare – You don’t need to be pressured into a purchase. You know what you want to buy. You want physical gold coins or bars for investment/protection purposes. Unless you’re a coin collector, you don’t need or want anything fancy; some Krugerrands, Philharmonics, or Eagles will do perfectly. If the dealer is trying to scare you or pressure, don’t deal with him or her. If you’re confused, listen to what they’re saying, write down what it is they’re offering, but don’t make a purchase. Take your notes home and do your research online. Make your decision later when things have settled down. It’s possible that the coin(s) they are trying to sell you are not what they appear to be. Check out the article on Counterfeit Gold for more information.
So where is the best place to buy gold?
Well, if you haven’t picked it up already, you’re going to find your best prices for gold from a reputable dealer. How do you find one? Well, there are hundreds and hundreds of gold dealers, with more opening their doors every day it seems. We’ve already talked about doing your research in the Where to Buy Gold article. This link is a good source for dealers. It’s the US Mint’s list of national dealers and dealers by state. The Mint keeps a fairly close eye on the guys on this list, but you still want to do your due diligence by checking for reviews elsewhere, getting thoughts on precious metals blogs, and also checking out each dealer’s site to find out about costs, products, and ordering procedures. You should be able to find some of the best gold prices online from this list. Don’t neglect your homework, though. Not doing it could cost you.