Gainesville Coins – Grade: B+
Gainesville Coins, located in Lutz, Florida, is a veteran of the precious metals industry. It has earned, in the eyes of the National Inflation Associated (NIA), a 5-star rating, the highest rating in the gold and silver industry. The company has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They offer online-based purchasing and fully segregated storage for precious metals investors.
SV gave Gainesville a try. I called their trading floor and was put in touch with a young lady, who was very respectful, although difficult to hear due to a noisy trading floor at Gainesville which I assume means they are really busy, but makes it difficult for the customer to concentrate, especially if the customer is making an expensive purchase that takes focus to complete.
For larger orders, Gainesville requires a 5% credit card lock-in before all the funds must be wired. Unfortunately, Gainesville does not accept any other methods of payment besides credit cards and bank wire transfers. Both such transactions end up costing the customer, as there is an approximately 3% credit card fee tacked on to any purchase, and bank wires these days can cost anywhere between $20 and $40.
I inquired about 100 oz bars and the nice lady said that they carried NTR, generic Pan American and Ohio bars. In regards to “Ohio bars,” I assume she was referring to Ohio Precious Metals bars. Slightly disconcerting that the trader at Gainesville did not even know the make of some of the silver bars she was selling me.
When I asked if I should go with 100 oz or 1 ounce product, she made quite a good point, explaining that smaller denominated silver products would be easier to liquidate than 100 oz bars., but generally she shied away from offering advice. I agree with this line of reasoning, and typically am purchasing smaller denominated silver, such as junk silver and 1 ounce rounds. Larger purchases I reserve for platinum, gold and palladium. Surely, silver has a lot of upside, but should I ever need to pack-up-and-go in a Fukushima type situations wherein a tsunami-nuclear disaster threatens my family and me, I’d be much more mobile having held considerable wealth in platinum and/or gold as opposed to silver.
I asked when I could expect my shipping assuming I sent a wire the next business day, to which the trader replied that Gainesville would wait 5-7 days before shipping my product. I consider this to be quite awhile before shipping, especially when an order is paid for by wire. By way of wire, assuming competent banks, funds are almost immediately This therefore means that Gainesville has the benefit of sitting on customer funds for almost an entire week before releasing customer-owned product.
Although Gainesville affords their customers the option of choosing their own shipping method—via UPS or USPS—they never cover shipping. Nope—it doesn’t matter if you are ordering 100 ounces or 10,000 ounces, you will be charged somewhere between $90 and $900 for orders of those sizes.
Further, I asked about platinum and palladium, since, as SV readers know, I am bullish on both the economic and political fundamentals of those two metals. Whilst Gainesville still had platinum in-stock, they did not have palladium, and, according to the trader, had not for awhile. Palladium is an important to metal, and though prone to volatility, could show strength over to medium and long-term. Many silver fish and gold bugs will be dissapointed when the day comes for palladium (and platinum) to appreciate significantly.
I inquired about silver manipulation risk at the hands of JP Morgan, and she claimed not to know much about that. Preferably, I believe it is important to talk about this risk in the silver market when speaking with a trader, and that the traders ought to in many cases tell new buyers of this burden on the market.
Overall, it did not seem as though the Gainesville trader was an expert on gold and silver. Certainly, she was courteous and helpful, but I prefer speaking to more experienced traders when making considerable purchases.
Because of their top-tier pricing, I decided to buy a $100 junk bag of silver. Gainesville is consistently the best priced on this item, despite the added cost of wire or credit fees. Of course, I chose wire since I am morally opposed to the credit structure of the country. I do not recommend one use a wire on an amount so small.
My package came well-packed through the United States Postal Service. It took indeed two weeks for me to receive my order, although admittedly this is, in part, due to the nature of the post office. Overall, I am satisfied with my order experience through Gainesville Coins. The trader who helped me was patient and listened to all my question, even if they were not always answered.
A combination of inexperienced trading, drawn-out shipping times, yet excellent pricing, SV awards Gainesville a B+ in their service and product.