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.