Which silver bullion dealers are trustworthy? I’m confident this is a common (and prudent) question many silver buyers ask themselves.
If you have not selected a silver bullion product, try this tutorial on how to buy silver bullion.
A precious metals dealer’s history is often a good predictor of their future performance. I know this is not a revelation. But it is common sense.
Do you have a family member or friend that bought silver from either local or online silver bullion dealers? Ask them for a referral.
If you get a recommendation, check the dealer’s (local or online) reputation with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.
The BBB grades businesses on an A+ to F scale … just like school.
Some of the criteria - of particular interest to me - that the BBB takes into account when it rates a business are paraphrased below:
I am confident any company operating a dishonest business would earn an F rating by the BBB if the bureau has sufficient knowledge of the operation.
Therefore, I am mostly concerned about complaint volume and resolution.
No dealer is perfect so we know there will be mistakes. It’s how a business responds to an error that can either earn or lose my loyalty as a customer.
Listed below are a couple of online silver bullion dealers with a BBB rating of A (on April 19, 2012). Please click on the links to read my comments:
Neither the BBB, nor anyone else, can guarantee the quality of a silver bullion transaction even when the dealer is highly rated.
Still, it’s common sense that the odds of a smooth transaction are higher when you choose a dealer with a respectable track record.
It’s important to know the typical terms should you want to cancel or return your silver bullion. These issues are handled differently in the precious metals marketplace compared to other purchases.
Silver bullion dealers generally do not allow cancellations or returns.
If they do, fees are added to cover dealer costs to restock the returned item, or offset a market value loss if the silver spot price has dropped since your purchase.
Nevertheless you can take comfort in knowing most reputable silver bullion dealers will offer to buy back the silver coins or bars they sold you.
However, you will lose money on a dealer buyback if silver prices have dropped since your original purchase date. If the silver spot price has increased, you will earn a profit.
Precious metals dealers take a firm position on refunds because silver bullion coins and bars typically have thin profit margins.
Silver is a commodity and, as such, its price can change for the better or worse in a short amount of time.
Therefore, silver bullion dealers must protect themselves from taking losses on refunds since the silver spot price could drop after your purchase date.
If that were to happen, your refund amount would be more than your original purchase price … unless the silver bullion dealer charged a fee to offset the change in market value.
On the flip side, the dealer cannot raise your purchase price if current silver prices increase before your silver bullion ships. So locking in the price when an agreement is made protects both parties.
When you make a commitment to buy silver bullion bars or coins, either over the phone or online, your purchase price is locked in at that moment in time.
Before you commit to buy, it’s wise to make certain that all of your costs are included in your price. Then you can accurately compare prices between dealers.
Your agreement to buy the silver bullion product is a legally-binding contract. You usually have a few days after your purchase date to complete your payment.
If you break the contract, the dealer can contractually compel you complete the payment. Or he/she can charge your credit card the redemption and market loss fees specified in your agreement.
Once the dealer has received your balance payment and the funds have cleared, they should ship your silver bullion within days.
It’s good to verify your silver bullion is insured before it ships. Shipping terms should also include “registered”
(if USPS) with signature required.
One last comment about shipping ... I think it’s helpful to get the tracking number so you can monitor your package’s progress.
If you know approximately when your package will arrive, you can plan to have a trusted person at your home to sign for delivery.
To find specific terms and conditions of online silver bullion dealers, look for links on their websites that include words like “terms,” “conditions,” “shipping” or “agreement.” Or look for a “FAQ” link.
I hope these tips are helpful when you buy silver bullion. Please select a link from my navigation bar (upper left) to learn more about precious metals.Return from Silver Bullion Dealers to Gold Bullion and Silver Bullion (Home)
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