A great way to start out buying silver is to shop for it locally, as opposed to buying online. Even experienced silver collectors prefer making their purchases in this way, but it is also a good option for those looking to ease their way into the market.
The reason why buying silver locally, even in the internet age, is a popular choice for many, is that you can view the coins and other forms of bullion up close and even touch them, before deciding to handover your hard earned money and complete the transaction.
Also, for those new to investing in precious metals, being able to talk to experienced sales clerks and store owners, often found in coin shops, can help you decide what to buy and where to buy from.
Advantages of Buying Silver Locally
Another advantage of buying silver locally is that once you’ve paid the asking price, you can walk away with your silver without having to wait for the payment to be processed and the package to be delivered.
Paying by cash can give you a level of anonymity that cannot be found online. This is because you do not need to give your address or any other personal details when buying in person.
This can provide peace of mind for those buying large amounts silver who would rather as few people as possible knew where they lived and where the silver might be stored. Furthermore, there are no shipping and handling fees to be paid, and you don’t have to entrust your purchase with the shipping company, hoping it won’t get lost in the mail.
Disadvantages of Buying Silver Locally
While lots of people still prefer to shop for silver in their local area, it is not the perfect choice and does have its downsides. One such problem is the relative lack of offerings compared to shopping online. When you are shopping online, you have access to precious metal dealers from all around the country and even around the world.
Each dealer has their own inventory of silver, which you have access to at the click of a mouse. When shopping locally, your options will be more limited, giving you less items to choose from.
While this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for those looking for standard silver items, such as Silver Eagles or Canadian Maple Leaf coins, if your tastes are more exotic, you might not be able to find the desired products offline and in your local shops.
Another major disadvantage of buying silver locally is that the prices might well be higher than shopping online. This is usually down to the associated costs of running a physical store, compared to running a website.
The lack of local competition compared to that of online dealers can also help to keep costs higher. However, being able to pay by cash and avoiding credit card fees and delivery costs could make shopping locally more cost effective. It is up to you to research not just the listed prices, but also the additional fees that are added onto your purchase when shopping online.
Where to Shop for Silver Locally
If you do decide that shopping for silver locally is for you, or is something you wish to explore further, you might be wondering where to find silver in your local area. The first port of call should be your local specialist coin shop.
Most cities will have at least one such outlet and they are a great way to see what is on offer and meet the helpful and knowledgeable staff that run the shop and who deal with silver bullion all day long. These stores are also a good way to meet fellow collectors and immerse yourself in the scene. Below we have listings of coin shops for five major US cities:
- Silver in Chicago
- Silver in Dallas
- Silver in New York City
- Silver in Philadelphia
- Silver in San Antonio
Another option is pawn shops. While these might not have as large a selection as dedicated coin shops, they can still be a good place to find something special that has recently been sold to the store. Pawn shops that specialise in bullion are your best bet but it is worth keeping an eye on the stock in most pawn shops, just in case.
Coins shows are well worth visiting for anyone with more than a passing interest in acquiring silver coins and bullion. They are great places to get access to a wide range of products locally and the chance of negotiating a good deal with a private dealer can be higher than doing it in store at a coin shop. If a coin show is passing through your town, it is highly recommend you pay them a visit.