Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

As investment scams go, this one is pretty straightforward.

Vendors are selling copper ingots on eBay.

One seller says:
Our 16 ounce bars weighs a full 453.6 grams each, of pure 999 fine Copper. Divide 453.6 grams by .0625 grams, and that tells you that each copper bar is equivalent to 7257.60 Lincoln pennies in actual copper content. Based on THAT comparison, each bar is worth $72.57 in USD each!!! What a HUGE difference! Any "price" or "value" comparison between a penny and our copper bullion is just apples and diamonds.
(Sorry about the block letters, that's a quote. I'm sparing you the yellow backgrounded text.)

For one thing, the numbers are wrong. It should be obvious to anyone who has held a couple of rolls of pennies in their hand that 7257.6 pennies weighs a lot more than a pound. I don't know where he gets the .0625 gram number. Bronze (1982 and before) cents are 3.11g of 95% copper, for a total of 2.95g of copper each. Divide 453.6 by that and you get 153.76 pennies, or about a dollar and a half face value. To be sure, the reason copper was taken out of the cent in 1982 was because of the rise in the price of copper.

So how much is a pound of copper nowadays? Spot copper fell along with most other commodities last week, and is now just below $4. Per pound.

This guy is selling six 1 lb. copper ingots for $77.99. That's just under $13 a pound. You can see how he can afford to include free shipping. He's also selling them individually for $12.25, but you have to add $5 shipping.

There's another vendor who claims to be "THE ONLY AUTHORIZED EBAY SELLER OF GENUINE TROY POUND AND 1/4 POUND BARS" whatever that means. He's offering five for $49.15. The listing contradicts itself as to whether shipping is free or $5 for any number of bars up to 500.

It'll be a long time before you break even on copper if you're paying $13 a pound for it. Business Insider calls this the ultimate proof that silver and gold mania has gone insane. While I see what they're getting at--the hype behind bullion has all kinds of people jumping on the bandwagon--I just think this is a simple overpriced metal bar scam, facilitated by the frenzy over bullion, to be sure.

The sad thing is that every one of the eBay listings for copper ingots I've looked at has had buyers.

ETA: I wonder if his .0625 gram number is the amount of copper remaining in the copper-coated zinc cents they turn out nowadays. That must be it. Misleading.
Tags: money

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