Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
UK Energy Firms Scamming Customers Out of Their Best Fixed Rate Gas Tariffs - 23rd Sep 21
Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Should School Children be Jabbed with Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine To Foster Herd Immunity? - UK - 23rd Sep 21
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR INSURANCE - 23rd Sep 21
Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
Trading Crude Oil ETFs in Foreign Currencies: What to Focus On - 22nd Sep 21
URGENT - Crypto-trader event - 'Bitcoin... back to $65,000?' - 22nd Sep 21
Stock Market Time to Buy the Dip? - 22nd Sep 21
US Dollar Bears Are Fresh Out of Honey Pots - 22nd Sep 21
MetaTrader 5 Features Every Trader Should Know - 22nd Sep 21
Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment, Tip of the Ice Berg in Financial Crisis 2.0 - 21st Sep 21
The Fed Is Playing The Biggest Game Of Chicken In History - 21st Sep 21
Focus on Stock Market Short-term Cycle - 21st Sep 21
Lands End Cornwall In VR360 - UK Holidays, Staycations - 21st Sep 21
Stock Market FOMO Hits September CRASH Brick Wall - Dow Trend Forecast 2021 Review - 20th Sep 21
Two Huge, Overlooked Drains on Global Silver Supplies - 20th Sep 21
Gold gets hammered but Copper fails to seize the moment - 20th Sep 21
New arms race and nuclear risks could spell End to the Asian Century - 20th Sep 21
Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Dow Trend Forecast 2021 Review - 19th Sep 21
Dow Forecasting Neural Nets, Crossing the Rubicon With Three High Risk Chinese Tech Stocks - 18th Sep 21
If Post-1971 Monetary System Is Bad, Why Isn’t Gold Higher? - 18th Sep 21
Stock Market Shaking Off the Taper Blues - 18th Sep 21
So... This Happened! One Crypto Goes From "Little-Known" -to- "Top 10" in 6 Weeks - 18th Sep 21
Why a Financial Markets "Panic" May Be Just Around the Corner - 18th Sep 21
An Update on the End of College… and a New Way to Profit - 16th Sep 21
What Kind of Support and Services Can Your Accountant Provide? Your Main Questions Answered - 16th Sep 21
Consistent performance makes waste a good place to buy stocks - 16th Sep 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecasting Neural Nets Pattern Recognition - 15th Sep 21
Eurozone Impact on Gold: The ECB and the Phantom Taper - 15th Sep 21
Fed To Taper into Weakening Economy - 15th Sep 21
Gold Miners: Last of the Summer Wine - 15th Sep 21
How does product development affect a company’s market value? - 15th Sep 21
Types of Investment Property to Become Familiar with - 15th Sep 21
Is This the "Kiss of Death" for the Stocks Bull Market? - 14th Sep 21
Where Are the Stock Market Fireworks? - 14th Sep 21
Play-To-Earn Cryptocurrency Games Gain More and Is Set to Expand - 14th Sep 21
The CashFX TAP Platform - Catering to Bull Investors and Bear Investors Alike - 14th Sep 21
Why every serious investor should be focused on blockchain technology - 13th Sep 21
SPX Base Projection Reached – End of the Line? - 13th Sep 21
There are diverse ways to finance the purchase of a car - 13th Sep 21
6 Tips For Wise Investment - 13th Sep 21 - Mark_Adan

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

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