I've bought through here (offshore) in the UK: https://guernseymint.com/
Pretty happy with the service, although they are slow answering email (if they ever do). They are an old established business (going back 100 years I believe). They will store your metals for free for a year (although we are always told never to do that - in case they go bust!). GM will also ship to a separate third-party secure storage company on Guernsey for you, if you don't take delivery yourself. Storage and Lloyds insurance there is about 1%.
By buying and storing in Guernsey - UK folks avoid the (almost criminal) 20% UK tax on Silver.
Anyone else using Guernsey Mint? / experiences?
I've used the Guernsey Mint. Simon and Bruce are reliable.
In the UK there is 20% VAT on silver and you will get hit if you purchase online from abroad for import. The way to avoid this is, as 51 says, to buy and store in Guernsey. Another option is to have an allocated depository account with the Perth Mint, but their storage charges are 1.9%. The third party provider in Guernsey starts at 1.5% if you only have a small amount, eg a monster box. With more metal the rate drops to 1%.
Thanks for the interesting information chaps. This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.
Can you take delivery from Guernesey without having to pay the VAT, or would you need to "take a holiday" to Guernesey to pick up your physical?
Also - how much do you guys think is a good amount to hold? If the SHTF in the US and Europe, it will cause bad times in the UK I'm sure.
Another thought - Would hyper inflation in USD cause the same effect in GBP?
Taking delivery in Guernsey isn't the problem; it's bringing it back into the UK, whether shipping or driving it back. That's the point at which you'll get the tax hit.
If you really want to repatriate your silver and hold it in possession, then maybe best move is to buy it in Germany which has a lower rate of VAT - something like 7%; and then drive it home. I believe - but don't quote me - that once you pay VAT in one EU member state you can move it through the rest of the EU without another VAT charge. If you plan to do this, do full due diligence on this rule for yourself beforehand to make sure you will not receive a top-up charge. I've not done it myself.
A good amount to hold? Ha! I'd ask the question, what is a good amount of GBP to hold, or GBP denominated assets. The answer is as little as possible since the fundamentals of the GBP are terrible. Gold (and silver) is a currency. It's a better currency than GBP. Gold made a new high in GBP just this last week. And that was in the context of QE ending. What's going to happen when QE starts again? £1000+ gold and silver catching back up after this latest breather is a no-brainer. We may be about to see a dip in gold to 1400-1470 in the next several weeks, and silver could go down to 26-30. Frankly, if silver goes down to 30 or below it's time to sell your kids and go long with everything you've got!
As for comparative hyperinflation, the conditions in the UK are not precisely analogous to those in the USA, but take a look at the barometer gold and silver charts for the two countries over the last decade and you'll see pretty much the exact same trend.
Thanks for the feedback Silvernomics - very much appreciated.