Despite the convenience of online dealers, many customers prefer to shop at local coin shops for their precious metal needs. There can be a number of reasons why people choose to purchase their gold and silver locally. For some, making their purchase in person adds an extra level of security. For others, it saves them time and shipping expenses. There are even those who visit these shops for the sense of community. However, while we respect the varied needs and preferences of the individual, we would like to discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing precious metals locally.
The main advantage of buying gold and silver from a local shop is the opportunity to see your purchase beforehand. Examining your item up close will not only enable you to see if it is the exact piece you are looking for, but also enables you to assess the extent of its wear and preservation. Should anything dissatisfy you, you are under no obligation to purchase it. In contrast, customers viewing an item online must take the word of the seller regarding the product description and then trust that their item will arrive in the described condition. If the item that arrives is not as described, customers have to go through the process of requesting a refund, which often results in extra fees.
When you purchase gold or silver locally, there is no need to concern yourself with any of the potential problems associated with the online shipping and handling process. Being able to take your purchases with you ensures that your investment will be carefully handled since you yourself will be responsible for getting them home safely. It also provides you with immediate access to your purchases rather than having to wait for its arrival in the mail. Lastly, self-transport also spares you from the shipping and insurance expenses commonly charged by online dealers, though here at JM Bullion we offer free shipping on orders over $99 and insurance on all orders.
Customers who frequent a local coin shop have the benefit of establishing a relationship with that store’s proprietors and sales associates. Such relationships can help further your knowledge about gold and silver, since you will be receiving personalized attention from the store’s various employees. Similarly, visiting your local coin shop will allow you to meet and network with other customers such as yourself, who can assist you in finding other informative resources outside the store.
One of the main disadvantages of purchasing gold and silver locally is the lack of privacy. Once seen shopping or leaving your local coin shop with a package, others will know that you likely own some form of gold and/or silver bullion. This knowledge could lead you to become the target of theft or burglary. Customers leaving such establishments with gold or silver should never leave their purchases unattended in the open or in their car. Customers of local coin shops should consider purchasing a safe and storing your precious metals in secure place, or explore the option of storing your gold and silver in a safety deposit box.
Another major drawback to purchasing gold or silver locally is the limited product selection. Due to the constraints of a physical storefront, the selection of precious metal products is often restricted to how much merchandise can fit in the display cases and in the storage rooms. And unlike online dealers that cater to a broad clientele, local coin shops must also limit their selection to the tastes and preferences of their regular customers since they neither have the space or budget to spare on items that cannot produce profits. It is also worth noting that most local shops obtain some of their merchandise secondhand from individuals wishing to sell their valuables for money, as opposed to the mints and distributors themselves. As a result, many items sold at local shops are in used condition.
Customers who purchase precious metals from their local coin shops will often find themselves paying more than if they had made their purchases online. This price difference is due to the additional overhead expenses that proprietors need to meet in order to maintain their physical storefront such as rental, electricity and gas. Consequently, these expenses get passed on to the customers, who are required to pay higher prices on every piece they purchase. Local coin shops must also mark up their prices to compensate for their smaller customer base, as they typically do not have the volume of online dealers.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to buying gold and silver locally is customer’s limited accessibility. When dealing with an actual store, customers will find themselves restricted by both the location and operating hours of that particular store. This can cause an inconvenience for those who live a great distance from that location or whose work schedule does not permit them to make the store’s business hours. Online stores, on the other hand, enable customers to browse their merchandise in the privacy of their home, 24 hours a day.
Depending on the location of a particular local coin shop, customers may be subject to certain precious metals taxes on their purchase. (The terms and conditions of these particular taxes will be dependent upon the policies of each individual state and we encourage customers to seek counseling from a tax or legal professional before making any precious metals purchases.) Customers who are intent on purchasing from a physical storefront will be required by law to pay all mandatory taxes. However, customers who are willing to make their purchases online have the option of buying from a dealer that doesn’t charge sales tax in their particular state. At JM Bullion, we do not charge any sales tax on your gold and silver purchases.
Just as with gold and silver purchases, customers may also buy copper and platinum merchandise from local coin shops. When making local purchases of these particular precious metals, customers are entitled to the same benefits offered by gold and silver investments. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, copper and platinum merchandise availability will depend upon the inventory of each local establishment and typically you will find larger copper and platinum product selections online. We would also like to remind customers to review their state’s policies regarding copper and platinum purchases as these, too, are often subject to taxation.