Some bullion salesman have tricks up their sleeves. Find out which ones!
Not everything that happens in the jewelry or bullion industries is what you’d call “above board.”
Welcome to another series we here at Bullion Trading are proud to premiere: the “Tricks of the Trade” series. As you’ll know from reading our blog, not everything that happens in the jewelry or bullion industries is what you might call “above board.”
As you are undoubtedly aware, one of the main goals of Bullion trading LLC. is to educate our customers and our readers about the industry we’re involved in. We don’t hold back — we’re privy to sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we’ve practically got enough to fill a whole library with that knowledge.
The reason we do this is because a well-educated customer is prone to making good, safe decisions when it comes to investing in either bullion or jewelry. We want our customers happy, and that means steering them in the right direction. Even if it means sharing some uncomfortable truths.
In today’s installment, we’re going to cover one of the simpler tricks a bullion salesman may employ to pull a fast one on you. If you know what’s really going on behind the curtains, you’re far more likely to avoid being taken advantage of.
Is that really needed? Of course it is. Remember, gold and jewelry is a very high-margin business. That means the merchandise is expensive, sometimes rare, and you know what that means. It attracts all manner of shady folk, and not every deal you strike up — online or at the counter — may be what it seems.
We’ve got you covered.
In the bullion industry, coins are one of the most popular items. The historical value, the sentimental value, and heck, the real-time financial value make them a wonderful investment or collectable. If you’re here on our blog, we’re willing to bet you yourself own, or would like to own some gold coins. It’s a good idea.
When you’re buying, you probably wonder whether or not you should shop online or shop at a retail store. We can’t make that call for you, as there are pros and cons to both. We do know when and where a less-than-honest dealer may stand to take advantage of a customer the most though. Consider the following:
If a website or a dealer buys coins and they arrive in poorer shape than what was agreed upon, who might that retailer sell the coins to to help cover their loss and mitigate the risk of receiving bad reviews or confrontational customers?
The online buyer. The reason is simple — the dealer got duped via an online deal, and can easily pass his or her losses along. Anonymously, or via their normal channels of distribution (their website or store). It’ll be easy for them to do because online purchases are more blind than countertop purchases. If they weren’t, our hypothetical dealer would have had a better look at the merchandise and avoided the buy.
That same blindness while shopping online is exactly what that dealer now depends on their prospective online customers to experience when looking at that merchandise. It’s called “passing the buck,” and we all know someone who’s great at it.
Online-only sales have another stipulation tied to them that gives a would-be dishonest jeweler an advantage against you — feedback. Rather, your lack of it. Statistics show that even for such a high margin product like bullion or jewelry, only about 1 in 100 people will leave a review of any kind. Positive or negative. That means a jeweler may be perfectly willing to risk treating you dishonestly just because they know that with each passing day, you’ll simply care less about being ripped off if it occurred online and not in person. We know that sounds bizarre, but it’s statistically sound.
You’d think the dealers would be worried about performing this sort of maneuver to recover losses, and for the most part you’d be correct. Most jewelers and bullion salesman are quite honest and legitimate and reputable these days. There are such strict controls on their industry that transparency is required, and heavy oversight is often present.
You may not be buying from a reputable dealer. Not everyone’s honest, and you never can tell who you’re dealing with online. For that reason we recommend dealing with a bullion retailer who also has a storefront that you can easily find via online searches. That gives you an assurance the dealer’s merchandise is pristine enough for the retail environment, and not sitting in some box collecting dust until an order is placed online. Some of those online-only holding rooms must look like a dirt bike’s been through there.
We also recommend sticking to the larger bullion movers out there. As we’ve talked about before that means the closer you get to NYC, the better off you are. If you’re dealing with someone who has a storefront, and that storefront is in the diamond and bullion headquarters of the world, you’re dealing with someone who isn’t playing any cons. Oversight, security, regulations, controls… the folks here have it in spades.
We understand you may be limited to online shopping, and we’re not saying it should be avoided. We simply mean to say that it’s easier for a jeweler or a bullion salesman to pass along their losses via an online transaction than it is a physical one. If you follow some of the guidelines we’ve outlined above, you really shouldn’t have anything to worry about. This is a somewhat common trick, but not among the big players in the industry.
Just be aware of this sort of thing. You have a good head on your shoulders, so use it when buying gold. It’s an incredibly easy buy sometimes. Gold is very enticing. But be aware, your quickness to buy is what a lot of bad retailers depend on. Do your research, be deliberate, and you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Want to know how else jewelers are pulling a fast one on customers, and even retail stores? Read our next installment, which will focus more on the jewelry industry than the coins industry. Thanks for reading!
We’ve talked about it before on the blog — not everyone involved in selling gold is as reputable as Bullion Trading, LLC. We hear buyer’s remorse stories every single day online and at the countertop.
It’s driven us to create a new series entitled “The Tricks of the Trade,” and it’s designed to inform you and other prospective gold buyers about some of the nastier tactics some salesman are using to pull the wool over your eyes.
Gold and jewelry as a high-margin, high-demand commodity is as old as civilization itself, and that means there are tricks as refined as the quality controls meant to stop them.
But Bullion Trading, LLC. can’t be fooled. We’ve set out to inform every gold buyer out there of the tricks dealers are using against them — even if it means sharing some uncomfortable truths of our industry.
The reason? We want every last customer to be as informed as possible. Only then can we sleep soundly at night knowing we back our assurances that we have the customer in mind 100% — no matter what that means.
So if you’re ready to read up on the tricks we’ve personally witnessed bullion dealers using against the buyer, [read on!] Of course, you’ll find our best tips for protecting yourself, too. This guide simply aims to educate and arm you with what you need to know to make the safest, rock-solid investments possible, no matter how you shop.