Your Privacy

Your privacy is my priority. In light of recent events regarding NSA spying and the willingness of the tech giants to share your information with the government, I have removed all third-party tracking systems from this site to protect your privacy and mine.

There are only a handful of sites that provide precious metal price comparison charts like I do, and at the moment I’m writing this, all of them track you using third-party systems that cooperate with the NSA.

What sort of information is tracked?  Besides gathering standard information, like your browser type and language, every click you make on their site is saved with a time stamp, and they record your physical location, via your IP address (IP geolocation). Sometimes IP geolocation doesn’t provide more information than ZIP-code-level accuracy, but it is possible to get more accurate by comparing your IP address to known IP addresses, which the NSA and third parties certainly have in abundance.

“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
-Ayn Rand

Merit Gold & Silver

Merit Gold & Silver have had a dealer review page for a long time, but I didn’t have a chance to add them to the pricing tables until now. I’ve also been busy making optimizations to the site code.

It seems like the currency conversion on Silver Gold Bull’s site is broken on some of their pages, so until they fix that, some of their prices appear as “0.00” on my tables.

Server Upgrade

To meet increasing demands on the server from ever-increasing traffic, I’ll be upgrading the server with double the current memory and double processors. If everything goes well, there should only be a few minutes of downtime.  Then hopefully there will be an increase in performance and site speed that everyone can enjoy.

I’m currently using A Small Orange for web hosting. I switched to A Small Orange in February 2013, and haven’t had any problems since then. In fact, so far, it’s the best web host I’ve had in 15 years.  I was initially attracted to their hardware, which uses only SSDs, but it turns out the support is excellent as well.

Edit:

The upgrade is complete, and it seems like everything is working fine and a lot faster.  Please let me know if you discover any broken features on the site.

Protips for Gold and Silver Dealers

This post is for dealers and sellers of precious metals.  Precious-metal consumers are also welcome to post their suggestions in the comments.

Because I truly believe in sound money (gold and silver), I want all precious metal dealers to have a successful business with many satisfied customers. So here are a few important tips to improve your image and increase you customer base.

  • Be honest about your stock quantities. “In stock” means you have the product on location, in your possession. It does not mean the product has been allocated by a supplier and is on its way.  Don’t be afraid to list an item as out of stock.  If possible, provide even more transparency by specifying when the item will be restocked. Not only will this make you more reputable, it also provides a signal to consumers that there are shortages in the market.  Gold and Silver Online, for example, clearly displays the date when they expect delivery of out-of-stock items.
  • Be direct and transparent with pricing.  When listing prices on landing pages that contain a product assortment, display the price for a single item– not the lowest-price volume discount for that item.  A sure-fire way to instill mistrust in new customers is to list the volume-discount price for what appears to be a list of single items. When a potential customer clicks an item and discovers that the price is actually a volume discount for a quantity he can’t afford, the result is suspicion, and it detracts from your credibility.Make tables that display payment options and volume discounts on product-detail pages.  JM Bullion, for example, clearly lists all of the of the volume-discount prices and also includes the prices for different payment methods.
  • No hidden fees.  When people make purchases online, they expect to pay the cost of the product plus shipping, and sometimes tax.  That’s it.
  • Display live prices on your web site.  Dealers that do not have live prices risk losing customers online.  Nobody wants to call just to find out how much something costs, when there are plenty of other dealers who display live prices.  Dealers that do not have live prices probably get most of their customers by direct referrals and are losing a great share of potential customers that find the dealer via online searching.
  • Use consistent and clear names for your products. Each product name should stand on its own, without relying on page headings, for example, to provide clarity or other information. A product name should always include the metal, weight and if it’s a bar, the format (bar). For example, 1 oz Silver American Eagle, 1 oz Gold American Eagle,10 oz silver bar, etc.

How much is your stack worth?

I made a simple tool to calculate how much your precious metals are worth: The Precious Metal Calculator, which you can also from the calculator icon on the main menu above.
If you fill in the optional Cost fields, you can also determine your profit or loss.
The values you fill in are only saved on your local computer using HTML5 local storage; they are not transmitted over the Internet or saved on any other computer anywhere.

Enjoy!