Towards the end of a difficult but great year for the business, staff here were very kindly rewarded with an Amazon voucher.
Obviously I spent the bulk of it on a second home down in the country, and also picked up a great deal on the newest Audi electric vehicle. But something less fictitious also made it into my basket.
I was trying to think of appropriate things to do with a Southbank Investment Research voucher.
And then it hit me…
I joked that I was going to wait until Amazon started retailing alt-coins (free commission for Prime members).
It turns out though that there is a website, called Purse or something, where you can exchange Amazon vouchers for crypto. I thought that was quite cool, and interesting to see such deep penetration of crypto into niche marketplaces.
But that’s not what I did.
For some reason, it struck me that I might be able to buy precious metals on Amazon. Why not? It sells every god damn thing already.
So I searched “1oz silver medallion” and do you know what I got?
I wonder if you can guess what riled me about this.
Well I follow the precious metals markets closely enough to know that silver isn’t £50 per ounce – not by a stretch.
So I went direct to the Royal Mint website to double check.
See that? £23.47. For a 1oz coin.
Now Bullionvault.com has the spot silver price as £18.63.
So the Mint charges a mark-up.
But not as much as sneaky Mr. Bezos.
Because it’s not just novelty coins like the ones above which are being sold at a massive premium.
In fact, this very same Britannia 2021 1oz silver coin is on Amazon too:
Look how it’s “Amazon’s Choice” which lends legitimacy and is proven to encourage consumers to choose a certain item.
And look how it has put silver at a discount, “saving” us £1.50.
Another level of dodginess was discovered when I found that Amazon actually does have the Royal Mint as a listed seller. This means that if you buy from the Royal Mint, it is possible to get that exact silver coin for the true price of £23.47.
Amazon doesn’t like that though – it wants to be able to rip you off with its £32.50 coins.
(The irony is that with investors overpaying for Amazon stock, perhaps this is the only investment methodology they are aware of…)
So here is where I found the Royal Mint’s direct seller page, where you can buy a coin for the same price as on its website.
Notice how carefully Amazon has tried to relegate it as a listing. Compare it to the others, and specifically to the same coin that it “recommends”.
It cleverly doesn’t show the price. You have to click on the odd one out to find out that you can buy it for £7.50 cheaper than the Amazon recommended version.
I thought all this was fascinating.
Initially I was impressed by the range of metal you could get an Amazon – there’s gold on there too.
I quickly I realised that the really interesting thing was the way Amazon was manipulating its own market.
Luckily, you don’t have to go through all that to get your hands on some silver.
And regular readers will need no reminding that I think it’s a great idea to do so.
Now I’m very jealous of what I’m about to offer you. I would’ve loved to get my hands on one, in fact I even asked but to no avail.
You see, the powers that be took the trouble to mint 200 special Southbank Silver Coins.
They’re dead cool in my opinion, and I hope you’ll agree:
The reason my desires went unfulfilled in this instance is not any Amazon-style market manipulation, but because they’re reserved for 200 lucky readers instead.
Enjoy, you lucky things…
And have a great weekend everyone,
Editor, UK Uncensored