When should you sell your silver investment?
Perhaps the most difficult part of collecting precious metals and coins is deciding when would be the best or most opportune time to cash out. You have been patient, watching and waiting while values and markets go up and down. But it is very difficult to accurately predict what the price of silver will be in the future. Is now the time to sell your silver?
Whether you have been stacking silver for many years or just at the beginning stages, the ultimate payoff is the actual payout. If you are holding onto your sterling silver flatware, jewelry, coins or even a silver watch, you know trying to figure out when to buy and when to sell can be the most frustrating part of owning precious metal. And while many people choose to own physical silver for security reasons – your silver can also give you instant liquid value now, should you need it.
One of the most reasonable factors to sell your silver is because you need the money it is valued at and you don’t want to hold onto the silver any longer.
What is my Silver Worth?
Second only to gold, silver has been valued as a precious metal for thousands of years. Historians believe people began separating silver from lead as early as 4000 B.C.
Over hundreds of years and numerous cultures worldwide, it has been used as decorations, formed into utensils, currency, jewelry and much more being used in manufacturing of cell phones, solar panels as well as practically all other consumer electronics. Silver is a very effective conductor of electricity.
Silver is valuable today, but its price is in constant fluctuation. Silver is traded on a variety of financial markets. If you are thinking about selling your silver now you are probably most interested in the current price of silver, which is known as the spot price.
The spot price of silver is the price which silver can currently be bought and sold for right now. You can find the current spot price at the bottom of our homepage.
Silver, as opposed to gold, is much more affordable. So it’s relatively east to acquire much more of the metal for the same amount of money. The downside to silver is that it is not very portable and premiums above the spot price make it difficult to just break even.
For example, a “Monster Box” of Silver American Eagles (500 coins, 500 troy ounces) weighs roughly forty-two pounds and carries a retail value over $8,500 based on today’s spot price.
Though it would be nice to have, imagine the physical burden of $25,000 worth of silver – the difficulty to move in a hurry in comparison to gold where $100,000 worth could be carried in your pockets.
The premium over the posted price for silver can also be significantly higher than the premiums for gold. Depending on the type and size of gold you are acquiring, a 1-4 percent premium over the spot price is to be expected. Silver, however, is a different story.
Right now, the silver spot is around $15.45 and the average price for a 1-ounce Silver American Eagles ranges from $17-$18 US dollars. Mint wholesalers typically charge anywhere from $2-$2.50 per ounce when selling to dealers.
These dealers then add a percentage premium on top of the wholesale price when selling to the public.
So, with spot silver currently at $15, and Silver Eagles fetching around $17.50, wholesalers are approximately levying an 18 percent premium on silver sellers. In order for you to recover that premium, silver would have to have a decent value rise.
Of course, there are other silver products such as bars and rounds that do not carry such a high premium but compared to gold, it’s fairly high.
Where Can I Sell my Silver?
If you are wondering if it is the right time to sell your silver stack, the last thing you want to do now is deal with the headache of finding out which place is the best to work with, haggle with a difficult buyer, or worse yet, settling for a surprisingly low, sub-par payout. There are typically four avenues to consider when choosing where to sell your silver.
Online Bullion Dealers
Online bullion dealers are an excellent choice to consider when looking to sell silver. Virtually every online bullion dealer will make an offer to buy your silver.
In some cases, online bullion dealers will list their “buy back” prices directly on their website. This allows you to figure out a rough idea of what each piece in your collection is worth and what each individual is willing to pay.
Once you’ve chosen an online bullion dealer to whom you wish to sell, you will need to contact them to get their requirements for packaging and shipping.
The downside of selling your silver investment to an online bullion dealer is the turnaround time as well as the cost of shipping and insurance. Each dealer has different requirements for shipping them your silver to sell, such as insurance requirements.
It’s also important to know if you will be covered by the dealer’s shipping insurance in the event your silver is lost in transit or if you’re better off using the USPS Registered Mail service.
It becomes a waiting game once your silver is in the mail. After it is received by the dealer the first thing they will do is take an inventory and assay any pieces that may need it.
After the dealer has confirmed the inventory and authenticity of your silver they will contact you with details of how much they will pay you. Once you’ve agreed upon an amount the dealer will most likely mail you a check. Some dealers may offer to send you the money via ACH bank transfer.
The entire process, from selecting a dealer, to shipping and receiving your payment can take several weeks. This is not particularly ideal if you’re in a situation where you need to liquidate your silver investment in a hurry.
Local Coin Shops
Local Coin Shops are one of the most ideal places to liquidate your silver investment.
Local Coin Shops are in the business of trading precious metals with their customers on a daily basis.
In most cases you don’t need an appointment or provide the Shop with any advanced notice. You can often just walk in with your silver, lay it on the counter and the dealer will inventory what you’ve brought and assay any pieces they may need additional confidence in.
Many Local Coin Shops have a similar pricing model for their buying and selling activity. They will often buy generic silver slightly below spot price. Typically $1 to $2 below the current silver spot price per ounce.
Premium items, such as American Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maple Leafs will be bought slightly above the current silver spot price. You could expect to receive around $1 above the current spot price for sovereign government produced bullion products.
Numismatic and semi-numismatic items will fetch prices that are reasonable based on their resale value and the dealers ability to flip the items quickly.
eBay and Other Online Marketplaces
There are many bullion investors that look to eBay to buy silver bullion. Buyers have become particularly cautious when using eBay due to the increase in counterfeit bullion sales for cheap alloy reproductions that are made in China.
Most bullion buyers on eBay look to make their purchases through sellers with significant and recent positive feedback.
In addition to buyer skepticism, another challenge when trying to sell on the eBay marketplace is the fees charged. Final valuation fees on auctions can be as high as 13% of the winning price. On top of that, eBay forces sellers to accept only PayPal for payment which adds roughly an additional 4% in fees on top.
Most silver bullion being sold on eBay can be bought for a small premium over spot spot price. With combined fees as high as 17% selling on eBay can be a losing proposition unless you’re selling numismatic or semi-numismatic items that carry a significant premium.
Pawn Shops & “We Buy Gold” Stores
Local Pawn Shops and “We Buy Gold” stores have always been a place to sell your precious metals investments.
Keep in mind that these places are in business to make a tidy profit and have the overhead costs of operating a storefront, paying rent, utilities, employees, etc.
In many cases, the prices that they are willing to pay may be significantly lower than other options. But if you’re in a hurry and need to raise money quickly they provide an opportunity to turn your precious metals into cash.
Conclusion – Is Now theTime to Sell Your Silver?
Ultimately, the right time to sell your silver depends on several factors: the current state of the precious metals market, the value of your specific piece/pieces, and perhaps most importantly, your own financial plans, goals and ambitions.
If you have dedicated countless hours researching the right coins, bars and precious metal pieces, you deserve to get a proper payout from a reputable buyer.