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Whether you’re thinking about purchasing your first gold coin or are looking to expand your collection of silver bars, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the in-person and online precious metal dealers. At Oxford Gold Group, we’re proud to be a well-respected leader in the precious metals industry. In this guide, you’ll get expert guidance and advice on how to pick a precious metals dealer you can trust.
Learn everything you need to know about crucial considerations, what factors to compare, gold dealer certifications and licensing to make an informed decision for your investments.
How To Pick a Precious Metals Dealer
One of the main attractions of precious metals is the wide variety of options for investors. Perhaps you’re considering a private purchase of physical gold or silver, or maybe your interests lie more toward self-directed IRAs (individual retirement accounts).
Before you make a final decision, you’ll need to find a reputable, trustworthy, and experienced precious metals dealer to handle your investments and provide exceptional service.
Research and Gather Information
Any time you’re investing money, performing proper due diligence is essential, and researching the best precious metal dealers is no exception. Log onto Google, and you have a world of information at your fingertips. Try using search terms like:
- Is (name of company) a scam?
- (Name of company) customer reviews
- (Name of company) BBB rating
- (Name of company) lawsuits
Verify Dealer Credentials
Confirming the validity of a dealer’s credentials is another way to protect yourself from unethical or fraudulent investment companies. Look at the “About Us” page on the company’s website and learn more about the owners or principals. Check to see if the dealer is a member of the Accredited Precious Metals Dealers (APMD), which falls under the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG).
Check Their Product Selection
The most well-established and reliable companies in the precious metals industry will have a wide variety of different products available for investors. At Oxford Gold Group, we help our clients with private purchases of precious metals and precious metal IRAs. Dealers that only offer a few different options may not have the industry expertise and knowledge that signify a trustworthy business.
Transparency and Pricing
Only illegitimate or fraudulent dealers are deceptive regarding their prices and fees. If the company’s website is deliberately vague about costs, that’s a huge red flag. Ask about their buyback policy, and don’t neglect to read the fine print.
Some dealers have conditions and hidden fees that reduce your payout. Find out if they have full certification and authentication for their products and transparency regarding their business methods, buyback policy, fees, and pricing.
Customer Service and Expertise
We maintain 4.8/5 stars on Consumer Affairs, a perfect 5-star rating on Google, 4.9/5 stars on Trustpilot, and 4.9/5 stars on the BBB. It’s better to avoid any precious metal dealers that aren’t upfront regarding their industry experience and those who offer poor customer service.
Security and Storage Options
You want peace of mind that your investment will have safe, secure transportation and storage. Remember, you can only store the physical precious metals that fund your IRA in a third-party IRS-approved depository, like the Delaware Depository Services Company.
The best precious metal dealers will provide complete information regarding shipping, tracking information, delivery dates, and more. Never purchase gold from a dealer who won’t provide you with legitimate shipping information or tracking numbers.
Should You Compare Prices Among Different Precious Metal Dealers?
You wouldn’t purchase a new car without checking out different dealerships for the best price, right? The same goes for choosing a reputable dealer before purchasing precious metals, whether that’s gold bars, silver rounds, or another type of metal. Always compare costs for products and services before making a final decision.
What Information Should a Dealer Provide Regarding Pricing and Fees?
Legitimate precious metal dealers have transparent and easily accessible information about their pricing and costs. Compare things like spot prices, premiums, and fees. Industry standards usually include fees for:
- Account maintenance
- Initial account set-up
Consider the overall value of what you’re getting from one company to another, and always be wary of “FREE” or unusually low prices.
What Factors Should You Consider When Evaluating Shipping and Insurance Costs?
Many companies offer free shipping on purchases over a certain threshold, usually ranging between $100 and $500. Always look for a dealer that includes shipping insurance, which is extremely important in case your package gets lost, stolen, or damaged.
Some critical factors to compare include:
- Type and quality of packaging
- Shipment tracking
- Shipping insurance
- Signature confirmation
Stay away from companies or dealers that don’t offer high-quality packaging, tracking numbers, and insurance.
Are There Any Additional Fees or Considerations Related to Shipping and Insurance?
Just as you should look for clarity concerning fees when purchasing your precious metals or maintaining your IRA, it’s also important to find precise terms regarding shipping and insurance costs. For example, you may find that shipping insurance only covers theft or damage during transit, not after delivery.
Another example is your timeframe for reporting tampering or damage. Some companies only allow you to file a claim within 48 hours of receipt. As with most other products, opting for fast or overnight shipping usually has an additional fee. Make sure you’re well-informed when it comes to every shipping and insurance policy before you start investing.
Is the Dealer’s Location Important When Choosing a Precious Metals Dealer?
The physical location of a precious metals dealer or company is a crucial factor to consider. If you’re not sure how to pick a precious metals dealer, one good place to start is to decide whether you’d prefer to invest through a local dealer or an online company. Dealing with a local company may provide greater comfort and privacy, and it’s always better to communicate face-to-face with someone. You can also physically inspect the gold or silver before you bring it home.
Conversely, an online dealer is typically faster, more convenient, and you can often find lower prices. The drawback to online investing is the higher risk of scams, as you’re trusting your money to someone you’ve never met in person. All those reasons underline the importance of due diligence and thorough research before you choose which precious metal dealer is right for your financial needs.
What Certifications or Licenses Should You Look for In a Precious Metals Dealer?
The specific certifications and licenses of precious metal dealers vary depending on their physical location. Look for companies with Accredited Precious Metals Dealers (APMD) certification, as this is an excellent vote of confidence in their reputation. You can also check out advice from the Federal Trade Commission before investing.
How Can You Verify a Precious Metals Dealer’s Credentials?
Validating the credentials of a precious metals investment company usually only takes a little bit of research. Many dealers in the United States must have registration with the U.S. Mint. Another option is to call the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) at 866-366-2382. Or, head to the National Futures Association database to check a company’s business background, registration status, and disciplinary track record.
What Is the Most Trusted Place To Buy Precious Metals?
Oxford Gold Group is one of the most reliable, trusted, and respected precious metal dealers. Our industry expertise and knowledge will help you confidently navigate the world of precious metal investing. Every member of our team works as hard as possible to ensure our customers get the best possible prices and superior service.
Your experience with our company starts with a consultation and an investment plan we custom-build based on your unique financial situation. Our finance team doesn’t receive any type of commission for client investments, so there’s no need to worry about pushy sales tactics or annoying calls.
If you want to know more about how to pick a precious metals dealer to handle your gold and silver investments, head to our Learning Center. Or, reach out today by calling Oxford Gold Group at 833-600-GOLD and discover why we’re one of the top-rated precious metal dealers in the nation.