Needless to say, the higher the premium you pay above the current spot price of silver, the lower your ultimate profit on the precious metal will be. If you are buying silver as an investment, intending to resell it once the price has risen (a workable plan, considering how steadily the price of silver has been rising for the past seven years), then this is particularly important. The higher the premium you pay, the more silver’s price will need to rise before you even begin to see your investment in the black.
However, premiums are not the sole concern of investors and speculators. If you are buying silver bullion as an inflation hedge – for possible resale later simply to offset possible erosion of paper currency’s value – then you are also likely to want to keep premiums to a minimum. Although you are not looking, strictly speaking, to profit, but only to keep your current wealth from being shrunken by inflation over time, premiums still have an effect on the success of your plan.
The higher the premium you must pay, the less silver you will be able to buy, and the less of your income you will be converting into the stable value offered by precious metals. If you need to pay 10% of the value of your silver as additional costs, that is 10% less you will be able to save for an economic rainy day. You clearly want to shave as much off these additional costs as humanly possible.
Some premiums are unavoidable, since you cannot avoid paying above spot most of the time unless you are accidentally purchasing stolen silver. After all, the manufacturers of silver, whether they are a government mint, a private bank, or a private minting company, need to buy the silver, generally at fairly close to spot price if not at it, and then make a profit, in addition to the costs for shipping and processing the precious metal.
However, the more costs you can shed when you are purchasing silver, the better. One of the expenses that adds considerably to the price of silver is the cost of having this heavy material shipped to your location. With the exorbitant price of fuel – driven up partly by OPEC and partly by the activities of speculators on the oil commodity market – it is still cheaper to have the bullion mailed to you rather than driving more than a few miles to pick it up.
Ideally, getting free shipping for your silver is the best you can hope for – but is such a thing possible?
Ways to get Free Shipping for your Silver
Free shipping on silver orders is something that exists, and there is a way to obtain it. This is the good news; the bad news is that you need to be very affluent, and very willing to spend money on silver, in order to get this deal. Basically, if you buy an amount of silver equal to the wage of a typical working person in the United States for a year, then you may well be given free shipping on your order.
Take, for example, the case of APMEX. APMEX offers free shipping as part of their ordering scale, but this benefit is offered only on large, bulk orders – smaller buyers will be obliged to pay for shipping, probably while muttering some equivalent of “them that has, gets”. As with many other things in life, you can get considerable savings if you already have a large amount of money. If you are not in the top 5% or 1% of silver buyers, then you will end up paying for at least some of the shipping.
Fortunately, APMEX’s shipping charges, at least domestically, are not particularly exorbitant. The highest shipping price you are likely to pay is $25, and most orders will currently fall into the $13 shipping category. If, however, you are a major player in the silver market, and want to buy $25,000 of silver or more, then you will qualify for free shipping on your order.
Other silver sellers online offer much the same discount structure, with free shipping on orders over a certain (usually quite high) amount. If you are planning to buy silver in such quantities, though, and have enough cash on hand to do it, it is more cost effective to place one big order rather than several smaller ones. This will save you close to the price of one ounce of silver – though of course, you will need to buy somewhere around 650 ounces to qualify.
International Ordering and Free Shipping
It is an entirely different matter when it comes to free shipping on international orders. You will be very hard pressed to find free shipping for a box of heavy silver coins, rounds, or bars that is being sent overseas. The costs are steep enough so that companies selling silver do not want to shoulder them and usually give customers no choice but to pay through the nose for the silver they have bought.
Usually, shipping charges are based on a flat fee, plus a surcharge for each ounce of silver or other metal in your order. Generally speaking, you could buy a million ounces of silver from one of these Internet sellers, and would just end up paying a million individually small but cumulative surcharges on the shipment.
If you are lucky enough to find a supplier who offers free international shipping, then you should definitely take advantage of this extraordinary stroke of good fortune if you are able to afford to do so. You should also be prepared to pay customs fees for your nation in many cases, since no reputable silver dealer will fail to clearly declare the value of silver contained in a package on the attached customs form.
Free shipping on silver, in short, is mostly available for very large orders placed and shipped domestically. Smaller orders are almost certain to incur some shipping charges, while international customers are likely to pay a large amount of money for delivery.