Posts Tagged ‘Gold Vendors’
By Diane C. Lade, Sun Sentinel
5:18 p.m. CST, December 17, 2010
What’s being billed as the first gold-dispensing ATM in the nation opened for business Friday at the Town Center in Boca Raton, spitting out an after-dinner-mint-sized gold bullion into the palm of its first customer.
The “Gold to go” gold bullion vending machine, developed by the German company Ex Oriente Lux AG, was brought to the states by PMX Gold LLC, a South Florida business that buys and sells lease purchase options on gold mines. Twenty “Gold to go” ATMs already are operating in malls, hotels and airports in Europe and the United Arab Emirates.
The first one installed, at the luxury Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, is so popular that its inventory needs to be replenished daily, said Ex Oriente managing director Thomas Geissler. He thinks the concept will be equally successful in upscale U.S. communities like Boca. “Americans like vending machines,” he said.
Ex Oriente will be unveiling another ATM, with a different operating partner, in Las Vegas by the end of the month. PMX president and CEO Michael C. Hiler said he’s talking with Simon Property Group, Town Center’s owner, about staking a claim in some of its other malls.
The shiny gold-colored metal vending box, slightly smaller than a phone booth, is in the middle of the mall concourse leading to the food court. Buyers can chose from four weights of 0.999 Pure Credit Suisse gold bullion bars and two weights of U.S. minted American Eagle gold coins.
Prices on Friday ranged from $122 to about $1,400; the machine updates them every 10 minutes to keep current with gold rates. The ATM takes only U.S. dollars but will later be equipped to take credit cards, said PMX president and CEO Michael C. Hiler.
The vendors make between 4 percent and 15 percent commission, depending on the item’s weight, which is built into the price. Hiler said the ATMs in Europe each take in about 250,000 to 300,000 Euros monthly in sales, or $331,500 to $397,800 U.S. dollars.
Gold to go hopes to cash in on two emerging trends: recession-stunned Americans’ growing fascination with gold, and the increased sophistication of vending machines. “Cash for gold” storefronts have mushroomed over the past year, as precious metal prices reach record highs.
At the same time, vending kiosks — selling everything from designer purses, brand-name beauty products, DVD rentals and electronics — have sprung up at airports, grocery stores and malls. Industry analysts say the market for these high-tech machines is growing, as retailers see them as a way to reach shoppers without paying store rents or employees.
The gold coins and wafers dispensed by the ATMs look more like gifts than a hedge against inflation, popping out of the machine packaged in an elegant black box with gold lettering. Each tiny bar or coin comes with a certificate number and a money-back guarantee if it’s returned to PMX within 10 days, plus or minus any changes in the market rate.
Geissler said “Gold to go” customers pick a vending machine over a traditional bank because it’s quicker and in a relaxing, yet secure, environment. Tourists and shoppers looking for an unusual gift are among the machine’s biggest fans.
Read the entire article HERE.