When the time comes to sell your gold and silver bars, it’s only natural to try to get the best possible price. In today’s market, you can’t be too careful when it comes to making sure you will be treated fairly. In this article, we’ll explore the options you have when selling your precious metals and look at some of the red flags to watch out for.
- Understand exactly what type, weight and fineness of gold and silver bar you have
- Know how to determine an estimated price
- Consider shopping around and selling locally
- Be cautious when selling online
Understand the Value of Your Gold and Silver
Having a good idea about the value of your gold and silver bars is the first step toward making sure you get a fair price when selling. When it comes to bullion bars, value is determined by the weight and metal content of your gold and silver. Once you know this information, you can check the current spot price of gold and silver to get an idea of your value.
How to Determine the Weight and Metal Content of Your Bars
1. Determine Fineness
The fineness of your gold and silver bars should be stamped clearly on the face of the bar. Fineness is measured in parts per thousand so a bar labeled 999.9 or .9999 essentially signifies that your bars are pure gold or silver. Spot prices are based on one troy ounce of .999 pure gold or silver.
2. Determine Weight
When you look at the spot price of gold or silver, you’ll see the price is set by the ounce. Yet, as you’ve probably experienced, both precious metals are sold in a variety of weights. This allows investors to enter the market at a price point that works for them and creates a great variety of options. Some of the most common weights include:
- 1/10 oz
- 1 oz (Most Common)
- 10 oz
- 1 Kilo
- 100 – 400 oz
You’ll also find gold and silver sold in gram weights for even more versatility for investing and trading. Some of the weights you’ll see include:
- ½ gram
- 1 gram
- 2 grams
- 5 grams
- 10 grams
- 100 grams
- 250 grams
- 500 grams
The weight of your gold bars should be stamped directly on the bar itself. However, smaller bars may be packaged in an assay card, which will indicate the weight and fineness of your gold or silver bars.
Add up your total weight and convert to ounces, then reference the current spot price to determine how much your gold or silver is worth.
3. Check the Current Spot Prices
The spot price for gold and silver is constantly fluctuating based on market conditions and political or economic uncertainty. You’ll find the price listed by the ounce and can use the spot price to get an idea of how much your gold and silver bars are worth. Be sure to check the spot price daily when you plan on selling.
Deciding Where to Sell Your Gold and Silver Bars
Local Gold and Silver Dealers or Coin Shops
The first place you’ll want to look into is precious metals dealers and coin shops in your local area. You may have a reputable place nearby that specializes in buying and selling gold and silver bars.
When using a local dealer, you’ll be able to take your precious metals with you to be appraised, so you won’t have to worry about shipping delays or issues. You’ll also be able to meet in person with advisors and talk through all your selling options. Sometimes, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction with the people you are doing business with. Plus, if you have any questions down the road, you’ll know where to find your local dealer. If you are in Arizona, visit Scottsdale Bullion & Coin to get an appraisal of your precious metals.
Online Only Gold & Silver Dealers
You also have the option of selling your gold or silver bars to a reputable online dealer. This opens up new avenues for selling for people who may not have a good dealer in town, may be unable to go into a local dealer, or those who like to shop around and get the best possible price.
Things to consider:
- Does the online dealer pay for shipping and insurance? If not, you will need to pay and that can get expensive.
- Will the dealer put an estimate in writing? If not, you will want to look elsewhere.
- When selling your gold or silver to a dealer online, make sure to take photos before mailing your precious metals.
Selling your gold and silver bars through an auction house is also an option, although there’s no guarantee you’ll get the price you want. You’ll have to decide if the potential benefit is worth the risk of possibly having to settle for less than you expect.
Things to consider:
- Auction houses charge a seller’s fee, which is often up to 25% of the sale price.
- If the best offer for the gold you’re selling at auction is below the value, you’ll end up losing money.
- You’ll be selling your precious metals without a written estimate or guarantee.
Some jewelers also buy gold bars and buy silver bullion bars. In many cases they will be melting down your gold and silver to use for jewelry. Make sure you have your bars appraised before selling to a jeweler so you know if you’re getting a fair price.
eBay or Other Private Marketplaces
Selling your gold and silver bars privately is also an option. You can sell on eBay or other online marketplaces and try to find a private buyer for your gold or silver bars.
Things to consider:
- eBay’s seller fees could add up fast, as much as 12.9%.
- Unscrupulous buyers may try to scam you out of your gold – don’t ship anything until you know you can trust the buyer!
- Always take photos and document your bullion before sending and insure your package.
When the Risk of Selling Isn’t Worth The Reward
Some situations are certainly more risky than others when you are looking for a place to sell your silver bars or gold bars. In today’s market, there are sellers looking to pay you as little as possible in an effort to maximize their own profits.
The convenience of selling to a pawn shop can be tempting. After all, it’s as easy as walking in with your gold and walking out with cash. This convenience however, almost certainly comes at a cost to you. Pawn shops are typically only interested in paying as little to the buyer as they can get away with only to turn around and sell at a much higher price.
We Buy Gold Shops
You’ve probably seen “Cash for Gold” or “We Buy Gold” shops popping up around your town, especially considering the current market. Like pawn shops, these places will provide a level of convenience, but you’re likely to take a large hit. It’s not uncommon that these types of business are buying gold and silver bars at 40% to 60% below the price you’d get from a reputable gold and silver dealer or coin shop. Some may try to mislead you about the value of your precious metals, even going as far as using rigged scales to trick you into believing your bars weigh less than they do.
📚 Suggested Reading: “We Buy Gold”: Avoid These Gold Buyers Like The Plague When Selling Coins
Buyers Without History or Reputation in the Industry
Whether you are selling to a private buyer or a business specializing in trading precious metals, make sure you know who you are dealing with when selling your silver bars and gold bars. If a dealer doesn’t have a history or reputation in the industry, this should be a red flag. They won’t have the knowledge or experience to give you a fair price and may just be looking for a quick profit.
Reputable dealers with years of history and experience have earned their reputation by putting customers first. They would not risk their credibility and good standing for the sake of making an easy profit. Building relationships with a good dealer will benefit you in the long term, whether you are looking to buy or sell precious metals in the future.
Don’t be afraid to check out reviews and testimonials before you agree to sell your gold bars or silver bars. Find out how long a dealer has been in business and why customers trust them with their gold and silver.
Are You Selling Gold Or Silver Online? Here’s 3 Ways to Protect Yourself
Selling online does have risks, but if you are careful, you can find a reputable buyer and get a great price. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selling gold bars or silver bars online.
1. Good Photos
Take the best photos you can. A clear image that shows the size and markings on your gold and silver will help a reputable buyer put together an accurate appraisal and proposal.
2. Know Your Value
Check the current market value of your gold and silver by checking the spot price. You should expect to receive about a percentage less than spot if selling to an online gold and silver dealer. Any offer dramatically below that is probably not worth considering.
3. Shop Around
Another way to help determine whether you are getting a fair price is to get a few quotes. Once you have a few offers in hand, it will be easy to weed out the buyers you don’t want to do business with.
4 Tips for Finding a Trustworthy and Reputable Gold & Silver Buyer
With more unreputable gold and silver buyers out there than ever before, it’s extremely important to make sure you can trust the buyer you choose to do business with. Fortunately, there are a few sure-fire ways to protect yourself when it’s time to sell gold and silver.
1. Choose a Specialized Merchant
Whenever possible, try to sell to a dealer that specializes in buying and selling gold and silver bullion. They will have the infrastructure and processes in place to handle any volume and will have a deep knowledge of the current market. These dealers don’t trade in jewelry, scrap gold or other novelties, so you know they put 100% of their effort and expertise toward trading in gold and silver bullion and investment coins.
2. Reputation is Everything
A quality gold and silver buyer will have a history of and reputation for treating customers fairly. You should be able to find testimonials and reviews that speak to the level of service. Check out Scottsdale Bullion & Coin if you want to see what a reputable and trusted dealer has to offer. You’ll find reviews, testimonials and know you are dealing with a business that treats its clients with dignity and respect.
3. Industry Knowledge
Never trust a buyer who simply tries to pressure you into selling your gold and silver bars. A good buyer will have a deep industry knowledge and take the time to not only educate you about the current market, but answer any questions you might have about selling.
4. Value Offered
The dealer should be straightforward about the value of your gold and silver instead of looking for, or making up, reasons to give you a price that is dramatically lower than the current market value. Don’t forget, knowing the current spot price and the value of your precious metals is the first step toward getting a fair price when you sell.
Get a Cash Offer for Your Gold and Silver Bars
Once you feel confident in the value of your gold and silver bars, get in touch with a dealer that knows the market and how to get you the right price. Consider reaching out to Scottsdale Bullion & Coin. You’ll speak directly with an appraiser and we’ll get you a free estimate with no obligation to sell.
📖 Continue Learning: Looking to sell gold or silver coins as well? Learn how to get the best price for your gold and silver coins.