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When you want to purchase precious metals, it's vital that you find a reputable company. No matter whether you want to buy online or in person, using cash or retirement funds, getting bullion or numismatics... there are tons of unscrupulous companies out there.
With a name like the United States Gold Bureau, you'd think that a company must be affiliated with the US government, right? At the very least, they must be trustworthy. Unfortunately, there are quite a few disgruntled customer reviews that show that the United States Gold Bureau might not provide the kind of quality service that they seem to.
STOP! Before we continue with this review, we want you to know how seriously we take your investment. We know our research and information may sway your investment decision, so we want to make extra sure you are investing with the right company!
With this said, we do have a list of our top 5 companies (we have found that at least 1 of these 5 companies fits what 99% of our visitors are looking for and all have great reputations & customer reviews):
See if United States Gold Bureau made our list this year, or continue with this review below to see if they are possibly the right company for your investment needs.
About United States Gold Bureau
The US Gold Bureau has been around since 2003. However, the company changed ownership after being in operation for five years. The current parent company, called Lone Star Tangible Assets, bought the company in 2008. They have been operating it ever since.
Lone Star Tangible Assets is a massive corporation with a lot of credit to its name. In fact, this company was selected by the Texas government to create the first fully accredited and secure storage depository in Texas. Prior to this, there was no way to store gold IRAs in Texas, due to none of the existing storage solutions meeting the IRS requirements.
Lone Star Tangible Assets built this depository and operate it. So US Gold Bureau is able to offer unique storage solutions through their parent company. They don't need to partner with external security companies, since all of the resources already exist in-house.
Website and Products
To find out more about the company's inventory, you can go to the website. The website also has a variety of other information available. For example, you can look through tabs about news, investment tips, and information about how to buy precious metals. There is also a full website section devoted to portfolio diversification and what it means.
The information ranges from extreme basics to more in-depth tips for seasoned pros. Ideally, there's something for every investor, no matter how much time you've already spent in the industry.
Gold and Silver
US Gold Bureau keeps the most popular silver and gold coin options in stock. Many of these are eligible to keep in an IRA. There are classics such as the proof American Eagle and Canadian Maple, but you also get international offerings from countries like Austria, South Africa, the UK, and more.
The exact coins available will vary day to day depending on the company's stock.
In addition to IRA-eligible coins and bars, there are also non-IRA products. For example, you might be able to buy commemorative coins that are considered collectibles. Or you might be able to get private silver rounds that are stamped with any number of beautiful designs.
The United States Gold Bureau does have some IRA services available. There's a page on the website explaining how to invest in gold with your retirement plans. But most people use the site to make eCommerce cash purchases. There's not as much focus on the IRA aspect as you might find with companies that specialize more heavily in retirement planning.
It's surprisingly easy to make a purchase with United States Gold Bureau. Since they have an eCommerce site, you can simply add your items to your cart and check out. The prices will update according to the real time fluctuations in the spot price. You can double check your quote to make sure you're getting a good deal.
There are many different consumers who have been served through the US Gold Bureau services. In addition to individual investors, the company has served banks, investment managers, brokerage houses, and smaller dealers. Some of these services have been administered through Lone Star Tangible Assets rather than US Gold Bureau itself.
There is no minimum quantity required to get started with your purchase. Similarly, you can also place bulk orders. But to sign the contract for the purchase, you will need to be at least 18 years of age.
The company does offer some discounts, depending on whether you qualify. For example, if you place a very large order, you might receive a discount. If you buy a very large quantity of one single item, this might also qualify you for a discount. Just call up the customer service team and talk to them about your needs to find out what you're eligible for.
Is United States Gold Bureau a Scam?
United States Gold Bureau is not a scam. As mentioned, the company has operated for almost 20 years. The parent company has an extremely long and entrenched reputation in the industry. They are one of the biggest precious metals dealers in the entire world, and they were given special permission to build the first working depository in Texas.
All of this is more than enough information to be confident that you're not dealing with a scam. This is a legitimate company with legitimate products and services. But there are some major caveats to keep in mind. Customers can be unsatisfied even with non-scam services, which unfortunately seems to be common here.
Though the US Gold Bureau has an A+ with the BBB, they are not accredited. They also have extremely mixed reviews not just on the BBB website, but also on Consumer Affairs, Trustpilot, and Trustlink. Customers have left scathing accounts of their past experiences, and it seems that many of them have been unhappy.
There have been a whopping 15 complaints in the past three years. Compared to the small number of reviews, that's a pretty big chunk. If there were thousands of positive customer reviews, 15 complaints wouldn't be a big deal, but it's too big a percentage here to ignore.
While we won't be able to look at all of the filed complaints, we can see a couple recent ones. Let's take a look at what customers have to say, along with how the company has responded.
Low Buyback Cost
One customer left a complaint in 2022 regarding a purchase made in 2020. They said that they bought coins on the condition that they could sell the coins back later for a higher price. That is what the sales representative told them over the phone. The representative also said that he would call the customer back once the price had gone up.
But the customer waited for months without being called back. Eventually they called the company back to ask about the sale prices. When they connected to an agent, they were told that the coins couldn't be sold back. Then they made a buyback offer that was significantly less than what the customer had paid.
The customer said that they believed that they had been sold the coins under false pretenses. Because they had been told that they could sell them for more, they were unhappy with the buyback offer.
The company responded to say that there was some confusion regarding the purchase. They were able to buy back the coins, despite originally telling the customer no. However, they said that it would be better for the customer to hold onto the coins for longer, as this would give them more of a chance to grow in value.
The representative stated that they had already been working with the customer behind the scenes to come up with a solution. Their simplest offer was to refund the whole purchase price of the coins, despite the changes in spot price and market value. The company provided a phone number for the customer to call to use the refund offer.
The customer rejected this offer because they said that the price of their coins had gone up since they'd bought them. As such, they wanted to be refunded for the current price of the coins, not the price when they bought them.
A few weeks later, the company updated to say that they had reached an agreement with the customer. The customer indicated that they were satisfied with the results. There aren't details on exactly what the agreement was, but the solution seems fair.
One customer left a complaint regarding an order they had placed for a gold coin. After placing their order, they were called by a customer service representative who tried to convince them to buy more gold. The customer told him that they didn't want to do this. After this, the customer was sent a confirmation email with their order invoice.
The payment was processed the next day. Since the payment had gone through, the customer believed that the coin would be shipped out immediately. But it wasn't. It took a full 7 days for a tracking number to be sent. When the customer filed the complaint, several more days had gone by without the package moving at all.
The customer was extremely upset by how long the package was taking to ship, especially since they'd already fully paid for the order.
The company responded to say that even though the payment was processed after the order was placed, the funds didn't actually arrive for several more days. In addition, the customer had placed their order during the holiday season, which had caused the package to be delayed due to the unusual shipping schedules.
The order was shipped after the holiday weekend went by, and it was supposed to arrive within the next few days.
The customer responded to say that they did find this solution satisfactory. Their response came a few days after their package was supposed to arrive, so presumably it did. Overall, this seems like a fair explanation of whatever was going on.
What's more concerning is that the sales representatives at the company seem so intent on sales pitching extra coins to customers, even if it might not be the best investment for them.
Pros & Cons of United States Gold Bureau
The United States Gold Bureau sounds like an important company, maybe one that's affiliated with the US government. But it's actually just a for-profit corporation. They have some interesting services, like the ability to provide in-house storage. Most other gold dealerships need to outsource their storage.
But the customer reviews of the company are so terrible that we can't recommend it. There are multiple concerning complaints about the pricing, sales tactics, and quality of the products. Customers report feeling like they were taken advantage of or not treated with respect. Though the company makes an effort to respond to official complaints, they don't seem to have changed whatever management patterns have enabled this.
For this reason, we don't think it's a good idea to buy gold with this company. There are other online dealers that have much better reputations. Even if they don't show their prices online, you can use the past customer reviews to determine whether they have worthwhile offers.