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Investment Rarities is one of the longest-lived bullion dealers in the US, having been in operation for 48 years. But it's also hard to find information about past customers. Have they been able to keep up with their modern competition?
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About Investment Rarities
Investment Rarities was founded 48 years ago by Jim Cook. Operating since 1974, it has been part of the precious metals industry almost since owning precious metals became legal.
Investment Rarities has worked with over 60,000 customers nationwide and logged a total of 400,000 transactions. According to the company website, they have sold over $3 billion worth of precious metals.
Jim Cook continues to write blogs and articles for the website, talking about different economic and political events.
Is Investment Rarities a Scam?
Investment Rarities isn't a scam. For one thing, the company has been around for almost half a century. That makes it one of the oldest precious metals dealers in the US, where owning gold and silver only became legal in the 1970s.
The company is also accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating, indicating that they do their best to resolve complaints. Two complaints have been filed through the BBB in the past three years. Both were related to issues with a product or service, but neither complaint is publicly displayed. Presumably both were resolved, judging by the business's A+ rating.
It is somewhat difficult to find reviews online, though. Though the company can ship anywhere in the US, they seem to mainly serve the Minneapolis area. It's possible that most clientele is older and local, so they don't feel the need to review online.
There are no customer reviews on the BBB website. There are also no reviews on Trustlink, Sitejabber, or Trustpilot. On Yelp, there is just one review, which gives the company 1 out of 5 stars. There are also two Ripoff Reports, which is a concern.
It's concerning when the only feedback about a company online is negative. Though the negative Yelp review and two Ripoff Reports are the only complaints we've found, we also haven't found positive feedback to balance them out.
That said, the Yelp review seems like it might have left one star by accident. The customer stated that he was referred by a friend. He said the products were expensive, but the business was decent. That doesn't seem to warrant a completely negative review.
Both of the Ripoff Reports about the company were created in 2010.
One report was from a customer named Bob in Pennsylvania. He said that when he contacted the company, the representative immediately engaged in high pressure sales tactics. Instead of making a purchase, he compared the company's prices to others in the area.
He discovered that the Investment Rarities prices were marked up to 25% over that of the other competitors. The customer hadn't signed a contract, but he said that the sales rep used intimidation tactics by talking about potential penalties.
He stated that he would be going to Pennsylvania's attorney general with information about the company. He wanted the attorney general to put an alert out to the rest of the country as well.
Now, the reaction in this report may be blown out of proportion. Several comments point this out. The customer never made a purchase, so he was never "ripped off." It's also common for precious metals dealers to mark their prices up as part of a commission. It would only be illegal if the salesperson straight-up lied about their commissions.
But these markups are much higher than they need to be. In addition, you often won't get the best service when salespeople work on commission. Their entire livelihood is tied to selling you precious metals. It doesn't matter whether the investment is right for you.
That's why it's better to work with a dealer that has salaried, non-commission sales reps. You should also make sure that you feel comfortable and respected with the company, rather than pressured and stressed.
BBB Complaint Copy
The other report was a copy of a BBB complaint. Since this complaint was filed over a decade ago, it wouldn't show up on the BBB website.
The customer bought some silver dimes that were supposed to be uncirculated and in perfect condition. For this guarantee, they were charged an extra premium of $300. But the dimes did not arrive in the agreed-upon condition.
The customer called to ask about whether there were silver dimes available. She specifically said that she wanted brilliant uncirculated dimes. She was then told that it would be best to order on Friday to get the best price.
On Friday, she placed the order for a little over $4,000, which included the cost of shipping. The company representative said he would do his best to get the specific dimes that she wanted, but it could take up to two months, and there wasn't a guarantee. She agreed that she could wait and paid.
After a few days, she called to find out how well the process was going. The sales representative said he needed several more weeks. The company was acquiring a smaller company that might have the dimes the customer requested.
The customer called again a few days later and was told that the company hadn't been able to acquire her preferred dimes. However, they would send through the uncirculated dimes they could find. There was a promise that the customer would be called back with a tracking number. No one ever called. The customer called back, but no one replied.
It was at the end of the week when the customer finally got in touch with the sales rep. He gave her the tracking information and told her that the package had shipped three days earlier. However, no tracking info appeared until that day, so the customer suspected it had been shipped on the same day.
The customer finally received many dimes, except they were all in different conditions and had different dates. They certainly weren't uncirculated or in perfect condition.
The customer emailed the sales rep and got an automated response. The actual sales rep never responded. The customer followed up with another email, but once again got no response. They called the next day and finally got in touch. The sales rep said he needed to check the order, so he'd call back. But he never did.
The customer tried to get in contact with several other employees at the company. But none of them were helpful. The owner of the company actually sent her a sarcastic email response instead of helping.
The company responded and disputed the idea that the customer had paid a $300 premium at all. They claimed that the customer had received the coins at a discount.
Pros & Cons of Investment Rarities
Investment Rarities is an impressive company for its longevity. They have been serving the Minneapolis area for 48 years. But they also don't seem to have kept up with the times. They don't have any online reviews with trusted third parties, and there are a few Ripoff Reports written about them.
The company appears to have high markups and sales commissions. We recommend working with a bullion dealer that doesn't have commissions or high markups. The best company is one that's transparent about its markup process.
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