Local Coin Buyers Versus National Bullion Dealers
The divide between local coin dealers and national bullion dealers is an important one to most consumers in the bullion industry. While both online national dealers and local coin buyers will provide you with ample opportunities to expand your collection or sell your gold and silver bullion coins, choosing which option to go with is an important first step in securing a bullion purchase or sale. Local coin buyers have both advantages and disadvantages, and an informed seller should understand what these are. The same is true with national bullion buyers and dealers; large, national dealers offer a wider variety of coins, but might not provide the personal touch of a local shop.
Today, the Bullion Academy is providing you with a comprehensive guide to the benefits and negatives associated with buying or selling with local coin buyers and national bullion dealers. After reading this guide, bullion collectors of all experience levels should have a better understanding of how each of these options works.
Don’t know whether to buy bullion locally or nationally? Are you unsure of which type of establishment will pay you the most for your gold, silver, and platinum bullion products?
You have come to the right place. After all, the differences between buying local and going national can be staggering. Some local shops might pay significantly more for your gold pieces– we’re talking hundreds of dollars or more here!
Before buying or selling bullion, take some time to research all of your available options. Finding the perfect place to buy or sell silver or gold is the first step in securing your perfect price.
Buying from Local Coin Buyers
What is a local coin buyer? Generally, a local coin buyer is just any coin dealer that is not part of a larger national chain. These days, national coin and bullion dealers almost always have online websites. Local coin shops sometimes have websites, but it’s uncommon. This is especially true for extremely local shops that only have a single brick and mortar location. It’s unlikely that your local pawn shop will have a developed online presence!
Local coin buyers come in several different shapes. Some local coin dealers are traditional coin shops where only bullion is sold. Some local dealers are pawn shops, which may sell bullion along with hundreds of other types of products.
Local dealers come with several major benefits. For the most part, consumers who prefer to sell to and buy from local coin buyers tend to enjoy the level of personal charm these shops offer. Buying or selling directly to an individual face-to-face is certainly a unique experience, and many bullion collectors believe that the direct dealings of local shops can score you additional discounts or deals.
Pros of Local Coin Buyers
There are several advantages to buying bullion coins, bars, and rounds directly from local coin buyers. Selling to local coin shops also benefits coin owners for some of the same reasons.
See Bullion Products Upfront
Many bullion experts submit that buying locally allows buyers the chance to see their bullion products upfront before purchasing. In the age of the internet, massive online bullion dealers can provide potential customers with plenty of pictures of each product they sell. But this isn’t quite the same as physically seeing (or holding) your purchases before trading in your hard-earned cash.
Local dealers often allow bullion buyers to physically see and hold their products upfront before the purchase is finalized. Don’t you want to check your product for blemishes, scuffs, or imperfections prior to forking over hundreds– or thousands– of dollars to own it?
However, bullion collectors don’t always agree on this point. For some people, there’s very little difference between buying bullion in person and buying coins and bars online. It is also important for consumers to remember that national dealers sometimes also allow the option for consumers to buy their bullion from a physical shop. For example, Hero Bullion is a national dealer that does have a physical location in Texas.
However, we have to admit that there are a few substantial advantages to buying bullion directly in a face-to-face interaction. For old school bullion purchasers, buying from a local coin buyer means shaking the hand of the person you’re doing business with. It also means being able to immediately ask questions about your product and receive answers directly from your local coin dealer.
No Shipping Risks
This is an undisputed advantage of buying locally. When you buy coins, bars, and rounds from online or national distributors, shipping practices are always a major concern. Hero Bullion uses the most intentional, developed shipping processes possible to ensure that your coins are never damaged during the shipping and delivery process. But even when you’re buying from another distributor, you should always be aware of how your coins are being shipped and handled.
These concerns simply are not present when you buy from local coin buyers. These local shops do pose their own list of downsides and risks, but questionable shipping practices is clearly not one of them. Unless you plan on throwing your coin into the back of your truck and letting nature take its course on the ride home, it’s unlikely that coins bought from local coin dealers will become damaged in transit.
Cons of Local Coin Buyers
To be completely fair, many of the downsides of buying coins locally will depend on the shops in your area. For example, some pawn shops and shady coin establishments may present an increased risk of distributing counterfeit coins, rounds, and bars. But for the purposes of this guide, we’re focusing mainly on the negatives associated with local coin buyers in general.
Limited Product Selection
This is the ultimate con of buying from local coin buyers. Local shops offer convenient face-to-face purchases, upfront product inspections, and virtually no shipping risks. But most of these local shops present a major problem: limited variety. If the coin or round you’re looking for is in stock at your local pawn or dealer, that’s great. But coins and bars from different parts of the world might not always be available at your local coin shop.
To mitigate this downside to local coin buyers, consider checking your local shops to see their selection of bullion products in advance. If they can’t provide you with the items you want to buy, consider searching for an online distributor.
Buying from National Bullion Dealers
National coin dealers can provide an excellent alternative to buying from local distributors and pawn shops. In addition to a greater variety of available products, many modern online coin retailers offer 24/7 purchasing, customer service teams, and more. Convenience is the name of the game when you consider purchasing coins from massive online dealers. Some national bullion coin buyers also offer buyback programs, allowing you to buy and sell gold, silver, and platinum coins from the same convenient online sales page.
And then there’s the matter of eCommerce. Some national dealers don’t have websites of their own, but most do. With national coin dealers, you can order from the convenience and comfort of your own home. The downsides of national coin dealers often arise from their massive online presence. In this section, we’ll cover both the pluses and negatives of buying coins from national coin buyers and dealers.
Pros of National Bullion Dealers
Like we said above, convenience is king when it comes to buying from massive online coin dealers and distributors. There’s really nothing like buying a $1,000 gold coin from your couch, and this is something that only online dealers can provide.
Large Coin Selection
Many national bullion dealers use a process called “drop-shipping.” Drop-shipping means that a dealer has established working deals with a number of larger distributors and mints. When you buy a coin from a foreign mint on a national dealer’s website, they pay for the coin and have it shipped directly to your home. The introduction of drop-shipping to the bullion industry means that very few coins are truly ‘out of stock.’
But even without drop-shipping, national coin buyers have access to an absurd number of different coins. Big dealers frequently store their stock at massive warehouses, meaning that your favorite coins, bars, rounds, and other bullion products are perpetually in stock.
Obviously, local dealers have to close at some point each day. Luckily, national online coin buyers do not have this limitation. Do you want to buy an American Gold Eagle Coin at 1:00 AM on a Sunday? Go right ahead. Do you want to arrange to sell your Gold Buffalo Round for cash in the middle of the week? You’ve got it.
It’s also worth mentioning that national coin dealers often provide guides and other resources to make it even easier for new coin buyers to purchase their first bullion products. The Hero Bullion Academy serves this purpose, but we are not alone. National coin buyers offer a wide range of tools that make buying bullion easier and more convenient for the average consumer.
If we’re being completely fair, this is also a benefit that some established local coin dealers offer. But for the most part, the quality and quantity of consumer reviews available for online national dealers is far greater than with local buyers. Sometimes, you can refer to reviews from customers, industry experts, and even third-party reviewers to assess the public reputation of a national coin dealer.
Reviewing customer testimonials about a distributor can provide you with keen insights into the shipping practices, security assurances, and other factors that contribute to the reputation of a massive online retailer of bullion. Put more simply: reading customer reviews can keep you from getting scammed by online retailers.
Cons of National Bullion Dealers
We’d like to highlight two main cons of doing business with national bullion dealers: shipping risks and impersonal dealings. If you’ve read our above section on the benefits of local coin buyers, these negatives should already be clear.
When you order your bullion online, you almost always run the risk of experiencing problems during the shipping process. The most notable risk is that your coins might not arrive at all. Luckily, most modern coin distributors meticulously track and log the progress of your item as it ships. If it doesn’t arrive, you’ll usually be given a full refund or a new shipment. But some national bullion dealers might fail to properly secure your coins during shipment, which can sometimes result in scuffing, blemishing, or other imperfections. While some bullion distributors offer a full refund policy in the case of damage during transit, others do not.
To avoid this problem, carefully evaluate the shipping procedures for the national bullion dealers you choose to buy from.
This is the flipside of the local coin dealer advantage we discussed earlier. Unlike with local distributors, you’ll likely never meet anyone from the online national dealer you buy gold and silver from. For some consumers and collectors, this isn’t a big deal. To others, it’s a major reason to stick with local dealers. If you’re someone who likes to make purchases face-to-face, then buying from national dealers might not be the best move from you.
Still, many national dealers have physical “showrooms” where you can check out some of their most popular bullion problems. Hero Bullion even has a physical showroom in Texas!
Final Thoughts: The Best Way to Buy Bullion
The best way to buy bullion depends on your personal preferences. While online dealers provide a greater variety and increased level of convenience, local coin buyers allow you to purchase coins face-to-face without worrying about shipping risks. No matter how you choose to buy, buy bullion the smart way. Always do your research before doing business with a coin dealer, and make sure to note shipping procedures, online reviews, and other bits of information along the way.
About The Author
Hero Bullion provides an environment that is informative and safe for those looking to own physical gold and silver bullion as an investment. We love helping folks at all stages throughout their bullion journey making progress towards acheiving their financial goals. Whether you are a seasoned bullion investor or brand new to the game of gold and silver bullion ownership, we're here to help and serve you in any way we can.