Like the Gold market itself which has for the last eleven years been in a bull market, scam artists, unscrupulous companies and outright thieves are also on the rise. As the old saying goes “May the buyer beware.” Here are a few of the gimmicks used by shady people and companies to fleece unsuspecting customers.
THE VANISHING COMPANY TRICK
This method involves convincing the customer to send in money for which the company will never send the agreed-upon product. A variation of this trick is to get the customer to send in their gold coins for which they will never see the promised money. Many of these operations are looking to work their con as fast as possible. The only thing the poor customer will get from them is a recording that the phone number is no longer in service and the company has vanished.
The best way to avoid this scam is for the buyer to investigate the companies being considered doing business with. To avoid “fly-by-nights” choose a company that has been in business for a number of years. Gold companies with a “light” track record may not be around when the time comes to liquidate your coins. Reputable companies will be forthright in disclosing the percentage being made on the coins being sold. Finally, contact the Better Business Bureau and get their rating as well as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the Numismatic Guarantee Service (NGC) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA). While not all companies have an unblemished record, a company with a spotty record will be easy to spot and should be avoided.
THE INFLATED PRICE TRICK
Another scheme is to push coins of a lesser grade or “common-date” and promote them as expensive “rare” coins. This is sometimes done with “graded” bullion coins which is allowable but is the equivalent of purchasing recently issued stamps in protective sleeves for old rare stamp prices.
Calling around to a number of different established companies will let you side-step this little trap. Service and client attention is by no means equal across the broad range of gold companies. The old adage “You get what you pay for” comes into play and attention should be given with respect to the buyers comfort level. Buying wisely will allow you to feel good about your purchase and not left with an inflated sense of buyer’s remorse.
THE “HOW LOW CAN YOU GO” TRICK
This tactic is simple, pay the very least amount in buying gold jewelry. In recent years we have seen a profusion of “Cash for gold” companies. You have probably seen them while driving around – “Joe’s Haircuts / We Buy Gold.” Great care should be taken in considering such companies as the price paid for gold jewelry varies wildly from place to place.
Do not let them take your old gold out of your sight where you can’t observe the weighing and grading. As with the previous trick the remedy is to shop around. The more companies you talk with the more knowledge you acquire. You will have the information you need so you do not get stuck with the lowest price.
THE TRICK IS TO FIND A GOLD COMPANY WITH NO TRICKS
Gold options are diverse with bullion coins and bars, to semi-numismatic and true rare numismatic coins. Just as one person is different from another, there is no one size fits all in owning gold. The thing to do is determine what your strategy is and what your objectives are. At ITM Trading we welcome the opportunity to discuss the exciting field of gold ownership with you. Feel free to contact us at 1-888-696-4653. We look forward to speaking with you about owning gold.