Is Amazon getting ready to take over the retail gold market?

by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:

In the 1970's Arlo Guthrie sang a line in perhaps his most famous song that went, "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant".  And perhaps that mantra should now be applied to Amazon.com as the online retail giant is slowly but surely trying to co-opt everything from electronics to clothing to food...

And now even gold bullion?

Since I’ve been actively researching gold coins and other precious metals, my computer must have cookies that tell Amazon I’m a great candidate to buy gold coins. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw a similar ad on your computer soon. 
Of course, it makes sense for Amazon to break into this market. After all, investors are using precious metals to protect their wealth from inflation and a falling dollar. And according to what I’m seeing, this is just the beginning of a major trend! 
If Amazon can capture just a small part of this demand — and mark prices up just a bit on gold and silver coins — the company will lock in some serious profits! 
Of course, the gold coin market will only be a small part of Amazon’s growing global business. And by now, you should know that I’m not going to suggest you buy Amazon’s stock. The shares are too expensive and risky. 
But the mere fact that Amazon is profiting from selling gold coins should tell us something about the gold market. Specifically, that demand is strong. – Daily Recknoning

According to the over 40,000 listings now on Amazon.com for Gold Eagles, the majority of prices for the U.S. minted coins are extremely outrageous compared to what you would pay elsewhere online, or even at your local coin shop.  But since most investors overall today rarely look at fundamentals when purchasing an asset, it is very likely that many consumers who enjoy the convenience of shopping on Amazon will not even flinch at paying premiums of over $200 per ounce.

For now Amazon.com has a long way to go to compete with the more well established local and online dealers of gold bullion on price, but what their joining in on the gold market indicates for sure is that demand for precious metals remains high, and that the online giant has now put gold in its sights as the next product it wants to dominate in the retail market.

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