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Should You Buy Gold From the TV or the Radio?

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Friday, November 26, 2010

"I really felt like I was suckered," Zoanne Martz told ABC's Nightline...
Ms. Martz bought gold coins from a TV ad. The price of gold doubled in the three years she owned them. When she recently lost her job, she wanted to cash them in... but to her shock, she found the coins were now worth less than she paid.
Joe Kismartin bought gold coins from the same company... with a similar result.
"When Joe Kismartin took his coins to a local coin ship a few months [after buying]," Nightline reported, "he was told his $5,000 worth of gold coins were worth only about $2,900."
I would never buy my gold from the guys who advertise on TV or radio.
The reasons are almost too numerous to list. But they come down to the typical sales practices of these outfits. Like car salesmen, gold salesmen have so many angles they can get you with if you don't know any better (and most people don't)...
Let's say you call in to buy gold... meaning gold bullion. They'll try to "upsell" you to something else. There's no harm in that in principle. But in practice, it can be awful.
The salesmen will often immediately try to get you to buy higher-priced coins. They earn higher commissions on them. But these coins are often sold to unsuspecting customers at far higher prices than they'd get from more reputable dealers.
Or these salesmen may be lying to you about the current spot price of gold bullion. (You can get the true spot price of gold from
They also might quote you a super-high premium over the melt value of the gold. A "fair" price for non-rare gold coins these days is 7% (or less) over their melt value. Stick to that. (You can do much better than that from my recommended dealers.)
They'll trick you on the spot price, they'll trick you on the amount of gold in the coin... they'll trick you by shifting you over to European gold coins for a higher price. The tricks are endless.
Congressman Anthony Weiner has pursued one of these better-known TV gold companies. Here's the ABC Nightline segment on it. And here's a report Weiner published.
Please note, I don't have an ax to grind with this company, and I have not verified Congressman Weiner's report. But here's a quote from it:
The office of Congressman Weiner compared 18 gold coins (9 numismatic [i.e. collectible] and 9 bullion) found on Goldline's website with their melt value...
Those same 18 coins could be found much cheaper on similar precious coin sellers' websites. The average Goldline markup in comparison to the best price we could locate on competitors' websites was 47%, going as high as 101% on one of the coins they offered.
Numismatic coins continued to be a much worse deal, with an average markup of 84% on numismatic (collector) coins and 10% on bullion coins above prices found on competitors' websites.
Of course, I can't say from personal experience that this company or any other TV gold company does business badly or illegally. But what I can say is, I do know a different group of gold dealers who really treat customers right...
Thousands of my subscribers have bought gold and gold coins from my recommended dealers over many years. And I've rarely received a complaint. (These guys know that if complaints start rolling in, they'll be removed from my list.) You should also know I don't receive any compensation for mentioning them.
My Recommended Coin Dealers
Van Simmons
Camino Coins
American Gold Exchange
Personally, I buy coins from my Van Simmons, and have for many years. Unlike the TV gold companies, Van has no commissioned sales people... He has no sales people! It's just Van and his assistants.
Van is a legend in the coin business. He's been at it for decades. He helped pioneer ways for the little guy to not get cheated by dealers... He was one of the originators of PCGS – the Professional Coin Grading Service – where coins are graded and sealed in marked containers, so a dealer can't tell you a coin is better than it really is.
Literally thousands of our readers have bought gold coins from each of these companies, with hardly a complaint.
While it may be true that all TV gold companies are not scam artists, the safest advice is: Don't buy gold from TV ads.
When it's time to buy gold, talk to a reputable dealer. The list above is a great starting point.
Good investing,

Further Reading:

To get started on buying gold, you'll want to read our two-part series: How to Buy Gold, Part I: Famous Dealer Explains and How to Buy Gold, Part II: Three "Must-Own" Gold Investments. "Don't worry if you've never bought gold before," Steve writes. "It's as easy as ordering a book on Amazon and having it show up on your doorstep!"
DailyWealth Classic: A few years ago, Steve shared a funny story about Van Simmons and an oddball purchase he made. "It's not that Van needed a stuffed tiger. It's just... well... he couldn't help himself." Read more here: Van Simmons' Investment Secret.

Market Notes


Get ready for the dollar rally we've been predicting... UUP just made a major "breakout."
In mid-October, we wrote on our sister site Growth Stock Wire how the "hate the dollar" trade was the easiest, most popular trade to make in the world... and how the crowd huddled on one side of the boat was going into the water. We even provided a "road map" for trading the dollar... by following the big dollar fund (UUP).
UUP tracks the movement of the U.S. dollar. Due to Ben Bernanke's latest "funny money" plan, this fund suffered a big decline over the summer and fall. But as you can see from today's chart, this decline has stalled and reversed itself.
Note how, despite the entire world hating the dollar and criticizing Helicopter Ben's money-printing scam, UUP has spent the past few months drifting sideways. And just this week, the fund hit its highest high in eight weeks. The trend is now up for the hated dollar.

The world hates it, but UUP is rising

In The Daily Crux

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