The spread is the difference between the price gold is being sold at and the price gold is being bought at. The spot price of gold is taken as the average between these two prices. If you are looking to buy gold you may be subject to price increases above the spot price. Brokers can often charge a significant mark up and offer you buy back rates from their own spread that is not representative of market rates.
Non-investment professionals can now buy gold instantly on their smart phones, taking advantage of the live gold price with a small mark up on each transaction.