Want to invest in gold but don't know how? Get started on the next street corner with a Gold-To-Go vending machine, which sells gold on-the-spot to anyone who can stick 31 Euros up its snout.
Vending machines, over the years, have sold a variety of things from quick-fix snacks to Japanese sex toys. A new vending machine, in fact, even pays you for feeding it garbage. However, Gold-To-Go takes the whole concept a bit out of the normal realm, dropping a tin-box with a piece of gold in exchange for your bills (note that it's bills, not coins).
Displayed last week at Frankfurt's main railway station (as part of a marketing test), novice gold investors can dive pinkie toe-first into the precious metals market using the "gold-dispensing automated teller machines". The fare is a one-gram piece of gold about the size of a cell phone SIM card, which you can take home inside a cushioned tin box with a certificate of authenticity.
A planned 500 Gold-To-Go "ATMs" are being considered for rollout across Germany, Switzerland and Austria this year, pending results of the ongoing market study. If it pushes through, expect the gold-pimps to profit nicely, considering the 31 Euro price tag for the thing that comes out of the vending machines represent a 30% markup in the market price of the precious metal. Apart from the one-gram variety, 5-gram and 10-gram pieces will also be available for most anyone to purchase.
Aaaah... gold. What better way to launder dirty money than overpriced pieces of shiny metal you can get at an unsupervised machine? I can now imagine a future where we buy diamonds and gold bars right out of the street at the push of a button.