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There are hundreds of online companies that claim to help people buy quality gold and silver. Westminster Mint sells rare coins in gold and silver for shockingly low prices. But are they too good to be true? And what exactly do they offer?
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About Westminster Mint
Westminster Mint has been in operation since 2001. They help people buy gold and silver rounds, bars, and coins. Their website states that they have some of the lowest prices in the industry along with fast shipping.
Instead of working in pure bullion alone, they work with collectible coins as well. Some of their areas of expertise include:
The company prices its bullion according to the market price of the precious metals. Meanwhile, they price collectible sets based on a number of different factors.
Collectibles are a more risky investment than bullion because they're only worth as much as people are willing to pay for them. That means that if there isn't a high demand for the coins when you want to sell, you might end up taking a loss.
The collectible coins may be marked up to much higher than their melt value. They are priced with consideration to their rarity, mint mark, date, and condition.
Another one of the company's hallmark products is their silver bars. These .999 pure silver bars are minted by the company, stamped with their purity and weight, and wrapped in protective plastic to prevent degradation or contamination. Then they are sent to the customers.
Pricing and Fees
Westminster Mint focuses mostly on silver, though they also sell gold and collectibles. Their prices change from day to day as the value of precious metals changes.
When you go onto the website, you will see the available products along with a price. Since the price is listed, you can easily compare it to other market offers. If you decide it's the best choice, you can add it to your cart and check out online without any issue.
Keep in mind that the condition of the coins affects the price. If you're seeing a coin listed for significantly less than other companies offer, it might be in poor condition. Poor condition coins are difficult to resell.
Refunds and Returns
If you aren't satisfied with the shipment you receive, you can return it within 30 days to get a refund. It must be a complete return, and the coins must still be in sellable condition.
You will need to pay the shipping costs to send the coins back, including insurance.
Research indicates that the company does honor this policy. In some cases, when customers have received the wrong order, the company has allowed them to keep the incorrect coins free of charge. Just keep in mind that they're unlikely to do this unless you can prove they made a mistake.
Is Westminster Mint a Scam?
Westminster Mint is not a scam. They are a legitimate company that holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their products vary widely in their quality, but you tend to get what you pay for.
Unfortunately, there are some issues with their customer service and their delivery. In addition, it's difficult to find reliable reviews outside of the company website itself.
The company has quite a few red flags. Despite their A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, there have been thirteen complaints filed against the company in the past three years. There are other customer reviews on third party websites that indicate people have had bad experiences.
We found one person asking on a coin forum whether anyone else had ever worked with the company. Apparently they had placed an order but never received their items. When they tried to contact the company, nobody answered.
The president of the company did respond to the forum post. He said that the company aims to do its best by their customers. He further said that the person who didn't receive their items should contact him personally to solve the issue.
Unfortunately, the person with the missing items said that they still hadn't received their order several weeks later. In addition, they hadn't gotten a response to their phone calls or emails to the company, even though they used the official channels.
A week after that, they updated again to say that they received their metals. But they also said that every coin they ordered had a visible crack in it. They said they regretted trusting the cheap prices from Westminster Mint and wished they had spent a little more on a better quality coin.
It seems like the condition of the coins is what the customer had paid for. They didn't blame Westminster for the condition, but they did say that they would use a different dealer in the future. The damage to the coins would make them difficult to resell.
Another person posted on the same forum thread to say that after placing an order with the company, they started receiving coins that they didn't order. This was after their initial order arrived. The company told this customer that their debit card would be charged.
When this person tried to contact the company, they couldn't get through to a customer service representative. Their emails went unanswered. In the end, the person had to cancel their debit card through their bank and have a new one issued. They sent the coins back to the company.
However, this company might actually have been a different one from Westminster Mint. It's difficult to verify the authenticity of forum posts, so take these anecdotes with a grain of salt.
The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but they have had thirteen complaints in the past three years. Two were closed within the last year.
Nine of the complaints were related to issues with a product. One was related to advertising, and three were related to delivery issues. Right away, this indicates that you might be misled about the nature of the coins you're buying. Even if you get what you bought, you might have to wait longer for the delivery than with another company.
One complaint says that the customer ordered a package deal of the top five 2020 silver coins. This was the "Roaring Twenties" package. After paying with a debit card and receiving their confirmation number, they waited months without hearing anything.
Two months after placing the order, they decided they would cancel because it was taking too long. In addition, they struggled to connect with anyone at the company who would help. The company said they would process a refund, but the customer hadn't yet gotten their money back.
The company replied to say that the reason for the delay was that the customer's debit card was declined. Apparently they reached out to get in touch, but the customer never replied. Since the funds were never withdrawn, there was no refund to process. The company placed the customer on a Do Not Call list.
Another complaint said that the customer tried to buy the National Treasures package, but their customer service representative kept upselling a more expensive silver eagle package. The customer repeatedly refused. Then they were sent the silver eagle anyway, and their card was charged for that price.
The customer gave the company a call. The representative they talked to said they would need to be connected to the salesman who sold the coins. The customer left a message with the salesman and didn't receive any reply.
The company agreed to let the customer keep the coin free of charge, refunding the money they were charged. The customer indicated that they were satisfied with this solution.
One complaint was related to delivery problems. The customer bought a coin and was told there would be a few weeks before the coin shipped. Two months went by without any tracking number or information from the company.
The company responded to say that they were unable to ship the coin because of circumstances outside its control. The customer was refunded the full price of the coin and was allowed to keep free coins they were sent instead. The customer indicated they were satisfied with this.
There was another complaint about advertising issues. A customer called after seeing an ad on Fox News. They bought a coin over the phone and were told their coin would ship in a few weeks. Several weeks later, they called the company only to be told that their order was never placed.
The customer was upset because they had given the company all of the information necessary to place an order. They did not understand why the company didn't call them back to explain that there was an issue with the process.
Apparently the customer service representative they talked to said that there were many orders that came from the television ad. He apologized for not calling to explain the situation to the customer. But then he said that if the customer wanted to buy the gold, they would need to pay extra due to the price inflating.
The customer talked to several different people at the company to try to get the coin at the price they were first quoted. They were not successful. Their complaint was filed because they believed the company should have honored their first order.
The company replied to say that their coins need to comply with strict standards because of the rampant fraud in the industry. The customer's order didn't meet the company's standard for quality gold. They said that gold had fallen in price, so they were now able to honor the customer's original pricing.
Pros & Cons of Westminister Mint
Westminster Mint is a legitimate company that offers coins at competitive prices. But the cheapest coins might be a little too competitive. Some customers have reported receiving orders with low-quality coins that have cracks or other flaws.
These customers stated that they wished they had worked with a more high-end seller instead of looking for coins below the usual market value. In addition, some other customers have reported issues with the delivery or with placing their orders. It's difficult to get a hold of reliable customer service representatives.
Some people report that they have been upsold coins that they don't want. It's difficult for them to assert their desires with the pushy salespeople.
There also aren't many in depth reviews of the company's practices on the internet. While this isn't always a red flag, it doesn't bode well when it's combined with these complaints.
For these reasons, we don't recommend Westminster Mint. There are other coin dealers who sell similar products with more reliable service. Even though the company tries to address all consumer complaints online, it seems like they don't take any action until people complain in public.
Although we do think that Westminister Mint is a decent company, we believe that there are better companies out there to make your investment with.
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