Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve is a Houston-based company that sells precious metals to people all over the world. They have a number of different services, and they ship everywhere in the US. The company has been in business since 2009 and specializes in connecting individual investors to gold and silver.
But Nationwide also has a questionable reputation. Is this business actually run legitimately? What have prior customers said about their experiences? Are there any concerns that you should have before investing?
Here are the main things that you need to know.
About Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve
When you combine the experience of all of the representatives with Nationwide, you get over a century of time spent in the precious metals industry. Nationwide sells coins issued by a variety of sovereign mints, including the US Mint. They are willing to work with beginning and experienced clients throughout Europe and the US.
While the company does have a number of IRA-eligible products, that isn't all that's on offer. There are also foreign coins, pre-1933 historical coins, rare American coins, startup packages for new investors, and basic bullion products. Products need to meet IRS guidelines on purity and type before they are eligible to hold in an IRA.
The team is made up of experts in a variety of different disciplines. There are economists, numismatic experts, trend analysts, and rarities consultants. These staff members make Nationwide a favored place to buy rare coins and numismatics. You can talk to a staff member about the history of the coins, their market, and their potential for growth in the future.
Nationwide has a customer satisfaction guarantee, with the website promising that every client will receive excellent service. However, some of the past reviews indicate that they may not have fully succeeded at this.
One of the biggest draws of Nationwide is their offer of free shipping. If you buy any product through the website, you can have it shipped to you for free. You don't have to meet any prior requirements on the size of the order.
After an order is confirmed, the package will be processed and released. It will usually arrive at the customer within 10 business days, although shipping times may vary based on the customer's location.
Is Nationwide Coin & Bullion a Scam?
Nationwide Coin & Bullion isn't a scam. The company has some positive reviews online from past customers, and it has been in business for too long to be a scam. However, a business can be legitimate and still not be an ideal company to invest with. That seems to be the case with Nationwide.
When you go to the company's Better Business Bureau page online, you'll find that it is not accredited. Not only that, but it doesn't have a rating. Unrated businesses might lack a rating because the BBB doesn't have enough information about them to make a judgment. But this rating is also given when the BBB is in the middle of investigating a business.
Though we can't say for sure, it seems very possible that the BBB is investigating Nationwide. There have been 16 complaints in the prior three years, four of which were from the past year. That's not a major red flag by itself, as large companies often have dozens of complaints without major management issues.
But there are also only 27 customer reviews on the BBB website. And the average rating is 3.37 out of 5 stars, indicating that Nationwide has received some extremely mixed and negative feedback.
Pattern of Complaint Alert
The biggest red flag is the alert at the top of the BBB page. The BBB has put out an alert about a pattern of complaint seen in this company. The complaints have been observed since June of 2017, and they seem to continue today. While the BBB doesn't intervene in issues that seem like one-off incidents, they have issued this alert because it seems to point to ongoing mismanagement.
The complaint details are so similar that it is suspected that the business uses the same tactics and strategy across multiple customers. These consumers said that they were exposed to bait and switch tactics, which caused them to overpay massively for coins.
The pattern would go as follows:
Customers thereby would end up overpaying for a 1/4th ounce coin, even though the price would have been agreeable for a 1 ounce option.
The company has had a chance to respond, which they did in 2018. They categorically denied that they use or ever have used these tactics. Then they explained how authorized purchases are made and how packages are delivered.
In response to the BBB's findings, Nationwide created a company Compliance Department. The purpose of this department is to train and educate employees about company policies, salesmanship, and appropriate sales tactics.
If you have an issue with Nationwide, it will be addressed through the Compliance Department. Each customer will talk directly to a representative from this department instead of to a sales rep. Ideally, this will make interactions more secure.
Let's take a look at the most recent customer complaints to see whether the Compliance Department has had an effect on Nationwide's reputation.
Of the 16 complaints filed, only four were filed in the past three years. It has been too long for the original complaints from 2017 and 2018 to be displayed; we can only examine the history of the past three years. Most of the most recent complaints appear to have been resolved peacefully.
There was a complaint filed in July of 2022 from a customer who said that he had been treated extremely poorly by a company representative. The issue began when the customer noticed a price discrepancy with his order. When he had confirmed the order verbally, he was told a different price than the one on the invoice.
He called the company to clarify the issue, but the representative accused him of lying. The representative then told him that he clearly just couldn't afford the purchase. According to the customer, the offensive remarks continued.
The customer pointed out that the original order had been recorded over the phone. He asked the representative to listen to the recording and confirm the price that was stated verbally. The representative said that he wouldn't listen to this recording because he had wasted enough time on this business.
The customer then called the manager of the business, who said that he could keep a silver coin in the order for free. If he only paid for the ounce of gold he bought, he could return the rest for a full refund. The customer seemed satisfied with that, but despite emailing several times, he was not given any further elaboration on when the refund would be processed.
As of writing the complaint, the customer said that it had been two weeks since the company had received the package. The refund should have been processed within 5 days of the package arriving.
The customer did follow up to state that Nationwide had satisfactorily resolved the issue. Nationwide didn't respond on the public BBB website.
There was another complaint filed in July on behalf of the complainant's husband. The complainant said that in May, her husband had used $25,000 of their savings to buy coins from Nationwide. She explained that her husband had received an early dementia diagnosis, but it was still unusual behavior for him to make this kind of huge purchase.
The woman said that she blocked calls specifically to keep people from manipulating her husband. But in June, the husband received a call promising a great deal and offering a personal cell number. Despite the woman telling the representative to stop calling, he continued.
The woman said that she called back and explained the situation, asking not to be called again. But less than two weeks later, a message was left from the same representative, demanding to talk to her husband. Her husband had been moved into a care home very recently.
The representative then became extremely agitated. The woman said that she was not just in fear for her finances, but also in fear for her safety. She also mentioned that all $25,000 worth of coins were dropped on the porch without being signed for, even though the delivery was supposed to be insured.
The company responded to say that the Compliance Director had personally reached out to the woman and apologized. During the discussion, they came to a resolution which included:
The wife confirmed that the company had done everything necessary to resolve the situation, stating that they had gone above and beyond to clarify and fix the issues.
In June of 2022, a complaint was filed about a delayed refund for a customer. The transaction had taken place at the end of April. Originally, when the customer was called to complete the transaction, they had no interest in buying anything else. But the salesperson pitched an optional discounted item.
The customer had hesitations about buying it, even at the discounted price. But the salesperson said that there would be a 100% money back guarantee for the next 60 days after purchase. With this in mind, the customer accepted.
A month later, the customer decided to return the item. The salesperson attempted to convince the customer not to do so, but eventually relented. A Fedex truck was sent to pick up the package. It was delivered at the beginning of June.
The customer called to ask about the status of the refund four days after the delivery. They were told that the refund had been processed, so it would post to their card by the 13th of June at the latest. By the time the 15th rolled around, the funds still hadn't arrived. The customer called back and was told that the transaction had been delayed by another week.
The customer said that the refund did not seem to be coming. They were also struggling because they were unable to get in contact with anybody except the original salesperson, who they did not trust to process the refund correctly.
Nationwide responded to say that the refund actually had been made on June 15th. They stated that if the funds had not reached the customer's bank account, then that was an issue with the eCommerce merchant and the bank, not with them. They said that the issue was not their fault at all, and therefore the complaint shouldn't be on the record.
The customer never followed up to indicate whether they had received the refund or not. But that seems a good indicator that the funds eventually arrived. If they hadn't, the customer likely would have posted a followup complaint.
Pros & Cons of Nationwide Coin and Bullion
Nationwide Coin & Bullion Reserve might seem like a good option for investment at first. But that doesn't take into account the company's middling reviews. There has been a significant amount of negative feedback, and the BBB page indicates that there have been past patterns of complaint.
It does seem that the company has changed their practices and implemented policies to prevent the same issues from occurring. The complaints have become much less frequent, especially about the specific issue noted. But customers have still reported contentious interactions with the sales representatives.
In the past, the BBB gave the company a D+ rating. But that has since been changed to NR, or not rated. That's something they do when they're investigating or don't have enough information to make a judgment. Nationwide isn't accredited with the BBB, and it has poor customer reviews on the site.
Because of all of this, we can't recommend working with this company. Instead, we believe it's a good idea to work with an IRA specialist. There are many precious metals dealers that have the same robust services while also having more consistently reliable customer feedback.