Selling precious metals on the internet can sound too good to be true. However, it can be a profitable way to make extra money. In this article, I’ll explain how to sell gold and silver online in a safe and lucrative way.
Here’s what you need to know about selling precious metals, from the value of your items to finding the right buyer.
How to Sell Your Gold or Silver Online: Step by Step
When selling precious metals, reputable dealers are increasingly moving to the internet. This is good news for sellers: buyers on the web need to compete with businesses that buy items nationwide.
Go over your item’s details. For example, if you’re selling silver bullion, determine its weight. If you have gold coins, note their date, condition, and characteristics.
Making an inventory like this will help you approach buyers more confidently, as you’ll know exactly what you have to sell.
As you do this, keep in mind the most common categories and methods used to sell different types of metals. Here’s how to get the best price for your items!
Step 1: Know What You’re Selling
After you’ve made the decision to sell certain pieces, it’s key to understand how best to sell them according to their category or categories.
Gold and Silver Bullion in Bars, Coins, or Ingots
Gold and silver bars, coins, or ingots are a form of investment. The form of metal is usually of high purity, as this makes it easier to sell gold and other metals later. For gold, this is 24 karats, also known as gold bullion.
Bullion, whether gold or silver, can also be in the form of coins. These coins are different from coins you would spend. Instead, they are simply bullion shaped into coins.
It should be easy to determine what type of silver or gold bars, coins, or ingots you have in bullion, as they will be stamped showing their weight, purity, and serial number.
Gold and Silver Coins
If you’re selling gold coins or silver coins, their worth as collectable items may be more valuable than the metal they contain. Don’t sell them for scrap before understanding what you have!
This isn’t the case for bullion coins, which are like metal bars: they’re worth the market value of the metal itself.
The U.S. mint makes bullion in their American Eagle coin, which features the Bald Eagle and the Statue of Liberty. Their American Buffalo coins, featuring buffalo, also serve as bullion. Both are offered as both gold and silver coins.
However, other types of coins can be worth much more. European and world gold coins may be worth much more than what’s marked on them. A 1908 Hungary 100 Korona Gold Coin, for example, can be worth upwards of $1,800!
Keep an eye out for rare coins like this. Even if you don’t make thousands on them, they can still be worth more than their metal content implies.
Gold and Silver Jewelry
Have jewelry you no longer wear? Selling it for its metals is a good way to make extra money while clearing out space in your jewelry box.
Keep your expectations in line, though. Because jewelry is often made of mixed metals (even 18k gold is mixed), you’ll usually get less for it than you would if you had the same amount of precious metal in the form of pure bars.
This is not always true (Tiffany pieces, for example, fetch high prices), so know what you have to sell.
Gold and Silver Scrap
If your metal isn’t in the form of something that can be used (like jewelry or a coin), dealers consider it scrap. This is the cheapest way to buy metals.
Step 2: Find Out How Much You Have To Sell
How much your metal is worth depends on the amount of it, as well as current market prices.
Precious metals are typically sold by the gram. If you are selling gold jewelry or a gold coin, instead, the metal is unlikely to be pure. Multiply the percentage of purity by the total weight to find the total amount of gold or other metals that you have.
Step 3: Consider How You Prefer To Be Paid
Not all buyers will offer all payment options. While someone who wants to buy in-person may pay cash, internet dealers often use PayPal, ACH transfers, and checks.
Step 4: Choose a Suitable Selling Option
When it comes to sales of precious metals like gold, all marketplaces are not created equal! Different methods can end up getting you vastly different prices. We’ve taken a look at some of the best places to sell gold and silver both online and offline.
Where Can I Sell Gold and Silver? 6 Verified Options
Option 1: Post Your Gold For Sale on Social Media
Websites like Facebook host buying and selling groups. Some of these are specific to precious metals, like the Gold and Silver Forum on Facebook, while others focus on selling unwanted items in local communities.
These groups are often private, so you will need to request to join before you can post your item to buy.
Option 2: Look for Reputable Online Dealers
Using a reputable dealer on the internet is one of the safest ways to sell precious metals online. It’s also one of the best ways overall to get a competitive price.
For gold, CashForGoldUSA is the best choice, while CashForSilverUSA is the best choice to sell silver. These sites also deal in platinum items, so they can be a good choice if you have a mixture of gold, silver, and/or platinum to sell.
On these sites, you fill out a brief form. This gives your preferred shipping method (which the site prepays) and your contact information. Then, you’ll receive an envelope to send your gold or silver item into the company. These are insured.
Once the dealer receives your items, they’ll make you an offer by email within 24 hours. If you accept it, you’ll get to choose a payment option (check, bank wire, or PayPal). Otherwise, the sites will return your items to you for free.
Option 3: Check Out Internet Auctions
If you’re unsure how much an item you have is worth and want to get the maximum price, an online auction site can help you do this.
It’s better to use a website like Worthy (which deals in jewelry), rather than a site like eBay, as expert sellers can help guarantee that you don’t get ripped off.
Option 4: Visit a Pawnshop
Pawnshops are tempting as a way to get quick money for gold or silver. However, beware: you’ll pay a price for this speed.
Pawnshops know that sellers are unlikely to comparison shop prices for items like gold. You’ll also get a lower price than you would on the internet because of the speed of the sale.
Option 5: Find Dealers at Coin Shows
There are definite pluses to selling at a coin show. Dealers there are likely to be experts in their field. In addition, if you have many coins to sell, they can be a one-stop-shop for all of your selling.
However, shows are rare. Furthermore, you will likely need to travel to them.
Option 6: Visit a Coin Shop
If you need a quick sale, a local coin shop can be a good solution. Buyers there are experts and often offer fair prices.
On the other hand, there are also downsides. You likely won’t get as much at a local coin shop as you would on the internet or at auction, because they know you probably won’t comparison shop.
Selling Gold Online: FAQ and Tips
Is It Safe to Sell Your Gold and Silver Online?
If you use a trusted buyer, it is. As with any industry, there are untrustworthy actors out there. Because of the value of precious metals, ensuring that you’re working with a legitimate buyer is key.
First, check shipping policies. A legitimate buyer will offer insured shipping, both for sending and for returns. They will also use trusted shipping companies.
Read buyer reviews on sites like TrustPilot. See what previous sellers have said about the company.
Finally, look at how long the company has been in business. The longer a buyer has been working with precious metals, the more trustworthy they tend to be.
Are There Any Limitations to Selling Silver Online?
No! There used to be restrictions on gold ownership before 1975, but that era is long past. You can sell as much gold or silver on the internet as you wish.
How Much Gold Can I Sell Without Reporting?
There is no need to report gold or silver purchases, except on your income tax returns. While currency transactions of $10,000 or more need to be reported, this applies only to cash and cash instruments. They don’t apply to checks, wire transfers, or other payment types.
Why Do People Invest in Gold or Silver?
Precious metals, like gold, silver, and platinum, are liquid assets. In other words, it’s easy to sell them. This is particularly true for bullion, the purest form of metal.
In addition, there’s a high degree of privacy with silver or gold investments. You don’t need financial consultants to purchase or sell them.
Finally, precious metals tend to hold their value well during times of inflation.
Tips on Selling Gold for Cash Money
- Be aware of scams. This is particularly true on eBay. Scammers may purchase your item, receive it, then claim it wasn’t received or that they only received an empty box. The site then refunds their money, while the scammer keeps the item.
- Always send packages with tracking, insurance, and proof of delivery. Though this cannot protect you from the “empty box” scam, it can give you some protection against a claim of non-delivery or missing items.
- Don’t accept offers instantly. Haggling is commonplace on the internet. When a buyer makes an offer that is lower than your research indicates is appropriate, don’t be afraid to make a counter-offer.
- Consider the value of the whole item, not just the gold, silver, or platinum in it. This is particularly true for jewelry, which can be much more valuable in its setting if it comes from a designer like Tiffany. However, it can also be true for gold-trimmed china pieces and other collectibles.
Are Cash for Gold Companies a Good Place to Sell Gold or Silver Online?
Overall, cash for gold and cash for silver companies are the best option for getting a good value for your items. However, that comes with two caveats.
First, make sure that the site you use is trusted. They should take all of the measures listed above, including providing insurance for shipping.
Second, these sites are not the best choice for instant money. Though the better ones such as CashForGold or CashForSilver have a quick turnaround time, they can still take a week or more for shipping, appraisal, and payment.
If you need a sale immediately, someone who will buy in-person is your better bet, though you will likely receive less money for your item.
Recap on How to Sell Your Gold and Silver Online
When you sell gold for cash, make sure you research the value of your item with a trusted guide before contacting a seller. Look at all sale options, as well as their reviews: a trustworthy buying history is key. Finally, protect yourself with documentation at all stages.
Selling Gold for Cash: The Takeaways
When you want to sell precious metals, make sure you know what you have. Determine whether your items are gold or silver bullion bars, gold or silver coins (bullion or otherwise), jewelry, or scrap items. Research their value and determine the ideal payment method.
Have you sold gold or silver before? What was your experience?
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