Gold Fever Hits Mall Kiosks
The next frontier for the gold rush is the neighborhood malls.
Gold kiosks, places to sell broken or unwanted jewelry, coins and dental gold, are mining for business between the food courts and ATMs.
Gold Buyers International, which operates Gold Rush and Gold Buyers America, is aggressively opening kiosks in malls all over the world. The company, which began in 2008, has been riding the wave of record gold prices. It now operates nearly 200 carts in just the United States and expects to have a presence in 40 countries by next year.
Gold Buyers America Director Of Operations Justin Ballard said his company provides accessibility and a secure place to sell gold. He adds the company's kiosks are licensed and must meet strict requirements in each locality in order to do business.
"We do everything right in the open and in front. There's no smoke and mirrors. And, we tell customers why something is worth what it is. It’s a total customer experience and we have a lot of repeat business. There is a lot of trust involved," said Ballard.
"The Gartman Letter" editor and publisher Dennis Gartman, a trader for 35 years, said seeing more and more gold kiosks at the malls is not a sign of a market top.
Gartman said, "If the public is selling gold, the prices are likely to go higher. The public is almost always wrong at major turning points."
So, do you pity the fool who tries to sell gold chunky Mr.
T-inspired necklaces from 1985?
Tom O'Brien, editor of "The Gold Report," thinks consumers need to do their homework before making any decisions.
O'Brien has a major stake in the Tiger Metals Exchange. It is an online service which allows people to appraise and sell their precious metals by mail.
"We pay just about the most in the country. I opened this last year after I saw the amount of folks getting taken to the cleaners,"
said O'Brien. "The reason for more kiosks is that consumers don't understand the value they have in their possession."
Huntington Asset Advisors Senior Portfolio Manager Peter Sorrentino said the rise in kiosks is an indication that we are entering a mature phase of the advance for gold.
"I would say we are likely in the sixth inning now. So there is still more to come. And, as we've seen with markets for the last twenty years, the latter stages are typically the most explosive, therefore the most dangerous," said Sorrentino.
While it may be too early to determine what the gold standard is for kiosks, one thing is for sure—gold fever is hitting a new pitch
Stephanie is Squawk Box producer. Follow her on twitter @StephLandsman
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