With most products, buying in bulk, or wholesale, affords a discount. Gold and silver are a different sort of commodity, in that their value as a precious metal are set fairly firmly in the marketplace. And, in fact, in some forms gold and silver can be more expensive in bulk than when purchased in smaller quantities. However, there are some forms, mainly jewelry and industrial materials, in which wholesale purchases of gold and silver are possible.
Choose an appropriate product. This will require some research. Pure gold or silver bars and coins will not usually be cheaper wholesale because they have a very specific value as precious metals and are in limited supply, though you may save on shipping costs by buying in bulk. Even raw gold and silver, in nugget form, is not any cheaper to buy in bulk. There is one site the sells gold at a slight discount wholesale called the American Precious Metals Exchange (AMPEX), but you must buy 10 or more units to save a mere $5 per ounce, and this is a purchase that will run more than $11,000.
One option is, often jewelers will sell old jewelry containing gold or silver in wholesale. In this case, you are getting a discount because of the dispersed cost of production put into crafting the jewelry. According to the Silver Institute, one of silver's primary uses is in industrial materials, so you could always buy industrial materials containing silver at wholesale value and then resell them retail once the value of silver has risen.
Research vendors for reliability. Once you've decided the form in which you want to purchase the wholesale gold or silver, it will be easier to target possible sellers. For instance, if you choose to buy wholesale jewelry, you need only compare wholesale jewelers by doing a simple search of the area in which you live or even online vendors. It's best to check review sites or talk to other wholesale buyers to get an idea of who provides a reliable sale.
Compare shipping prices. If you find that wholesalers are offering comparable prices, shipping is where you may find the most savings. You can also compare the cost of shipping with the cost of hiring a shipping company independently to pick up and deliver the gold or silver.
Store the metal in a secure storage space. Because you are buying wholesale, it's risky to store the precious metal at home, unless you have a large, sturdy safe. More likely, you will be renting a space at a highly secured public storage facility or even at a bank. It may even be prudent to have multiple storage locations so as to disperse the risk of robbery.
Ray Dallas graduated with majors in journalism and English. While in Florida, he wrote freelance articles for "The Alligator" and was the copy editor and a writer for "Orange & Blue." Since moving to California, Dallas has worked as a script reader and for a talent manager, as well as taking numerous industry odd jobs.