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Liberty Metals Group was once a precious metals dealer that operated out of California. They had a quaint retail location in downtown Del Mar, an online presence, and a thriving clientele. But over time, the company's reputation seemed to nosedive. This may have been related to a change in management around 2014.
Though it started as a successful business, Liberty Metals Group no longer appears to be in business. What's worse, they haven't explained what happened or reached out to their disgruntled customers. So what exactly happened?
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About Liberty Metals Group
When the company was in business, they worked to supply global clients with a variety of silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. They enjoyed several years of success after their 2010 founding. But around 2014, they began receiving very negative reviews on Yelp.
The company operated both online and in a retail location. Their website displayed the actual prices of their inventory in real time. They said that they believed a retail store helped them to be more trustworthy.
The main service was to provide gold and silver to retail customers, both in the store and online. There may also have been some IRA services, but it's unclear how comprehensive these were.
Is Liberty Metals Group a Scam?
Liberty Metals Group doesn't seem to be a scam. The store definitely existed, and they definitely sold bullion products. However, there are multiple reviews that indicate customers weren't exactly happy with the service. Some customers did say that they felt they'd been scammed out of money.
On the company's Better Business Bureau page, there's a notice that they appear to have gone out of business. Yelp similarly reports that the retail location seems to have closed. But the company owner doesn't seem to have filed any paperwork to officially dissolve the corporation.
There are no company reviews or recent complaints on the BBB website. The company is neither accredited nor rated through the BBB. On Yelp, they have a rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars, indicating very negative reviews.
Let's take a look at some of what the past customers had to say.
There are enough negative reviews that we won't be able to look at all of them. But it's worth noting that the negative reviews continue for several years. Many customers cite similar complaints, seeming to indicate that the company has major issues with its management.
If a company receives negative feedback, that's an opportunity to improve. They can change their systems to be more efficient and work harder to please their customers. Judging by the ongoing complaints, it doesn't seem that Liberty Metals Group bothered to do this.
Multiple customers noted that they had to struggle to get in contact with any representative to resolve their issue. The company has also not responded to the vast majority of the negative Yelp reviews.
Shady Order Denial
One customer wrote about a shady experience he had when trying to place an order for silver. This review was written in 2017. He also stated that he had been a longtime customer and had bought over $100,000 worth of precious metals from the company in the past. He believed that there were major issues with the current management that couldn't be rectified.
The customer placed his order for 200 ounces of silver, and his order price was locked in at the time of purchase. The company informed him that the silver would be shipped in two days. But after two days, they said that they actually didn't have a record of the customer's order.
The price of silver had dropped in that time, so the customer placed the order again at the new price. Then he went to the store to pick the order up. They charged the original price, the one they claimed to have "no record of." The customer refused to pay it and left.
It is odd that a company would claim not to have a record of a purchase, then charge a customer extra for that purchase. It's possible that there was some kind of glitch in the system. But the customer believed that the company had purposefully tried to sell him silver they didn't have. Once they had the silver in their inventory, they didn't want to part with it for the lower price.
More transparency would have been good here. But the company never replied to the review to explain what happened.
In 2016, a customer left a review claiming that he had been ripped off. He also stated that he wasn't the only one this had happened to.
All of this is hearsay, but the customer said he'd talked to the existing management partners. The original owner had supposedly stolen company funds, so the company couldn't pay for the products that the people had ordered. Several people never received their precious metals.
The customer stated that this was an important lesson in how people shouldn't pay in advance for precious metals. He said that people should only use direct dealers who can hand you the product right away.
That's not necessary if the company you're working with is reputable. But there had been bad reviews of Liberty Metals Group for several years up to this point. It's important to thoroughly research any company prior to making a purchase from them. That goes especially for precious metals companies, since the industry is so rife with scammers.
One customer left a review in 2016 to say that he had sued the company after two years without receiving his product. He paid nearly $10,000 for some silver eagle coins. The coins were never delivered. When the customer sued, he was given a default judgment because the company never responded.
Liberty Metals Group refused to respond to emails, phone calls, or mail communication. They would not talk to the customer or his attorney. The customer said that several other people had sued the company and been given a default judgment, although this is difficult to prove.
The customer's lawyer said that if the company never paid the judgment, then there would be grounds to file a criminal lawsuit. A lack of payment would indicate that fraud had occurred. The customer's money had been taken and spent on other things, and the company hadn't intended to follow through on the investment.
The customer never followed up to say whether he had to file a criminal lawsuit. But all of that is troubling. It seems like several people had issues around 2014, which might have been when the management changed.
Pros & Cons of Liberty Metals
Liberty Metals Group may have been a legitimate business once upon a time. But the company seems to have dissolved, according to notes on Yelp and the BBB website. Prior to that, there were years of negative reviews and complaints about the service.
Obviously there's no way to work with a company that no longer exists. Even if Liberty Metals Group was still in business, though, we definitely wouldn't recommend working with them. There are clear patterns of mismanagement, and customers seem to have had an incredibly frustrating time with the service.
It's better to invest with a company that has more positive overall feedback. Plenty of online gold dealers provide all the same services as Liberty Metals Group, and they don't have tons of reviews from frustrated customers.
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