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Westminster Mint is a precious metals dealer that has been providing precious metals to people online since 2001. They claim that they prioritize low prices and fast delivery. While they do have a long history in the industry, there are some concerning customer reviews that you should know about.
Here's the breakdown of what Westminster Mint offers and what people have to say.
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About Westminster Mint
Westminster Mint sells a variety of gold and silver products to people all over the US. Unlike companies that only specialize in precious metals IRAs, Westminster also has collectible coins and other numismatic rarities. You can even find historical coins taken from shipwrecks.
The company's main focus is on numismatic collectibles rather than pure bullion. They do not have precious metals IRA services, and most of the products that they offer are not eligible to be held in a precious metals IRA. The employees are experts in the numismatic field.
According to the company, you will get personalized customer service from a team member who will help you find the rare collectible coins of your dreams.
However, customer reviews seem to tell a different story. Many customers say that they have had trouble getting in contact with the company over the phone. When they have been able to speak to a representative, the salespeople have tried to upsell different collectible coins at potentially high markups.
Despite the questionable customer reviews, the company does have a variety of impressive qualifications:
Also, though this should be a given, they do mention that they are licensed to operate as a precious metals dealer in the state of Minnesota.
Fees and Pricing
The company doesn't have many extra services that would incur fees. For example, they don't have any IRA setup or maintenance services. Most of the products are silver, but there are some gold items as well. They seem to focus their attention on selling collectibles.
The website does list the prices of different items in real time. These prices update according to the changing spot price of the actual metals. That makes it easy to compare offers.
Some coins might be sold at lower prices if they are in poor condition. The better a coin's condition, the easier it is to liquidate later.
It is possible that the Westminster Mint representatives work on sales commission. The company website does not confirm this or say how high the potential commission prices are. Customers have reported that they have received "hard sell" pitches, which are typically made by company reps who have something to gain by selling collectibles at a marked up price.
Returns and Refunds
The company policy states that you can return your items within 30 days if you want to be refunded. Some customers have reported that they've had good experiences with this policy. When sent the wrong coins, the company occasionally even lets them keep the wrong coins.
That said, a few customers have said that the company didn't honor this return policy when they received products that were subpar. They reported that they had negative experiences with the customer service reps.
If you do return the items, you will be responsible for the cost of shipping and package insurance. If the package is lost in the mail without insurance, you will be liable.
Is Westminster Mint a Scam?
Westminster Mint is not a scam. The company is definitely legitimate, and it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Despite this, though, there are a variety of concerning complaints. Multiple people have left negative reviews on the BBB website, and the company has a rating of just 1.5 stars on Yelp, indicating almost universally negative experiences.
A company is not a scam if it provides the products and services that it claims to. But there are other things that might make it less than ideal for investment. The complaints seem to show patterns of issues with the company's customer service.
Let's take a look at some of the negative feedback to see how it was handled.
These complaints come from reviews posted on the BBB website and on Yelp. While Westminster appears to have made an attempt to respond to the negative BBB feedback, they have not responded to the negative Yelp reviews. Some of the Yelp reviews include serious allegations.
There are only five reviews on the Yelp website. Of those, four have 1 star. One of them says that the company took the customer's money and then stopped responding without delivering the metals.
The first customer to review the company on Yelp said that they had a horrible experience with the customer service team. The representative wouldn't comply with the company's stated return policy. Then the company stopped contacting the customer altogether.
The customer noted that they had dealt with Westminster several times before having any issue. But upon placing a new order, they found that the metals they received were of subpar quality. They wished to return them in the 30 days following the purchase, which was within the company policy.
After the company representatives stopped communicating, the customer was finally able to speak to company owner Ian Clay. Apparently he also refused to process the product return and didn't return the customer's calls. The customer felt he was rude.
The customer ended the review by stating that they just wanted others to know about their bad experience so they wouldn't use the company. They went to a different local company to make their purchase instead, and they were given a lower overall price.
Another complaint came from someone who called the company in response to one of their ads on Fox News. He said that the sales representative used a bait and switch tactic. Then he tried to sell the customer coins at $500 higher than his original quoted price. The customer said that he found the entire process suspicious and dishonest.
The final poor review had yet another complaint. This came from someone who had done business with the company before. Apparently the company had recently changed their policies, so orders would be cancelled if the price of precious metals fluctuated in the customer's favor. There is no proof that this allegation is true, and it's possible that the cancellations were related to something else.
Some of the company reviews on the BBB website are very good. They praise the fast service and the quality of the products. That said, precious metals dealers should be efficient and high quality as a default. And there are many other customers who indicate that they did not have such positive experiences.
There are too many complaints to look at every single one. One interesting note is that the company has followed up to several of the one star reviews, but not all of them.
One review without a response came from someone who said that they had placed an order a month prior, and they were still waiting on delivery. This customer had previously worked with the company several times without a problem. The company had failed to explain the reason for the delay, and the customer was never given a response when they tried to get in contact.
The customer had called the phone line more than ten days before writing the report. They were told that the order had accidentally been sent to the wrong address, but that it would soon be returned and sent to the right area. And yet they hadn't received their order.
Despite following up on many of the other poor reviews, Westminster never replied to this one. So there's no way of knowing whether this customer ever got a response from the company, a refund for their purchase, or the actual metals that they ordered.
One review that does have a response is from a customer who said they repeatedly called but didn't receive a reply for three days. The customer was supposed to get a call back once their order had been received.
The company said that they had been reaching out, but that the customer had been missing their calls. They added that there were two items being held for the customer and that several voicemails had been left for them.
Another review was from someone who said that they experienced pushy sales tactics from the representative. They felt that the salesman was trying to get a high commission by selling collectible coins. The customer refused the tactics and purchased a single coin, but they did not receive any follow-up communication. Their credit card was charged, though.
Despite calling and leaving multiple messages with every phone number the company had, the customer had not heard anything back. Finally, after calling over twenty times, the customer managed to speak to a representative who gave them a tracking number for their order.
The company did respond to this review, saying that they truly apologized for the negative experience. They said that the order placed by the customer was shipped two days after being received, but the tracking number had mistakenly been sent to the wrong email. The company had closed the customer's account due to their request.
Pros & Cons of Westminister Mint
Westminster Mint is a precious metals platform that has been providing online services to people since 2001. Despite being one of the earliest online precious metals dealers, there are some potential red flags. The company has been the subject of multiple negative customer reviews.
The most consistent negative feedback has been that the company does not have communicative customer service. People say that they did not receive information about delayed deliveries, desired returns, or issues with their products. Several people had to call for weeks before filing complaints online. The company has also not responded to all of the negative complaints.
There are even some allegations that some of the online 5 star reviews might be written by the company itself. However, there is no way to prove this.
Another potential drawback is that the salespeople might work on commission, and the company is not very transparent about employee compensation. Some customers have alleged that they use bait and switch sales tactics, along with pushy "hard sells" of collectibles.
All in all, these reviews are concerning enough that we can't recommend working with this company. Instead, it's better to work with a precious metals dealer that has positive customer feedback. There are several companies with staff that specifically work commission-free, which allows them to answer questions and give advice without any conflicts of interest.
Overall, we believe that there is a better option when it comes to your investment.
The above company is our top recommendation after doing extensive research. Feel free to keep doing your own research, or you can visit Westminister Mint below!