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Buying gold on eBay is always a roll of the dice. At least, it is if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you go about it the right way, eBay may actually be the most cost effective way to accumulate physical gold long-term.
So, on the one hand, we have the possibility of getting real gold below spot. On the other, we run the risk of getting scammed and sent 100% fake gold, silver, or coins.
So let’s talk about how can tip the odds in our favor.
How To Safely Buy Gold & Silver On eBay
Technically, selling fakes is not allowed on eBay. However, selling fake gold anyway would be considered fraud…but it still happens.
Anybody who is experienced with precious metal (or with eBay) could go on the platform right now and point out several different sellers who are selling totally fake coins, ingots, bars, etc.
Unfortunatly, a list of “bad eBay sellers” isn’t really of any value because, once ousted, the shysters simply start a new store.
Instead, let’s talk about who you should be buying from and how you can be assured that you’re getting the real deal.
1. Buy From A Trusted Seller
This is, without a doubt, the most important tip for buying gold on eBay: buy from a well-known seller that is established in the space.
Does this mean you won’t be buying the lowest priced option? Probably.
However, it is the least risky option by far.
Typically when someone is thinking about buying gold on eBay it’s because they’ve found a listing selling on ounce 5-10% under spot — but they’re shipping from China and there’s no information about the company anywhere.
Pass on that type of listing and, instead, but from the big players. So, if you’re buying gold on eBay, stick to one of the following stores:
- APMEX (Visit The APMEX eBay Store)
- Liberty Coin (Visit The Liberty Coin eBay Store)
- Bullion Exchange (Visit The Bullion Exchange eBay Store)
- Scottsdale Mint (Visit The Scottsdale Mint eBay Store)
- a1worldtrading (Visit The a1worldtrading eBay Store)
That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pass on good deals, however, because we’ll get to a method I use to buy gold and silver 10% or more below spot.
2. Buy With A Credit Card That Provides Protection
Most credit cards provide some level of protection against counterfits and frauds. Many eBay buys have found that they have to rely on their banks to get them their money back when eBay either fails to do so or they’re past the return window.
Buying with PayPal, a debit card, or bank transfer will not afford you the same protection or give you the option for a chargeback.
Most cards will give you a 120-day window to file a claim on a charge which is plenty of time to have your gold, silver, or coins authenticated by a trusted source.
3. Understand How eBay’s Seller Protection Works
Every eBay seller says that eBay always sides with the buyer and every buyer says that eBay always sides with the seller.
The truth is, eBay customer service typically does their best with limited information.
Contacting eBay’s customer service is a great start if you think something is amiss. Just be sure to contact them as soon as possible (and before leaving feedback).
4. Communicate With The Seller Before Purchasing
A couple of years ago I was looking for a house-warming gift for a good friend. I found a seller that had a number of original Dr. Seuss doodles that had been independently authenticated.
They also had a bunch that he claimed were authentic but did not come with any 3rd party certificate. I messaged the seller and asked how hard it would be for me to purchase one of the (cheaper) unauthenticated ones and have it authenticated myself. He responded that it would be “very very difficult”. Long story short, I was able to tell from the communication that he was selling fake doodles in addition to the authenticated ones.
Talking with the seller with give you a good idea of the kind of service and experience you can expect.
Not all sellers who communicate in a timely and professional manner are legitimate, but all legitimate eBay sellers communicate in a timely and professional manner. So it’s a good way to weed out some of the bottom-level scammers selling fake gold on eBay.
5. Read The Seller’s Feedback
Reading a seller’s feedback can give you another piece of the puzzle. If the feedback is bad, you’ve learned to avoid the seller. Unfortunatley, if the feedback is good it doesn’t tell you much.
eBay sellers can remove negative feedback if they’re clever or, more commonly, amass a record of positive transactions with fake feedback.
If you’re a shoddy eBay seller, you can literally get on a dozen different sites right now and buy feedback. So use a seller’s feedback as a guide but don’t rely on it too heavily.
6. Test Gold Upon Receiving It
If you’re paranoid (as I am) you probably test every bit of gold you receive.
However, it’s probably a bit redundant and unnecessary if you’re buying from any of the big names.
If, however, you decide to take a risk on a lesser-known seller be sure to test the coin or bullion you receive as soon as possible. As least check the weight and do a ping test.
If anything at all seems off, take it to a local jeweler, coin store, or pawn shop. They will all look it over and test it for you.
The sooner you have the gold or silver tested the more likely you are to have recourse of some sort if it turns out to not be legitimate.
7. Buy Only From The U.S.
If you are located in the U.S., buy only from U.S.-based sellers. Are there legitimate gold sellers in Europe, Asia, and Africa? of course there are. But there is also a higher per-capita of scammers on eBay.
It also simplifies things if you try to return the item or file a case.
All of the sellers on our “best gold sellers on eBay” list are based in the U.S.
Also beware of choosing other sellers not on the list as many will put their location as California or New York when they’re actually shipping from China.
Is Gold Actually Cheaper On eBay?
Believe it or not, gold actually can be cheaper on eBay. And I mean real stamped gold, not jewelry scrap.
In fact, my opinion is that eBay is quite literally the best place to buy gold from large bullion dealers if you’re planning to stockpile gold or silver over time.
Well, because you can get discounts on eBay.
eBay has a promotion for their registered users which allows them to earn “eBay bucks” for their purchase. This is basically a cash-back program which applies to future purchases within the quarter.
In general, it’s a paltry 1% but, sometimes, eBay runs “Bucks Bonus Promotions” where you can garner many more points, I’ve seen up to 5x.
Now, if we are smart, we’ll also be buying our gold with a cash-back credit card that nets us a bit of an extra discount.
So if I apply my eBay bucks and use my cash-back card I can get around a 10% discount on my gold purchase.
Add in the fact that some large volume bullion sellers use eBay to rid themselves of stale inventory that is no longer minted and you might really get lucky.
Buying on eBay is also a good option if the price of gold rises very quickly as prices are not updated very quickly and you can gold for what the spot value was several days before.
Best Places To Buy Gold & Silver Online
Given the choice between buying from a business website or their eBay store, I’ll choose their eBay store almost every time.
Best eBay Gold & Silver Sellers
APMEX (Visit The APMEX eBay Store)
Liberty Coin (Visit The Liberty Coin eBay Store)
Bullion Exchange (Visit The Bullion Exchange eBay Store)
Scottsdale Mint (Visit The Scottsdale Mint eBay Store)
a1worldtrading (Visit The a1worldtrading eBay Store)
The only reason I might avoid buying on eBay is if the price of gold or silver has been raised to compensate for eBay fees.
If you want to avoid eBay for some reason, you can buy directly from the sites of any large sellers. This won’t give you the opportunity to snipe eBay auctions but you’ll at least be assured of the authenticity of the products.
Nearly any established gold seller is as good as the other as they all typically sell thing within a percent or two of each other’s price.
I hope you’re a bit wiser and more prepared to buy some gold, silver, or other precious metals bullion on eBay now. Or, if you were doubtful, I hope I was able to put some of those fears to rest and equip you to avoid the scams.
Buying gold is a great idea if you’re careful about who you deal with. So be careful, buy from the best eBay sellers, and keep stockpiling!