There are a lot of good reasons to buy silver online instead of buying it from a store. But is it safe to do so?
Reasons to Buy Silver Online
The advantage of going to a store to purchase your silver is that you’ll be able to feel the weight and heft of your silver in person, examine it for yourself, and bring it home immediately. You’ll also get the customer service of a real person helping you out with your purchase. These relationships can be helpful, especially for the newer investor, and that’s something to consider.
On the other hand, silver bought at a store almost always has higher prices due to overhead. Paying the employees, renting the place, and putting precious metals on display all costs money, and that cost is transferred to your bottom line. You are also not anonymous when walking into a store, as thieves can watch a store for potential targets.
Finally, due to easier means of storage and no need for a display room; the variety of options you’ll find online is much greater than you’ll find at a brick-and-mortar store. Not to mention the greater variety of dealers you’ll have to choose from online compared to your local area.
Overall, the advantages of shopping for silver online probably outweigh the benefits of shopping in person. Now that that’s been settled, the question becomes whether you can safely buy digital silver online.
How to Buy Silver Online Safely
The big question is: is it safe to buy silver online?
The short answer is yes.
As long as you find a reputable online dealer; you’re going to be able to buy your silver for substantially less mark-up online than in-store.
In many ways, it is also safer and more anonymous to purchase your silver online; as the ability to find out who you are and track you is much harder online.
How can you know whether the business you are purchasing from online is a reputable seller?
First, look at customer reviews and other marks of general satisfaction with the business. Generally, the older the business the better in the precious metals field. If they are large company with a physical office, that’s a good sign too.
Next, you can look for affiliation with American Numismatic Association (ANA), Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), and the Industry Council on Tangible Assets (ICTA) to name just a few.
Lastly, you can simply look up lists of the most prominent and reputable precious metal dealers in your country, and this probably won’t steer your wrong.
Safe Delivery Method
Another thing you might be worried about is the delivery method, but reputable dealers have all figured out fairly secure shipping methods. You’ll get your silver bullion delivered in non-descript shipping boxes, and you can choose to have it delivered to a P.O. Box or to your place of business for extra security. Some dealers will even have shipments to be broken up into smaller packages.
If you truly want the most secure delivery possible, go for registered mail. You’ll get insurance on your delivery and an airtight chain of custody with locked containers handled by specific agents who are directly responsible for each item in their box. It’s expensive, slow, and not necessarily recommended by everyone in the field for these reasons. But, it’s the way to go if you are looking for security above all else.
Overall, most online buyers of silver are not much more worried about their precious metal being stolen than any other kind of online delivery; but there are options for those making big purchases.
Credit Card Safety
Another risk factor is using your credit card online, but again, this is no different than using your credit card for any other online purchase. As long as you are using a reputable dealer, their credit card payment system is likely to be secure as well.
Personal Online Safety
One final area of note is one’s own online security habits, beyond those of the company you are purchasing from. Password security and protection, virus protection, email phishing scams, and other dangers from the general use of the internet are all concerns. Make sure you understand how to secure yourself from these dangers before any online purchases; including buying silver or other precious metals online.
There really no great reason to be frightened of buying silver online compared with a brick-and-mortar store. There’s a strong psychological sense that something of high value could be easily stolen through the mail; but the reality is that people make purchases of all sorts of expensive things online these days with little problem. There’s also the concern that one could be scammed by an unreputable dealer online – and this is true – but this can be avoided with just a bit of prior research.
Overall, the benefits really outweigh the risks here, and if at all possible, one should consider buying their silver online.
Read Also: 5 Surprising Benefits of Investing in Silver