This week, we take a look at the top 5 things to look out for when buying and selling your precious metals:
The main rationale for investing in Precious Metals as opposed to simply collecting, is wealth preservation, so getting a good deal when you buy is important.
Many people are happy to stick with one dealer they trust and like, others like to shop around to get the cheapest price every time they purchase. Established dealers like ourselves offer highly competitive pricing, but remember that just because a dealer is cheaper once, doesn’t mean they will always be cheapest for everything. The profit margins charged by different companies on certain products can change daily, depending on their own stock and what product they would like to sell. Many bullion dealers have a Special Offers section on their website, check this on a regular basis to see the latest range and to pick up a bargain.
If you’re a collector, then price may not be such a determining factor over service or ability to source rare or unusual coins. Do companies display these rare or unusual pieces in a Collectables section for easy viewing on their website?
If selling, ask for the percentage buy-back as well as the price, for easy and quick company comparisons. Don’t send metal to the post to anyone you aren’t sure you can trust and make sure you used a tracked service with adequate insurance. Royal Mail insure parcels up to value of £2,500, be sure to request the correct level of insurance when you come to send and don't forget to hold onto your postage receipt!
2. Active and trustworthy dealers
As the inherent value of Gold and Silver is in its condition and quality, it is essential to research the reputation of the company from whom you are buying and the quality of the Gold and Silver bars and coins they sell. Some bullion dealers are a lot more thorough when it comes to quality-checking before they are sent out to customers. Enquire as to whether or not these checks are made and from where the dealer buys i.e. is their refiner on the London Bullion Market ‘good delivery list’?
When looking for a bullion dealer, these are the things to look out for:
- How established they are, check the About us bit of their site for this.
- Reputation – are reviews available and what do they tell you about the way customers are treated, the quality and presentation of the products they sell and how the company deals with a problem or an unhappy customer?
- What is their communication like and how easy are they to reach by phone, email, live chat?
- What payment methods are available?
- How quickly do they dispatch?
- Will they happily buy back from you at a fair rate when you want to sell.
Finally, beware of buying and selling on Ebay since PayPal has recently exempted gold from their buyer protection so they won’t help you if you have a problem.
3. Choice of products
People buy for different reasons but it's always nice to have help and access to further information in case you need it.
If you are worried about getting a substandard product, do some research to see if the company you want to deal has a good reputation for quality and would replace a bad bar or coin. Check Customer Feedback.
If you are a coin collector you might want a good selection. Sets and series collections can attract additional value over time as long as you can buy at reasonable prices.
We believe that when buying you should have at least considered your exit strategy. This can prevent you from buying the wrong product for your needs. A good dealer should offer free impartial advice upon request. We recommend buying recognized mints and refiners where the choice of bars or coins may depend on purchase value, tax considerations and liquidity requirements.
If you are a regular buyer ask to go on their mailing list for a ‘heads up’ on latest deals.
4. Delivery & Packaging
Is your Gold and Silver delivered fully insured with secure, discreet, packaging? If you can’t receive your package at home, check that they can deliver to your work or other address. Ask the dealer about their policy in case something goes missing.
Different dealers offer a surprising variety of packaging, so if you’d like specific packaging (e.g. capsules, plastic pouches, tubes, a presentation box), request this beforehand. Be aware that requesting storage packaging from many dealers will incur an additional charge.
As an alternative, you could ask your dealer to store your metals for you. Make sure your holding is fully allocated to you so that if anything happened to the dealer, you could claim it back.
If you're thinking of selling your precious metals, a good company will advise you on which method of parcel delivery to use. Or, is it possible to visit your bullion dealer to delivery your products by hand? Most companies will have a procedure for selling. Do some research on a dealer's best practice before sending your precious metals in the post. For example, their Buy-Back ratio of the Spot Price is a good question to ask or even better, is this information readily available on their company website?
5. Ease of Transaction
It’s always reassuring to receive communication from your dealer throughout your buying or selling process. Check to ensure that you'll receive an email confirmation each step of the way and especially once the price has been agreed and then when your order has been shipped.
Are you happy with their customer service, whether automated or over the phone? And if you’re selling, how quickly does the company guarantee in writing that you will receive your money for the sale of your product? It's always a good idea to make sure the company has their Terms and Conditions clearly available, before you enter into business with them.
Finally familiarize yourself with the company’s policies on cancellation, returns, transfer of ownership and how your personal data will be protected.
Over the years the team at Bleyer have developed a best practice approach, providing customers with the smoothest, safest, most comprehensive service, at best possible prices. If you think there’s anything we’re missing or want from a dealer we’d love to hear what you have to say. Please comment on this blog, email us at [email protected] or give our team a call on 01769 618618.