|Thu Aug 18 2011 22:09:54|
eBay Strikes Gold with Bullion Sweepstakes
By: Ina Steiner
eBay knows a PR opportunity when it sees one. As Brian Cohen wrote for us in April, gold is heating up on eBay, and it's not just coins - there's also an increasing number of "dental scrap" and computer memory listings. A month after we ran Brian's article, eBay launched a "bullion center" to make it easier for traders looking for gold and silver. And this week, eBay is running a Bullion sweepstakes to encourage users to buy bullion.
With the Bullion Bonanza, eBay users (by invitation only) who buy gold or silver bullion from featured eBay Sellers during the promotion period will receive one entry in the sweepstakes.
The Grand Prize is a 1-ounce Gold American Eagle coin with an approximate retail value of $1,858. First Prize is a roll of twenty 1-ounce Silver American Eagle coins, approximate value $851. Second Prize is 1/4 oz. of Gold American Eagle coins, approximate value $495. (ARV determined based on the value of Bullion on August 11, 2011.) Sweepstakes details are found here - you must have received an invitation via email to qualify.
When searching the Bullion Center on eBay, you can choose to filter search results by "featured seller" in addition to Top Rated Seller (any thoughts on what it takes to be a featured seller?).
If you are tempted to buy gold and silver on eBay (or elsewhere), make sure you know what you are doing. And that goes for selling too - sellers can be just as much at risk from shady buyers!
You might be interested to learn that the U.S. Mint revised its credit-card policy last month due to abuse of the program. The Mint eliminated the credit and debit card purchase of $1 Coins through its Direct Ship Program effective July 22, 2011, explaining:
The Mint has determined that this policy change is prudent due to ongoing activity by individuals purchasing $1 coins with credit cards, accumulating frequent flyer miles, and then returning coins to local banks. Local banks, in turn, returned coins to the Federal Reserve. While not illegal, this activity was a clear abuse and misuse of the program.
This particular behavior wouldn't affect eBay sellers, but it shows how "creative" buyers can be. A reader named Michael opined recently on the EcommerceBytes Blog:
The cash-back refund requirement now confirms that eBay is the safest, most risk-free place to invest in gold coins. A buyer purchases gold, and makes a profit if the market rises. If the market drops, the buyer (presumably now at any time in the future) can return the gold for a full cash refund. The buyer can then re-purchase gold at the new lower price. No way a buyer can lose .........but the seller certainly does.