If one were to trace the history of humankind there would probably be two eras, one before the internet came into existence and the other post the internet entered our lives. There is no doubt that the internet has changed our lives, and while the quality of change might be debatable the quantum of change is for all to see. The internet has entered every sphere of our lives, taking over our daily chores, simplifying matters and increasing our pace of life.
The internet has managed to impact everyone, the young and the old alike. Gold has been around for centuries, survived wars and climate changes, natural disasters and financial crisis, and still managed to keep its sheen intact. Purchasing gold is an smart investment, owing to its testament over time. Gold is an extremely precious commodity and gold rate reflect its value. Gold prices in India have been changing according to global trends, with the present rates offering an excellent investment opportunity to Indians.
There are multiple avenues to buy gold, it can be physically purchased through banks or jewellers or through the internet. The craze for internet shopping has picked up in recent times, with global players entering the Indian retail chain, albeit via the internet. Most Indians generally prefer to make tangible purchases, wishing to see and feel the product before they buy it, which holds true for gold as well. While the internet offers a host of benefits over physical transactions, there are always bound to be lingering doubts over it, because buying gold is an expensive proposition.
Purchasing gold coins – Online purchase Vs Traditional Purchase
- Timely delivery – Traditional gold purchases, either through banks or jewellers enable buyers to get delivery of their gold immediately after payment. This is not the case with online purchases as a buyer might need to wait a few days before getting the gold, a wait not many would be comfortable with.
- Quality assurance – Gold coins sold by banks are checked for quality before they are sold. This might not be the case with all online purchases and it is possible to get gold of lower quality, which would need to be verified independently by the buyer.
- Physical presence – Indians love to see and feel the product they are purchasing before actually buying it. This plays a huge role in online purchases as there are chances of a product differing from what is actually shown in an image. Images might just be for representational purposes and might sway the buyer without being truly reflective of the product.
- Costs – Banks and jewellers have additional overhead costs like manpower and utility bills, which make any gold purchased from them a bit more expensive. Traditionally, gold rates in India reflect international prices but they aren’t the exact same as international gold prices due to taxes and duties. Buying gold online could be cheaper, as overheads are reduced in an online environment, though the difference might be negligible in most cases.
- Buy-back– Banks in India cannot buy back the gold sold by them. Gold purchased through jewellers can be sold back to them, whereas gold purchased online cannot be sold back to the seller.
- Authenticity – Gold coins sold by banks and big jewellers are authentic, with certification. Gold coins purchased online might not be as authentic as traditional purchases, making them a risky affair at times.
- Refunds – Banks might not offer any refunds once they sell gold coins. Jewellers might consider refunds in case the customer is not satisfied, though they might not necessarily give one. Most online portals which sell gold offer a refund period, subject to the customer meeting certain criteria.
- Delivery charges – When a customer buys gold at a bank there are no delivery charges levied on such purchases. This is not the case with online purchases as a seller might ask the buyer to pay delivery charges on the gold.
The internet has changed the way our world does things, making a huge impact in multiple fields. While online transactions dealing with household commodities have increased over the last few years, online purchase of gold is yet to find a footing in India. Banks and jewellers continue to be the preferred choice when it comes to buying gold as a vast population is still not open to the idea of buying gold from an unknown, virtual entity.