Why Gold & Silver Fairs are unfair to sellers

Gold & silver fairs

A Philip & Sons flyer adverting a local gold buying event.

  • Gold & Silver buying events are tempting, but their only real value is entertainment – you could lose out heavily if you sell there.
  • Beware promoter’s extravagant claims. They rarely stand up to scrutiny.

If you’ve seen a leaflet advertising a gold and silver buying event or fair at a local venue, such as a hotel or community centre, don’t rush to sell your valuables there. You could get far less than they are really worth.

Gold and Silver Fairs are promoted with tempting claims. Take the local event being staged by Philip & Sons, which seems like a reputable company with its Mayfair address.

Worthless claims on Philip & Sons flyer

Top London cash prices paid”, says their flyer, although what actually constitutes a top London cash price is unclear. It also promises, “We pay better than all the rest” and “No one offers more!These claims are unsupportable and untrue.

Let’s look at their flyer in more detail. Apparently Philip & Sons will pay a minimum six times face value for pre-1946 silver coins. Putting aside the inaccuracy that the critical date for silver content in coins is actually pre-1947, the rates quoted certainly don’t match the adjacent claim “No one offers more!” Gold Traders is currently paying well over 10 times face value. Even if you’re just selling a handful of coins, that’s a worthwhile difference.

See what you could lose

For example, at six times face value, Philip & Sons would pay 72 pence for a pre-47 shilling; we would pay £1.29. For a Florin (remember those – they were worth two shillings), it would be £1.44 from Philip & Sons, £2.58 from Gold Traders. The greater the face value, the more you’d lose out by selling to Philip & Sons rather than Gold Traders; for a Half Crown it’s £1.80 vs. £3.24, and for a Crown it’s £3.60 vs. £6.49. You could almost double your money.

We’ll point out right now that as we pay by weight, these prices are an illustration and rates will vary according to wear as well as the current silver price. Having said that, Gold Traders will pay you considerably more than Philip & Sons for even heavily worn coins.

Dramatic difference

The difference is even greater with Sovereigns. The Philip & Sons flyer promises a minimum £65 for a Half Sovereign and £130 for a Full Sovereign. Our current prices are almost double – currently £115.05 for a Half Sovereign and £230.09 for a Full Sovereign.

(Note: Above prices were correct at time of writing. Up-to-date rates are available by clicking the appropriate links.)

Not so much fun at the fair

So while selling your gold and silver at hotel or community centre buying fairs may seem convenient, you’re likely to lose out significantly. It’s best to treat these events purely as free entertainment, and sell to Gold Traders instead – where you’re always sure of a fair exchange.

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3 Responses to “Why Gold & Silver Fairs are unfair to sellers”

  1. Ralph Kelly Moran says:

    I’m in the gold buying business and I agree, most dealers are out to pay as little as possible for gold content. That’s why I as a buyer strive to adhere to the principles of honesty and fairness in all my business affairs. Not only do I deal in gold, silver and Diamonds, I also purchase any item of value, including gift-cards therefore I do not have to rely on the purchase of precious metals and stones to support my family

  2. Mark harris says:

    I agree with what you said on prices the only thing used missed is they offer to buy broken gold at a good price think you missed on that one

    • Phil says:

      That’s our point Mark, they DON’T offer a good price. From a dealer’s point-of-view, it doesn’t matter if an item made of gold is broken or not. It’s the intrinsic value of the gold itself they’re after. Despite what a dealer may tell you, regardless as to whether your jewellery is in perfect condition or damaged, its final destination will always be to the same place – the melting pot!

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February 22nd, 2013 3 Comments » Selling Tips |