If you’re considering selling a few gold coins from your collection, now is a great time. Some analysts speculate that gold will reach all-time high prices in 2024 due to tapering interest rates and looming economic fears. Along with such fears comes the drive to safeguard wealth in physical assets, including gold and other precious metals.
What’s the best place to sell gold coins, and how can you ensure you’re getting the best deal for yours? Below, we’ve compiled clear and concise answers to these questions and more to help guide you on your gold-buying journey.
Local Gold Dealers
Local gold dealers can be excellent places to sell your gold coins, and this option wins points for ease. Simply take your gold coins to a dealer near you, have them assess the quality of your pieces, and get your money. Gold dealers are well aware of gold’s current spot price, so you’ll likely get a fair price for your coins.
Quite a few people believe dealers aren’t interested in buying gold when its price rises, but the opposite is true. This seems counterintuitive: Why would dealers want to purchase gold if prices are high?
When prices increase, gold supplies typically tighten. Additionally, gold premiums may increase, which could give the dealer some profit potential. That means they might be willing to purchase your gold at a slight premium above the spot price.
Coin Shows and Expos
If you live in a major city, odds are good that coin shows and expos come to your area at least a couple of times per year. These shows allow you to sell your gold to dealers and collectors, such as yourself.
Coin shows can be the best place to sell gold coins because they offer plenty of options. If you don’t like the price one buyer offers, you can easily head to a different booth for another offer.
You may even want to consider setting up a booth of your own if you have lots of coins to sell. You’ll likely have to pay a fee to do so, though, which could cut into your profits.
Here are a few tips for selling at a coin show:
- Price your inventory before the show and decide whether you’re willing to haggle. It’s smart to expect counteroffers, even if your prices are reasonable.
- Decide in advance what types of payments you’ll accept.
- Arrange your inventory nicely so buyers will be tempted to check out your booth.
- Consider renting a coin display case if you don’t have one. A case gives your booth a more professional look and wards off would-be thieves.
- Expect other dealers to approach and try to buy your coins at wholesale prices. Their offers can be tempting if you wish to offload inventory quickly, but you probably won’t get the best price this way.
Online Gold Buyers
Selling gold online can be very appealing because it’s much more convenient than packing up your coins and driving to a local dealer. Plus, doing so allows you to shop around and compare offers from different online dealers. Even better, many dealers offer same-day payment if they accept your coins.
Here’s how to offload your coins to an online buyer:
- Find a gold buyer with a great reputation. Any dealer you work with should have a good rating from the Better Business Bureau as well as plenty of positive reviews from customers.
- Once you’ve chosen a dealer, send in your gold coins for appraisal. Many online dealers will send you a postage-paid envelope for this.
- Wait for an offer. If you like the offer, the dealer will keep your coins and send you payment. If you don’t accept the offer, the dealer should promptly return your coins to you.
Why Pawn Shops Should Be Your Last Choice
Pawn shops are a popular place to sell gold for people who don’t want the hassle of working with a dealer. There’s no need to fill out a ton of paperwork, and you’ll typically get paid on the spot.
However, pawn shops are not the best places to sell gold coins. They’re in the business of melting down gold to make a profit, which means they typically offer less than the market price for gold coins. If you want the best price, choose a local dealer or online gold buyer instead.
What To Know Before Selling
So, you’ve decided on the best place to sell gold coins. Not so fast! Before you head off to a dealer or set up a booth at a coin expo, there are a few things you should know. These tips will help you get the best price for your coins and avoid any potential problems with the IRS.
Purity Level, Weight, and Condition Quality of Your Gold
If your gold coins are faded, corroded, or impure (mixed with another metal, such as nickel), you won’t get the best possible price. The weight of your coins affects the price as well.
It’s best to have a professional appraiser check the weight, purity level, and overall condition of your gold coins. Appraisers can also assign your coins a grade based on the 70-point Sheldon Grading Scale. They use this scale to rate coins based on factors such as the level of visible detail, wear, fading, and luster.
Understanding Tax Implications
If you think you can sell your gold and keep all the profits, think again. The IRS classifies gold as an investment asset, which means when you sell your coins, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on the earnings.
The IRS also classifies physical gold as a collectible, which means you’ll pay the standard capital gains rate of 28%. That can take a big bite out of your profits.
One way to avoid capital gains tax is by taking advantage of a 1031 exchange. With this arrangement, you would use the profits from selling gold to invest in other precious metals. Essentially, you roll one investment into another similar investment, avoiding capital gains tax.
However, you’ll need an intermediary to hold your money because your profits become taxable as soon as they hit your bank account. And if you want to liquidate your collection and don’t plan to invest in other metals, this tactic won’t help you.
It’s important to be aware of fees when selling gold coins. Some dealers charge a transaction fee based on a percentage of the price of your gold. And if you choose to open a booth at a coin show, you’ll likely have to pay a fee. These fees can add up to hundreds of dollars or more.
Tips on Selling Gold Coins Safely and for a High Profit
When selling gold coins, your goal should be to maximize your profits. The following tips will help you do just that while avoiding potential pitfalls and scams.
Get Your Gold Appraised
A reputable gold appraiser can tell you the numismatic value of your coins and other gemstones. They can also detect whether your coins are real or counterfeit gold.
A local jewelry seller or coin dealer can handle appraisals for you. Some offer free appraisals, while others may charge a fee ranging from $50 to $150.
If you prefer not to work with a local dealer, you might also consider having your coins appraised by an organization such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) to ensure an accurate and fair assessment.
Choose a Reputable Gold Buyer
One of the biggest risks of selling gold is getting scammed. If you advertise your gold coins on a website like Craigslist, for instance, the buyer could offer you an unfair price (or, even worse, steal your coins from you).
It’s far better to sell your gold to a reliable and reputable local dealer or online gold-buying company. Before agreeing to the sale, ensure the company has no major complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
Research the Market
Researching the market is important to ensure you get a fair price for your gold. Always check the current spot price of gold before you sell. If you don’t, a buyer could make you an offer for less than the going market rate.
Most reputable online gold dealers will have charts on their websites displaying the spot price. You can also find the spot price on the World Gold Council’s website.
Secure the Transaction
If you’re considering selling gold coins online, you may be wary of loss or theft, and rightly so. Before agreeing to a sale:
- Find out how long the buyer gives you to evaluate an offer.
- Ask how long it will take for payment if you accept an offer.
- Ask the dealer whether they provide tracking and insurance.
- Ask how the dealer will return your gold coins if you don’t accept their offer.
It’s usually not a good idea to accept the first offer that comes your way. If you do, there’s a chance you’ll leave money on the table. To avoid this, shop around and gather offers from multiple buyers. A private buyer might offer you more than a professional dealer, or vice versa.
The best place to sell gold coins should give you plenty of time to consider an offer. If a dealer pressures you to make a decision, you might want to look elsewhere.
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