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Some new suggestions on how to buy and sell safely!
September 10, 2013 By
Year after year I have made it known that investors and collectors like yourself should pay careful attention to NEVER use a broker or dealer for the safekeeping of their precious metals or rare coins.
After spending my entire life in the precious metals and rare coin market, I have unfortunately witnessed every scheme and so-called bankruptcy imaginable. Some of the most expensive of such scams have been dealers and brokers that have issued fake precious metals certificates of deposits and “independently audited” coin and precious metals storage facilities. Let’s just say there’s no pulling the wool over my eyes.
In my humble opinion, if you don’t physically possess your rare coins and precious metals, you’re just asking to be robbed. It is well worth it to get a safe deposit box to keep your precious metals and rare coins under your own possession. The cost of insuring these items, even those with a high value, is negligible.
Other than storage risks, you simply can’t ignore the increasing risk of falling prey to rare coin and precious metals scammers. This increasing threat has put both individual collectors and professional dealers that have years of industry experience at risk.
It should go without saying that it’s important to get paid whenever you sell your precious metals and rare coins, and also to get immediate delivery whenever you buy.
In the past few years alone, I’ve seen a significant rise in the number of collectors, investors, and even dealers who’ve complained about never getting paid or being able to take possession of the precious metals and rare coins they’ve paid for.
There are a few commonalities in these occurrences.
For one, the people and entities that do this, do so frequently. Rarely is this a single occurrence. For example, there have been hordes of investors, collectors, and dealers complaining to this day that they were never paid or their clients never received the items that were purchased from the Irvine, California based firm of CT Group.
I actually received a call around a week ago from the principal owner of the company, Todd Griffiths, and listened as he tried to explain that he’s been trying to pay those whom he owes.
One of the clients he tried to take care of received two checks totaling over $300,000, but it turns out they were returned for non-sufficient funds.
As a result of these checks, Mr. Griffith was recently arrested and is pending trial in Texas. He claims he has enough funds to cover the checks. However, the plot thickens because the same client has a pending $1.3 million lawsuit pending in the U.S. Federal Court due to missing items that CT Group was storing on his behalf.
I don’t know either party personally, but I can safely assume that this disenchanted client wants his $1.3 million and $300,000 bad right about now.
In an ironic twist of fate, Mr. Griffiths made me chuckle when he told me that he is owed $500,000 from another dealer, Bob Hughes, for coins he apparently owes CT Group.
Get ready for this. Griffiths proclaimed he hired Mr. Hughes to work for the group, and said “How else can I get the money he owes?” You just can’t make this stuff up.
If you thought this was bad, well, it turns out Bob Hughes has a long list of dealers whom he owes. He owes one $900,000 and another around $1 million!
Where on Earth could all that money have disappeared to?
I really don’t know, but I do know that these dealers did business with Mr. Hughes and got swindled even after knowing he is one of the most notorious crooks in the history of the precious metals and rare coin industry. I have heard about him for 30 years, and I’ve seldom bought rare coins from him for this very reason.
Todd Griffiths seems desperate and said, “I just need 30 days.” He claims he can pay everyone back if they just cut him some slack and give him 30 days to make good. For his sake and the sake of his clients, I hope he does.
But no one knows if he’ll ever be able to make good on this promise. All I know is that, disturbingly, many of the people he owes are older and probably need the money for retirement.
I can say for sure that whenever purchasing precious metals or rare coins, investors, collectors, and dealers should follow a few golden rules.
Rule #1: Make sure and get paid IMMEDIATELY when selling these assets.
Rule #2: Make sure and take possession IMMEDIATELY when buying these assets.
It may seem like common sense, but never take a check that is post dated. Instead, insist that a cashier’s check be made or that you get paid by bank wire. Also, insist the immediate terms of sale. Just so you know, a term of sale means immediate delivery or payment.
Rule #3: Never use FedEx or a private mail service whenever you send bullion or coins to a dealer to sell on your behalf.
If you do use a private service, such as UPS or FedEx, and you do not get paid from the dealer or broker, it could be impossible to collect.
Only use the U.S. Post Office, and make sure all bullion and coins are insured and sent by certified mail.
If you are missing coins or expecting a payment and the coins were shipped or the payment was sent via the U.S. Postal Service, then the person holding the bullion and coins would have to face the wrath of one of the most powerful law enforcement agencies in existence. I have worked with the Post Office regularly for the past 30 years, and believe me, a U.S. Postal Inspector is one tough cookie when it comes to wire or mail fraud.
However, the U.S. Postal Inspector can’t be of any help if you’ve been victimized through the shipping of a private company like UPS or FedEx.
Investors, collectors, and dealers who have been victimized and didn’t use the U.S. Postal Service usually discover that other law enforcement agencies offer very little help, if any at all. Usually they end up suing, but give up almost immediately.
Rule #4: When buying, insist on delivery via U.S. Post Office restricted, registered, and insured delivery or personal delivery.
This method of delivery ensures your purchases are insured at full value and you must sign for them upon delivery.
Many times, I personally deliver rare coins to my buyers at their bank of choice. This is made easier by the long-term relationships I’ve developed with my clients.
From my extensive experience I’ve discovered that the better I get to know my clients and they get to know me, the better our business relationship becomes.
I have loved rare coins since my childhood and honestly feel they should comprise a major part of everyone’s portfolio. I also believe you should have 15 percent of your net worth currently invested in precious metals.
Rule #5: Work with a dealer who is very knowledgeable in a variety of coins from every time period and all over the world.
A dealer with an extensive knowledge of rare coins will typically pay you a much better price when you choose to sell your rare coins. I have personally bought, sold and dealt with millions upon millions of dollars of precious metals and rare coins.
If you’re in search of a rare coin dealer in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Dallas, Philadelphia or even Kansas City, you’re in luck, because I visit each of these cities multiple times throughout the year. I always enjoy meeting new collectors and will even personally come look at your sizable collection.
Rule #6: Get the cell phone number of a dealer and insist that they take your call immediately or return your call immediately.
A good dealer will always give their personal cell number out to clients, just as I do. Also, not only does my firm have an A+ rating with the BBB, but we have thousands upon thousands of positive reviews and comments on EBay.
Rule #7: When selling or buying precious metals or rare coins, there’s no way of striking it rich overnight.
A lawyer once told me that his client had recently been the target of a scam and his client was pitched right in front of his very eyes that he would be able to turn $2.8 million of his client’s money into $8 million in only 30 days.
This lawyer exclaimed, “I lost it when I heard that promise.”
I then asked him, “How can you believe such nonsense?”
He replied, “Despite every warning I could provide my client, I couldn’t persuade him he was being set up for a terrible loss.”
Fanciful claims of tremendous profits in a short amount of time are nothing more than imaginary illusions. Only scam artists make such claims, not professional numismatics.
If you would like help building and establishing a U.S., world, or ancient rare coin collection, or perhaps just some help acquiring precious metals, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the help and education I can provide you each and every step of the way.
The truth is, the more educated you become, the more likely you are to work with me for years to come.
I can’t control the markets, but I guarantee you’ll be quickly paid in full whenever you sell and I will make precious metal or rare coin deliveries in a prompt and hassle free manner.
To all my dealer friends:
I may not always sell low or buy high, but I guarantee you that my checks will always clear and I always ensure prompt delivery of coins. If you’ve never done business with me or my firm, then consider this as an open invitation. I am always actively buying and selling rare U.S., world, and ancient coins.