You shop for clothes, books, groceries, and gifts online. You may even do most of your banking online. But buying gold online? You might be a little wary, and that’s okay. We’ll explain how you can be smart and buy gold online—safely.
Are You at Risk?
Amid the meteoric rise of the price of gold in 2019, the Accredited Precious Metals Dealers program, a division of the nonprofit Professional Numismatists Guild, urges buyers to be on the lookout for gold scams. According to the group, some sellers may claim, among other things, that they can offer super-low prices or unrealistically quick profits.
A 2014 report from the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging estimated that more than 10,000 Americans had been victimized by cons involving gold and other precious metals, with losses conservatively pegged at $300 million.
“True losses are likely higher because many victims don’t know they’ve been duped,” reports AARP.
At least some of the schemes were carried out online.
However, plenty of reputable precious metals companies across the country sell genuine, government-issued gold coins and genuine gold bars, including online. But it’s your choice how and where you buy gold.
How Can You Protect Yourself From a Gold Scam?
What can you do to ensure your hard-earned money doesn’t wind up in the bank account of a swindler?
No matter what you buy online, it’s always smart to do your homework. Go to Google and other search engines to check out the reputation of a company that’s offering to sell gold to you. Look for customer reviews, news reports, and other information that will help you better understand the company.
Learn as much as you can by visiting the websites of the Accredited Precious Metals Dealers program, American Numismatic Association, Industry Council for Tangible Assets, U.S. Mint, and similar organizations.
You might even post on Facebook or another social media platform to check whether anyone you know has had experience with a certain gold seller. Even a half-hour of online sleuthing can help you stay safe when buying gold online.
“Don’t make a hasty decision based on slick advertisements. Don’t make any purchase until you have shopped around and learned the competitive prices from reputable, accredited dealers,” advises Robert Brueggeman, executive director of the Professional Numismatists Guild.
Also, gold dealers that offer free storage or delayed delivery may not be legitimate, reports Consumer Affairs, and you may never end up seeing the gold you paid for. Craigslist sellers, pawn shops, and cold callers are three other types of sellers to avoid, they add.
Other tips for buying gold online include:
- Consider certified or graded gold coins. “If the item’s authenticity isn’t properly documented, look elsewhere,” the PocketSense.com personal finance website advises. It’s one quick way to know you’re buying real gold.
- Be careful with deliveries. Some sellers deliver gold and other precious metals to a secure facility rather than directly to the buyer. “When you buy metals without taking delivery, take extra precautions to ensure that the metal exists, is of the quality described, and is properly insured,” the Federal Trade Commission recommends.
- Know when to say “no.” If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is, as the old saying goes. Be confident about walking away from a potential purchase if something doesn’t feel right to you. You’re in control of your money, your precious metals portfolio, and your gold purchases.
If you choose not to buy gold online, consider shopping at a dealer in your area. Just be sure to do your due diligence before making a purchase—and keep in mind that you might end up paying higher prices at a local dealer, be subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, or get stuck choosing from a small selection.
U.S. Money Reserve makes it easy for you to buy precious metals from the comfort and safety of your home—online or over the phone. We’re available to chat even if you’re not ready to make a purchase. Call 1-844-307-1589 to speak with a knowledgeable Account Executive today.