Owning physical gold and silver can be an enjoyable venture, but the real power comes from selling these assets for more than you paid for them. If you’re ready to liquidate your silver and gold, you may wonder: How do you find a reputable buyer willing to pay what you’re asking?
Some investors simply take the first offer they receive out of convenience, but to make the most of your gold and silver investments, you’ll want to take time to find the perfect buyer. This article will tell you how to sell gold and silver for the best price and everything you need to know about the process.
How To Determine Value
Before you begin looking for buyers, you must determine how much your gold is worth — and how much you can reasonably get for it.
Below are a few steps you can follow to determine how much to sell your gold for.
Know the Spot Price
The “spot price” for gold and silver is the market price the asset currently sells for per troy ounce. A troy ounce is a measure specifically used for weighing precious metals and gems. It’s equal to 31.1 grams.
The spot price of gold and silver changes daily. You can find the current price on stock market exchanges like NASDAQ.
This site also provides valuable historical data to help you determine the right time to sell. For example, you can quickly review the highest and lowest spot prices over the past 52 weeks.
Determine the Weight and Purity
You’ll also need to know how much your gold and silver weigh and their purity level before you can sell them. This information is crucial so that your buyer knows what they’re purchasing. It can also help you determine the right price.
Ideally, you will have documentation from when you purchased the gold and silver that indicates these figures. If you have the weight in grams, you can convert it into troy ounces by dividing the figure by 31.1.
The purity is the amount of gold or silver in the product, indicated as a percentage. The higher your percentage, the more you can sell your product for.
Understand Other Factors Affecting Value
While multiplying the weight of your gold or silver by the spot price can give you a baseline to work from, other factors may impact the value of your assets.
For example, if you have gold or silver coins instead of bars, they may have collectible value outside of their precious metal content. The same goes for gold or silver jewelry.
If you have gold or silver bars, the type of bar and the manufacturer can also impact their value. If you have a poured bar instead of a minted one, it will have a unique shape and texture and go for a higher price. You may also be able to increase your price if the bar has a stamp from a reputable assayer.
Look at Other Sellers’ Prices
You should also look at what comparable gold and silver pieces are selling for on the market. For example, you can search “American Eagle coins for sale” and see how other sellers are pricing those coins. On some platforms, you can even view historical sales data to see how much the coins sold for.
You can find some of these coins for sale on the U.S. Mint website, though you probably shouldn’t expect to get much more than the Mint’s listing price.
Where To Sell Gold and Silver
Now that you’ve determined a price range at which you’d be willing to sell, how do you find where to sell silver and gold? You can sell your gold and silver through a few different outlets.
One of the easiest ways to sell virtually anything these days is online. By posting your gold for sale on a website, you can tremendously expand your audience of potential buyers.
People searching for your specific type of silver coin or gold bar can find you online and make you an offer. Alternatively, you can sell to a company that specializes in buying gold online, streamlining your selling process.
But you’ll want to choose a reputable website to sell your gold and silver online. For example, don’t post it for sale on Facebook Marketplace or eBay. These websites are prone to scams, and their convenience isn’t worth the risk of losing your investment.
Instead, look for a trustworthy website that has positive ratings and offers insurance on the sale.
Local Coin Shop
You might also consider taking your gold and silver to a local coin shop. These shops exchange cash for silver and gold jewelry, coins, and bars but don’t always offer the best prices. You’ll also need to take your products to the store in person, and some investors feel nervous about carrying such valuable assets around with them.
Selling gold and silver online or in person poses some safety concerns, and you should take adequate measures to avoid scams and theft. Consider the following safety tips before you sell:
- Only sell to a reputable, trustworthy buyer. If you aren’t sure about a buyer’s legitimacy, don’t go through with the sale.
- Beware of buyers offering a lot more than your selling price. They’re probably trying to scam you.
- If you sell in person, carry your items in a secure, unmarked bag, and bring a friend.
- Be aware of your surroundings, and leave if you feel uncomfortable.
Tips for Selling Online
Selling your gold and silver online is perhaps the fastest and easiest method, but you shouldn’t approach the process casually. Ensure you take adequate precautions to avoid scams while getting the most for the sale. Here are a few tips when selling online:
- Shop around for a buyer willing to offer you the best price. Don’t just settle for the first buyer you come across.
- Ship your gold and silver products via certified mail to ensure they reach their destination safely.
- Insure your package for the full value of the gold and silver inside. (The best online buyers will pay for insurance for you.)
- Evaluate an online gold buyer’s reputation by reading reviews and complaints on the BBB website.
You may seek a professional appraisal if you have a lot of gold and/or silver to sell and aren’t sure of its weight or purity.
An appraiser will evaluate your gold and silver products to give you an accurate valuation. You’ll need to pay a fee for this process, but it can save you a lot of time and ensure you get the most out of your investment.
The most trustworthy appraisers belong to organizations like the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America.
Precautions for Private Selling
Some gold and silver investors choose to sell their assets through a private, person-to-person sale rather than to an actual gold-buying company. There’s nothing wrong with this process in theory, and you could sell your gold and silver at retail value rather than the wholesale price a lot of online companies offer. Of course, you should approach any private sale with caution.
Take these precautions when selling gold and silver to a private buyer:
- Meet in a safe, neutral location, like a police station.
- Ask for reliable payment methods, like cash or a cashier’s check, rather than Venmo or Zelle.
- Verify that the payment is authentic before handing over the gold or silver products.
Even taking these precautions could result in a scam, which is why many investors sell only to certified, reputable online buyers.
Choosing a Reputable Buyer
So, what qualities indicate that a gold and silver buyer is reputable and trustworthy? You should only work with buyers who:
- Offer you a reasonable price — not outrageously high or laughably low
- Have no problems using secure payment methods
- Have positive reviews on websites like the BBB
- Offer to pay for shipping and insurance
Getting the Best Price
You may not be able to sell your gold and silver for the exact value you calculated above, but you should be able to get pretty close to it. One way to maximize your profit on your gold sale is to avoid taxes and fees in any way you can.
Some fees are necessary, like the cost to insure your shipment. But if an online gold buyer charges unnecessary fees and taxes the sale into oblivion, it may significantly eat into your profits.
How To Sell Gold and Silver Tax-Free
You can avoid capital gains taxes on gold and silver sales by ensuring you hold on to your products for at least one year. Selling your investment less than 12 months after buying it will lead the IRS to tax it as ordinary income instead of at the lower capital gains tax rates.
Want to learn more about how to sell gold and silver? Check out our extensive resources on this fascinating topic on the Learn About Gold blog.