When buying silver through online dealers, always factor in shipping prices when calculating the total cost of your purchase. Shipping charges are set by the dealer, and can vary significantly. While some sellers offer free shipping, others add a substantial shipping fee to every order. Many investors forget to account for this fee, which can add a significant amount to your bottom line unless you are careful to choose dealers who offer free shipping.
Because silver bullion tends to be fairly small and compact, the packages are small in size, which means that shipping costs can be reasonable. However, keep in mind that coin dealers typically use high-security shipping methods which ensure that your coins are delivered quickly and as promised. Such shipping methods tend to be costly. Some dealers charge every buyer the full fee, which can add significantly to the per-ounce cost of your order.
However, within the precious metal industry, many dealers are willing to absorb part or all of the shipping costs in order to attract customers. Within this competitive industry, it is common for coin dealers to offer free shipping, particularly for high-volume or high-value sales.
Shipping Fee Amounts
Shipping fees are set by the seller. Most online dealers calculate the shipping fee based either on the total purchase price or the total weight of the precious metals involved in the transaction. Many, though not all, dealers offer free shipping for transactions of a certain size. The purchase amount required to qualify for free shipping varies from dealer to dealer. For example, JM Bullion offers free shipping for all order (over $100). Within the competitive precious metal industry, this serves as an incentive for buyers to select one seller over another. Free shipping can result in significantly lower per-ounce costs than buying from a dealer with comparable costs who does charge a shipping fee.
When comparing prices between two different dealers, always shop by total price, including the shipping fee as well as the silver cost. It is not uncommon for a dealer to have lower per-item costs, yet high shipping fees, resulting in a higher total cost. Often, taking advantage of a free shipping offer results in the lowest possible total cost for your silver investment.
Another consideration is the shipping method used. Keep in mind that the least expensive options tend to take longer to arrive, and may not come with as many layers of protection such as insurance or signature confirmation. When sending precious metals, many dealers use a different shipping method for relatively low-value shipments than for high-value purchases, providing a balance of affordable and high-security shipment options. When mailing precious metals, it is often worthwhile to upgrade to the fastest shipping method available, though this may come at an added expense.
Shipping fees and practices vary considerably between dealers. If you have any questions about the dealer’s shipping fees or what you must do to qualify for free shipping, ask the seller for clarification prior to placing your order.