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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Cash4Gold Scam

This article was interesting. Allegedly, Cash4Gold only offers you 33%-50% of the fair market value of gold you mail them. If you call to reject their offer and ask for your gold back, then they make you a much better offer, but one that's still a ripoff.

When I first saw Cash4Gold, my reaction was "Good! People are encouraged to invest in gold and silver!" When I realized that Cash4Gold has a huge transaction fee, it's just a scam taking advantage of people who don't know what their gold is actually worth.

Plus, if you do sell to Cash4Gold, you owe capital gains taxes on any profits. It's better to sell to a trusted partner who will pay cash (avoiding taxes) and who will also pay closer to the fair market value.

I'm much more interested in "Gold4Cash" or "Gold4Paper" than "Paper4Gold".

Due to State regulations, gold/silver dealers face a lot of taxes and costs. This drives up prices and makes it harder for people to buy/sell gold/silver.

If you have gold/silver bullion, the online dealers like APMEX and Kitco seem to give reasonable good prices. The bid/ask spread is still a couple percent, which is high. If you use an on-the-books dealer, your sales are reported to the IRS/State and you owe capital gains taxes. If you buy from an on-the-books dealer, the sale is reported to the IRS/State.

Other people say that they've had a lot of success buying/selling gold/silver in stores. Where I live in NYC, I looked in one store. He quoted a ridiculously high price and I would have been required to show ID. The store owner got hostile when I started asking about buying and silling gold/silver. The store owner only had American Eagles.

"Start a gold/silver/FRN barter network!" is one of my agorist business ideas. It's a good idea because:

  1. The seller would not have to pay capital gains taxes, if you sell for cash or other goods.
  2. The buyer does not have the transaction reported to the State. I don't want State bureaucrats/thugs knowing I have gold/silver stored in my home.
  3. The bid/ask spread and transaction costs would be lower than a State-licensed dealer.
One risk is counterfeit gold/silver. On the other hand, State paper investments are counterfeit and a guaranteed loss. Some people say they have not had a problem with counterfeit gold and silver, but it could be a problem if gold and silver are more widely used as money.

I could offer an assay service, where I sell laminated gold/silver coins and also promise that they're not counterfeit. I'd need to find someone to teach me how to detect counterfeit gold and silver. There would need to be a trusted third-party arbitrator, if someone wanted to accuse me of selling counterfeit gold/silver. Suppose I sell a laminated gold coin, you break the seal, and then you claim it's counterfeit. How would I know you didn't break the seal and then switch the coin?

The biggest risk is "State thugs will raid me, if I start such a business and publicly advertise to attract customers." It seems like a reasonable risk, but I won't try it for a few years.


gilliganscorner said...

This instrument seems simple enough if you are using well known rounds/coins:

gilliganscorner said...

I meant to add, Although the price of it is very high, IMO.

fritz said...

We do need an alternative form of exchange medium. Even if there is a law stating federal reserve notes are the only currency. That law would apply to people corporations and not free men.
Free men could trade and contract how ever they wanted as long as it was not fraudulent.


Anonymous said...

... and as long as they are free men.

(free men do not pay taxes, this is a feature of a slave)

Anonymous said...

FSK, you better get your gold coin before too late. It would be a real shame to hear you explaining why you didn't, after the fact. The time is running out. No kidding.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Talking about evil government fnords? Canadians have found an excellent explanation for some of their tungsten filled gold bars: Simple error. Yep, folks. If you just recount the gold you have on hands, then the number will match with what you have on hands! No crime!

We should have done that too. We could have easily explain the missing pentagon money and Maddof money, and guess what we can even explain missing bailout money too!

Josh said...

this is no different than idiots who pay 25-40% for somebody to "sell his stuff on eBay".

There are only 3 excuses not to do it yourself : too rich, too stupid, too lazy.

People who don't know what they have deserve to be ripped off.

BTW, even if you were to sell gold to a business, I'd avoid mailing, as it's much riskier than doing it in person.

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