Author Topic: Buying In China  (Read 4233 times)

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Offline SolaceDivided

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Buying In China
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:47:17 PM »
Hey all,

I will soon have the opportunity to visit Beijing for 6 weeks.  As an avid coin collector, bullion stacker, and entrepreneur I'm hoping to take the opportunity to make some additions to my personal collection as well as make some money by importing some Chinese coins/currency for others to enjoy.  I've got about a month before I leave, so I'm hoping to make some plans now to maximize my profits/enjoyment on the trip ;)

The largest obstacle I'll have to overcome is ensuring that the products I purchase are genuine.  This site I'm sure will be very helpful with that.  I'll also only purchase from recommended / larger, more legitimate looking dealers, no shady street stands.  I've seen a few Beijing dealers listed already, and have been told you can also buy in most major banks.  Does anyone have any more insight or tips on where to buy for the lowest premium, while still assuring quality?

Second, I won't have a super huge budget for the trip - to avoid any huge losses (in case I end up buying all bogus items) I'd prefer not to put down more than $1,000 total.  From what I've heard, buying bullion in China has comparatively little mark-up over spot, so that would be where I can make money - that premium.  Therefor, I think my best bet would be 1/2oz Silver Pandas, then 1oz Silver, and maybe 1/20oz Gold Pandas.  Any idea what sort of premiums I might find on these coins over spot from say Caishikou (菜市口百货商店), China Merchants Banks, ICBC, or Dazhongsi (this location only sells gold, from what I've heard)?

Does anyone know the customs/import law on bringing Chinese gold/silver into the US?  Also, if I'm being completely naive, please tell me so I can stop wasting my time :P

PS: 我现在是一个中文学生,所以我可以用中文买硬币。I hope that also gives me an advantage in where I can shop - not being limited to strictly tourist traps.

I thank you for any help/advice/criticism you might be able to give.

-Solace

Offline SolaceDivided

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 11:39:21 PM »
I did a little ebay fact checking, and 1oz Pandas by far command the best premium over spot.  That said, does anyone know the going premium when purchasing these in China? (uncirculated in OGP)

Offline haze

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 12:06:15 AM »
There's a big coin market out here in Beijing, that's where I've been doing all my shopping lately. Ill take a picture of a business card with the address on it later today when I have time.

If Caishikou is the same place I'm thinking it is, I wouldn't even bother going there for coins. It's a jewerly store more than anything else (can buy gold there though). I didn't see ANY coins there except for one set of some gold panda's for about $3,000usd (i forget which set it was).

I've also heard banks sell coins but I've asked a few dealers out here and they've all told me they don't know of any banks selling coins, although they could just be saying that because they don't want me to shop somewhere else. I was already planning on having my friend call the peoples bank of China this week to see if they have any coins, I'll let you know what I find out.

I haven't had any problems with fake coins at the market I go to (yet).

Hopefully this helps. Shoot me a PM if there's anything you need help with while on your trip, I'm no expert by any means but I've been living here for about 6 months now so I have a basic feel of the land :)

Offline dragondollar

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 06:05:24 AM »
I live in Beijing, don't bother with 菜市口 and 大钟寺 either (I guess by 大钟寺 you mean the 爱家 market)... Just ask the taxi driver to go to "马甸儿, 福利特", you should find good stores there, but with 6500块 you will have a hard time buying anything interesting. You can check out 天通苑 but it's farther from the center of Beijing.

Offline SolaceDivided

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 04:48:21 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  I'll be staying near BeiDa, so closer is always preferable, but I don't mind traveling across town if the price is right.

I do appreciate any and all shop recommendations, since I'm new to Pandas (anything other than US Gov money), my biggest fear is buying a fake.

Do you guys have any idea what sort of markup over spot you generally find on silver or fractional gold pandas?

Offline larrydreher

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 05:20:55 PM »
"Do you guys have any idea what sort of markup over spot you generally find on silver or fractional gold pandas?"

You are going to need to do a research before you go to help you answer this question.  Spot price has very little to do with many gold and silver pandas unless you are talking about those issued in the last two years.  The prices are determined more by rarity and demand.  Within a given year, rarity is often associated with the mint that produced the coin.  For coins prior to 2000, the mint can usually be infered by the size of the date.

Take a look at APMEX.com as a starting point.  The prices you see there are usually pretty high retail and I would expect that many times you'd be able to buy coins for half of APMEX's listed price.

Offline SolaceDivided

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 05:28:22 PM »
"Do you guys have any idea what sort of markup over spot you generally find on silver or fractional gold pandas?"

You are going to need to do a research before you go to help you answer this question.  Spot price has very little to do with many gold and silver pandas unless you are talking about those issued in the last two years.  The prices are determined more by rarity and demand.  Within a given year, rarity is often associated with the mint that produced the coin.  For coins prior to 2000, the mint can usually be infered by the size of the date.

Take a look at APMEX.com as a starting point.  The prices you see there are usually pretty high retail and I would expect that many times you'd be able to buy coins for half of APMEX's listed price.

That makes a lot of sense - thanks!  I guess I just figured they were similar to ASEs, which only have 1 or 2 rare dates.  I'll have to start compiling ebay completed auction info, APMEX, etc!  Thanks =D

Offline larrydreher

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 05:34:27 PM »
"I'll have to start compiling ebay completed auction info, APMEX, etc!"

I forgotr to metion the easy way to do that.  I'd subscribe to the panda pricepedia:  http://www.pandacollector.com/pricepedia.html

Offline Panda Halves

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 06:18:31 PM »
2001D Gold Panda Half.  :001_tongue:

Offline mrslick32

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 11:40:36 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  I'll be staying near BeiDa, so closer is always preferable, but I don't mind traveling across town if the price is right.

I do appreciate any and all shop recommendations, since I'm new to Pandas (anything other than US Gov money), my biggest fear is buying a fake.

Do you guys have any idea what sort of markup over spot you generally find on silver or fractional gold pandas?

Aside from Pricepedia and LBC, another resource I recommend is Peter Anthony's Gold and Silver Panda Coin Buyer's Guide. It contains pictures of different panda coins so you can familiarize yourself with how it looks as well as the mintage for different coins.

Re: fakes, most of them don't have a denomination (unless they are medals, which you can see in the coin buyer's guide I mentioned). I see a lot of them for sale on Ebay and you can easily tell by the details of the panda's fur (it is finer or more "natural" for the real coins). That being said, it helps for you to take a look at pictures of original coins to get a feel for what they look like in general. The better made fakes will only have small details that give them away.

I also recommend buying the AWS pocket scale. They are very handy and weighing the actual coins is an excellent way to determine authenticity. Take note that a 1 oz. coin with double seal will weigh more than 1 troy ounce. They usually weigh around 1.16 to 1.24 troy ounces based on my experience depending on the weight of the capsule and plastic wrap. The AWS pocket scale can be programmed to show troy ounces.

Offline badon

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 11:43:39 PM »
Thanks for the tip on the AWS pocket scale. I have been doing all of my fake identification using detailed analysis of the dies used to make them. It'll be a lot quicker and easier to just weigh them.

Offline badon

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 11:44:24 PM »

Offline mrslick32

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Re: Buying In China
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 12:26:58 AM »
Thanks for the tip on the AWS pocket scale. I have been doing all of my fake identification using detailed analysis of the dies used to make them. It'll be a lot quicker and easier to just weigh them.

You're welcome. I'm glad I was able to help.