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3 Surprising Places You Can Buy Gold

These three retailers sell gold bars and coins online

spinner image A Costco membership card is held in front of a store webpage that shows a one-ounce Gold Bar for sale.
AP Photo/Richard Drew

In good and bad times gold is in demand. People see the precious metal as a safe way to protect their money, betting its value will stand the test of time. It gives them peace of mind knowing they have a tangible asset they can trade.

“I think there's always a demand and appetite for gold and silver and precious metals in general,” says Jonathan Rose, cofounder and CEO of Genesis Gold Group. “With conflict arising in the Middle East and fears of a recession, people are moving to the yellow metal as a safe haven.”  That’s not to say it’s the best way to save for your retirement or a rainy day. Just like other assets the price goes up and down.

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To buy gold bars and coins from the U.S. Mint, you need to go through a network of official distributors who sell to wholesalers, financial institutions and secondary retailers that sell to consumers either online or in person. If you are buying online, Rose says do business with an American company that is licensed and bonded by the state to sell gold bars and is known as a reputable dealer. “There’s a lot of fake gold out there online,” says Rose.

While much of the gold sales happen through these authorized sellers, you can also get your hands on bullion at some surprising places including these three national retailers:

1. Costco. The warehouse retailer claims to be doing a brisk business selling gold bars online. Costco members can buy 1-ounce gold PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan bars via the Costco website. Delivery time is about two to three business days. The gold bars are not eligible for returns or refunds. 

Because of the strong demand, Costco has been limiting sales to two gold bars per membership. Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said during a recent quarterly earnings call the warehouse retailer can’t keep the gold bars in stock, usually selling out within a couple of hours of going on sale.

Costco doesn’t make much of a profit on the gold bars, using it instead to boost membership. As a result, consumers can get a good deal, says Rose. But if you want to diversify your portfolio with gold bars, Rose said the two bars per customer can be limiting.

2. Walmart. The national retailer sells a variety of gold bars, coins and other precious metals via its Precious Metals shop online. Walmart has been doing it for some time, partnering with APMEX, one of the nation's largest sellers of gold and silver.  Since then, Walmart has added several other resellers to its precious metals marketplace. Gold bars typically ship in two to three business days. There are no membership requirements to purchase the gold bars online. 

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3. For consumers who want to dabble in bullion on a limited budget, sells grams, gold coins and gold bar jewelry. If you are a Prime member, shipping is free. Amazon allows returns and refunds for gold purchases. Make sure to do your homework. Some of the items sold on may not be gold.

How to store your gold

Flush with your gold bars, now comes the tricky part: where to store them. Rose says there is no hard and fast rule, and the amount you have will dictate where you keep them.  “Everyone has a different mindset,” says Rose. “Some people put them under their mattress or in a floor safe. Others in a safety deposit.” If you are amassing a small fortune or don’t feel comfortable storing your gold at home, there are licensed storage facilities that specialize in that.

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