Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. 2019 From A Fourth Turning Perspective - James_Quinn
2.Beware the Young Stocks Bear Market! - Zeal_LLC
3.Safe Havens are Surging. What this Means for Stocks 2019 - Troy_Bombardia
4.Most Popular Financial Markets Analysis of 2018 - Trump and BrExit Chaos Dominate - Nadeem_Walayat
5.January 2019 Financial Markets Analysis and Forecasts - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Silver Price Trend Analysis 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Why 90% of Traders Lose - Nadeem_Walayat
8.What to do With Your Money in a Stocks Bear Market - Stephen_McBride
9.Stock Market What to Expect in the First 3~5 Months of 2019 - Chris_Vermeulen
10.China, Global Economy has Tipped over: The Surging Dollar and the Rallying Yen - FXCOT
Last 7 days
Next Recession: Finding A 48% Yield Amid The Ruins - 22nd Mar 19
Your Future Stock Returns Might Unpleasantly Surprise You - 22nd Mar 19
Fed Acknowledges “Recession Risks”. Run for the Hills! - 22nd Mar 19
Will Bridging Loans Grow in Demand and Usage in 2019? - 22nd Mar 19
Does Fed Know Something Gold Investors Do Not Know? - 21st Mar 19
Gold …Some Confirmations to Watch For - 21st Mar 19
UKIP No Longer About BrExit, Becomes BNP 2.0, Muslim Hate Party - 21st Mar 19
A Message to the Gold Bulls: Relying on the CoT Gives You A False Sense of Security - 20th Mar 19
The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal - 20th Mar 19
Vietnam, Part I: Colonialism and National Liberation - 20th Mar 19
Will the Fed Cut its Interest Rate Forecast, Pushing Gold Higher? - 20th Mar 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Topping Pattern - 20th Mar 19
Gold Stocks Outperform Gold but Not Stocks - 20th Mar 19
Here’s What You’re Not Hearing About the US - China Trade War - 20th Mar 19
US Overdosing on Debt - 19th Mar 19
Looking at the Economic Winter Season Ahead - 19th Mar 19
Will the Stock Market Crash Like 1937? - 19th Mar 19
Stock Market VIX Volaility Analysis - 19th Mar 19
FREE Access to Stock and Finanacial Markets Trading Analysis Worth $1229! - 19th Mar 19
US Stock Markets Price Anomaly Setup Continues - 19th Mar 19
Gold Price Confirmation of the Warning - 18th Mar 19
Split Stock Market Warning - 18th Mar 19
Stock Market Trend Analysis 2019 - Video - 18th Mar 19
Best Precious Metals Investment and Trades for 2019 - 18th Mar 19
Hurdles for Gold Stocks - 18th Mar 19
Pento: Coming QE & Low Rates Will Be ‘Rocket Fuel for Gold’ - 18th Mar 19
"This is for Tommy Robinson" Shouts Knife Wielding White Supremacist Terrorist in London - 18th Mar 19
This Is How You Create the Biggest Credit Bubble in History - 17th Mar 19
Crude Oil Bulls - For Whom the Bell Tolls - 17th Mar 19
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 17th Mar 19
Why Buy a Land Rover - Range Rover vs Huge Tree Branch Falling on its Roof - 17th Mar 19
UKIP Urged to Change Name to BNP 2.0 So BrExit Party Can Fight a 2nd EU Referendum - 17th Mar 19
Tommy Robinson Looks Set to Become New UKIP Leader - 16th Mar 19
Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - 16th Mar 19
Towards the End of a Stocks Bull Market, Short term Timing Becomes Difficult - 16th Mar 19
UKIP Brexit Facebook Groups Reveling in the New Zealand Terror Attacks Blaming Muslim Victims - 16th Mar 19
Gold – US Dollar vs US Dollar Index - 16th Mar 19
Islamophobic Hate Preachers Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins have Killed UKIP and Brexit - 16th Mar 19
Countdown to The Precious Metals Gold and Silver Breakout Rally - 15th Mar 19
Shale Oil Splutters: Brent on Track for $70 Target $100 in 2020 - 15th Mar 19
Setting up a Business Just Got Easier - 15th Mar 19
Stock Market Elliott Wave Analysis Trend Forercast - Video - 15th Mar 19
Gold Warning - Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - Part 1 - 15th Mar 19
UK Weather SHOCK - Trees Dropping Branches onto Cars in Stormy Winds - Sheffield - 15th Mar 19
Best Time to Trade Forex - 15th Mar 19
Why the Green New Deal Will Send Uranium Price Through the Roof - 14th Mar 19
S&P 500's New Medium-Term High, but Will Stock Market Uptrend Continue? - 14th Mar 19
US Conservatism - 14th Mar 19
Gold in the Age of High-speed Electronic Trading - 14th Mar 19
Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - 14th Mar 19
Why Walmart Will Crush Amazon - 14th Mar 19
2019 Economic Predictions - 14th Mar 19
Tax Avoidance Bills Sent to Thousands of Workers - 14th Mar 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stock Market Trend Forecast March to September 2019

The Pitfalls Of Buying Gold And Silver Online, And How To Avoid Them

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2016 Apr 04, 2016 - 12:34 PM GMT

By: John_Rubino

Commodities

Back in 2014, online bullion dealer Tulving shocked its many customers by suddenly failing. See Coinweek’s story: How does $40M of Gold and Silver Disappear: The Collapse of Tulving Company

Last week another one bit the dust:


NW Territorial Mint seeks bankruptcy protection

(Seattle Times) – Northwest Territorial Mint, a Federal Way company that sells precious metals and produces medals and medallions, filed for Chapter 11 protection Friday, a month after the company and its owner were hit with large jury verdicts in a defamation case.

Northwest Territorial Mint, a Federal Way company that sells precious metals and produces medals and medallions, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday.

The move came a month after the company and its owner, Ross B. Hansen, were each hit with multimillion-dollar jury verdicts in a defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit brought in Nevada by a Los Angeles businessman.

The company’s filing says it has more than 200 unsecured creditors, and its assets and liabilities both exceed $10 million. Its biggest listed debts are a $7 million judgment in favor of the businessman, Bradley Steven Cohen, and a $5.5 million judgment in favor of his firm, Cohen Asset Management, both classified as disputed.

The defamation suit claimed Northwest Territorial Mint and Hansen created anonymous websites that compared Cohen to Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street broker convicted of a massive Ponzi scheme. The lawsuit claimed the animosity stemmed from litigation by an affiliate of Cohen’s firm, which had been the mint’s landlord at an Auburn warehouse.

The federal judge’s order in the defamation case indicates the judgments against Northwest Territorial Mint and Hansen total $37 million.

This morning a DollarCollapse.com reader (and disappointed NWTM customer) sent the the following:

I’ve dealt with this company many times since 2008 and was accustomed to excessive delays, but eventually did receive the ordered products. In September 2015, my wife and I placed an order and paid by credit card. At the time of order, delivery was estimated to be 6 – 8 weeks. In December, they informed us that there would be delays and this repeated in January, February and March. In early March, they told us the order would be shipped in the first week of April and instructed us to call to confirm in April. Yesterday, April 1, my wife called again and the order was still on hold – that, in fact, everything had been suspended. This made me very uneasy and this morning (April 2) we called the credit card issuer to find out what they could do to reverse the charges. Their policy limits that action to 120 days, even if the product wasn’t delivered. When the credit card company checked their information on NWT Mint, they tell us that as of April 1 NWT Mint is now under BANCRUPTCY PROTECTION. That is not good news, and I fear we have lost our $3,000+

Presumably a lot of other people are in the same boat. So here’s how to keep something similar from happening to you:

  • First and foremost, don’t binge; dollar-cost-average. Customers who did all their metals buying with one big order, only to see the whole thing disappear, were devastated by NWTM’s failure. But customers who placed small, regular orders were out considerably less. This is yet another reason (along with the extreme volatility of metal prices) to enter this market gradually and steadily rather than all at once.
  • While your money is at risk, watch for emerging problems. From the previously-referenced Coinweek article:
  • Fortunately, I was suspicious. I don’t consider myself paranoid, but I do believe in Ronald Reagan’s “Trust, but verify.” I looked at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports, and saw a big uptick in complaints, from 1 every 6 months to 8 within 6 months. In a private forum, I wrote “So the first sign of trouble with a business like this, in my opinion, would be a noticeable change in delivery times and “juggling” orders.” At that point, I did not think they had a problem. But even if I had, I would have had no clue how monstrous a problem it would become.

    Finally in September, 2013, stories started getting out about delays at The Tulving Company. Someone claimed they had sent $200,000 to Tulving five months prior, and had not received any metal yet. The problem with Internet forums, however, is that while they are great at getting information out, they are nearly anonymous. Some of the early complainers were accused of being shills from competitors. Those that had done business with Tulving before would back up the company, recalling times they had gotten their orders very quickly. Nobody really knew who or what to believe.

    I decided to spend a few minutes back at the BBB website to see where things stood. There was a noticeable change this time, with 18 complaints in 2 months. Not to the point of screaming “scam!”, but enough that I really started to take notice. In the private forum I mentioned, I explained that I was confused because “it doesn’t fit what I would expect the 2 most plausible fraud scenarios to be: [1] funding his retirement, or [2] ponzi scheme funding a flashy lifestyle (ala Bernie Madoff).”

    At that point, I knew there was a problem. From the many reports that Hannes was picking and choosing which orders to ship each day, I thought maybe he was simply unable to properly manage the business anymore. Perhaps he needed some extra people to help ship orders, perhaps his health had deteriorated. After 20 years of impeccable service, it was hard to imagine the worst.

    What I should have focused on at the time was the length of the delays: even in June, 2013 and July, 2013, the average delays reported were 7-8 weeks. The FTC does not allow companies to take orders if they know they cannot ship it within the timeframe they specify (or 30 days, if no time is specified). And Hannes himself stated in his FAQ that he believes taking over 30 days to deliver is a futures contract, which he is not allowed to sell.

    My “Aha!” moment was in October, 2013, when someone reported that she sent Tulving 220 ounces of gold to Tulving, and couldn’t get them to pay her. It’s one thing to delay bullion (there could be delays due to drop-shippers, metal shortages, insurance limits, heavy volume, etc.). But I realized that the inability to pay cash was the smoking gun, since he should have had a huge amount of money sitting in the bank from all the delayed orders.

    It slowly dawned on me that The Tulving Company had a massive backlog of orders worth many millions of dollars that they would not be able to fulfill. I knew this was not going to have a pretty ending, I knew that something was terribly wrong. In a number of cases, people had trusted The Tulving Company with their life savings. Worse, I had recommended Tulving to many people over the years. I had to do something, I had to let people know.

    By the end of November, The Tulving Company had racked up over 150 complaints, and by the end of 2013 they had nearly 250 complaints.

  • Know the “statute of limitations” on your credit card. As the above reader found out, the order could have been cancelled via the credit card up to 120 days in. Presumably different cards offer different terms, so it’s imperative to know when this feature runs out on the card you’re using, and to take advantage of it. Cancel the payment if your metal hasn’t arrived by the expiration of the card’s protection.
  • And finally, keep some perspective. Bullion dealer bankruptcies are a bit like plane crashes. They’re big news when they happen, which makes the event seem more common than it is. Dozens of reputable dealers (see here and here, for instance) have been delivering on time and without hassle — and without publicity — all along. So Tulving and NWTM don’t justify swearing off on-line bullion buying. But they are a good reason for vigilance until that package arrives.

By John Rubino

dollarcollapse.com

Copyright 2016 © John Rubino - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules