The wholesale sterling silver family business starts out with a goal. The main objective being to conduct profitable commerce, buying and selling silver in it's various forms.
This type of business will always be tied directly to the spot silver price. With such a volatile market, keeping track of buy and sell prices will always be a full time job in itself.
Each day and even down to the hour, news of economic matters throughout the globe can effect the spot price. This can make an endeavor of this type either very profitable or a huge risk.
Sterling silver has typically been used to make flatware and jewelry. As of late, industrial uses have also added to the value on a consumer level. Throw in with that the numismatic market where silver coins jump into the mix and there is a huge amount of this commodity to be traded at a profit.
A family oriented business of this type will usually do well. Strong support from all the members and a good strong customer base will bring in enough volume to make a profit. Vendors will simply buy a small amount below the spot price and sell a small amount above.
There are additives to the profit margin for the different types of silver. When flatware is purchased it may have a well known brand name that can carry a premium. Silver coins carry an added numismatic value that can sometimes outperform the spot price. It's important to be familiar with the added values of each type of silver.
Some countries produce silver coins that are 90% silver content such as the United States silver eagles. Some however have coins with as little as 30%, such as the melt value of Mexican silver coins.
Reference material is available to ascertain the silver content of all coins and a good businessman or woman will always know what their buying.
Testing silver items to deduce the actual silver content can be accomplished to some extent with the use of chemicals. Some will swear by this method and others say it's no way near foolproof. These folks say the only way to tell true sterling is with a good eye and experience.
There is no substitute for a lifetime of experience. You can however gain enough knowledge to succeed in this area with literature and research. Learn the basics of the different silver market. The highs and the lows and why they occur. Follow the trends and then learn to precede them.
In the end you need to buy low and sell high. The most important thing is knowing what's high and what's low, at any given moment. This will take constantly staying in touch electronically, with the markets. Knowing the spot price at all times.
Running a profitable wholesale sterling silver family business takes a great deal of knowledge and some focused insight into the trade. There are certain requirements and trade secrets to be learned. A customer base must be established and great service provided that will bring loyalty from each patron.