Home » Precious Metals » Who Has the Cheapest Bullion?

Who Has the Cheapest Bullion?

by John Rubino on February 8, 2011 · 14 comments

Back in November Wired Magazine published an article (Bargain Junkies Are Beating Retailers at Their Own Game) about how technology is giving shoppers access to every store’s prices and circulating huge coupons (think GroupOn).

Apparently, if you’re looking for a Blu-Ray player, chainsaw or new mattress, you pull up one of these sites and ask who is charging what, and they’ll tell you, which saves a lot of money and legwork.

But what about gold or silver? Sorting through bullion dealers’ mark-ups, shipping charges, insurance, and trustworthiness is a nightmare, especially for beginners. From a buyer’s perspective, this market is ripe for a technological fix.

And last week it got one, with the launch of GoldShark. The brainchild of the folks who run Ohio-based Trusted Bullion (a DollarCollapse.com advertiser), its beta version allows a user to input a hypothetical order — say, 10 one-ounce Gold Eagles — and see the prices of the various dealers, including shipping, tax, and insurance. It also displays the Better Business Bureau rating of each dealer, something that matters once you find out that at least one brand-name dealer carries an “F” rating.

  • Bruce C.

    Love it.

    Probably the shortest web post in DC history but still subtlety germaine.

    I bet I know who got the F-grade (Although I have had no problems with them because I simply buy bullion for delivery and stash cash at 2.25%)

    Stepping back a bit: On the one hand, I hope the feces hits the fan sooner than later for all my troubles, and to glean some vicarious pleasure from the perma-bulls, happy-talkers, and inveterate fiat-fantasisers taking a bath (or do I really mean getting wiped out?). On the other hand, My girlfriend says this is my dark side. I actually don’t like it either, but it seems just. There is an upward bias to Life and I don’t like betting against it, but I actually hate (in the sense that “they” have so disappointed in their roles) those in power. That is why (as the US Constitution attempts) the affairs of free individuals should not be INSTITUTIONALLY restrained.

    • Brad Thrasher

      Hey Bruce C. Your passion for justice is always appreciated.

      • Bruce C.

        Hi Thrash,

        I’m still thinking about your inflation poll question. So far my answer is: I don’t know.

        Allow me to explain. There seems to be both great deflationary and inflationary forces in play. The Fed/Bernanke say they see deflationary threats which is why they launched QE 2. Those forces are also why he is so confident that QE will not create inflation here, and I mean both price and monetary inflation. How else can one explain an actual reduction in the money supply during the same period that so much money has been injected into the system over the last few years? And prices in the US really haven’t gone up that much either, not like overseas.

        Of course, we all know that the contraction of credit is actually a good thing, the natural attempt to purge the economy of distortions, imbalances and malinvestments, but that sort of thing can be “painful” (i.e., expensive for those heavily invested in the fiat paper game) so, as usual, everything is done to maintain the status quo, and that includes some inflation (around 2%). Will they succeed? I don’t know, but as long as there is significant credit contraction ongoing I think what we’re more likely to see is low inflation (less than 3%) but high interest rates. Let’s see if the Bond Market imposes punishing rates when the Congress raises the debt ceiling.

  • Henry Coulter

    Minor Typo, second paragraph, first sentence, “you pull up one of these sites and ask who is changing what”. I think it should be: who is charging what.
    Good post.

    • John Rubino

      Good catch, thanks Henry.

  • Joe Ramon

    Looks like they don’t have a lot of dealers represented. My local dealer CNI is showing a price $13 cheaper than who they have listed as the lowest.

    • Robert Happek

      As impressive as this price comparison website is, it is still rather weak with regard to the number of dealers displayed. Compare that against some of European price survey sites, for instance gold.de.

    • kcfield

      CNI remains the cheapest and A+ rated by the BBB; however they are rarely included in comparison sites for some reason.

  • http://www.OneOverSpot.com Bob Davidson

    Actually, the cheapest bullion can be found at the new One Over Spot auction site since dealers and other sellers only have to pay a single 1% fee when their items sell. Virtually all items are listed with shipping included. See the prices on active and closed listings for yourself at http://www.OneOverSpot.com.

  • Shantanu B

    I have had good luck shopping at Tulving. They seem to have some of the cheapest prices on bullion (and also availability of the some of the harder to find stuff like 100oz Silver bars). The only problem is that they force you to buy in bigger lot sizes because they are a wholesale dealer and like to ship items in the same sku package size as they receive from their suppliers.

    The second cheapest source that I have been able to find is Gainesvilles Coins.

  • Michael

    Hi Bruce – I agreed with all of your post except this:

    “Of course, we all know that the contraction of credit is actually a good thing…but that sort of thing can be “painful” (i.e., expensive for those heavily invested in the fiat paper game) so, as usual, everything is done to maintain the status quo….”

    The contraction of credit is a naturally deflationary force that tends to make fiat currency more valuable, not less valuable. Debts become more onerous, but cash is worth more for those who have it. It’s only when you have a central bank “easing” (printing) willy-nilly that you have inflationary forces fighting deflationary ones.


    • Bruce C.

      Hi Michael,

      I’m not sure what you mean. Yes, we currently have both forces at work so it’s difficult to tell what the net effects are.

      Also, I was referring to the current state of affairs, not necessarily generally. Unfortunately, credit contraction these days would hurt most people, but I think it would actually be the better medicine in the long run. Extending the status quo is worse because the “bubbles”, imbalances, and inequities get even bigger. I don’t think the US can grow it way out of this any more. Its too late. Things have gone too far. It’s really a terrible dilemma.

    • Brad Thrasher

      Hey Michael & Bruce C.,

      Note: I refuse to give fiat currency the respect of calling it money. It is currency and I call it currency or cash. Jeez Louise, currency is no longer even a promissory note.

      When credit is contracting the banks aren’t growing the currency supply. Bernanke insists the Fed isn’t creating new currency. So long as the electronic credit/debit circulates within the Fed – Treasury – Banks I agree with The Bearded One.

      I think that is what Bruce C is saying. Do you think the banks are lending and expanding the currency supply Michael?

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