Buying Physical Silver Online vs. Locally

When purchasing silver bars, there are two major options: online silver bullion dealers, or local sellers. Any large city should have several local options, such as pawn stores and coin shops, offering silver products. There are also dozens of online dealers catering to silver investors. Where should you buy your silver? There are both pros and cons to each purchasing method.


The selection of silver available through an offline dealer tends to be more limited when compared with the selection available online. With one click, you can browse and buy nearly any type of silver bullion ever minted. Whether you are looking for silver coins for your collection, or view silver as solely a precious metal investment, online dealers will offer the widest variety of silver options. Whether you are looking for silver bars from a specific mint, or are searching for silver coins from a certain year, you have a better chance of finding it online than through a local seller.

Pricing Differences

The prices for silver bars, rounds, and coins can vary dramatically from dealer to dealer. Often, the most competitive prices are found online, since online dealers have higher competition and lower overhead. You will typically find prices that are closer to the spot price of silver when shopping online.

Another price-related consideration to keep in mind is sales tax. In many states, local dealers will charge sales tax when you purchase silver bullion or coins. However, if you buy online, from an out of state dealer, you may be able to avoid paying sales tax on the purchase.

Personal Attention

One benefit of buying silver from a local dealer is the opportunity to receive personalized service, and to network with other silver investors. Buying online is fast and efficient, but you don’t have the opportunity to have a lengthy discussion about the silver. If you are a new investor, you may find it more difficult to choose the right types of silver when buying online than when standing in your local coin shop. You might pay a little extra for the service, but new investors often value the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about silver and meet fellow collectors. Though the best deals may be found online, local silver sellers can serve as an excellent resource.


Online shopping is an easy way to buy silver, but you will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, shipping address, and payment details, in order to do so. This makes some silver investors uneasy. On the other hand, you can walk into a local shop with cash and walk out with silver. Some investors prefer the anonymity of this transaction.


One clear benefit of buying from an offline source is the ability to inspect the silver before you buy it. When shopping online, you’re buying sight-unseen. You may see a photo of the actual silver bar being sold, or you may not, instead having to rely only on the seller’s description to attest to the quality of the silver.


Some investors prefer to stop by their local silver dealer when they’re ready to add another bar to their collection. Others find it easier to buy silver with a click of the mouse. There is no one investment strategy that is right for all silver buyers. When weighing your options, consider which method you feel most comfortable using to buy your silver.

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