Has anyone been able to figure out how they come to their spot price to charge the client?
It is all over the map, but NEVER near the spot price of any PM at the time I have bought it from them. And need I say rather much higher than the spot price at the time....
All your other concerns are very valid....The tellers (at SM in Toronto) have been known to tell the buyer how much LESS the bank will pay on a buy back...They actually try to talk the client out of buying metal!
When I had a load of bullion delivered to my local bank from SM, the assistant manager asked me "If I was going to put it into a safety deposit box at my bank or bury it in the ground?"
I told him: "YES!"
When I took it out (wrapped up on a four wheeled dolly, no less) into the public area in front of the tellers windows and lines of customers he followed me out and loudly asked: "What are you going to do with that, make lots of jewelry!?"
And then there was the time we took delivery of a spot buy from SM itself from the lower vault access to the street...Talk about rude and unpleasant! They were counting on us leaving it in a pool account but we tool delivery - cost them about $3 million in certificate sales we figured....They ran out of small bar silver about 3 years later and have been scratching for metal ever since....During the last big intervention last fall they even posted a sign on their door and told the world they had no metal....We will see those signs again so don't expect to buy the dip at SM.
So yes, I would say my experiences have not been all that pleasant dealing with bullion and banks or any banks over bullion deals....