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We review Lear Capital as we look for the best online gold dealers.
Lear Capital claims to be “The Precious Metals Leader” and is one of the dominant advertisers on TV and is an online gold dealer. While Lear Capital’s online pricing is definitely attractive, when you call for more customized service, you encounter an entirely different pricing strategy. For example, purchasing an American Gold Eagle is $100 more over the phone with shipping at twice the price compared to online pricing.
We also discovered their IRA pricing outrageous. Lear Capital actually charges more if you want to purchase gold or silver for your IRA than they do if you are taking possession of the gold or silver. We know of no other online gold dealers who employ this practice.
Finally we were not impressed with the knowledge or the professionalism of the sales person we spoke with.
In conclusion, if your looking for one of the best online gold dealers, based upon the pricing disparities between online pricing and phone pricing and their IRA pricing policies, we think you can go much better than Lear Capital.
You can find Lear Capital online at LearCapital.com
Best Online Gold Dealers Reviews Gainsville Coins
Gainsville Coins is a retail coin and bullion dealer with offices situated in Lutz, Florida. They’re also an online gold dealer with a website located at GainsvilleCoins.com. They feature significant line of both silver and gold coins and bullion. Being a brick and mortar coin dealer in addition to an online dealer they also are one of only a few who feature many unique collectible coins that, while having limited appeal and being more expensive than more traditional new coins, be appreciated by collectors who like that sort of thing. An example is a 2009 Transformers™ Megatron Coin From The Perth Australia Mint Produced with authority from Dreamworks Paramount and Hasbro Live.
Their online prices are competitive but there are a few downsides when considering Gainsville Coins as your online gold dealer of choice. First, they don’t accept personal checks. This means, if you don’t want to get hit with the surcharge for using a credit card when purchasing online, you have to wire funds after confirming the purchase with a credit card. While wiring funds is an alternative with other online dealers as well, it costs to send a wire and for some, they need to go to the bank in person to facilitate the wire. This is a legitimate inconvenience. We think this is a detracting feature. Additionally, Gainsville Coin takes up to 5 days from receipt of good funds to ship the goods. We think this could be improved upon as well.
Finally, in checking the Better Business Bureau, we find that Gainsville Coin has an A+ rating but the BBB reports that they have received 36 complaints within the past three years and 9 within the past 12 months. While the company has maintained its A+ rating the BBB also reports that in nearly half of those cases they indicated that the “business made good faith effort to resolve complaint but customer not satisfied with business response.”
Since people generally only complain to the BBB when they can’t reach a satisfactory conclusion to a complaint on their own. Since in almost half the cases, Gainsville Coins wasn’t able (willing?) to satisfy the customer, we cannot allow Gainsville Coins high marks despite the A+ rating. This isn’t something we expect to find among our best online gold dealers.
We Review Midwest Bullion Exchange
Located in Minnesota, Midwest Bullion Exchange offers a wide variety of coins and bullion and does business through their website PrivateBullion.com. Their online pricing is competitive with the other online dealers plus they offer discounts with quantity.
Midwest Bullion Exchange strives to ship product the next day after good funds are received and confirmed. They indicate that, at times certain coins may be out of stock and, in those cases, they will ship within 3 business days. These shipping times are considerably faster than the competition and get high marks as one of the better online gold dealers. We have not purchased a coin from them to confirm these claims but did notice that they recently started selling coins on ebay and feedback to date confirms these times with great consistency.
Midwest Bullion Exchange is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. To date, there have been no complaints filed with the BBB. This record is superior to most online gold dealers.
Additionally, we have learned that Midwest Bullion Exchange is the only licensed and bonded online gold dealer in America. This add a significant layer of assurance against loss when doing business with MBE.
All in all, this company appears to be very customer and service oriented and has very competitive pricing.
We Review The Tulving Company
In March 2014 The Tulving Company filed for bankruptcy leaving investors on the hook for a reported $40 Million.
A valuable lesson to be learned here. Protect your investment. Check the BBB Rating and make sure to ask your gold dealer if they are BONDED!
Read more about it here. http://www.coinweek.com/bullion-report/tulving-company-collapse/
We Review APMEX
APMEX is one of the largest, if not the largest, online gold dealers. They offer a complete selection of products and have both sales agents and customer service representatives available by phone to provide assistance.
Unlike some other online gold dealers, their online prices and over the phone prices are the same and we applaud the fact that their sales reps are not commissioned so they seem more interested in helping then manipulating you into a sale. Their IRA prices are also the same as their normal pricing which is as it should be. Overall, their pricing is competitive and in the range of the other aggressively priced online gold dealers we have found.
When it comes to service, we found some good and some not-so-good. On the one hand, APMEX is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau but we have some concerns with the BBB rating system for the following reason: the BBB will rate a company A+ if a company tries to satisfy complaints that are made to the BBB. We think a company should only get an A+ rating if there are either no complaints or if all the complaints are resolved satisfactorily in the customer or the BBB’s opinion
In this case, in the past 3 years, APMEX has had 52 complaints filed against it with the BBB. Of those, 19 have come in the last year.
The BBB indicates that of the 52 complaints, 47 have been resolved satisfactorily with BBB assistance. While this is admirable, it’s been our experience that people don’t complain to the BBB unless and until they are unable to arrive at a solution to their problems by dealing directly with the company.
So, while an A+ rating is admirable, and granted APMEX does to a lot of business, we’re concerned that in the past year 19 people have been unable to resolve their problems without taking them to the BBB. Accordingly, we can’t give APMEX high marks for service.
APMEX is located on the internet at APMEX.com
We Review Goldline International
Goldline International is another of the biggest TV advertising online gold dealers. They have the highest prices for bullion among all the largest advertisers. We’ve included them in our reviews because of their visibility on TV but they don’t offer online purchasing so that’s two strikes against them before we even get started on our review.
In their favor, their sales person was quite likeable and offered up to a 5% discount when purchasing around $10,000 worth of gold but none-the-less, the mark-up was enough to turn us off to the firm. Additionally, IRA mark-ups were even higher and shipping was slower than many other actual online gold dealers.
We appreciate Glen Beck and Mark Levin and we know Goldline is a major advertiser on both their radio shows and we’re big on supporting advertisers both in the talk radio genre as well as NASCAR so we’d love nothing better than to give them high marks compared to other online gold dealers but we are committed to calling it as we see it and we’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
Unfortunately there is simply too much of a price disparity for us to award Goldline high marks today. Goldline International can be found on the internet at Goldline.com.
We Review Rosland Capital
Rosland Capital is another of the more aggressive online gold dealers advertising on TV. They use William Devane to provide the celebrity endorsement. Except for having some very appealing commercials, Rosland Capital has little to offer precious metals investors.
While Rosland Capital offers competitive pricing online, they have a limited inventory of products compared to other online gold dealers. Today, investors would have to decide between only 7 items; 4 gold coins, 2 silver coins plus bagged 90% silver coins. When purchasing gold online, Rosland will lock in a price at the time you commit to the purchase, but when you buy other bullion products over the phone through a sales rep, they won’t lock in a price until they receive good funds, which in the case of a personal check is at least 10 business days from their receipt of the check. Other online gold dealers will lock in your price whether over the phone or if you’re buying gold online.
Additionally, if you are buying bullion over the phone, you’ll be charged a 4.5% brokers fee on top of the online price. This fee is only added to phone purchases.
The sales rep we spoke with confessed that Rosland isn’t that much into bullion sales, and that their focus was on numismatic gold and silver coins. When I asked him where I could see his current inventory of numismatic coins, he informed me that there wasn’t one and that if I wanted to purchase now, he would tell me what coins were available and I could then make my choice.
As mentioned previously but worth mentioning again, Rosland requires that they have “good funds” in hand before they will lock in a price on bullion purchases made over the phone. This is a significant departure from most online gold dealers who will lock in a price online or on the phone and just require you get them payment within a limited number of days. In the case of a check, it could take a couple of weeks for Rosland to deem your account funded with “good funds.”
Rosland Capital can be found on the internet at RoslandCapital.com
We Review Merit Financial
Merit Financial has gone out of business. Their website has been taken over by Goldline. See our Goldline review for more information.
No online sales and slow shipping are all that keeps Merit from ranking higher. Still, they seem to be a good company.
Merit Financial’s website was located at MeritFinancial.com