Nationwide Coin and Bullion Reserve is one of many precious metals dealers that sells products online. They claim to have access to some of the foremost numismatic experts in the industry, and they have a relatively large client base.
But there have been some concerning customer reviews and alerts from third party organizations. Is this company actually legitimate? And if they are, then are they really the best option to buy from?
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About Nationwide Coin and Bullion Reserve
Nationwide has been operating out of Texas since 2009. In addition to selling precious metals like silver and gold, they also have historic coins and numismatic rarities. Their online inventory is frequently updated with new items. You have the option to get both foreign coins and coins issued by the US Mint.
According to the company website, the staff's experts have over a century of total experience in precious metals, numismatics, investments, and finances. That means that they're perfectly suited to help customers figure out the right investments for them. However, some negative customer reviews indicate that the satisfaction rate might not be as high as the website states.
The company also states that their main mission is to help clients build portfolios with a high potential for return on investment. They do this by advising clients about the items with the biggest potential for growth.
One note, though, is that many investors recommend against investing in collectibles or numismatic rarities. Because the price of these is based on speculation, there's a lot more risk involved. With pure bullion purchases, the value is based much more closely around the actual melt value of the metal.
There are IRA rollover packages available for people who want to invest in precious metals for their retirement. These include IRS-approved products that meet all federal guidelines for purity.
Nationwide Coin and Bullion Reserve has a website that is relatively easy to navigate. They have several pages dedicated to explaining their expertise, mission, and promise to their customers.
In fact, a good amount of the website is built around validating the company's expertise. There are employees from backgrounds like numismatics, precious metals, finances, and other investment related industries.
Despite all of this talk, they do have a bad rating and many complaints filed with the BBB. So it's up to you on whether you actually trust that they have a customer-first policy at heart.
At the top of the site, the price of precious metals will be shown in real time. You'll also be able to see tax information in the same place.
You can read blogs and articles written by the company's experts. They also have a robust resource center that you can use to learn about precious metals and collectibles. That said, most precious metals dealers have some online resources for investors to learn more about the industry.
The company has a satisfaction guarantee posted on their website. They say that they are completely accountable and that their biggest priority is ensuring that customers are satisfied. On the same page, they reiterate that their staff has over 100 years of experience.
But whether the company has successfully stuck to this guarantee is another question. Customers have been filing complaints since 2017. It's not clear what happened in 2017 to cause a sudden drop in overall satisfaction. In response to the complaints, the company created a compliance department.
Since creating the compliance department, the number of complaints has dropped significantly. However, it has not fully stopped. It seems like some customers have still had trouble having their issues resolved without using third party mediation.
Prices and Shipping
The company's FAQ section has a lot of information about their basic pricing and shipping policies.
The shipping policy is extremely simple. Every order is shipped completely for free, no matter how much or how little you're buying. All you have to do is comply with the basic criteria for an order.
The pricing can change from day to day, or even from hour to hour. This is typical in the precious metals industry. Prices are calculated based on the fluctuating market costs of the items.
Some customers have left positive reviews of the company, stating that they got their items for a fair price. Since the spot price of gold is published on the website, it's relatively easy to see whether you're getting a good deal. The website is transparent about how prices are calculated.
The one dark stain on that fact is the reviews accusing the company of bait and switch marketing. This seems to happen most often over the phone, when the customer isn't looking at the market prices. Customers will be convinced to buy a more expensive item that's actually worth less than what they wanted to purchase.
In fact, there have been so many accusations of bait and switch tactics that the BBB has put out a warning about the company.
When your items ship out, you will be given the tracking number for the package. All of the packages are shipped with full insurance, which means you'll need to sign for them. If there are issues with the package being lost in transit, you can get your money back.
The company's FAQ states that delivery might take up to 10 business days following the order processing. That gives them time to package and ship the items out. In addition, the company notes that people in remote locations might have to wait longer. Holiday shipping also tends to be slower due to a higher demand both at the company and at the post office.
When customers have praised their experience with the company, they usually mention the fast shipping. But there have been a few people who had to file for insurance claims after their package was lost in transit.
Is Nationwide Coin and Bullion Reserve a Scam?
Nationwide Coin and Bullion Reserve appears to be a legitimate business. They have been in business for more than a decade, and they do have some positive customer reviews. There's no question that the company does provide the products and services that they claim to.
But those products and services don't seem to have met consumer expectations in many cases. In fact, the organization has a D+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, one of the worst ratings possible. They are not accredited with the Bureau, and the BBB has put out a notice regarding the poor business practices.
According to the BBB website, the reason for the D+ rating is that the company hasn't resolved the underlying causes of the complaints. More complaints following the same pattern have been filed since the BBB became aware of it, indicating that they haven't made any meaningful management or policy changes.
There have been 18 complaints filed with the BBB over the past three years, a huge number considering the size of the business. Of those, four were filed in the past year.
There is an alert for this business that has been published based on records from the Houston Better Business Bureau. Nationwide began receiving repeated complaints in 2017, and this has continued all the way through 2021.
According to the BBB, the business has received multiple complaints about the following:
The BBB did note that Nationwide had made an effort to respond to every complaint. They also noted that many customers had closed their complaints and said that their problems were resolved.
Nationwide responded to the allegations by saying that they do not use deceptive sales tactics. They also said that they track every package and ship through FedEx and USPS. Furthermore, they said that they wouldn't authorize charges to a customer's credit card until they'd spoken to that customer independently on the phone.
Nationwide said that they have enough staff members to fix any consumer issues. They further pointed to the way they've responded to all complaints so far. Finally, they said that they'd created a Compliance Department, which would be in charge of making sure all company policies are followed. Customers with problems are encouraged to contact the Compliance Director.
Despite creating their compliance department in response to the pattern identified by the BBB, Nationwide has still failed to stop receiving complaints. More complaints about the same issues were filed throughout 2020 and 2021.
Let's take a look at some of the most recent ones.
Recent BBB Complaints
Obviously we can't go through every single poor review and complaint that has been left. The BBB has already outlined the pattern that exists with this company's customer satisfaction ratings. But we can look at recent issues that customers have had in order to determine how well the company has responded.
The 18 complaints from the past three years are varied in their cause. Half of them are related to a problem with a service or product. Then there are four related to salesmanship, three related to delivery problems, and two related to billing and collections.
The most recent complaint was filed in May of 2021. The customer said that in February, they ordered nearly $10,000 worth of gold coins. They did receive a tracking number for their package. The package was meant to be delivered at the beginning of March and signed for, but it never arrived.
The customer said that they had contacted an entity within the company, but they had not been given any information about what was found. They further said that Nationwide claimed to have filed an insurance claim, but no updates had been provided in over three weeks.
The company responded to say that the delay was because the insurance company had to receive and investigate the police report first. As soon as the insurance claim was approved, the customer was refunded.
The customer stated that they had received the refund and that the matter could be closed.
In this case, it doesn't seem that the company did anything wrong beyond not communicating well enough. They have very little control over how long it takes to process insurance claims. Once they were able to issue the refund, they did so quickly and painlessly.
Bait and Switch
In November of 2020, a customer posted a complaint to say that they had been subject to a bait and switch sales tactic. These tactics are very serious because some organizations consider them a scam.
The customer said that they called and asked to purchase a particular gold coin that was worth about $1,900. The sales representative instead convinced the customer to buy a more expensive coin by saying that it had a better value and more growth potential.
But when the customer was given the new coin, it was a 0.25 ounce gold coin. The coin they had wanted to buy was a full ounce. When they called the company to complain, they were told that they'd been given a deal because the coin would be worth more in 15 years.
The customer concluded by saying that they talked to a local coin dealer about what had happened. That dealer said that Nationwide had severely overcharged them.
A day later, the customer updated the complaint to say that the company had satisfactorily resolved the issue. They did not explain exactly what the resolution was, but they did say that the company had proposed it.
In May of 2020, a customer wrote a complaint after they tried to buy a coin that had been advertised at a good sale price. The representative on the phone kept trying to make them buy a different coin instead, even offering steep discounts. Apparently the sales rep kept this up for 15 minutes.
The customer finally managed to get the sales rep to agree to the original advertised offer. The rep said that the coins would be mailed out with overnight shipping, and that they were currently in stock at the store.
But a week later, the customer still hadn't received their items. They tried to call and find out why there was a delay, but they got an answering machine. A manager called back later that day and said that the coins couldn't be shipped for at least 10 business days.
The customer decided to cancel the order at this point. But the company never acknowledged the request.
The company responded to say that the complaint was invalid and should be removed. They further added that the customer had received their package of coins.
Pros & Cons of Nationwide Coin And Bullion Reserve
Nationwide Coin and Bullion Reserve is a popular choice for people who want to invest in precious metals. The company employs some of the foremost numismatic experts in the world, so collectors often use their services to get an estimate on the value of their holdings.
Unfortunately, there are too many bad reviews of the company's services for us to recommend them. In fact, the Better Business Bureau has issued a warning and given them a D+ because they've failed to fix the cause of their complaints. The pattern first started in 2017, and complaints were still being filed throughout 2021.
If you want to invest in bullion or numismatic rarities, you're better off working with another company. Many people have said that they feel they were misled about the value of their purchases. There are other precious metals dealers that have significantly more positive feedback from their consumer bases.
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