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Gold Sold From Vending Machines In Germany

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the correct-change-only dept.

The Almighty Buck 472

There are fewer hassles for an adventurer or business traveler bigger than lugging around bags of silver and copper pieces. Luckily TG-Gold-Super-Markt has installed gold vending machines in 500 locations including train stations and airports all across Germany. The machines charge about 30% more than the current trading price for gold, and are updated every few minutes. All are closely monitored by cameras, and like 3rd and 4th edition, electrum pieces are not accepted.

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LUNIX! (0, Offtopic)

linuxisashittyos (1574017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364431)

Linux just isn't ready for the gold vending machines yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface for their customer's to buy gold from their vending machines, especially not when they already have a Windows-based gold vending machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:LUNIX! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364471)

Hey, this is the same post you made in another thread. I'm not surprised you don't like level 5 dwarves... since you are a level 0 troll!

Re:LUNIX! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365211)

You must be new here!

Re:LUNIX! (0)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364899)

Sounds like your mother fooled around with a member of the Glup clan shortly before you were born and you are just venting some long repressed feelings. It'd take a bit more than a charm spell to bring you to our side. Linux is generally the tool of elites, so take your IT to the next level and spend some points on those stats.

and regardless of what mommie says, dead lizards do not help coughs.

30 Percent! (0, Redundant)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364443)

If gold is selling for $1K per ounce, a 30 percent increase is $300!!

Re:30 Percent! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364473)

Captain Obvious, is that you? :)

Re:30 Percent! (1)

Shaddow0001 (1577985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364697)

Probably for exclusive use in the sex trade industry for 'anonymity'.....

"Honey, I hold on while I pick up some gold for use while here in Germany on our trip"

'WHAM'..... wakes up in hosipital..... wondering what happened.....

Re:30 Percent! (2, Insightful)

TinFoilMan (1371973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364855)

If gold is selling for $1K per ounce, a 30 percent increase is $300!!

We be in the wrong business!

Maybe Gold foil hats would be better.

1st post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364445)

gold on first post

Re:1st post (0, Redundant)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364677)

Silver on first post, sorry.

30%? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364457)

30%, really?

Re:30%? (5, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364663)

Actually, if you try to buy physical gold in small pieces (such as the 1 gram wafer mentioned in TFA) you'll find the markup is easily 20% or more over "spot price."

The spot price you see quoted in the daily business reports is really only relevant if you're buying "paper gold" such as certificates in a common pool ... or if you're an institutional investor buying hundreds of ounces at a time.

Fuck off (-1, Troll)

Hamilton Publius (909539) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364459)

Gold sucks. and so do you.

Im sorry (2, Interesting)

anglico (1232406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364461)

but I can't see the point to this. Granted I don't have the problem of needing to have gold bars available but I still can't see why somebody would do this.

Re:Im sorry (5, Informative)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364791)

When Inflation hits hard and money turns to useless paper, gold or anything similar is how you preserve your assets.

Germany after WW1 actually saw this (bread costing million one day and 10 million the other day, but exactly same amount of barter currency. It made helluva lot sense to spend 1000 on gold because withing year those 1000 were only good as tinder and would buy one something like one grain of wheat while gold kept value much, much better.)

Remember that money nowadays that is unbacked is just piece of paper without government enforcing it as legal tender as it is.

Gold at 30% extra is swell deal if you are faced with possibility that your cash would be worth 50% less tomorrow.

Re:Im sorry (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364993)

Trouble there is, nobody would be selling gold at +30% in exchange for a paper currency that will be worth half as much tomorrow.

If you want to buy gold at any reasonable rate, you pretty much have to do it well before you actually need it(or you have to be buying in some other apocalypse currency, like dog food or ammunition).

Re:Im sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365067)

And even if you buy plenty of gold before the apocalypse, remember that you also need the ability to keep others from just taking it away from you.

Re:Im sorry (3, Funny)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365139)

apocalypse currency

Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter

Re:Im sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365113)

Gold at 30% extra is never a swell deal, because, by definition, one can by it cheaper at market. Therefore, I can buy at market to protect myself against inflation.

And, if you have the kind of day to day inflation you're suggesting above, you won't find gold for sale. I.e. What would be the motivation on the part of the seller? Cash?

The fact that this is out there is a sign of how much of a problem this ISN'T right now.

Re:Im sorry (4, Insightful)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365161)

Gold at 30% extra is swell deal if you are faced with possibility that your cash would be worth 50% less tomorrow.

No it isn't, because one of your other options is gold without the 30% premium. If you don't like fiat currency, fine, invest in whatever you like. But why you'd pay a premium over the market value is beyond me.

Vending machines work for candy bars. I'm willing to pay a markup because I want my snack in my hand right now. What could possibly be the urgency with gold?

(Yeah, yeah, hyperinflation in post-WWI Germany or late '80s Argentina or current Zimbabwe. You think what Zimbabwe needs are vending machines for gold?)

Re:Im sorry (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364863)

The vending machines are actually a public safety measure. Whenever somebody "goes Galt" they will immediately head for the nearest gold vending machine, in order to exchange their fiat money slave-currency for good solid gold. They can then be registered by the cameras and collected before they have a chance to cause any public disorder.
:Conspiracy theory ends:

Re:Im sorry (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365061)

It's a panic sparked by a fear of a coming currency collapse - quite a reasonable fear given the current rate of US government spending, but still a very low probability event. However, while hedging against the chance of the dollar collapsing (and taking the Euro with it) makes sense, it only makes sense to pay a very small premium to hedge against this unlikely event.

Some see this hedging going on by central banks and other who buy and sell gold by the ton, and overreact. Physical gold coins are a total ripoff right now (and entire industry has emerged to exploit the panic), and, seriously, if society collapses to the point that legitimate "intangible" gold (such as GLD shares) become worthless, you don't want gold coins, you want *guns*.

Re:Im sorry (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365117)

Let me know when I can buy platinum, 5 or 6 pounds, for use in a duodynetic field core.

Better yet, let me know when I buy plutonium at any corner drug store.

Ouch (5, Funny)

Xsydon (1099321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364483)

I prefer a candy bar. Gold hurts when I chew.

Re:Ouch (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364909)

You could probably chew 24ct gold without it hurting

Re:Ouch (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365003)

What if you have fillings?

The upside to the machine is that stealing the whole thing would be near impossible.. they wouldn't need to anchor it at all, just make sure it's secure and well-stocked at all times.

Re:Ouch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365133)

You could probably chew with 24ct gold teeth without it hurting

Fixed that for you.

People do this all the time. Take a look at the teeth of 100% of your favorite "colored person" "entertainers."

Sell signal (3, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364501)

If this isn't a "sell" signal, I don't know what is.

Re:Sell signal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365297)

I, for one, think the gold price has reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.

Poor kids (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364505)

From TFA: "Because of the crisis there is a lot of awareness of gold," he said. "It is also a great gift for children for them getting gold is like a fairytale."

Imagine... you hand them a gold bar for those 250 bucks and they try to unwrap it for a few minutes before they realize, nope, it ain't chocolate.

Truely the gift of a wealthy sadist.

Re:Poor kids (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364977)

Imagine... you hand them a gold bar for those 250 bucks and they try to unwrap it for a few minutes before they realize, nope, it ain't chocolate.

[inspecting the repossessed Key to the City]
"These look like teeth marks."
"I thought there was chocolate inside. ... Well, why was it wrapped in foil?"
"It was never wrapped in foil!"

Different (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364515)

This is extremely different. But someone must see a business opportunity in this niche market. Personally, I'm not the kind of guy who has the sudden urge to buy gold at the train station or airport especially at 30% over the going rate maybe some people are I guess. I'm also not the kind of guy who spends in the thousands for a burger or ice creams with gold foil shavings on it, but there are restaurants out there who do this and they are in business because some people just love gold. I wish them luck, but I'm not sure how far they can go with this idea.

why? (1)

ringdangdu (1179665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364517)

For when you quickly need gold?

Re:why? (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364915)

For when you quickly need gold?

I'd guess people are reading the news while on their journeys (wifi, newspapers, radio, etc.) so if any bad economic news is announced, then wanting to buy gold sooner rather than later isn't necessarily so weird?

Gold is the currency of the future (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364529)

For all black market dealings anyway. Once they phase out cash in favour of a more monitored and traceable cashless alternative the value of this stuff is going through the roof.

Gold holds its value like nothing else and if you're brought up to court by the RIAA it's going to be a lot harder to take your gold than it is for them to change the sign on your bank balance.

Re:Gold is the currency of the future (0)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364569)

Gold holds its value like nothing else

Tell that to the people who bought in the late 70's/early 80's.

Re:Gold is the currency of the future (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364957)

Insightful??? At that time frame gold when from round $400/oz. to around $800/oz.

Re:Gold is the currency of the future (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364963)

Or those who had it forcibly confiscated by the US Government in 1933, under the liberal's hero, FDR.

Re:Gold is the currency of the future (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364971)

Don't forget to tell the people buying now, 10 years down the road.

Re:Gold is the currency of the future (2, Interesting)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364813)

Cash is going away because it's terribly inconvenient compared to electronic methods. So now you're this theoretical criminal who deals in gold. How you going to use that gold for anything other than paying another criminal, since nobody else is going to want to take your inconvenient gold, except maybe if they charge you a ridiculous surcharge. Sure, they'll be some places that pop up and advertise heavily that you can pay with gold, no problem, no extra charge. But guess where the first place is that the cops will put under surveillance so they can tell who uses a lot of gold?

All this is pretty silly anyway, though. As cash dies, what will replace it are anonymous cash cards. They already have them in plenty of other countries. If/when cash is phased out here, they'll have to exist and not specifically for criminals. You think most people are going to want to run their credit card down at the porn store?

Re:Gold is the currency of the future (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365233)

Anonymous cash cards aren't going to happen. Governments are getting rid of high-value bills precisely because they're mostly useful for criminals, and they will never accept the existence of an "instant money laundering card" unless they are extremely corrupt.

Really, people should get used to the idea that economic transactions will never be 100% anonymous. It's not like speech. Money is more like actions. Try to image what the world would look like if anyone could anonymously and securely buy any service they wanted, and tell me you want to live in that world.

Know your target audience (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364531)

The machines charge about 30% more than the current trading price for gold

Yeah, that seem about right, considering the level of logic in most of the "we must return to the gold standard" posts I've seen. They may actually manage to make this a viable enterprise.

I now present several guest posters who will now provide examples of just the posts I mean.

We must return to the gold standard... (0)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364763)

...because it's the right thing to do.

Re:We must return to the gold standard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365101)

What we need is money that doesn't force debt on the country, and that cannot be manipulated. The gold standard doesn't address these issues, especially the second one.

Re:We must return to the gold standard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365171)

why? is gold itself useful? NO, its only value is that it can be traded in exchange for what you need, sounds a lot like a dollar TBFH.
Is gold immune from market crashes? erm NOPE
is giving the government control of creating currency bad? Not really, only if they fuck it up, but surely its better to have the US government control US currency values than some random international cartel of gold mine owners.

Re:Know your target audience (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364959)

We must go to a monetary policy that is disassociated from politics. This makes a gold standard better than our current policy. The problem with the gold standard is that it is linked to a single irrelevant commodity which will cause confusing and disrupting fluctuations in prices/salaries that we don't need to put up with.

The monetary policy needs to be driven by math (a computer) that tries to fix against a good CPI chart. When the economy is expanding, the money will inflate; when the economy is contracting, the money will deflate. The government can be the creditor/debtor.

Just get the "free" money out of the hands of the $&^% politicians.

Re:Know your target audience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365251)

I've always wondered about the "gold standard" crowd. Why gold? Gold doesn't have any innate qualities that make it a better currency then other metals similarly rare metals... the only "answer" is because that's what we used to use in this culture. I'm sure someone who cared could find a metal worth as much as gold that was a little more, um... hard.

Re:Know your target audience (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365299)

Yeah, why not nukes?

The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price? (4, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364535)

Am I missing something? Is there really such a demand for gold on the street that the convenience of being able to purchase it from a vending machine warrants a 30% markup? What possibly could justify an individual purchasing gold at a 30% markup in small quantities?

I'm not an economist (not that they have really have a good track record lately) but this seems like a ridiculous scam.

"Because of the crisis there is a lot of awareness of gold," he said. "It is also a great gift for children - for them getting gold is like a fairytale."

Somehow I think little Jimmy or Susy would have prefer a Playstation or a bike or something.

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364643)

gold doesn't rot so i'm sure you could find a few people who thought this would be a deal worth having at some point.. it would be different if it were some perishable item that is time critical, with something like this it's just a matter of waiting for the right peopel to come along.

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (2, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364661)

We are at the beginning/middle/end of a gold bubble, just like we had a .com stock bubble in 1999/2000 and a real estate bubble from 2001-2007.

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364695)

indeed, taking a look at the price of gold lately and it is quite clear that it is way over-valued compared to its history...

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365007)

Or the dollar is over-valued. Considering that we recently drove ourselves trillions more in to debt, I would put my money on the dollar being over-valued.

The economic collapse scared everyone into the dollar (Treasuries). Wait until we are in a full-fledged "recovery". They'll leave the dollar to invest and watch the dollar plummet.

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365115)

But remember that the amount of gold is finite, and the number of people who desire it has increased. And the number of people who both desire it and can afford it has increased even more. Also, lots of it is "used up" in things like plating chip connections to prevent oxidation. (Not much per each, but there's LOTS of chip connections.)

So one should EXPECT the price of gold to be high by historical standards. Don't know if it's overvalued. (I expect that it is.) Just that this isn't a good argument.

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365173)

Inflation-adjusted, the price of gold isn't all that high. People are buying it as a hedge against hyper-inflation. Doing so efficiently, by buying GLD shares or gold futures, isn't necessarily a bad idea. Buying physical gold coins right now is just a ripoff. If I had any I'd be selling, even though I think gold will go higher, as the markup you can get for physical gold is unreal (30%! vending machines!).

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (2, Insightful)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364935)

We are at the beginning/middle/end of a gold bubble, just like we had a .com stock bubble in 1999/2000 and a real estate bubble from 2001-2007.

Well, which is it?

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365157)

It isn't possible to say until it crashes, and it isn't possible to know in advance when this is going to happen.

I do know that it is way over its fair value at the moment. The main real market for gold is Indian jewellery, and Indians are mostly not buying now as it is too expensive. It may well inflate to even more than its fair value before it pops, but I don't know by how much it will be.

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364691)

From my understanding of these things, 30% isn't out of the ordinary for "limited edition" gold coins (y'know, the ones they make 5,000 of because they don't think there's 6,000 people stupid enough to buy them), or other sources of non-investment gold.

That means your average fool on the street will probably see it as about what they'd expect to pay...

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365261)

From my understanding of these things, 30% isn't out of the ordinary for "limited edition" gold coins (y'know, the ones they make 5,000 of because they don't think there's 6,000 people stupid enough to buy them), or other sources of non-investment gold.

Or jewellery...

Re:The machines charge 30% MORE than trading price (2, Insightful)

schmiddy (599730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365253)

Am I missing something? Is there really such a demand for bottled water on the street that the convenience of being able to purchase it from a vending machine warrants a 10000000% markup?

In all seriousness, this will be a boon for privacy nuts, the very rich, money launderers, and anyone else too lazy to buy direct for cheaper. Keep in mind that tax evasion is something of a national pastime in Germany.

This is targeted at doomsdayer types (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365283)

This isn't a rational thing. It is to get the people who are doing the "OMG the economy is going to collapse!" thing and don't know what to do. They see this and go "Ahh I can buy gold, gold is always safe!" It isn't targeted at rational investors, or even rational survivalists for that matter. It is targeted at alarmist doomsdayers.

Extension of a "scam"? (1)

Daravon (848487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364541)

Is this the next level of the Cash For Gold commercials that seem to be everywhere? Buy gold off of people at a ridiculously low price,s melt it down, resell it at a stupidly high price, and the keep repeating the cycle.

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (2, Funny)

Xsydon (1099321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364585)

Anyone taking bets on when we see GoldStar machines? Melts your gold down on the spot and gives you cash. ;)

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364945)

Awesome, I've been meaning to get those lead weights out of my car.

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (1, Troll)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364597)

Is this the next level of the Cash For Gold commercials that seem to be everywhere? Buy gold off of people at a ridiculously low price,s melt it down, resell it at a stupidly high price, and the keep repeating the cycle.

I think we finally uncovered Ron Paul's endgame.

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364649)

Heh, just on BBC Breakfast this morning there was a feature about the new craze of 'Gold Parties'. Along the same lines of Tupperware and Vibrator parties, bored housewives are now having get-togethers to sell their spare gold jewellery. A company valuer weighs the gold and gives the party attendee 70% of the current price, with the party host receiving a nifty ten percent of total money taken. So if the same companies that are setting up gold parties are then selling off the gold in bars from vending machines, they're making a nice little margin and both ends of the transaction.

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (1)

herring0 (1286926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364793)

I saw this while eating lunch and misread what was written. Then I had the immediate image of bored housewives trying to resell 'spare toys' with a company valuer from the original 'parties' designating value.

Next thought was the economy must be in worse shape than I realized. Maybe I should open a Girls, Girls, Girls Goodwill.

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364973)

Get rid of your old, unwanted or discarded girls for cash!

Re:Extension of a "scam"? (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364929)

Well, that sure beats the UK Prime Minister's approach, which is to tell the world several months in advance that he's going to sell of a fair portion of the UK gold reserves.. Then when he's successfully crashed the market price, sells at a ridiculously low price.. Now everybody wants it, so adding to the UK reserves will cost a hefty sum!

Interesting but inherently flawed! (4, Insightful)

jchawk (127686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364571)

This is certainly an interesting concept but I have a handful of concerns -

1. Why as an investor would I pay a 30% premium to purchase physical gold?
2. Assuming I would I then have to worry about keeping the gold physically secure once I take possession of it.
3. I run into issues when trying to sell the gold after I've taken possession because how can anyone be sure that I haven't tampered with the gold? How do they know that 1oz is still 1oz? What if I drilled and filled it?

There are many other ways to purchase gold as an investment that eliminate the above issues. Gold ETF's are one. They are easy to trade and move in and out of. There are services that will let me purchase gold and store it at their locations, and will certify the amounts as to avoid purity issues as well as security issues.

If you truly believe that the world economies are going to collapse why bother to buy gold at all? You should be buying guns. Believe me, you'll need them to protect more important things like your family and your home.

Interesting idea but only suckers will buy from them. :-)

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (2, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364739)

The purity issues are easy to deal with. They are standardised coins such as Kruggerands (South Africa), Maples (Canada), Eagles (US), Sovreigns (UK) etc. People can weigh the coins and get the volume very easily. If the density is correct, it is made of gold.

A lot of gold ETFs, particularly the ones that don't charge you for storage, don't actually hold any physical gold to back up your investment. Instead they match your investment with people who are short selling gold. It is very similar to the way spread betting works, except it is taxed as an investment rather than a gambling transaction. These funds can and do go bust, and investors have lost money as a result.

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (2, Informative)

e1618978 (598967) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364981)

GLD is the main gold ETF, and it holds physical gold in a vault. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/surging-gold-etf-holds-more-metal-than-some-governments?siteid=yhoof [marketwatch.com]

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365221)

And they *do* charge you for storage, but like any ETF management fee, it's quite a small percentage.

Avoid the "eGold" scams like the plague, as they're no more secure than some company, but GLD shares and commodity futures contracts are as secure an investment as anything else (other than guns).

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365263)

Why is trusting GLD better than trusting government? No, for all the crank theories about the innate value of gold to make the slightest bit of sense, you need to have physical control of it as well.

I always wondered about this one. (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365305)

the size and density thing..

is it impossible to find a combination of multiple materials that combined will match the volume/density of gold?

lead and sand for example?

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364773)

3. I run into issues when trying to sell the gold after I've taken possession because how can anyone be sure that I haven't tampered with the gold? How do they know that 1oz is still 1oz? What if I drilled and filled it?

What are you planning on filling it with? And isn't detecting this sort of thing simply a matter of knowing the purity (and thus density) of what the gold is supposed to be, then measuring the actual density? It's not like you're the first to think up the idea of tampering with gold (remember the story of Archimedes?)

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (2, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364841)

I think you'll find a candy bar or a soda in a vending machine is typically 30% to 60% higher than supermarket prices. People pay for convenience.

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364991)

But how often do you feel like eating a bar of gold while walking to the train station?

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365001)

Actually, wouldn't it be more convenient for them to simply throw the 30% mark-up into the trash on their way through the station. Accomplishes about the same.

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364917)

There are many other ways to purchase gold as an investment that eliminate the above issues. Gold ETF's are one. They are easy to trade and move in and out of. There are services that will let me purchase gold and store it at their locations, and will certify the amounts as to avoid purity issues as well as security issues.

Like they actually have anywhere near the amount of gold they deal with in bits?

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365279)

There are many other ways to purchase gold as an investment that eliminate the above issues. Gold ETF's are one. They are easy to trade and move in and out of. There are services that will let me purchase gold and store it at their locations, and will certify the amounts as to avoid purity issues as well as security issues

Like they actually have anywhere near the amount of gold they deal with in bits?

Yes. Yes they do. Both gold ETFs and futures contracts. Central banks participate in these markets, guys who deal with scammers by using thousands of men with guns. Anything you buy online from some e-Gold website - probably not.

Re:Interesting but inherently flawed! (2, Insightful)

Alari (181784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365071)

The problem with pretend gold or pieces of paper that say you have some gold, somewhere, but no you can't have it, is that you don't actually have the gold.

Gold isn't as special as people think it is, but it is more special than might be apparent just from intellectual consideration. In other words, a smart person will realize gold is only really useful in industrial uses and electronic components due to it's properties. A smarter person will realize that, even if civilization collapses, certain people will still trade food, water, and sex for shiny objects.

Same thing with diamonds, they're nearly worthless rocks, useful to industry and science. But, oh wow, they're sooo shiny... :P :D And you know what they say. "Diamonds. She'll pretty much have to."

WoW? (4, Funny)

Guppy (12314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364575)

Did anyone else read just the headline, and figure that some enterprising RMT had come up with a vending machine selling World of Warcraft currency?

Man, I need to interface with the real world more often.

Re:WoW? (1)

Xsydon (1099321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364707)

They stand near mailboxes (naked of course) yelling about how they have the cheapest gold.

Re:WoW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364799)

It actually hadn't occurred to me that there might NOT be a naked midget accompanying each machine. That takes this deal from "I don't think so" to "no way".

Re:WoW? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364821)

Yeah, at first I was like "cool, I might actually get to see some other people that play too!" and then I was like "oh wait, it's in Germany, nevermind". But now you're telling me it's like the crap they use to make necklaces and rings and shit? Fuck that, who needs that?

German Leprechauns rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364595)

Now I can always get me gold!

Gold is a lot easier to smuggle through customs (5, Interesting)

sstair (538045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364721)

I could see someone realizing that they have too much cash to get through customs buying gold.

Re:Gold is a lot easier to smuggle through customs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364895)

"I could see someone realizing that they have too much cash to get through customs buying gold"

Too True. Back in the 60s my Dad was employed by a british merchant bank that specialised in loans to foreign customers (often behind the iron curtain). They had one customer who nearly failed to repay a debt - my father was sent out to collect. He returned carrying the payment back as gold coins, avoiding customs on the way _out_ of the other country, but declaring it to british customs. He did this by carrying the gold coins in his pocket mixed in with other "normal" coins. I am not quite sure what would have happened if the country had worked out that he was flying out with a large quantity of currency, but I imagine the results would not have been pleasant.

Re:Gold is a lot easier to smuggle through customs (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365145)

I'd rather use PS3s. You lose a lot less money buying PS3s and selling them than buying gold from these outlets.

Re:Gold is a lot easier to smuggle through customs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365289)

At 30% above market? Fuck that. If I'm carrying that much cash, I'm going to slap it in gold through a broker (if gold is what I want) and hop on the plane carrying jack shit.

Why ... (1)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364811)

.. would anyone pay 30% more than the current price of gold is beyond me. What is beyond me also, is how this idea made it past the marketing department.

Re:Why ... (2, Funny)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365021)

Have you met any marketing departments?

Obvious use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28364835)

Money laundering seems like a pretty obvious application, and likely a very profitable one.

Gold can't be traced, is universally accepted, and is easily verified for purity (at least gold wire, gold bars are more easily forged). So the obvious users of gold in quantity are for the criminal element. Further, you need to then locate the vending machines in areas with a minimal chance of theft, and enough traffic to encourage a feeling of safety. There's a reason drug deals are done in shopping malls and government buildings, it's a much harder place for something to go wrong!

I predict profit!

Been done before (5, Interesting)

ellbee (93668) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364839)

When I lived in Switzerland '86-'88 you could get small gold ingots from a UBS ATM on the Bahnhofstrasse in downtown Zurich. Just the sort of thing a conservative Swiss banker would do on the way home from work.

Stuck Machine (5, Funny)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364845)

Wouldn't it suck if the little corkscrew thing started to push the gold out and right when it's going to fall it stops and the gold just sits there. Man, that'd be so much worse than not getting a candy bar!

Low markup for a vending machine (1)

eison (56778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364853)

Where I'm at, Coca-cola sells for more than a 100% markup between a store and a vending machine.
30% sounds pretty low. Why not just sell cokes?

Insurance Scam (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28364873)

Maybe they're planning to get them all stolen at some point, claim for the gold on insurance, and then sell it anyway.

It's the only way I can see them making any money on this.

What if it eats your money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28365029)

What if it eats your money? PITA to have to get your 250 euros back out of the machine,

Pffft (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28365269)

Pffft. We all know the real money is in mythril. Heck, with gold you barely get armour to protect yourself against a level 2 orc.

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