SD Bullion

SD Bullion

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SD Bullion has been operating since 2012 and has become one of the fastest growing precious metals retailers on the planet. They're now among the biggest bullion dealers in the world. They have served over 250,000 customers and have several thousand online reviews.

But is the biggest company actually the best? What attracts customers to this particular dealership, and is it the best one to use? Are their practices legitimate?

  • Product Type: Precious Metals
  • Owner: Tyler Wall (Co-Founder and CEO)
  • Rating: 2.0/5

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Details about this same company:

  • 1,000+ 5 star ratings
  • Protects over $1 BILLION dollars in retirement savings
  • AAA customer rated
  • A+ BBB Rating
  • 5x Inc 500 winner
  • 2021 company of the year

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About SD Bullion

SD Bullion

SD Bullion is a bullion dealer that sells gold, silver, and platinum. They have different products and packages to help people connect to bullion at a fair price. For example, you can get mass produced kilogram bars with imperfections for less than a beautiful packaged gold bar.

The company does have strict policies regarding cancellations and returns. If you confirm an order, even if you don't put in payment information, you will be billed. If you cancel that order, you will be billed for $35 as a fee. This practice is fairly inconvenient and has inspired several complaints on the BBB website.

When you browse the products on the website, you can also browse by available deals. This will show you the hottest products to buy based on their value at any given moment. You also have the option to browse by In Stock items only. This means that rather than shipping from a different mint, the items are taken directly from the store inventory and shipped immediately.

Storage Options

SD Bullion

SD Bullion offers storage options through their SD Depository program. There is a minimum price of $9.99 monthly to keep your account open, or about $120 monthly. However, your annual rates are calculated based on the amount of metals you have.

So for example, your fees will be whichever is highest of:

  • $9.99 or 0.39% of your silver
  • $9.99 or 0.29% of your gold
  • $9.99 or 0.29% of your platinum

Percentage based fees aren't always the best bet when it comes to storage and maintenance. When you add to your account, your fees also go up. If you put your items in a flat fee depository instead, you always know exactly how much you'll pay, even if your holdings increase.

For new customers, there is an offer to get your first three months of storage in the depository for free. There aren't any setup fees, deposit fees, or minimum deposit amounts. In addition, all of the vaults are fully segregated. That means that only you have access to your holdings.

Like with most major storage depositories, every vault is completely insured for the full value of the account through Lloyds of London.

Is SD Bullion a Scam?

SD Bullion

SD Bullion is one of the most popular precious metals dealers in the United States. In fact, there are thousands of third party reviews from past customers online. There's no doubt that the company provides the services that they claim to, as there aren't any major government actions against them.

Currently, SD Bullion holds an A+ with the Better Business Bureau, which indicates that they attempt to resolve all complaints from customers. They have been accredited with the BBB since 2014.

On the BBB webpage for the company, there are 565 customer reviews, which give the company an average of 4.76 out of 5 stars. That indicates extremely positive feedback. On Sitejabber, the rating is 4.2 out of 5 stars with 288 reviews. And on Trustpilot, the rating is 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 2,000 reviews.

These are solid star ratings that show that most customers with SD Bullion are satisfied with their purchases. The organizational accreditation also helps. But there have been several dozen complaints filed against the company with the BBB over the past three years.

Customer Complaints

SD Bullion

It's somewhat expected that a company of this size will receive some complaints. Let's take a look at the customer complaints to see whether there are any patterns, as well as how the company has responded. Do they go above and beyond in seeking a resolution? Are they clear and concise in their communication?

There have been 30 complaints filed in the past year. At a first glance, it looks like most of the recent complaints have the status "answered." This means that the company responded, but that the customer did not necessarily accept the response. In fact, many of these customers have rejected the company's response.

Charged for Comparison Shopping

One review from June 6 of 2022 was from someone who had browsed a variety of online gold dealerships. The person was trying to compare and contrast the prices and pricing formulas of different companies. One of the websites that was visited was SD Bullion.

The customer stated firmly that they never made a purchase. But they were given a letter stating that they owed the company over $1,200. In addition, if the customer did not pay, SD Bullion stated that they would be sent to collections.

When the customer did not respond to this letter, it was sent again. However, the second letter had been officially certified.

The customer said that they did not understand how this had happened, since they had not made a purchase. They felt harassed and bullied, so they wanted the company's help to solve the problem.

The company responded to say that the customer had submitted an online order, which locked in the price and created a binding contract. In order to submit that order, the customer needed to agree to the website Terms of Use. The customer's order was supposedly placed on March 5. The company reached out multiple times through email, phone, and mail to contact them about the due payment.

Eventually, the original order was cancelled because of nonpayment. There was an invoice for cancellation sent to the customer, which included cancellation fees.

The customer said that they rejected the response because they still didn't understand how they had made a purchase in the first place. It hadn't been intentional. The company replied with the same response about the Terms of Use.

The customer emphasized that they would never buy from SD Bullion and had never had any intention of buying from them. They were sure that they had never made a purchase, given that they had never offered their banking information.

No Payment Information

In May of 2022, another customer left a complaint about the exact same issue. They said that they had clicked an incorrect button on the website, which had created an order. But they never put their payment information in, which meant that the purchase was never completed.

A few days later, the customer called the company to double check that there was no purchase. The company told the customer to pay cancellation fees, regardless of the fact that no payment info had been provided. When the customer refused, they were sent a letter that threatened to send them to collections.

To make matters worse, the letter arrived the day after the date it said the matter needed to be resolved. The customer reiterated that they had never actually placed an order.

SD Bullion responded with the same copy paste paragraph about locked in trades. However, they did say that the cancellation issue had been worked out with the customer. The customer never followed up to indicate whether they accepted the response, but they also didn't reject it.

Yet another review from May involved exactly the same problem. The company also stated that this issue had been resolved privately with the customer.

Mislabeled Checking Account

One customer left a complaint about an order placed in May of 2022. For once, they actually did intend to place the order. It was supposed to be for a little over $400. A few days after placing the order, the customer was sent an email stating that SD Bullion had never been paid.

The customer got in contact with their bank and was told that SD Bullion never initiated the process to remove the money from the account. Then the customer called SD Bullion back. SD Bullion said that they had labeled the customer's account as a savings account.

The customer confirmed the account and routing number for their checking account. All of the numbers had been correct initially. In addition, the customer called the bank back and confirmed the numbers there to double check.

Despite doing all of this, SD Bullion refused to withdraw the funds from the bank. They then cancelled the order for nonpayment and charged the customer a cancellation fee. The customer believed that this fee was unfair.

The company responded to say that the management team had talked to the customer privately and resolved the problem. Again, the customer never confirmed or denied whether they accepted the resolution.

Very Poor Quality Gold Bars

On May 12 of 2022, a customer filed a formal complaint following a purchase they had made for over $125,000. They had bought two generic gold bars that weighed one kilogram. When the bars arrived, they were in extremely poor condition. They had bends, dings, and even shaved pieces.

The customer stated that even though he had bought generic bars, he found the condition to be unacceptable, especially considering how much money he'd spent. He also said that the website listing did not warn the customer that generic bars would be low quality.

He initially contacted the customer service department to ask whether they would be able to exchange the bars for higher quality options. But the sales representatives said it depended on the available inventory. The customer sent the bars back and paid $380 out of pocket for insured shipping.

But once the bars had been sent back, the customer had to wait for multiple weeks before the exchange happened. When the customer called to find out about the order status, the sales rep convinced them to pay an extra fee to exchange the bars for brand new CRM branded bars, which don't have the same problems as the generic ones.

It took two more weeks before the bars actually arrived. And when they did, they were in even worse condition than the bars that had originally been shipped. When the customer emailed to state that he was unhappy with the purchase, he received a response saying that no exchanges or returns were allowed.

The customer further added that prior to this purchase, he had spent over $850,000 on precious metals at SD Bullion. Because of this, he felt that he should be given some extra consideration as a valued customer.

The company responded to dispute the claim that the product page had no notice about the condition of the bars. In fact, the entire product description stated that the bars were cheaper because they had suffered some wear and tear. Even so, they still had the same weight and purity as high quality gold bars. In addition, all of the individual bars on the website have their condition listed.

The representative went on to explain that the delays had been due to economic fluctuations and supply chain issues, which are affecting basically every industry. The new bars had gone right from the RCM Mint to the customer. But since RCM Mint bars are mass produced and sold for low premiums, they are subject to imperfections.

The representative said that the products were not meant to be purchased for their appearance. Instead, they were a way to acquire pure gold bullion more cheaply than with other setups.

The reason that the exchange was denied a second time was because the gold had the exact same value that the customer had purchased. It just also had visual imperfections. Those imperfections did not have any effect on the purity or quality of the overall product.

In this case, the company's response does sound extremely reasonable. It seems like the customer didn't understand exactly what he was buying. The company was generous to allow the first product exchange. These products weren't supposed to be pretty, they were supposed to be inexpensive mass manufactured gold bars.

Pros & Cons of SD Bullion

PROS

  • Large bullion dealer with several thousand positive online reviews.
  • Good selection of products available.
  • Some IRA services available, but they're vague and not very streamlined.

CONS

  • Dozens of official complaints against the business.
  • Most complaints have been answered but never resolved to the customer's satisfaction.
  • Repeated complaints about people making accidental website purchases and then being beholden to them.

Final Thoughts

SD Bullion is one of the largest precious metals dealers in the US, and it has an excellent reputation in the industry. Having been around for a decade, they serve thousands of customers all over the country. There are several thousand positive reviews online through trusted third party sites like Trustpilot, Sitejabber, and the BBB.

It does seem like most customers are satisfied with their purchases. And the company makes an effort to communicate clearly with each customer. However, there have still been occasional complaints. Some of the complaints are clearly caused by miscommunication, but others are more concerning.

For example, there is a repeated pattern of complaint about accidental orders. Customers report that they accidentally pressed the button to confirm an order, but they never entered their payment details. Even though there was no way to make the purchase without payment details, the company began billing them and threatening to send them to collections, as though they'd actually placed the order.

Now, it is true that customers need to honor the locked in price when they get an order quote. However, if they don't put in their payment information, there is no way for that purchase to be finalized. It's very odd that SD Bullion finalizes purchases on their end before receiving payment confirmation. Judging by the number of messes it's caused, it's overall bad for business.

SD Bullion has a variety of different products and services available. There are some storage options, as well as limited IRA services. But when you use their IRA services, a third party custodian handles the entire setup process. The company itself has very little to do with it.

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