Gold is the best hedge for cash assets against future financial uncertainty. Gold offers an attractive way to own an asset that will always have value, even if the market comes crashing down. You can also trade with gold. To enjoy the benefits of gold, you must own the physical metal in bars, coins, or bullion. You can now buy gold online. However, scam artists are rife in the online gold dealing sphere, so you should proceed with extreme caution. Here are several tips for protecting yourself when buying gold online:

Choose a Licensed and Accredited Gold Dealer

There should be a face you can place for the gold dealer selling to you online. Therefore, only buy gold online from licensed or approved dealers. An easy way to find if a dealer is accredited is to get a physical business address. For example, is a well-known gold dealer that provides contact information including a complete business address. You can then call up the numbers and check whether the business is legit. Scammers usually only provide an email address or a street address without specifics.

Check the U.S. Mint List

U.S. Mint helpfully offers a list of dealers if you want to buy real gold coins. Keep in mind that the suggested dealers are not “accredited” by U.S. Mint. Rather, they are considered to be generally safer than other goal dealers out there.

Check Spot Prices to Compare Dealer Prices

The price of gold will depend on the spot price. Naturally, when you buy gold from a dealer, you will be expected to pay a bit more in service charges. However, these charges should not be excessively hefty. You should be able to find a deal with services fees at around or below 10 percent. Check out the standard premium rate on other sites to make sure you are not getting scammed. Genuine gold dealers will always disclose all fees and charges associated with a transaction. If a dealer offers really low acquisition charges, watch out. Often, these low fees are sales ruses and you will end up paying more than standard premiums.

Read Customer Reviews

Go to review sites like Yelp to find customer reviews for the gold dealer you are about to buy from. Generally, licensed companies have good online profiles and a social media presence that you can use to assess the legitimacy of the dealer. If the company has issues, the customer reviews would show what’s wrong.

Know Where the Gold is Stored

Unlike conventional online purchases, the gold you buy is stored with the dealer for security issues. You should know where your gold is stored. The dealer must offer proof of purchase and an insured method of delivery. Frauds usually say they store the gold “onsite” without providing any proof of the gold you have purchased.

When buying, see what sort of good faith deals the gold dealer offers. For example, many legit ones have buyback offers for the gold. If you are really not sure about a dealer’s reputation, you should avoid them. It will help to get expert advice as well.

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