For anyone who has ever felt the frustration of searching in vain for pricing on a precious metals trade site, APMEX is a welcome relief. Their pricing is straightforward and open.
Even at a glance, it is clear they make this a priority: ensuring clients can see from the start how pricing works. There is a spot price (established by the market) and a premium (the amount customers pay over the spot price to buy from a trader).
Where you search for reviews will influence your thoughts on the company. One site refers to a virtual see-saw of reports: several clients stating how great APMEX is and about the same number saying the opposite.
The Better Business Bureau, however, gives APMEX an A+. They refer to more than 50 complaints, all of them closed, and a list of 5 positive reviews.
Perhaps the negative comments posted elsewhere are among those numbered by the BBB which were subsequently closed. One would have to do some very close research to find out.
Any Better Business Bureau rating is probably the one a consumer will trust more than competing review sites.
Reputation & Ratings
As consumers interested in the precious metals market are no doubt aware, there are more companies trading in gold and silver than they can shake a money bag at. Pressure is mounting to diversify investments to contain precious metals, and even to roll 401k retirement plans into gold IRAs.
Selecting one business to form a financial relationship with is the ideal goal. In this way, customers and agents form a level of familiarity with each other so the agent has an idea of what to recommend to the customer.
The customer, in turn, can feel confident that associates at this business are trustworthy and conscientious, viewing him as more than a bank balance but also as a person. These kinds of experiences lead to word of mouth advertising and settle a firm’s reputation for the better.
Complaints against APMEX
If the opposite is true and the firm appears to have little time for customer relations, then a reputation is besmirched. When the complaint volume is small, one has to wonder if customers are as much — if not more — to blame for the problems that arose because their comments appear so out of character. When that volume is a little high, a firm probably has some problems to sort out.
The Better Business Bureau has received 51 complaints about APMEX in three years, 10 closed in just 12 months. Most of these pertain to products and services. How can you be sure that these are the exception and not the rule? That figure seems a little high. Read what the BBB, BCA, and Trustlink have to say about APMEX.
The BBB is often the first place consumers look to when establishing a firm’s reputation, but it is important to take reviews in context. Most comments posted here are negative which gives an unbalanced picture of the company overall.
After all, the BBB is a resource for individuals who have been scammed and need help solving disputes with businesses. If an experience has been positive, the BBB is not the first agency one thinks of.
Those 51 complaints included some strange cases, such as one where a shipment was made to the wrong address and someone collected it anyway. The issue should have been taken up with the postal service, not APMEX.
As for the other 50, some of those complaints are available to read in greater depth. When large amounts of money are involved, the writing can become heated and the tone desperate.
Business Consumer Alliance Report Card
Only one review is posted, a negative one though, and it has to do with shipping. The client believed he should have qualified for free shipping owing to his status, though he was not deceived in any way.
BCA awarded APMEX their AAA based on business practices, not on reviews. They are fully licensed, have been established in business for a reasonable period of time, and their advertising practices are acceptable.
APMEX receives 5 stars out of 5 at Trustlink. Among those 5-star reports have been some sad tales about receiving the wrong order, sub-standard coins, and even potential “skimming” where someone’s bag was a coin short. One writer even accused the company of racial discrimination.
Most customers tell a story of wonderful customer service. Shipping is on time; the experience is painless. No one appears to be taking action against APMEX at this time.
While you look at customer complaints against such high ratings from different agencies, you start to realize how much work one really must do to form a well-rounded picture of any trading company. Shipping problems happen. There is a middle man (the postman or courier) to contend with.
Associates at APMEX make mistakes. If the firm feels a mistake has been made at their end, they try to rectify the situation. If the customer is at fault, he might be left having to deal with the consequences.
User-Friendly APMEX Website
The website for APMEX is crisp, clear, and neatly laid out. It possesses a professional sheen demonstrating the value of online shoppers who might stumble upon APMEX for the first time while browsing online.
Much of the business gold traders obtain comes through word of mouth and repeat business, but internet first-timers are still a significant source of income.
A section for First Time Buyers lays out the “Essentials of Precious Metals Investing” including some history, information about purity ratings, and a vocabulary listed. Understand the types of precious metals available and what makes them advantageous investments.
Gold and silver are miles apart price-wise in most market environments: gold is worth ten times as much as silver, with platinum above gold and palladium between gold and silver.
Their worth to the investor is not just a paper statement of value: in real life, when currencies are unacceptable, gold and silver are common and recognizable currencies. Platinum and palladium are more likely to retain their value as industrial metals, but they will still be tangible and desirable when paper bills are worthless.
APMEX advertises that their selection of stock is large, and they really mean it. They sell thousands of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products.
Their stock includes modern and rare coins, bullion, world coins, and jewelry. Explore what new coins they have in stock, locate items recently back in stock, and follow the top 40 best sellers.
You have probably noticed trading companies selling jewelry and wondered what that has to do with investments. Where IRAs are concerned, jewelry is not permitted. When it comes to personal investments, jewelry is extremely useful.
One can own tangible precious metals and even wear them, thus making them portable and inconspicuous in case of emergency. Purchase cuff links, bracelets, or necklaces from APMEX
Rare coins are also for personal investment, not to be added to an IRA. The IRS will not allow these to be included with investment holdings, but they are wonderful in their own right.
Not every gold or silver investment is a purely financial gamble. Many consumers, known as numismatists, collect coins because they represent a segment of history.
The coins in their collections are rare or will become rare in decades, when other examples have been circulated and ruined by over-use. They are collecting coins for their children and grandchildren; as investments for the future.
The First Spouse collection (2007 to 2013) honors America’s first ladies. The Gold Classic Head ($2.50 face value) dated 1836 sells for about $500 on the APMEX website.
Modern coins include the 2008 to 2014 Australian Gold Lunar Series 2. Gold coins from Canada, South Africa, and the United States are listed. Though less interesting to look at, bullion in platinum, palladium, gold, and silver is all worth your interest.
Investing in the Future with Gold
This is the primary reason why consumers around the world invest in gold. Read educational articles and watch videos posted on APMEX and come to grips with the financial questions governing the value of gold on the open market.
Why is gold so coveted today by regular people? Why should it be part of an investment portfolio, any portfolio, but particularly an IRA?
IRAs are retirement plans. They are put in place to protect one’s ability to pay for necessary things (food, lodging, medical treatment, and more) when one is unable to work any longer.
In the United States today, the age at which one must retire is 70 ½ (59 ½ is the earliest one can initiate disbursements). This age, 5 years older than it was not too long ago, is testament in itself of the financial pressures an aging population places on the United States Government. Living longer, they claim their pensions for longer, and those pots of money weaken.
That is only part of the problem: investments have also been weak, performing below the rate of inflation until pensions cease to be guarantees of continued comfort into great old age. America’s elderly people are living sparsely, not truly enjoying their “golden years” free from financial worry.
APMEX sets IRA products apart so you can see what is permitted in an account and what is for personal investing. Read regulations and discover more about the process if this is new territory for you.
Join the Club
Unlike one or two other trading companies out in the United States, APMEX offers membership in a special club to anyone who becomes a customer at no extra cost. As soon as you open an account, you are a member at the silver, gold, or platinum level (based on how much money you spend). Advantages of membership include free shipping, storage discounts, early notice of new products, and more.
Sell your gold with APMEX and you will discover how good their customer service is. When you want to buy again, you will have no worries about dealing with this company as your vendor.
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