There are several options for buying silver locally, such as coin dealers, coin shows, pawn shops, and estate sales. In any large city you should be able to find several shops offering popular silver coins such as the American Silver Eagle, as well as other forms of physical silver bullion such as rounds and bars.
While each of these locations may offer a selection of silver coins, they tend to have a much more limited selection than is available through online coin dealers. This is one of the biggest downsides of buying silver locally. Visiting local coin dealers can be a hit-or-miss proposition. If you are looking for specific silver coins, you are not likely to find them quickly if you only shop at local stores. On the other hand, many collectors prefer the relaxed pace and ease of browsing.
New collectors are more likely to find a dealer willing to explain the nuances of particular coins when standing in the coin dealer's shop than when buying silver online. This opportunity to network with other investors and collectors makes buying locally an attractive option for those who are new to the world of silver coin investing and wish to become more knowledgeable. As such, local silver dealers can serve as a great resource, even though the best deals may be found online.
Buying silver locally is often less convenient than shopping online. It takes more time to drive to different coin sellers, look at the inventory, and make your purchasing decisions. On the other hand, many investors prefer the idea of walking in with cash and walking out with silver, which simply cannot be accomplished when buying silver online. In addition, you will have the opportunity to inspect the coin and hold it in your hand before making your buying decisions; you aren't buying a coin sight-unseen, unlike with many online transactions.
Local coin dealers tend to have higher prices due to increased overhead. The higher expenses of operating a retail store, plus reduced competition, means that many local coin dealers charge higher prices than those who sell online. In addition, if you live in a state where sales tax is charged for precious metal sales, expect to pay sales tax when buying locally. Many investors find that buying silver locally is not cost effective when there are other options, such as shopping online, to buy the same coins.
Do Your Homework
Before buying silver locally, it is critical to do your research. Make sure that you know the current spot price of silver on the day you are shopping. Know the current value of any coins you are looking to add to your collection. Don't be afraid to leave and do more research if you see a coin you might be interested in. While many coin dealers are experts in the numismatic field, other coins sold locally may be offered at a pawn shop, an estate sale, or elsewhere by someone who is not an expert at identifying and pricing silver coins.