Universal Coin is the URL of the company Universal Coin & Bullion. You can purchase precious metals through their website. But it's important to buy from the most trustworthy and helpful precious metals dealer available. Universal Coin might have 30 years in the industry, but is it really the best option?
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About Universal Coin
Universal Coin has been operating out of Texas since being established in 1991. The company mainly sells precious metals and rare coins. They also have some gold IRA services.
Universal Coin has a strong focus on helping collectors acquire rare and historic US coins. For those who want to open a precious metals IRA, you can browse a section of the website dedicated to IRA-eligible products.
Like many precious metals dealers, Universal Coin has a strong focus on educating investors. The more that you know about precious metals, the more confident you can be in your purchase decisions. To this end, you can access tons of articles and other resources on the Education part of the website.
Products and Services
The company's inventory is made up mostly of silver and gold bullion. They don't seem to offer palladium or platinum products. Not all of their items are eligible for storage in a precious metals IRA. But if you want to open an IRA, Universal Coin has dedicated a section of their website to IRA-eligible items.
There isn't a lot of information available about how Universal Coin helps with IRA setups, though. They used to have a page about opening an IRA, but the content seems to have been deleted. There isn't any information about the custodial partners or storage facilities that they usually work with.
That means that when it comes to actually creating an IRA, you might be on your own. You'll have to research and contact custodians yourself. There are plenty of competing gold IRA dealers who will connect you to their partner companies. Some even streamline the process so that you never have to interact with the custodian at all.
Though there are multiple IRA-eligible products available, Universal Coin most heavily recommends investing in American Eagles. These are US coins that tend to retain their value and grow stably over time, since their market price is based more on melt value than speculation.
According to Universal Coin, it's a good idea to make a yearly purchase of American Eagle coins for your IRA or personal portfolio.
You can also purchase IRA-eligible coins from a variety of other global mints. One example is Australian Gold Kangaroo coins. But Universal Coin focuses most seriously on coins from the US Mint. When not promoting American Eagles, they have American Buffalo and other American-made bullion for sale.
NGC and PCGS Certification
Universal Coin sells coins that have been certified by either the Professional Coin Grading Service or the Numismatic Guaranty Company. These are two of the most trusted organizations in the country when it comes to assessing the quality of coins.
Many precious metals dealers only sell coins that have been graded and certified. There are quite a few advantages to this, including:
When you buy from Universal Coin, they say that they do their best to offer the most competitive prices for graded coins. In some cases, you might be eligible for discounts for buying certain items or buying in bulk. You can ask the company about whether they have any promotions running at any given time.
Is Universal Coin a Scam?
Universal Coin is definitely not a scam. The company has been in business for more than 30 years. It has been accredited with the BBB since 1995, and it holds an A+ rating with the organization.
There are a few concerning notes, though. Of the three customer reviews on the BBB website, one is extremely negative. The other two are positive. There have also been seven complaints filed against Universal Coin within the past three years, though only two of these were within the last twelve months.
The owner of Universal Coin has posted a notice on the BBB website. He says that if customers have an issue with their purchase, they should call the customer service department. This allows for a faster response, since the BBB can take days or weeks to inform businesses of complaints.
While the BBB has given them a top rating, the Business Consumer Alliance has given them a much more mediocre rating of C. The BCA takes a number of different factors into account when creating a rating. They consider the company's longevity, background, complaint history, advertising, licensing, and any government actions taken against them.
The BCA has not explained exactly why they give the company a C. On their scale, C is defined as "acceptable." They don't have any definitive reasons to discourage people from working with the business.
In their full report for Universal Coin, it seems like they simply didn't have enough information to give a higher rating. There was very little information listed under any of the investigative categories for the company.
Of the seven complaints filed with the BBB, three were related to delivery problems, two were related to advertising issues, and two were related to issues with a product. There haven't been any complaints filed regarding billing or warranties.
One complaint was written in April of 2021. The customer said that they had ordered a gold bar for around $3,500 midway through March. They paid with a check sent through the mail. It cleared the post on March 26. While waiting for the check to clear, the customer called twice. They also called two days after the check cleared. All three times, they never received a response.
The customer said that when they looked at their account on the website, they couldn't find their transaction history. They called the company again on April 1. It took more than 30 minutes to connect to a sales representative. The rep wasn't able to confirm the order status.
The rep said that she'd have someone call the customer back. However, she added that it might be a few days because the weekend was starting. The customer filed their complaint four days after this call and hadn't received any response from Universal Coin.
The company responded to say that the customer had made a purchase partway through March as mentioned. They also said that the conversation had been recorded. In that conversation, the customer had been told that there was the potential for delays due to high shipping demands.
In fact, the representative said that it could take up to four weeks for the items to ship. The customer had filed their complaint a little after two weeks. The company obtained the items that the customer bought on the day after the complaint was filed, and they shipped them the day after that.
They did apologize for their failure to return the customer's calls. They said that it was due to a very high call volume and busy staff. In addition, they apologized for how long the hold time was.
As a further apology for their lapse in customer service, the company included two silver American Eagle coins as a free bonus.
The customer said that this was satisfactory.
Obviously it's not great that the customer had such a hard time getting through to the customer service team. However, the company did take responsibility for and apologize for that. They also went above and beyond in resolving the issue, especially since the customer had already been informed that there would likely be shipping delays.
The second most recent complaint was filed in March of 2021. The customer paid for their order by check, and their package was shipped. But the package apparently got lost in the mail. It was never scanned again, and the tracking number was not updated.
While package losses like this aren't the fault of Universal Coin, the customer's main issue was the lack of communication. They had been told that an insurance claim would be filed, and then they would either be refunded or have the items shipped again. But a month had gone by. The customer had left multiple messages asking for an update, and nobody had ever called back.
The company responded to say that they had immediately taken action upon receiving the complaint. Their actions included:
The company noted that the customer hadn't been home to receive the package. But they listed the package tracking number and said when FedEx would return to attempt the delivery again.
They further explained that over the past year, they have dealt with an increasing number of missing packages with USPS. They profusely apologized for not yet having processed a refund for the customer.
The customer said that this was a satisfactory response.
Once again, this was a situation in which Universal Coin didn't necessarily do anything wrong. They did send the package out with a tracking number. From there, the delivery was out of their hands. But they did err in failing to give the customer updates on her refund.
They took full responsibility for this and once again, they went above and beyond in rectifying the problem. It's a good sign when a company can apologize, rather than blaming the customer for any issues.
It's worth noting that there have not been any complaints filed since March of 2021. As of writing, that's almost a year without issues. This seems to indicate that customers have been successful at resolving their problems by calling the customer service line.
Both of the most recent complaints had to do with a lack of communication. At the time, it seems that the company was dealing with a much greater call volume than usual. If the call volume has lessened, or they've hired additional customer service reps for the phones, then you're less likely to run into these problems.
Pros & Cons of Universal Coin
Universal Coin is a Texas precious metals dealer that has been in the industry for more than three decades. During that time, they have developed a strong reputation for their honesty and fair dealings.
Overall, there's nothing glaring that would detract from this company. Though a few complaints have been filed with the BBB, the company has always issued apologies and immediately rectified the situation. They take more responsibility in their responses than many other competitors do.
In addition, there have been satisfied customers. Some people say that they've been shopping with the company for years, and they've always had good experiences. No complaints have been filed since March of 2021 as of writing this, indicating that they've solved any underlying issues.
Just keep in mind that you might be able to get faster shipping from one of the company's competitors. In addition, for those who are seeking a precious metals IRA, there are companies that have a much more streamlined setup and funding system.
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