I would like to know if others here have any experience with buying Gold and Sliver for personal consumption in a way similar to what the We Buy Gold stores do? I will share my experience below and would like to know if others have ideas or experience they can share with me.
I started selling on eBay in 1998 and was a big fan and supporter of them as it was all cash transactions and like a giant garage sale. Back in the early 2000's I worked one of the first eBay sniping software programs for a few years and became very familiar with the ins and outs of eBay. Over the years eBay has changed much like our government from serving the needs of the people to serving the needs of the corporate shareholders. I no longer can buy and sell on eBay the way I once did. The fees are becoming ridiculous and the small garage sale seller buyer is slowly being squeezed out. I only share this with you to give you some background on my experience as I know there are many other venues like craigslist and ebid but the role that eBay once played in the internet garage sale market has changed significantly. In the early days they did an excellent job of managing without getting too involved in disputes and I rarely if ever had any issues. The seller community was generally very honest and self policing. That has changed a lot and I have not found a suitable replacement as eBay still owns that market share of the traffic. However, if anyone has found other venues and had success I would love to hear about it as I know there are many other sites out there but have not had the time to test them.
So I have been a buyer and seller on eBay for years. Prior to 2008 I only sold flea market/garage sale stuff from my own stash. After 2008 when I became a stacker I would occasionally list items for sale to make a quick flip, but I rarely purchase anything from eBay as the costs to the sellers seem to kill any chance of getting a good deal.
I want to buy precious metals, but I seem to only be left with the option of buying them from sites like Provident or Apmex. Also, I know a time will come when I want to sell my precious metals and I have never dealt with selling to Internet dealers and I would prefer to keep my transactions as a cash sale and not have to deal with shipping. Where I live there is only one PM dealer within 100 miles and he charges huge premiums so I stopped visiting him. Also, his buy prices were only reasonable if it is AGE or ASE, but I do not want to depend on that if I choose to sell in the future.
I did find another guy who has a small jewelry store and buys gold and silver. I have bought some 90% and gold coins from him a few times and even sold him some 90% in a gold swap. His prices were the best that I have found and he has always been fair with me. Unfortunately, he likes the coins too, so it is not very often that I am able to buy anything from him. I was asking him about his business and he offered teach me a few things and allowed me to spend a Saturday in his shop observing and asking questions. So last week I did exactly that. He showed me how to test gold and answered all my questions about the business. He is a good man and I learned quite a bit.
So here I have this new skill. I purchased some acids and an arkansas jewelry testing stone along with a strong neodymium magnet. I would like to start buying gold and silver jewelry and coins from private sellers rather than buying bullion. When I have acquired enough I will send it off to be refined. The problem is that I dont want to start a business out of this, I just want to buy for myself. I dont want to advertise to everyone that I run across that I buy gold and silver. I suppose that I could just save the tools for the occasional deal that I run across or maybe keep them as part of my preps because someday of the world does go mad max it could be invaluable. I do not believe that things will ever get that bad, but I do feel better with my new knowledge and owning the tools should I ever need them.
So what is the point of this thread? I am fishing for help and answers and if in the process it helps a few others then that is great. Writing this as a means of organizing my thoughts is helful in itself but I hope that others may have ideas that may spur my thinking in another direction. I welcome all comments and question and wish you all a Merry Christmas.
I came across this from some high pressure email purveyors of get rich schemes that may give you some clues. Sounded like what you are trying to do? (minus the apparent emphasis on taking advantage of the unsophisticated)
Here's the link to their hyped up "sales presentation".
I know NOTHING about these people, just passing it on for reference only, blah, blah, blah.
My old next door neighbor had to figure out a second family income stream while she was at home pregnant. She ended up buying diamond rings on ebay and even at local shops. She knew what she was doing because she was banging out several hundreds of profit on each ring. She would send them into an appraiser who would cut her a check.
Those tools that you have for identifying gold could become a nice side business for you just as it did for my friend. The only problem is finding people to sell. You could flyer bomb grocery stores and other businesses where you setup a meeting in a police parking lot or somewhere safe that you can set up a table for a day. Maybe buy the cops some free coffee to leave you alone :) Other options like craigslist might work or setting up a booth at a local gun show.
Another idea is setup a blog and make sure you use keywords that people would normally use to search... for instance if the town you live in is called Mayberry, then name the blog Mayberryscrapgold.com or something and make sure you plaster the town all over the page so it gets hits in google. Check out blogger.com (a google site) or wordpress.com for setting something like that up.
I would be interested if you updated this thread on how you do.
Thanks for the responses. I have been so busy I haven't done much since I posted this. The holidays are over now and I am starting to think more seriously about this. I did order some acids, a natural Arkansas testing stone, a neodymium magnet, and a couple of extra inexpensive loupes. Most of the stuff I bought on eBay. When they arrived I pulled out a bunch of old jewelry. Some of it was gold plated and some was 10k and 14k. I even brought a .999 silver coin and an item that I thought might be old sterling. I also had a pin that was stamped sterling that I pulled out as well. I set everything out on the table and dragged my wife away from the TV for a training session. It was a good opportunity for me to practice what I learned and show her how to do this. Plus it was just fun. It was a really good experience to see the difference between 10k and 14k and an item that was marked 14k but was actually 12k. When you do the acid test you can see the difference in the different Karats by the color of the reaction to the acid. I also tested the silver using the 18k acid as well as the silver testing acid. I understand now why nobody uses the silver testing acid as the 18k is very effective once you know what to look for. I didn't have any platinum handy, but it should not be too complicated.
So that is where I am at. I feel pretty confident that I can test using acids and all my other senses. I may still pursue this further with self promotion, but I have not yet taken the first step and solicited anyone. I will keep you guys updated as soon as I have any more info.
I will leave you with one gem that I found online a long time ago and saved as a PDF. It is like a Pawnbrokers Training Manual for testing precious metals. I hope you enjoy. https://www.scribd.com/doc/68835914/Gold-Testing