How Do I Find a Reputable Gold Dealer?
OK, so you’ve realized, like thousands of other people, that paper money (fiat currency) is a scam. Mr. Bernanke can, and does, print as much of it as he and his banker friends want, with absolutely nothing to back it up. So you’ve decided it’s time to trade in some of that paper for real money – gold and silver. But the question is, “how do you find a reputable gold dealer with which to work?”
Finding a Reputable Gold Dealer
Because so many people are moving portions of their investment portfolios into gold and other precious metals such as silver, there are increasing numbers of gold and silver dealers competing for your business, which can be both a good and a bad thing.
As in any business, there are some excellent gold companies with which you can work, and some that are, well, not so excellent. Let me suggest some things you might consider when choosing your dealer:
- The Dealer’s Reputation
- Selection of Products
- Competitiveness pricing
- Customer service
- Delivery Time
- Buy-Back Policy
The Dealer’s Reputation
Clearly, this is a critical factor in choosing your gold dealer. It should be obvious, but you must work with a reputable gold dealer. Gold and other precious metals are not items which you want to purchase from some hole-in-the-wall, pawn shop type establishment. It is imperative to work with an experienced dealer whose reputation is established.
You should keep in mind that gold and other precious metals can be, and are, counterfeited. So, when you see a tempting deal for gold or silver on eBay or at your local variety store that seems too good to be true, it is.
One good place to start your research might be the Better Business Bureau reports for any dealer you are considering. You will find summaries of the BBB ratings and links to the BBB website on our Gold Dealer Reviews pages.
Another resource you can use is TrustLink. Basically, TrustLink is a website where consumers can comment on their experiences with various companies. We also have links to TrustLink pages related to the gold dealers reviewed on our Gold Dealer Reviews pages.
Selection of Gold & Silver Products
Obviously, you want to work with a dealer which can supply the gold and silver products you are looking for. If you are setting up a gold or silver IRA, the IRS only approves certain types of gold and silver for inclusion in your IRA.
Further, some dealers focus primarily on numismatic coins, whose value is based mostly on their value as rare or collectible coins, not their value based upon the gold or silver bullion they contain. If you are coming at it from an investor’s point of view rather than that of a coin collector, numismatic coins will cost you more and not be the best choice for you.
Price is obviously an important factor to us all, and with the internet, it’s easy to shop around. But, as mentioned above, price should not become your overriding consideration. The cheapest price, though enticing, is not necessarily the best deal for you.
First, as mentioned above, there is counterfeiting going on in the gold and silver markets. So, if you see a price that is significantly below the competition, that’s a red flag. You can eliminate the counterfeiting issue by working with a well-known national company with favorable ratings from services such as the Better Business Bureau.
Even after ruling out the counterfeiters, price, while important, should still not be the only thing you consider. The other considerations discussed on this page must also be factored in. Product selection, delivery time, the dealer’s buy-back policy, and the dealer’s customer service are important too.
Another important consideration, which is often overlooked initially, is your overall customer experience with a particular dealer. Obviously, when you have not yet worked with the dealer, it is somewhat of an unknown, but you can read other customers’ reviews on sites line TrustLink and the Better Business Bureau to get a pretty good idea of the kind of customer experience you can expect from a particular dealer.
Working with a dealer that provides prompt service, courteous and knowledgeable salespeople, and excellent customer communications should not be underrated.
We’ve all had bad experiences with rude sales people, broken promises, slow delivery of orders, etc. Our blood pressure goes up and our satisfaction with the transaction goes way down.
That’s why it’s so important to try to find a reputable gold dealer to which other consumers have given high marks in this important area. When all is said and done, you want to have that feeling that you are working with a reputable, competent company which has your interests at heart.
In the gold and silver markets, delivery is important. The demand for physical gold and silver has skyrocketed. Many hole-in-the-wall dealers will take your order then start shopping around for a source from which to fill it. Gold and silver prices fluctuate daily.
Once you have made the decision to purchase your precious metals, you want your dealer to be able to deliver the product to you promptly. So, find a gold dealer who has a very clear delivery policy.
Buy Back Policy
This factor is critical too. Obviously, gold and silver dealers are in business to make money. They cannot continue to exist if they don’t make a profit. Most of us have no problem with that.
Some precious metals dealers have a policy of repurchasing the gold and silver products from their customers, should those customers ever decide to sell.
In the gold and silver business, just as in the stock broker business, the dealers have an opportunity to make a commission going both directions.
They get paid when you purchase from them. However, when it comes time for you to sell your gold or silver, many dealers will buy it back from you, but most of them are only going to buy it back at a significantly discounted price so they can resell it for a profit.
Therefore, a gold company’s buy back policy is another important factor you should consider before deciding which company you will work with. You may not have plans to dispose of your gold and silver once you make your purchase, but that time may come.
Obviously, if you do decide to sell at some point, you’ll want to have a readily available purchaser and to be able to get the best price possible for your gold or silver.