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Over the past fifteen years, the global economy has seen a massive amount of upheaval. Many people have lost their faith in the stock market. Even if you want to invest in stocks, people have been considering the merits of investing in precious metals to hedge against inflation.
Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve is one of the many companies offering precious metals for online purchase. They advertise heavily and have many promotions that seem too good to be true. So are they actually a good company to work with? Or are they only popular because of their advertising campaigns?
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About Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve
Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve operates out of Houston, Texas, and has been in business since 2009. In addition to offering pure bullion like gold and silver, they have a variety of numismatic coins and collectibles available. You can find US Mint coins as well as coins from sovereign mints in international governments.
The company has been in business for 13 years. However, they also claim that their experts have over a century of total experience with working in the precious metals industry. This level of expertise makes them qualified to help people choose the right precious metals for their portfolios.
They also state that their main focus is on helping customers to get a high return on their investment. However, some of the reviews of the company call this into question. Customers in the past have complained about being overcharged for coins, especially the collectibles, which they say were marked up far past their actual value.
There are some IRA rollover packages available as well. Basically, the company will connect you to a custodian who can help you open a precious metals IRA. This custodian will walk you through the paperwork.
There are some other precious metals dealers with in-house teams that can do your paperwork and communicate with your custodian for you, so you never need to interact with more than one company. Unfortunately, Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve doesn't seem to be this streamlined. You'll probably need to work with a company that specializes in gold IRAs for this.
There are several specialists employed by Nationwide Coin whose job is to offer numismatic consultations, consultations on precious and rare metals, and analysis on varying global and industry economic trends.
Products and Pricing
The Frequently Asked Questions section of the website has a lot of important information regarding precious metals purchases.
The pricing of the precious metals can change on a minute-by-minute basis. This is because metals are affected by global conditions, and their spot price changes constantly. The company does explain how they calculate their prices around the spot price.
When it comes to pure bullion, customers do often indicate that they received a fair price. There are several hundred satisfied reviews of the services on Trustpilot.
But the same can't be said of the numismatic collectibles. Customers have complained about the high markups and speculative pricing of these items. Some believe that the markups are dishonest, as the company doesn't make much effort to explain them.
Once a purchase is made, the company says that shipping can take up to 10 business days. The packages usually arrive in 7 business days or less. The length of time depends on where the receiver's address is located, and packages may also be delivered more slowly during the holidays.
The Nationwide Coin website also mentions that products can be delivered for free. As is the practice with most reputable precious metals dealers, all packages are fully insured while in transit. You have to sign for them when they arrive. That way, if a package gets lost, you can receive a full refund of your purchase.
There have been a few complaints from customers about how their contact information was used after a delivery. They said that they received cold calls and emails with new offers from the company, even when they didn't want this. It seems like unsubscribing has been enough to stop the calls in most cases, but a few people were very disgruntled by how difficult it was.
The company website is relatively easy to navigate, thanks to its clean and simple design. The top bar shows you the pricing of different precious metals in real time, as well as tax rates for every item. You can click on different sections of the website to access a product catalogue, customer reviews, information about the company, and a blog with thoughts about the economy.
On the FAQ page, you'll learn everything you need to know about making purchases. This page details the company's shipping policies and the kinds of products they have. It also explains the purity and composition of the different coins available, from pure bullion to numismatic collectibles.
The website is easy to operate if you have disabilities, too. You can also translate it into a variety of different languages. This can be helpful for people who want to access the educational resources and policies in a language other than English. It can sometimes be hard to find company websites that accommodate this.
Is Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve a Scam?
Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve does not seem to be a scam. The company has been in business for well over a decade, and they do have over 600 reviews on Trustpilot. Trustpilot gives a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is the average rating of the customers. By those metrics, the company appears to have a lot of promise.
The company sells bullion, and customers receive the products that they buy. They aren't duped into making false or fraudulent purchases. So based on this information, Nationwide Coin cannot be called a scam.
However, the company's BBB page does tell an uglier story. They have no rating or accreditation. In addition, they have so many complaints that the BBB has posted a warning on the page. The warning stated that in 2017, the BBB received multiple complaints alleging that Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve used bait and switch tactics.
The bait and switch tactic was simple. Customers would buy a one-ounce coin for a reasonable price. Then they would receive a call back with an offer to buy a different coin for a slightly higher price. This second coin would have a weight of 1/4th ounce or otherwise be worth significantly less than the first purchase. But the sales representative wouldn't mention that, or if they did, then they wouldn't emphasize it enough for the customer to notice.
The BBB did note that the company had responded to every complaint filed. Customers had also indicated that they were satisfied with the resolutions.
In 2018, the BBB told Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve about the complaint pattern. The company responded to say that they don't use bait and switch tactics, they only sell legitimate products, and they use insured overnight delivery services.
However, the company did create a Compliance Department in response to the allegations. This department is responsible for educating people and training the sales staff in the appropriate tactics to use. If customers have issues, they are encouraged to work with the Compliance Department.
Despite the creation of the Compliance Department, there have been 14 complaints filed against the company with the BBB in the past three years. There have also been several scathing customer reviews that give 1 out of 5 stars. Customer reviews don't impact a company's BBB rating, but complaints do.
We can't look at every single negative review and complaint against the company. But we can look at a few of the most recent ones to see what people have to say. It is concerning that the complaints haven't stopped even after the creation of the Compliance Department. Ideally, the company would be able to resolve problems before customers need to bring them to a third party like the BBB.
One complaint was filed in May of 2021 regarding an order that was placed in February of that same year. The customer had bought more than $10,000 worth of coins. They were given a tracking number and were meant to receive the package on March 2. But the package never arrived.
Because of the insurance, the customer was supposed to sign for the package. They were never given a chance to. The customer said they had been in contact with an individual who had never explained what had been found in the investigation.
According to the customer, Nationwide Coin claimed to have filed an insurance claim. But three weeks had gone by without them hearing any updates.
The customer said that on the day the package was supposed to arrive, their neighbor had a delivery. So the customer asked the delivery man if he had any packages for the customer. But there weren't any.
The company responded to say that prior to the insurance claim being approved, the insurance company needed to view and validate the police report. Once they'd done that, a full refund was given to the customer.
The customer confirmed that a full refund had been given and that they were satisfied with the resolution.
Confused Elderly Customer
One complaint was written by a customer's son on behalf of his 96-year-old father. He said that his father had been convinced to purchase a coin that was much lower in value than the one he had called about.
The father had called and talked to one of the company's account executives about buying standard gold coins. He wanted to make his portfolio more diverse. But the account executive talked the father into getting collectible coins by a certain numismatist. These collectible coins had been marked up much higher than standard gold coins.
The new coins were far outside of the father's budget. Even though the sales representative said that they had potential for long term growth, the father wasn't interested in this thanks to his age.
A designer package of coins was created and quoted as costing about $5,000. But what the father didn't realize was that there was a second package he'd agreed to, which cost just as much. In the end, he ended up on the hook for about $10,000. He paid both of the invoices, but then he discovered that he'd paid much more than the coins were worth.
When the father contacted the company, he was told that the price he'd paid was fair because the coins would be worth that much in 15 years. The father said that he didn't have 15 years to wait for his investment to bear fruit. At this point, the sales representative began talking with a manager, who spoke quickly and confused the father.
The son writing the review had two potential solutions to suggest. One was that the father would return the purchase and be given a full reimbursement. The other was that the father would keep the purchase but be reimbursed for the amount he'd overpaid.
The company responded to say that they had treated the complainant's father just like any other customer. There was a delay in the processing because of the massive ice storm that wrecked Texas's power grid. They indicated that the Compliance Department had resolved the issue to the satisfaction of the customer.
The customer confirmed that the issue had been resolved to his satisfaction.
Ineligible for Advertised Deal
One customer left a complaint in March of 2021 regarding an advertised offer they had been made. They had made a purchase from Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve. When the package arrived, it had three deals for additional purchases.
Of the three deals, two were only for purchases of very specific amounts of certain certified coins. However, there were no restrictions on the last offer, except that you had to purchase 5 to 10 Gold American Eagles at the dealer cost.
The customer wanted to take advantage of this offer, so they called to order ten coins. However, they were told by the company representative that they couldn't use this promotion since they'd already bought coins with an at-cost deal. The customer was told they needed to buy certified coins to use a promotion.
The complaint was being filed because the offer didn't have any fine print about customers being ineligible based on past purchases.
The company responded to say that the Compliance Director had helped the customer to facilitate the trade of coins based on the original offer. They were just waiting for the customer to finalize the purchase. A mistake had been made by the sales rep that the customer had spoken to.
The customer responded to say that the issue had been resolved satisfactorily.
Pros & Cons of Nationwide Coin & Bullion
Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve seems like a promising company to work with. They are extremely popular, in part because of their successful advertising campaigns. But despite good feedback on Trustpilot, many customers have come to the BBB to voice their displeasure.
The BBB has identified a pattern of complaints about bait and switch tactics. Despite the company denying these allegations and creating a Compliance Department, complaints continue to be filed. It seems like there are major issues with communication among the management and the customer service staff.
For this reason, we don't recommend working with this company. They don't have any services that you can't find elsewhere, from bullion dealers that don't have such a fraught reputation. Even though the company has responded to all complaints, too many customers seem to have had a frustrating experience. It's better to work with a company that doesn't have so many potential issues in its management.
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