– Check current negative reviews at Trustpilot.
The company may have gone downhill lately.
– Do they need you to upload ID or make a deposit before they sell you a single coin?
Vendors are way of fraudsters, especially if they, the vendor, are not internet-savvy.
However, a coin worth under £500 GBP is not a major risk to them.
Having been bitten in the past, they become wary. If they make their main profits in some other niche (e.g. smelting, wholesaleing) and they’re too cheap to buy due-diligence software, then they may impede your purchase for too long.
– Coins must be sent by courier/signed/tracked/special delivery or similar.
This eats into your profitability, but the alternative is, it gets stolen along the way. Sorting office staff know exactly what’s in letters. Reason: they handle thousands of letters weekly. Most letters are junk. The ones that aren’t have certain characteristics. They’re easy to steal if the sorting office isn’t careful about who it hires.
– Do they insure your purchase?
A small fee means you get your money back if something goes wrong.
– How long do they take to get the items to you?
Two weeks is far too long. Four business days in your own country would be normal.
– Some vendors have excessive bureaucracy.
Gold is valuable. There are a lot of crooked buyers. Gold excites greed. Buyers try tricks. This makes vendors very wary.
Vendor’s profit margins may not be high.
Thus, a gold vendor may seem fussy or grumpy compared to one selling costume jewellery.
– Some vendors don’t have much stock.
Gold can be in high demand if the economy is bad. The vendor may not have much stockpiled so, when demand is high, they have to wait to get more bullion from their suppliers.
If they’re not a major vendor, suppliers aren’t going to prioritise them.
Result: you wait two weeks to get your shipment.
– Get your gold into your hand.
It’s an old trick for the vendor to offer to store your gold for you. A vendor who offers storage to 500 clients has a supply of gold he can dip into to fulfill orders, if he needs to.
The ugly secret of banking is that the bank can lend multiples of what they have on deposit. Why? Because all depositors won’t ask for all their money all at once. They lend your cash to different people while you only have a deposit book.
True gold bugs want their coins to hand, not paper receipts. The storage company can go bust, leaving you with a BIG problem.
– Fake gold coins exist.
China makes fake everything, including gold coins. Silver coins aren’t worth faking, but gold ones certainly are.
A gold sovereign has to be a particular weight, diameter and thickness. They are thin and small. Fakery can be easily checked by the buyer.
One ounce coins are a difference beast. It’s worth the faker’s time to coat tungsten with 24k gold to the right thickness, weight and diameter to get money from the unwary.
So, buyer beware. Buy only from reputable vendors for your own peace of mind.