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United Gold Direct is a US-based company that has been selling precious metals to US patrons since 1996. They have a corporate office in California. Some local clients have been able to pick up their metals at the office.
While the company has largely good reviews, there are some major concerns that you should know about before you make a purchase. Here's everything we've discovered.
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About United Gold Direct
United Gold Direct was first established in 1996 and has been serving clients in the US for over 25 years. They are a precious metals dealer that helps clients invest in precious metals for the future. Their marketplace has a variety of gold, silver, and platinum items available for purchase.
United Gold has a membership with several precious metals organizations, along with organizations that focus on coin grading. These memberships allow them to stay up-to-date on regulations and new happenings in the coin and precious metals industries.
The company also has a focus on precious metals IRA services. Like some of the other precious metals IRA dealers in the industry, they help you take care of your paperwork to convert your retirement assets into precious metals. They aim to streamline the process, and it tends to take between one and three weeks to complete.
The company agents don't push people into making precious metals purchases. Instead, they try to answer people's questions about the industry. In addition, there are no commissions, which means you won't run into hidden fees or unnecessarily pushy sales tactics.
There are very few companies approved to act as precious metals wholesalers in the United States. United Gold Direct is one of them. They are able to offer lower prices than the competition because they acquire their metals at a lower cost.
Another thing keeping the costs low is the lack of advertising. At least, that's what the company says. Their claim is that they don't use paid ads, which means that they don't have as much of an operating cost. However, there are some paid ads for them online, so it's unclear whether they're still sticking to this policy or not.
United Gold Direct is one of dozens of companies that offer precious metals IRAs. When you put your retirement funds into precious metals, you help to secure them against inflation and economic crashes. Precious metals are just one aspect of a balanced, diverse portfolio.
Precious metals have been available for integration into your IRA since 1997. You do need to comply with a variety of IRS regulations regarding the storage and the type of precious metals. There are only a few approved coins and bars, and they must be made from gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.
You can either fund this IRA by making a contribution, or you can roll over funds from your existing retirement account. Funds rollovers can be done without incurring fees or penalties. Because the paperwork to do so is often complicated, companies like United Gold Direct take care of most of it for you.
You can call or email the company to have your current retirement portfolio analyzed for free. The company representative will tell you whether you meet the qualifications to roll over your funds into precious metals.
When you open a precious metals IRA, you must store your items in an IRS-approved facility. There are very few of these facilities throughout the US. United Gold Direct is partnered with Delaware Depository, which has its depository located in Delaware.
Some other companies are partnered with several different storage facilities, which gives you more of a choice in where you store your metals. If that's what you're looking for, you might be better off with a different company.
There are several advantages to the Delaware Depository, though. The vaults tend to be priced competitively, and you have the option for segregated storage. There are also robust auditing practices to make sure that your precious metals are always in place. It's even possible to visit and look at your precious metals holdings for yourself.
On top of this, Delaware has certain tax advantages that are good for precious metals owners. You don't have to pay taxes on your storage fees, you don't have to pay income taxes, and you don't have to pay taxes on your precious metals holdings.
All of the vaults are fully insured. When the time comes to take distributions, you can either liquidate your assets or have the metals themselves mailed to you. Shipping is also done fully insured.
Your account custodian will work with the Delaware Depository staff to maintain your precious metals. When you invest with United Gold Direct, you are given access to ongoing updates about the value of your holdings.
Most of the reviews of the company are positive. There are a few concerning points that we've outlined in the section below, but the majority of customers seem to have positive feedback.
Any complaints and actions against the business seem to have been taken in 2019 or later. It's possible that the company management has declined in quality since then, but there's no way to say for sure.
On Trustlink, the company has a rating of almost 5 out of 5 stars with 21 total ratings. There was one complaint filed in 2019, and many of the 5 star reviews come from 2012 or earlier.
The customers consistently praise the quality of service, saying that the company representatives are able to answer questions efficiently and patiently. They mention that they don't feel pressured to make purchases, and that the representatives helped them decide what types of precious metals they wanted.
With that said, this is far from the only company to have such positive customer service feedback. There are several other precious metals dealers that also answer client questions in a low-pressure way.
On Yelp, the company has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with 6 total reviews. These mostly come from local clients. One reviewer said that he was very happy with his experience because United Gold had the cheapest metals and the easiest process for setting up an IRA.
The customer added that he was able to go to the office to pick up the metals. He said that his favorite part was the lack of high commissions or hidden processing fees.
Is United Gold Direct a Scam?
United Gold Direct is not a scam. They are a legitimate business that has been around for more than 25 years. You can find information about the management and ownership online, and they have largely good reviews through sites like Trustlink and Yelp.
However, there are some red flags. Some reports indicate that the company might have started having managerial issues over the past year or so. On the BBB website, there is just one customer review that gives the company 1 out of 5 stars. They are not accredited, but their rating is an A+.
These things alone wouldn't be enough to point to patterns of mismanagement, but there is a concerning alert set out by the BBB.
BBB Company Alert
An alert has been issued by the Better Business Bureau regarding government actions that were taken against the business. This alert was issued due to actions taken in August of 2020.
The Department of Business Oversight in California issued a consent order about the company. Allegedly, the company had sold $45,000 worth of precious metals to three customers. But the company instead used their payments to pay for business expenses like their operating overhead.
The company was ordered to stop using the client funds in this way. In addition, the owner of the company agreed that the clients would be refunded for the entire $45,000 whenever the company could do so.
There have been a few reports filed against this company with Ripoff Report. However, the company has responded to each of them to say that the reports are either hoaxes or to resolve the issue. The reports alleged to be hoaxes do not have confirmed authors, so it's very possible that this is true.
The authenticity of the ripoff reports can't be verified, and they seem to stand in direct opposition to the company's other customer feedback. So it's difficult to factor them into the company's score overall.
Should You Invest with This Company?
Even though a company isn't a scam, that doesn't mean you should invest with them. United Gold Direct has a long history in the business. However, the actions issued against the business are concerning.
It's very possible that the business has fixed its managerial practices since this incident. There have been very few negative remarks about them in 2021. But it's concerning that they used client funds from three different people to pay their operating expenses.
Another important note is that all of this conduct is alleged. United Gold Direct has settled the matter with the customers in question.
But there are other companies that don't have as many red flags. It might be easier for you to work with one of them instead.
Pros & Cons of United Gold Direct
United Gold Direct is a legitimate business with a long history. They have been operating out of California for more than 25 years, and they have a largely good reputation in the community. But there have been some concerning practices in the past few years, which have led to a BBB alert being sent out.
All in all, we can't wholeheartedly recommend this company. Instead, we recommend working with a gold dealer that has more consistent reports of client satisfaction.
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 United Gold Direct below!