Buying Physical Bullion Locally - Pricing, Taxes and Shipping

Why are you selling silver at a higher prices per ounce than the spot price (for example, spot price is SGD 40, why are you selling at SGD 45)
Physical bullion always has a premium covers over spot price to cover:
  • Manufacturing and assay costs to struck and certify bullion coins or bars
  • Insured transport & storage costs
  • Taxes (7% GST in Singapore was removed last October 1 2012)
  • Capital costs which are very high as the industry is strictly based on prepayments
None of these costs apply to pure paper silver derivatives as they represent a price exposure to the spot price with no practical means to convert to physical bullion. Hence physical bullion and paper derivatives of silver are two very different products as the former can be quickly issued in nearly unlimited amounts and is settled in currency whereas the later represents a finite physical commodity. 
The exact ratio between physical positions and paper positions is not know exactly and can be defined in various ways. The practice to lease  silver out, which would normally be counted as reserves, further complicates obtaining an accurate number. However based on the Comex future exchange this ratio is around 5 %. Studies by the CPM Group assume a 1% ratio when other forms of silver derivatives are included. It is therefore a safe assumption that there are somewhere between 10 and 100 paper derivative claims for every ounce of physical silver.
In this context the simplicity and lack of counterparty risk of fully owning physical bullion over the long term lends itself very well as a protection against inflation, a currency crisis and is likely to appreciate as confidence wanes in financial institutions and complex derivatives.  However it’s higher transaction costs make it ill suited for frequent trading when compared to paper silver derivatives.
On a side note, Silver in the form of jewelry commands premiums of 800% + over spot prices. This is very high compared to bullion prices which, in the case of coins – especially Perth Mint Coins - can also be of very high quality and finishing.

I found other sources of silver bullion on the Internet in a foreign country at lower prices, can you match the price?
We offer competitive discounts through our Discount Tiers.
When comparing prices with other online bullion dealers outside of Singapore, check whether they will ship internationally. Most bullion dealers in USA do not ship internationally due to insurance and customs regulations that differ for every country.
Next, check if your order is fully insured. Insurance is a large component of the shipping cost and  normally requires a third party insurance as courier services (including FedEx and UPS) will insure only a small portion of the order. Without insurance, should the order be lost in transit, it would be very difficult to make a claim in the country of origin. 
If a dealer does ship internationally you would need to add the following mandatory costs to your order:
  • Shipping and insurance Courier services will charge a shipping fee for delivery but will not insure high value goods such as Silver Bullion. Third Party insurance will normally represents an additional 2% to 3 % of shipment value for Silver (Gold is below 1%).   
  • GST (tax), the shipper, not seller, (e.g. FedEx) will pay customs duty (if applicable) of the shipment value on your behalf to get the silver cleared through customs. You will receive a invoice from the shipper for the GST plus an service fee for forwarding the money. For example, Malaysia is charging a 15% tax on coins.
  • Other fees, such as currency conversion fees from SGD to USD and wire transfer fees normally add another 1 percent or more as the bank will normally give you an exchange rate significantly below current market rates. 
  • Prepayment Risk. Unlike our COD option which allows you to take delivery at the moment of payment you almost always have to prepay, and ultimately carry a failed delivery risk, when ordering from abroad.
The total cost of the above is what you actually buy silver at. Please consider this in order to make a fair price comparison. Prices on the Silver Bullion website already include all of the above and list silver that is in stock here in Singapore.

What is the spot price of silver? Why do our prices keep changing every 5 to 10 minutes?

Silver prices are determined at several exchanges across the world, notably the London Spot Prices and futures markets in the US and can be quite volatile. As exchanges worldwide open, we update our selling prices in short intervals to follow market prices. As bullion margins are very low compared to traditional jewelry outlets we need to keep prices as updated as possible.
Furthermore as we price our items in Singapore Dollars, we will convert US dollar silver spot prices into Singapore Dollar prices based on the current exchange rate. Therefore our prices will change as either the silver spot price change or the USD/SGD foreign exchange changes.     
Please note, for large order, we can transact based on the London AM (morning) fix price for a given date.

Is GST included in the quoted price?

No. Since 1 October 2012, all bullion products we sell do not include GST. When you make an order through Silver Bullion Pte Ltd, we will issue you an invoice stating that no GST payments were included.

Why do prices change for bullion products I am about to purchase, in the shopping cart page?

Prices will continue to change until you lock in a price by clicking on 'Submit Order' on the summary page. Please see our Policies page for more details about price confirmations and the ordering process.

What does the “Spot Price” of silver signify and where can I see more price data?

The silver spot priceis the instantaneous price someone is willing to pay in cash for a unit of silver”. Usually the unit refers to one troy ounce (31.1 grams) and it is normally priced in US dollars.
The price of silver is determined in a few major worldwide commodity exchanges around the world during local business hours. Major exchanges are in London, New York and Hong Kong. The prices fixed in these exchanges determine the current spot price for silver and influences the costs at which we and you can buy silver.
Why has the spot price of silver not been updated for days (such as during the weekend)?
When silver exchanges are closed, the price of silver is not updated as no trades are executed. Exchanges will be closed on weekends and certain holidays.

Can I place a phone or mail order?

We have committed substantial resources in building a web-based service to facilitate the most efficient trading platform to buy silver and gold bullion in Singapore.

We can be contacted by phone for clarifications and support but all orders need to be locked in through this website. Phone orders are substantially more expensive to support and are not yet an option with our current service structure.

Mail orders are not accepted due to the constantly fluctuating market prices and SingPost is not delivering silver bullion at the moment. At such, please order at our website and we would process your orders as we receive them.

See the section on Price Confirmations and Binding Agreement on how to purchase bullion from us.


What is MEPS transfer?

MEPS Payment (MAS Electronic Payment System) is an online Singapore Dollar (SGD) inter-bank payment and settlement system, which allows instantaneous and irrevocable transfer of funds and securities. It is the fastest way of remitting SGD funds in Singapore. It typically costs SGD 10 - 20 to execute a MEPS transfer, is normally an over the counter transaction, and will allow for same day processing of SGD payments.




Can you ship Silver Bullion to Malaysia, Indonesia or other parts of Southeast Asia?

We currently do not ship bullion by freight forwarder outside of Singapore. The primary reason is that it is very difficult to obtain a shipping insurance on silver bullion shipments in Southeast Asia. We do not want to have a situation where a silver shipment might disappear en route without adequate insurance and control checks in place.



We found sellers on eBay shipping silver internationally, if they can do it why can't you?

The quick answer is Insurance. Any shipping without full insurance is too much of a risk for us and our customers.

We have seen cases where eBay sellers use DHL to ship bullion internationally, however if you read the DHL shipping policies you will see that DHL does not allow shipment of any form of bullion, nor insure it. We are assuming that such shipment can only be made by misrepresenting the shipped content. The risk of such an approach is that the buyer (you) carries all the risk as the buyer will already have made a full payment and in case of shipment loss DHL will refund only a very small fixed amount.



Will you offer international shipments in the future? 

We will ship internationally within Southeast Asia once we find a solid and cost effective shipping solution. If you sign up for our newsletter we will notify you once this becomes a possibility.


Can I purchase silver while being outside of Singapore and pick it up at a later date?

Yes. You can lock in a price and make a purchase from anywhere.

If you choose to do this we require a full payment by international wire to be initiated within one business day of placing your order. We will hold the physical bullion for you until you pick it up. Please note that we require a pickup in Singapore within two months of the order.