Before You Buy, Know These Key Terms

Paper or Plastic?
You’ve now figured out what you want to buy. When checking out to make the purchase, there are two sets of prices. One is for primarily checks or sending wires, the other is for primarily using credit cards. The cheaper price is using cash and mailing a check. If cost is the number one factor, this would be the way to go. The process is obviously slower through mail, and when the dealer receives your check they will hold it until it clears from the bank before they ship your purchased items. Some dealers may hold your check longer than others. The nice thing is that with today’s advancing technology, standard practice is they will send an email once your check is received and you will also be able to view your order status on the dealer’s website. The dealer will also notify you when your package has shipped, along with a tracking number.

If you’re looking for speed and convenience, credit cards are instantaneous and the dealer will typically ship by the next business day. There will be an additional markup for paying by credit card.

What if you commit to an order but then decide to cancel?
Pay attention and read the cancellation policy as this will change dealer to dealer. Although it is not always the case, expect to pay a penalty to cancel. If the spot price of silver has gone down after the order is placed, you will be certain to pay at least the difference in loss if you cancel. The dealer may very possibly attach a penalty for canceling in addition to the loss in value.

For those who opt to pay by check: before you can submit your first order, the dealer will want a credit card added on file when you register. This ensures their protection against loss in case you decide to cancel a future order.

Real or Fake?
“The problem is the fake products today are of better quality and better price than the real names.”
– Jack Ma, CEO Alibaba

The make and appearance of fake silver coins has gotten a lot better over time. While fake silver is certainly not better quality than real silver, it is getting increasingly more difficult to differentiate between what is real and what is not. Personally my biggest concern before I started buying physical silver was making sure I didn’t get fakes. Beginner investors should definitely start by purchasing through the most reputable bullion dealers as they will guarantee their product. With experience, you should feel more and more comfortable expanding your horizons to other smaller dealers. eBay is a great resource which has an incredible amount of items that are no longer attainable through dealers, but will also pose the most risk of potential fakes. So eBay should be explored only after you have a high comfort level with what you are doing in regards to purchasing silver.

Rule of thumb: if the price looks too good to be true, it is.

Rule of thumb: if looking at precious metals from eBay, be very careful if the item location is from outside your country, and especially if it is coming from China. Also beware if it is an item that looks unique and isn’t found anywhere else besides that one particular seller that has it.

Ship To Your Door
Several dealers offer free shipping on their purchases, but you do have to meet a set minimum dollar amount. Each dealer’s shipping policy is different. It could be a flat charge no matter how much is bought, or it may be an increasing cost as the weight of the silver purchase increases. Of course the natural preference would be to get free shipping, but some dealers that charge on shipping may have rarer items that can’t be obtained through those that do offer free shipping, so don’t just write them off as they may end up being the best deal even with the shipping cost included.

Certain items also allow for the dealer to provide storage for your purchases. You may be offered a choice to receive shipment, or to purchase and have the dealer provide storage for you at an additional cost. For those starting off, it’s probably best to have the silver shipped to your door and directly into your possession.

Have fun!
Knowing the basic terms will help eliminate confusion while getting started. One of the best parts of owning silver is seeing all the incredible artwork that is immortalized onto a piece of precious metal. Next time, I’ll discuss the different types of physical silver and how to get the most value out of them.

This website provides information about the stock market and other investments. This website does not provide investment advice and should not be used as a replacement for investment advice from a qualified professional. This website is for informational purposes only. The Author of this website is not a registered investment advisor and does not offer investment advice. You, the reader, bear responsibility for your own investment decisions and should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment.

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