Bullion Direct, an online precious metal dealer located in Austin, Texas, is racking up complaints with Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin. Consumers are located in 35 different states. This year, BBB has received over 100 complaints against the business. While some of these complaints have been resolved, many are either pending a response from the business or have been closed unanswered. Additionally, three dozen of those complaints have been filed in the past 15 days.
Complainants allege that they have ordered products from Bullion Direct, but the product has not been received after several weeks, despite their payment being processed. Disputes also allege consumers have sold products through the Bullion Direct exchange and the product was delivered, but the consumer never received the payment promised. Additionally, consumers report to BBB that they contracted with Bullion Direct to store their previous purchases but were unable to reach anyone and get their product out of storage. The disputed amounts range from $300 to $97,000. In most cases, consumers have sent their money to Bullion Direct via wire transfer.
In general, consumers are requesting BBB’s assistance to have the products or funds delivered immediately or a refund of the purchase. According to its website, www.bulliondirect.com “provides a platform for the trading, clearing, purchasing, and validation of physical previous metals.” The company’s website has a list of items on its homepage, with individual pricing ranging from several hundred dollars to more than $10,000 for items such as an individual Bullion Gold Bar .999 Pure CUMX (10.000 oz.). A special note at the top of the homepage reads, “Bullion Direct has experienced significant transactional delays. To avoid further inconvenience or other adverse consequences to our customers, Bullion Direct is suspending its operations as it attempts to resolve those issues. We intend to keep you informed at this website. Thank you for your patience.” According to the website, Bullion Direct has been operating out of Austin, Texas, since August 1999.
Consumers interested in investing in precious metals should keep the following advice in mind:
- Research the company advertising the investment. BBB Business Reviews are available online at bbb.org. Make sure the company has a long history of dealing with precious metals, resolving consumer disputes and is free from any advertising concerns.
- Research the history of the specific precious metal you are interested in purchasing. Advertised claims such as “rare” or “in limited supply” may not be indicative of how much of that precious metal is available on the open market.
- Consider consulting with a financial advisor. Many banks offer bullion investing or have staff that specialize in financial planning.
- Be wary of buying bullion or precious metals that are not in your possession. Companies may recommend your precious metals be stored at a “secured facility,” by the seller or a third party. When you buy precious metals without taking delivery, you face the risk it does not exist, are not of the quality described or not properly insured.
- Understand the risks of wiring money. Wiring money is just like sending cash, and it can be nearly impossible to reverse the transaction.