APMEX is the acronym used to describe the American Precious Metals Exchange. This company, founded back in 2000, has grown to be one of the biggest online sellers of precious metals in the US. In addition to buying precious metals, people also have the opportunity to sell them.
But being popular doesn't necessarily mean being the best. What do past customers have to say about APMEX? What should you know right away before you decide to invest?
Here's what we've learned.
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APMEX was founded in 2000 and has operated for more than two decades. Headquartered in Oklahoma, the company ships everywhere in the United States. They have one of the biggest precious metals selections in the world, with over 20,000 unique products. If there's any kind of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium item that you want, there's a good chance it's in the APMEX inventory.
In addition to investment grade materials, APMEX sells semi-numismatics and numismatic rarities. They provide products to investors, collectors, and casual hobbyists alike. Everyone from major businesspeople to casual numismatists can peruse their items.
When APMEX first started out, they were selling bullion through eBay. Then they were able to open up a retail location that sold to local clientele outside a strip mall. Since then, the company has grown exponentially. Now it has over 200 employees and has facilitated over $11 billion in coin transactions.
APMEX also makes a variety of educational materials available to customers. People can learn about the precious metals market. The resources are a good option for those who want to learn about numismatic collection and precious metals investment. In addition to all of this, the APMEX website has market reports and basic investment tools.
Unique Features of APMEX
APMEX has a variety of features that are meant to stand out from the average precious metals company. Some examples include:
APMEX also has a product program called the APMEXclusive program. With this program, they partner with other companies to sell exclusive lines of collectibles. They also have a mint that they use when working with other companies.
In 2021, APMEX was the first to create an entire shopping app just for precious metals. This allows customers to purchase precious metals in one app without ever leaving their phone. Since payment details can be saved to an account, it's much easier to add to your precious metals collection.
In addition to shopping, you can use the APMEX app to manage your existing portfolio. The app shows the live spot prices and has important updates about market news. You can customize spot price alerts here.
APMEX doesn't make any official predictions about the precious metals market. They do not operate as any kind of legal investment advisor. They make it clear that precious metals and numismatics are investments that come with risk. Collectibles are especially risky, as they are often marked up far past their melt value.
The products include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars. There are also often rounds available. APMEX works with more than 12 global mints.
There are thousands of semi-numismatic and numismatic coins available. APMEX actually hires several numismatists to work in house. These employees verity the authenticity of all the coins in the company's inventory.
Is APMEX a Scam?
APMEX is not a scam. The company has grown to be one of the biggest precious metals sellers in the United States. They have a variety of good reviews online from hundreds of different people. There's no question that the company provides the services that they say they do.
However, there are a few potential drawbacks. They may not be a scam, but they also might not be the best place to invest your precious metals. Though many customers have left positive reviews, there are also a number of negative reviews. On Consumer Affairs, the company has a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars based on 51 ratings. Several of the ratings give them one star.
On the BBB website, their customer rating is higher, with 4.06 out of 5 stars based on nearly 200 reviews. That indicates more positive feedback, but it still shows that a good chunk of customers are unsatisfied.
There have been a whopping 80 complaints against the business in the past three years. Of those, 31 were filed within the last year. While some complaints are typical for a precious metals dealer of this size, 80 seems extreme. That might indicate that there are bigger issues at play with the management and customer service.
The BBB rating is also not perfect. The company has an A- rather than an A or A+. The reason cited for the rating is that government action has been taken against the business.
The government action against APMEX had to do with the state of Minnesota. Minnesota is the only state that requires special licensing to sell bullion. Precious metals companies often run into issues with this legislation when they fail to do their due diligence.
In March of 2021, APMEX settled with the state of Minnesota regarding allegations that they did not get the proper registration to sell bullion. The settlement included an agreement to pay a civil fine. The company also promised that it would not break any laws in the future. The BBB page does not disclose how large the settlement was, but the issue is now considered resolved.
Many companies go awry in Minnesota without meaning to. While this shows a lack of due diligence, it's not always indicative of major mismanagement. But let's take a look at some of the complaints to see what exactly customers had to say about their service.
APMEX does appear to have responded to every one of the 80 customer complaints on the BBB website. Obviously we can't look at every single one. However, we can take a look at some of the most recent, as well as how the company handled them.
It is a good sign that APMEX bothers to respond to complaints. But customers should not need to file a BBB complaint to resolve issues. There should be a customer service team that handles these things before they ever need to be brought before a third party. In addition, it seems that not every customer has been satisfied with the company's response.
Lost Priority Shipment
One customer filed a complaint on March 15, 2022. They said that they made a purchase and paid successfully. They were then sent a tracking number. The package was supposed to be delivered and signed for on the next day. It was fully insured. The customer double checked the insurance policy before the shipment was sent because the order was large.
The customer didn't receive the package, so they reached out to the post office. The post office told them to speak with a representative at APMEX. The customer had a hard time getting in touch with the company for several days.
Finally, the customer was told that they would need to file a police report. They did so. Then the company responded to say that even though the police report had been filed, the claim was denied. The investigation concluded that the package was dropped off at the right address. The company went on to say that they weren't responsible for mailroom mixups or items stolen after delivery.
The company told the customer to bring up the issue with the building manager. Then they locked the customer's account.
The company responded and stated that the insurance policy only lasts while the package is being transported. Once the package reaches the mailroom of a building, it is no longer insured. They said that the customer should talk to the local police about how they thought the staff at their apartment complex might have mishandled their package.
The customer responded to say that they did not accept the response. They had specifically paid to have the package dropped off with a signature. Since the customer had never signed for it, they believed that the insurance policy should still be active. The customer added that they had a receipt of their transaction, including information about the insurance policy.
The company said that anyone could sign for the package as long as they were over the age of 21. Then they repeated their last response.
The customer said that the "mailroom" where the package was dropped was not a staffed area. It was a small, empty room where packages could be dropped by carriers. There was no security in the room. The customer was certain that no one had signed for the delivery and that the package had never been delivered.
The customer said that they felt there had been a massive injustice here, and that APMEX wasn't interested in taking responsibility. They said that this was the main reason they had chosen to make their complaint public on the BBB website.
APMEX never responded. Apparently the company considers the matter closed. The customer still does not know where their package is or who signed for it, if anyone.
Empty Box Shipped
On March 7, 2022, a customer filed a complaint about a purchase they had made in early January of the same year. They had bought several silver coins and provided their order number.
The package arrived about 18 days later, but the customer was not upset about the long shipping time. They stated that the box was sealed and in perfect condition. But there was nothing inside. It was completely empty.
The customer got in contact with APMEX and followed the steps to create a claim. These presumably involved making a police report, taking pictures, and providing any other documentation. Despite doing all of this, APMEX denied the claim.
The customer then called the company several times, but they were never able to make any additional headway. They asked that the company send copies of their audit. This was the internal audit that determined nothing had gone wrong with the packaging. But APMEX refused to respond to these requests.
The customer provided copies of every communication with APMEX, along with pictures of their box.
APMEX responded to say that they had reviewed the claim according to their standard procedures. They were denying the claim because they could not find any evidence indicating that the box was tampered with before being delivered.
They said that their internal audit showed that the box contained all the ordered coins and was the correct weight. The package remained the same weight throughout the different checkpoints as it was shipped. Due to this, APMEX had decided not to file an insurance claim.
The customer responded to say that they did not accept the response. They further added that they had talked to someone at the post office who confirmed that the post office doesn't do consistent weight checks. Several other APMEX customers cited similar problems.
The customer said that there must have been an issue early in transit or during the packing process. They said they wanted copies of their audit report to see how it was performed. The customer further explained that they had paid for their order to be insured, but the post office had said there was no official postal insurance on the delivery. So if the package was insured, it was through another company.
APMEX responded to say that packages are insured during transit. The customer's claim had been denied because there were no findings showing that there were problems in transit. The company recommended that the customer work with local police to find out who had stolen the coins.
Statement of Non-Payment
On March 1 of 2022, a customer filed a complaint about a transaction that they had had three days prior. They had paid a little under $350 for a variety of silver coins and bars. The company said that the customer had not paid properly, but the customer said that they did.
Not only did the company website state that the order had been paid, but the customer had been given two payment confirmation emails through Bitpay showing that the crypto payment had gone through. They had also gotten an automatic confirmation email from APMEX themselves.
The customer stated their order number and wanted their items to be shipped.
APMEX responded to say that the customer still owed about $30 for the order. However, the customer's first language was not English. The APMEX representative said that they believed this was causing the confusion. They had waived the additional charge and would ship the order soon.
The customer never responded again, but the issue has been marked as resolved. So presumably the customer did receive the items that they paid for.
Pros & Cons of APMEX
APMEX has been around for more than 20 years, and it is known for being one of the biggest precious metals dealers in the United States. People use the company's resources to both purchase and sell their precious metals. There are hundreds of reviews online, many of which are positive.
But not all of the reviews are positive. In fact, there are a staggering number of complaints. Perhaps more concerningly, many of the complaints have never been resolved to the customer's satisfaction. There have been repeated problems with items being lost or stolen in transit, and APMEX refusing to pursue an insurance claim.
When an order ships, it is supposed to be signed for upon arrival. But many APMEX orders seem to vanish into thin air. Still other boxes have arrived completely empty. The customers are told that there's nothing to indicate that fraud occurred, so they don't get an insurance payout. But the post office has confirmed that they don't weigh every package at every stop like APMEX says.
Overall, we can't recommend this business. It seems like a lot of people have had positive experiences. But too many people have been frustrated and upset with very little recourse. It's a better idea to work with a company that strongly cares about making sure that you receive the items you were promised.
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