On a recent fall evening millions of Americans hunkered down to relax and turned the television on.
On the screen a politician running for President is saying how great the stock market is and using a booming voice to proclaim the economy is roaring…….at the same time in a town in central Indiana a man walks into to an obscure 1500 sq ft retail shop. The man pulls out $3,000 in cash. The business owner knows what the man is there for and gets his order ready in a brown paper bag. Pleasantries are exchanged. The customer inspects his order while the business owner counts the cash and writes out the receipt. Within a matter of minutes the transaction is over. No haggling over price, no sales pitch and more importantly an investment is made that the government cannot trace.
*NOTE* This write-up is an email interview with my silver dealer I buy from. I am not paid by them for advertising and for security reasons their name/business name will be withheld.
Nationally, silver sales are soaring. Take a look at this most recent stat: 14.26 million ounces of American Eagle silver coins in the third quarter. That’s the most in 29 years! I buy for specific reasons but I wanted first hand account from my coin dealer on what drives the customer. An unfortunate part of American media/investors today is if you don’t fall in line with buying stocks or government debt, you fall in the whacko bird conspiracy theory group of society. When studying economic trends, you push your feelings aside and accept that this much silver being sold is indicator something is up. Here is what I gleamed in my interview with a silver dealer.
How is business?
Our sales are up 38% compared to 2012/2013, and up 32% compared to 2013/2014. We benefited from 2-3 shops closing down around us but overall metal sales are up nationwide.
What’s the make up of your customer base?
Fast food workers to business executives. Most come in from the surrounding area but sales have expanded to out of state. One customer comes from Mexico 3-5 times a year and buys from us.
What are they buying?
Bullion silver is selling well. Others are coming in and buying specific coins for their collection. Gold is up and down. Other times we sell 90% junk silver coins for bartering reasons.
Bartering comment leads into ……Why are people buying?
Buyers think precious metals are undervalued because the dollar is weak via the Federal Reserve. Others think the economy is going to get worse due to the federal government running up huge deficits/debt and other financial factors. Many think bartering will be commonplace down the road.
You have a mark up higher then the internet sites but your clientele keeps growing. Why is that?
A lot of people use us versus the internet to avoid a paper trail, because they trust us and we stand behind our product. We stock what they are looking for, even if they can get it for less online. People are also coming to the realization that even paying sales tax in our store, they end up coming out about the same as online pricing after they pay shipping, credit card processing fees, and then potentially having to wait 6-8 weeks right now for delivery.
What are your sales like?
They are up and down like any other. National events like Charleston or Sandy Hook shootings have been driving sales because fear of government. The re-election of President Obama helped sales because of his spending policies.
It’s nothing anymore for customers to drop $5k-$7k for metals in one setting. Some months were over 2,000 oz of silver and 60 oz of gold in sales. Others are lower, but sales are up overall.