Investors flock to 'solid gold' as eBay sales soar
Published 15/08/2011 | 05:00
THE recent stock market trauma has been a boon for gold sellers on eBay. Gold and silver sales on eBay had already been rising steadily over the past few years -- so much so that eBay created a special section in May to make it easier for buyers to find sellers.
Now, activity on that part of the site, the Bullion Centre, is intensifying as consumers unnerved by the economic uncertainty flock to gold in hopes it will be a stable investment.
"When people are coming down to the question, 'Do they want to have cash in the bank or gold in their hands?' the answer is they'd rather have gold or silver," said Jacob Chandler, CEO of Great Southern Coins, the largest seller of precious metals on eBay.
According to the most recent data available from eBay, sales of 1-ounce gold American Eagle coins and 1-ounce gold Pamp Suisse bars have risen steadily since the beginning of this month. And as the Dow Jones plunged last week, the number of gold buyers on eBay rose 11pc.
Based in San Jose, California, eBay does not impose minimum purchase amounts for bullion. Sellers offer gold both through auctions and 'Buy It Now' fixed-price sales. The increased popularity of gold on eBay echoes what's happening in the broader gold market, where prices have spiked during the past two years.
Daniel Hirsch, a New York-based statistician who recently bought more than a dozen gold coins on eBay from Great Southern Coins, said he started buying gold less than a year ago in an effort to expand his investment portfolio.
"It's kind of a safe haven and a hedge against low interest rates," he said.