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Best Place to Buy Gold Bullion

Posted on January 28, 2022

lots of gold coins image

If you’re in the market to buy gold bullion, you have hundreds of options to choose from. In the case of gold coins and bars, all sellers are not equal. It’s important to know which factors to consider when choosing where to buy your gold bullion.

What are my options for purchasing bullion?

A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of online bullion dealers like APMEX, Money Metals Exchange, BullionMax, and SD Bullion. In your city or town, you might even have a local coin shop or pawn shop where you can go into a physical location to buy gold bullion. 

Other options online can include eBay, Amazon, virtual coin auctions, and even Craigslist. Finally, you can always buy directly from precious metals mints (or, in the case of the U.S., you can purchase gold coins made by the U.S. Mint through its authorized purchasers). 

How do I find the best option for me? 

The best option for buying gold bullion varies by individual. The best buying options for gold bullion investors are the safest ones, such as direct from mints and online from authorized dealers with an excellent track record. For the experienced bullion investor with extensive knowledge of gold bars and coins, deals can be found at coin auctions or on websites like eBay, though the buyer assumes much more significant risks

Local coin shops are rarely a great option for anyone since they have varying degrees of reputability and seldom offer the most competitive prices. For novices and experts alike, the best choice is almost always a well-known bullion dealer. When you buy gold bullion, you’re probably not planning to make just one purchase. Instead, you’re looking to create an ongoing relationship with a bullion dealer that offers you excellent service and reasonable prices. 

Focus your initial decision on where to buy gold bullion with a long-term relationship in mind. Getting a deal is great. What’s better is finding a reliable partner that offers reasonable prices month after month, year after year. That way, you’ll save more money in the long run and have a reliable source for all your needs. 

What are the criteria I should consider? 

The most important criteria to consider when evaluating where to buy gold bullion is the seller's reputation. For example, a dealer who is an authorized purchaser of U.S. Mint bullion must qualify for the program by meeting specific criteria. 

Other factors to consider include:

  • Type of gold bullion you’re buying (where the gold is refined and minted)
  • Security
  • Shipping
  • Dealer buyback policies

It should also go without saying that, as with any purchase, price is always a consideration, and buying bullion is no exception. 

Why is safety important when deciding on a seller? 

Safety is imperative when buying gold bullion because it’s important to protect your asset from theft, damage, or loss. A reputable seller will take the appropriate measures to properly package and insure the bullion you buy, including discreet packaging to deter theft. 

What does each option offer in terms of availability? 

As you can imagine, online bullion dealers with a strong reputation will have the widest variety of products to choose from. While mints might have a good number of options to choose from, they’ll only be selling bullion they’ve minted themselves. 

With an auction or on eBay, you’re likely to find some exciting products, though they’ll often be random, and availability can’t be guaranteed. Plus, sellers with ill-intent can scam you on auction sites, either with counterfeit goods or they may not ship you bullion at all. 

On the other hand, a local coin dealer or pawn shop will have a limited selection, most often because space is limited, and they operate on a smaller scale than national or global dealers. 

What are the shipping differences between them?

Most bullion dealers online will charge a small shipping fee for purchases under a certain threshold, after which they offer free shipping. Below are some shipping prices of common bullion dealers. Orders are typically fulfilled by U.S. Mail, UPS, and FedEx and take anywhere from several business days to several weeks to arrive. 

All primary online dealers, including BullionMax, are around $10 shipping for orders under $199 and free shipping over $199. Estimated delivery is usually 1-10 business days.

On the other hand, many mints will charge higher shipping fees based on the weight of the order. For example, here is a list of shipping fees by weight from the Franklin Mint.

Franklin Mint Shipping Fees
Order Weight Charge
0-3 lbs $4.99
3-10 lbs $9.99
10-15 lbs $14.99
15-20 lbs $19.99
20-30 lbs $25.99
20-40 lbs $30.99
40+lbs 35.99

 

What are the tax consequences of each?

The tax implications of buying gold depend on the country or state where the gold is being purchased. In the United States, taxation laws on gold bullion purchases can vary by state, which is determined by the shipping address used for delivery. In the European Union, gold bullion is exempt from VAT, though because these products are treated as investments, capital gains tax will be applied upon a profitable sale. 

Click here to see what states charge sales taxes on gold bullion. 

What about privacy concerns? 

Two privacy concerns should be taken into account when buying bullion. First, wherever you buy, you want to be sure the seller respects your privacy and protects your personal information from getting into the wrong hands. The second privacy concern concerning bullion dealers has to do with government reporting.

Certain quantities of gold bullion and certain payment types amounting to greater than $10,000 trigger IRS reporting from the dealer, so make sure beforehand you find a dealer that’s fully compliant with government rules and regulations. 

What other factors go into this decision? 

There are, of course, additional factors to consider when buying gold bullion. For example, if you want to use cryptocurrency to pay for your gold or split up your payments over time, you’ll have to take that into account when selecting a bullion dealer. If safety is a concern, you may want to look into what kind of insurance comes along with your purchase. 

In the case of a gold IRA, you’ll also need to verify the fineness of the gold bullion you’re buying, which has to be 99.9% fine (generally, minted by a government mint or a COMEX or NYMEX-approved refinery – with gold American eagle coins being an exception to this purity rule). Last but not least, always take the time to read reviews from other purchasers. 

Why are bullion buyback programs important?

gold canadian maple leaf bullion coinMany people who buy gold bullion have no intention of selling it, short of financial catastrophe. They’re focused on accumulating a long-term, stable store of value that will last for decades, if not generations. That’s a noble goal! Regardless of how long you plan to hold your gold bullion, it’s advisable to make sure your seller offers a product buyback. 

Here’s why: In gold bullion sales and the precious metals industry generally, reputation is everything. Most sellers don’t make much if any, profit on an individual sale. Instead, they focus on a long-term commitment to their customers and hope to win repeat business. Ultimately, that’s the only way dealers can stay in business.

A buyback program forces a bullion dealer to be cautious about the products they offer. They’re far less likely to sell an unpopular product because they know customers may just sell it right back to them, and they’d be stuck with it again. 

A buyback program is an indication that a bullion dealer has ample turnover in their stock. They wouldn’t want to buy back a product they couldn’t sell. 

Generally speaking, a buyback program is an indication that a bullion dealer is focused on long-term, ongoing relationships with customers. “One and done” deals on auction sites are fine for some people, but they’re not scalable. 

How do I choose which option is best for me? 

Choosing the best place to buy gold bullion depends on your personal preferences. If you want to buy in person, your options are limited to local dealers, coin shops, and pawn shops. The online world opens up a plethora of options, but a new set of challenges comes with it. 

For most bullion buyers, the key is to find a reliable, trustworthy bullion dealer who carries a wide variety of high-quality gold bullion at reasonable prices. In addition, top bullion dealers will offer fast, low-cost shipping and all the security and privacy checks in place to keep transactions safe and above board. BullionMax checks all these boxes, promoting a seamless buying process for any gold bullion buyer.