What’s the Cheapest Way To Buy Gold? The Complete Guide

Knowing where to get started with buying gold can be confusing and intimidating for beginners, and you probably don’t want to make an expensive purchase until you know more about investing in the shiny, yellow metal. As exciting as the prospect of buying gold can be, it pays to play it smart.

Whether you want to buy gold as a hedge against inflation or to diversify your investment portfolio, we can help you identify the cheapest methods. Read on to learn more about your options and where to turn for trustworthy advice in this volatile market.

What Are the Cheapest Ways To Buy Gold?

Finding gold at the lowest price can be difficult for new precious metal investors, but focusing on locating the best value without considering other factors can lead to substantial losses. In the bulk of this article, you’ll find tips and information to help you purchase gold safely at a fair price while accomplishing your investment goals.

Here are some of the ways you can buy gold cheaply:

Buy in Bulk

One of the ways you can save money when buying gold is to purchase all the bullion you plan to acquire at once from one dealer instead of spreading out your purchases. Many dealers offer discounts when you buy over a certain amount of bullion.

Consider Investing in Other Forms of Gold

Purchasing gold bullion is the most direct way to invest in the metal, but it’s not the only way to put your stake in the gold market. You should research the costs and requirements for other ways to access gold, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), gold mutual funds, and other gold-adjacent securities.

Look for the Best Deals

If you’re buying gold bullion, the best strategy is to research different gold dealers to assess their reputations and prices. Dealers charge a premium over the spot price of gold, so shopping around will help you locate the most competitive prices.

Use a Gold IRA

You can own gold bullion, mutual funds, futures, and more in a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA), allowing you to preserve the value of a portion of your retirement funds and benefit from the tax advantages of IRAs. A custodian, whether a bank or a brokerage firm, manages your gold IRA, including storage and documentation.

Forms of Gold and the Cheapest Ways To Purchase Them

bulk of gold coins and gold bars

When you think of buying gold, stacks of heavy yellow bars probably come to mind. However, physical gold is just one of the options you have when it comes to investing, and the best choice for you depends on your budget and goals.

Physical Gold

Buying physical gold, which typically comes in the form of bars or coins, gives you the benefit of owning the metal yourself. However, owning physical gold has obstacles like storage and insurance costs.

You should always take note of the spot price of gold before purchasing bullion to ensure you get a fair price.

Purchasing From a Local Dealer

If you choose to buy gold locally, you have a few options for where to go, including coin shops and jewelry stores. Coin and jewelry dealers usually know a lot about various gold products. They can also answer any questions beginners might have, but knowing what a fair price for gold is is crucial before you enter into any dealings.

Buying Gold Online

When purchasing an expensive item online, such as a laptop, you’ll most likely check multiple sites to find the best price. You should use the same practice when choosing an online gold dealer. You can locate the best deals by checking reviews and comparing gold product prices across sites.

Acquiring Gold in Bulk

If you have the means and want to purchase a large amount of gold, buying in bulk is a smart way to save money. As we mentioned previously, buying larger quantities can get you discounts from dealers.

Buying Gold From Banks

Some gold investors choose to purchase bullion from banks primarily because they’re reliable institutions that offer a variety of gold products and give you the option to store your precious metal in their secure facilities. However, gold premiums are usually higher when buying from a bank.


gold clock on gold etfs price chart

Instead of buying physical gold or betting on futures, you could invest in an ETF that tracks the price of gold or invests in gold mining companies.

Buying During Market Dips

Since you buy and sell ETFs on the stock exchange, they behave more like traditional securities than physical gold. It’s possible that you can purchase ETFs for a price cheaper than the actual value of the underlying gold by watching the price when the market is open.

Finding Low-cost Brokers

You can buy gold ETFs through stockbrokers, but most brokers have various commission fees that can quickly add up if you’re an active trader, so always do your homework in advance.

These are the lowest-cost gold ETFs so far in 2023:

  • iShares Gold Trust (IAU)
  • SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
  • Aberdeen Standard Gold ETF Trust (SGOL)
  • VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX)
  • GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR)

Mining Stocks

One of your options for investing in gold is to directly invest in the mining companies that produce the metal. The value of these businesses’ stocks rises with the price of gold, but it also goes up when they raise production and increase their profits.

Researching Mining Companies

When looking for mining companies to invest in, it’s best to choose well-established producers of gold instead of newer companies that might not even have a mining operation going.

Investing in Mutual Funds

If you’re worried about the risks of investing in a particular mining company, you can invest in a gold mutual fund for a more stable asset. A fund will have stakes throughout the gold sector, meaning the poor performance of one company won’t have as much of an impact.

Dollar-cost Averaging

A popular way to lower the average cost of each mining company share you buy is through dollar-cost averaging. The practice involves buying shares regularly, spending the same amount each time, regardless of the price. This strategy helps you avoid buying all your gold at an inopportune time.

Gold Futures

Speculating on the rising or falling price of gold can be one of the cheapest ways to invest in the precious metal, but it’s also one of the riskiest. If the price goes the way you think, you could gain a lot of money from gold futures. However, if the price goes against you, you could face a significant loss.

Choosing a Reliable Broker

You can invest in gold futures with an approved account on a futures trading platform. If you don’t already have a trading account, you should search for a trusted, easy-to-use platform with reasonable fees and commissions.

Tips for Finding the Cheapest Way To Buy Gold

open incandescent light bulb on dark room

Finding the cheapest way to buy gold primarily comes down to timing, choosing the right seller, and shopping around to locate the lowest fees.

Check Storage Fees

When you own physical gold, you might have to pay for storage at a secure facility, and the costs can quickly pile up. One of the best ways to save money when buying gold bullion is to check the storage prices and see if you can find a better deal elsewhere.

Time Your Purchase

The price of gold can fluctuate considerably, so picking the right time to buy can help you save some money. As a commodity, gold’s value hinges on supply and demand, so the price rises when more people buy it, whether purchasing jewelry or hedging against inflation.

Research Dealers and Brokers

It’s essential to research sellers to make sure they meet the criteria of a reputable gold dealer, including:

  • Has strict quality control standards
  • Offers a range of gold bullion products
  • Possesses the proper licenses

Be Wary of Scams

One of the most prevalent precious metal scams to look out for is a dealer who offers gold bullion at extremely low prices, often 20% or more off the market price, and promptly disappears as soon as they have your money.

Avoid Coin Collectors

If you’re buying gold as an investment, you should avoid purchasing collectible coins, which are difficult to value and sell. Because of the rarity of these coins, collectors might buy and sell them at prices higher than the actual value of the gold they contain.

However, governments worldwide issue gold coins you can purchase through approved dealers. For example, we offer mint gold coins at Oxford Gold Group, including the American Gold Eagle, Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, and Gold Austrian Philharmonic.

Factors To Consider When Buying Gold Cheaply

woman opening safety deposit box

Consider the following factors if you want to buy gold at a low price:

Market Timing

The price of gold is volatile, fluctuating in response to live trading activities, making it difficult to choose the right time to buy. Your options for timing the market include watching price movements online for dips or buying small amounts over time so you end up with a lower average price.

Quality of Gold

The purity, or fineness, of gold plays a crucial role in determining its value. Fineness refers to how much pure gold is present in a bar, coin, or other type of bullion compared to other metals. Assayers, whose job is to evaluate the purity of metals, test bullion to determine how much gold it contains.


When you own physical gold, you need a place to keep it safe, such as at home, in a safe deposit box at a bank, or in a facility with a secure vault. If you want to keep costs low, you should estimate the costs of each storage option or consider investing in a paper asset instead, such as a gold ETF or mining stocks.


When purchasing gold, it’s best to buy products that will be easy to sell in the future. Most people want to buy gold bars, coins, etc., that they recognize, such as Credit Suisse or Royal Canadian Mint gold bars. Also, standard one-ounce gold bars typically sell better than less common sizes, like one-gram or 10-ounce bars.

However, buying gold ETFs tends to be better than buying physical gold if you need to liquidate your assets quickly.

Where Can You Buy Gold at a Low Cost?

gold investor bidding in auction

No matter if it comes from a government mint or a private producer, gold bullion isn’t available for purchase directly from the manufacturer. Instead, gold bullion is accessible to the public through authorized precious metal dealers, ranging from online gold dealers to pawn shops.

Online Dealers

Buying gold online is easy and convenient, and you can find exceptionally low prices from online dealers since they must stay competitive. You can check online reviews to research the company’s reputation, which will give you a good idea of whether it’s a legitimate business.

Local Coin Shops

If you prefer to buy gold in person, you can visit coin shops in your area. Because of the lack of competition, you might have to pay a higher price at a local store than you would online, but you get to take the gold directly instead of coordinating a delivery.


Auctions can be a great source for finding cheaply priced gold, but you should make sure you’re paying a reputable dealer by looking up the seller or organization like you would with any other bullion purchase.

Pawn Shops

Another way to find gold at a lower price is to search pawn shops, but you must be careful about who you purchase from. The pawn shop should be experienced in buying and selling precious metals, including testing and authenticating gold products using trusted methods.

Is It Safe To Buy Gold Cheaply?

Purchasing gold cheaply is safe when you buy it from a reputable dealer. If you want to avoid potential gold-buying scams, you should steer clear of peer-to-peer trades or buying from dealers that don’t have a strong presence online or in your community.

Is It Cheaper To Buy Physical Gold or Invest in a Gold ETF?

libra scale with pocket watch and gold coins

Owning physical gold comes with a multitude of costs, including fees for storage, insurance costs, transaction fees, markups, and assorted fees related to buying and selling the metal. Also, it can be challenging to find a buyer for physical gold, and selling it has associated costs that add to the overall expense of the investment.

On the other hand, purchasing ETFs is similar to buying stocks and enables investors to benefit from gold prices without the extra costs and inconveniences of owning physical gold. ETFs do have an expense ratio, which is the fee you must pay annually to cover management expenses. A typical expense ratio might be 0.40% per year, making your potential annual expense for a $10,000 investment $40 per year.

Is It Cheaper To Buy Gold in a Foreign Country?

The price of gold varies depending on your location, so it’s possible to find cheaper gold in another country. However, you should consider the added costs of shipping, import duties, or travel if you plan to go in person.

In the end, purchasing gold in another country could save you little, if any, money.

Learn More About How To Invest in Gold

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to buy gold or want to take the next step and purchase gold for your retirement account, our knowledgeable IRA account managers at Oxford Gold Group are available to answer your questions.

Call now at 833-600-GOLD.

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