It’s been 3 years now since the first gold vending machine appeared to the public. These vending machines currently exists in Europe, the US and the Middle East, as these markets are known for their appetite to buy gold.
Since only 20 of those gold ATMs are around the world, not everyone has encountered them. So, sharing the experience of those who dealt with it seems like the right thing to do. These machines are found in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, New York, Las Vegas, Berlin and Lisbon.
Gold vending machines are like other vending machines which sells water or snacks, except it’s covered with gold leaf, have internet connection that update the price each 10 minutes, and wired with a security system that rivals that of an armored vehicle! So, no “break the glass” like in apocalyptic movies to get all the gold in there.
It’s more like an ATM than a vending machine, with the all security, touch screen, sophisticated technology and fancy looks. It accepts cash and credit cards, and the standard version of this machine sells 24k gold bars in 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 250 grams weight. It sells also South African gold Krugerrands coins in 1/10, 1/4 and 1 ounce, Australian Kangaroo gold coins in 1/10 and 1 ounce, and Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins in 1/10 of an ounce.
Now, the fun part, what does this machine has over the traditional sellers in stalls?
A: it’s simple cash-for-product. No prepayment or anything, you pay, and you get your gold instantly as the process of purchasing doesn’t take more than a minute.
B: Availability, as it operates 24 hours a day. You can have your gold anytime. Just like a bank ATM, you can cash-in anytime.
C: Anonymity, as anyone can buy gold from there as long as he knows what to do and have the cash in his hand, even a 6-years old can do it.
In short, the lack of human contact saves many customers from a lot of questions asked, annoyment and the few minutes hell of having to deal with an annoying salesperson.
These are the main strong points and revolutionary aspects Gold To Go contributed in gold sales. However, there are some points other customers didn’t like about the idea of a fully automated gold vending machine.
A: High Premiums, as the small gold bars costs much, thus sells with much higher premiums than larger bars. That makes it a poor investment, but still a valid idea for a great gift.
B: Any sales higher than a 100 Euros require a scan of the user’s identification, thus cancelling the anonymity feature the machine has.
C: Single users can’t access the machine for more than times per day, thus making the machine only good for gift-to-go.
Therefore, the machines saves you from the trouble of dealing with humans, and makes you deal with an unreasonable program in a dump terminal machine you can never have a chance to communicate with it if something went wrong or you were confused about something.
To sum up, if you are planning to buy a refined gold gift, or you have your homies with you at the airport or mall, it’s a very good idea to check the gold vending machine. If you are an investor or a big spender, it’s not worth it. Good-old gold sellers are much more helpful here.