In this article we’re going to compare ratings of the major online dealers of bullion products, focusing on gold and silver. Ratings and reviews are easy to find, and you don’t need us to point these out to you. So instead, we’re going to list the dealers that we think are overrated and not as good as many reviewers seem to believe (in our opinion), as well as the ones that are underrated and often overlooked (undeservedly so) and the ones we feel are the best.
Be prepared, because there might be a few surprises.
Apmex is big, make no mistake about it, but while there are many happy customers, there are just as many frustrated and unhappy ones. Apmex seems to have more complaints than any other dealer, and while you could argue that this is down to its size, it is no excuse. Apmex have massive issues with their customer service, and this is where many of the complaints come from. But there are also many issues that send people to that customer service in the first place, and these relate to everything from its prices to its late deliveries.
Apmex is occasionally on the ball, and when they get things right, they deserve their title as one of the best dealers out there. But they get things wrong so often that you just have to question whether they deserve as much respect as they get.
Underrated: SD Bullion
SD Bullion is relatively new. It has been around for just a few years, but it only started to make an impact a year or two ago. This as the result of a huge marketing campaign, a website renovation and some word-of-mouth advertising, all of which pointed bullion investors across North America to one of the most exciting and interesting dealers on the market.
SD Bullion is all about silver. It does offer some other bullion, but not enough, and if you’re not interested in silver, you won’t have an interest in this site. If you do, you will find one of the widest selections of silver around, as well as some fantastic prices. Not only can you make big savings on popular bullion coins, but there are also some rare coins, rounds and bars that you can’t find anywhere else. This includes bullion that was minted in incredibly small numbers, most of which are seemingly owned by SD Bullion.
The Best: JM Bullion
JM Bullion has a similar range to Apmex, and because of this, the two dealers are often considered to be interchangeable. The prices are also very similar, although JM Bullion doesn’t have such high premiums on the rarer coins and rounds.
The main thing that makes JM Bullion the better choice, is the fact that their customer support is second to none and always willing to help. You could argue that Apmex is a victim of its own success and that it is not able to devote much time to individual customers because of this success, but it’s just as big as JM Bullion, and they don’t hide behind that, so Apmex shouldn’t either.
JM Bullion also offers free shipping across the United States, and this applies regardless of the size of your order. And because they are based in Texas, where precious metal taxes are fairly relaxed, you won’t be hit with big mark-ups when you order.
As with SD Bullion and Apmex, it doesn’t make financial sense to purchase from JM Bullion if you reside outside of North America. Simply put, the shipping and handling fees will negate any savings you make, and you may also be stung with VAT or other taxes. So, while they are perfect for investors in North America, the same can’t be said for investors outside of it.
In this case, you’re better off with a bullion storage company.
Worthwhile Alternative: GoldBroker
If you are based outside of North America and still want to benefit from cheap bullion without high taxes or VAT, then GoldBroker may be your best option. You can send your order to their secure vaults, located outside of the banking system, and they sell everything at close to spot price. GoldBroker isn’t perfect, but the only issue we have with them is that they have high minimum orders, and you need to buy a sizable quantity of bars or a Monster Box of coins. They also charge a small subscription fee.
Still, all of this helps them to cover their high overheads, so it’s excusable, and GoldBroker are as safe and as secure as they come. Read our review for more info on this GoldBroker dealer.