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Currently, there are no outstanding complaints against the company.
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Read the list to see if Wholesale Direct Metals passed our strict customer service standards to become one of our top recommendations.
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There aren't many reviews, good or bad, either, and there are only two on TrustPilot.
One red flag against the company is the paucity of information on the website other than the standard boilerplate.
There are no links to a stock of bullion coins, for example, and no link to get information on how to buy actual bullion either. The website only says, "Call us," or, "Email us." One online reviewer mentioned the lack of available information on Wholesale Direct Metals' website as far back as 2018.
The company's description of precious metals IRAs on its website is fairly comprehensive, however, so that's a point in its favor. The company, however, does not act as a custodian nor does it provide storage services for any precious metals or allowable coins you buy new and put into a self-directed IRA. It is puzzling why the company lists no stock of any kind on its website.
You're not allowed to put gold or other precious metals and bullion coins into regular IRAs, traditional or Roth. Instead, after buying them new, you put them into special IRAs designed only for those precious metals.
You are allowed to have both this kind of self-directed IRA and either, or both, of the two types of regular IRAs at the same time. It is crucial to note that any precious metals that you invest in your self-directed IRA must be purchased new.
The way it works is that you select a custodian who will make all of your transactions for you. Sometimes, the custodian will be a single person, and sometimes, it will be an entity, such as a bank or other secure institution. Even though the custodian has to do all the legwork and actually perform the transactions, the custodian has to do what you say. That's why it's called a "self-directed IRA."
Let's say that you want to buy a 400-ounce gold bar, which is the largest bar currently available. As of May 23, 2023, gold was trading at $1,976 per troy ounce. You would tell the custodian to pay for the bar after providing that person with $790,400 plus any applicable fees for the transaction.
The custodian would then pay Wholesale Direct Metals, and the company would then ship the bar to the depository you select from the available options. Wholesale Direct Metals partners with several depositories from which you can choose. The process would be the same no matter what kind of precious metal you want to add.
The precious metals that you put into such an account have to have a certain level of purity to be acceptable to the Internal Revenue Service. Gold must be 99.5% pure. Silver must be 99.9% pure, and palladium and platinum have to be 99.95% pure.
You're allowed to have bullion coins in your self-directed IRA, too, as long as they meet these percentages. There is one exception, however. Certain American double eagle coins are only 91.67% pure, but they're considered a legacy item to the old standards and are still allowable.
You're not allowed to have collectible coins as part of a self-directed IRA. Their value is not in the metals from which they were minted. Indeed, the metal value of some of the most expensive numismatic coins in existence is minuscule.
Their price depends on their rarity and condition. Because their value isn't backed by the metal from which they're minted, that's why they're not allowed in a self-directed IRA.
When it comes to these IRAs, the standard rules apply. You're not allowed to access any of the items in your self-directed IRA until you're 59.5 years old. From that time until the time you turn 72 years of age, you're able to make withdrawals without certain penalties that you would have incurred had you withdrawn the items before turning 59.5.
After you turn 72, however, you're actually required to make periodic withdrawals. If you don't, then you face penalties at that time too. The IRS prohibits you from having possession of the precious metals that are in your IRA. If you take possession of them, then the IRS considers that a withdrawal, and you might be liable for penalties and extra taxes at that time.
Remember, all gold that you put into such an account must be purchased new. You can't add anything that you already own because of the price fluctuation of precious metals, small as that fluctuation generally is. So, when you decide to add these precious metals to your self-directed IRA, be sure of what you want to do first.
Owning Gold at Home
If you just want to own gold at your home irrespective of a self-directed IRA, then you are allowed to do that too. It's not recommended because home storage is not as secure as storage in a depository.
Still, if you want Wholesale Direct Metals to ship you your precious metals, simply let them know. Rather than place the shipping information on its own page, Wholesale Direct Metals places it in the terms and conditions.
The basic shipping charge is $24, and the company charges an additional fee based on the value of the shipped goods. For orders over $100, there is a 30% discount on the additional fees. The fee for shipping the aforementioned 400-ounce gold bar would be $1 per $1,000 of value x a 30% discount + the $24 base fee, which comes to $577.28 at the gold price on May 23, 2023.
Shipping palladium is twice as expensive, and shipping silver is three times as expensive. Shipping platinum is the same $1.00 per $1,000 of value as gold. The company's FAQs say that it will ship your precious metals to a post office box.
Although this is legal, it's a poor idea because not only will you have to pay a shipping premium on such a shipment, any insurance that you purchase for the shipment ends as soon as the package is delivered. The company really should include this information on its website.
One Webpage to Rule Them All
All of the "learn more," "discover how we can help you," and other similar links all point to the same page of boilerplate that includes a cursory form that you would fill out to have them call you. In the precious metals industry, not having more than a boilerplate on a company website is highly unusual. What the company's motives would be for designing its website that way remain unknown.
Buried in the company's terms and conditions are obscure references to an entity called "American." Presumably, Wholesale Direct Metals doesn't buy and sell its own stock of metals but rather gets its metals from a company simply called "American."
The buying and selling of precious metals, which sometimes includes transactions of seven figures or more, is a serious business that requires complete transparency. It is a red flag against Wholesale Direct Metals that the company doesn't outline more about American on its website.
Further, it is highly recommended that you ask about American when dealing with Wholesale Direct Metals, which seems more and more like a simple broker rather than a precious-metals company.
Bullion Coins and Numismatic Coins
The company's entry on the Business Consumer Alliance website purports that it deals with bullion coins as well as rare numismatic coins. There is nothing on the website to indicate this, leaving you to ask them about it when you call them or email them.
It is interesting to note that the Business Consumer Alliance lists Wholesale Direct Metals as a founding member of the alliance 17 years ago, but there is not a single review of Wholesale Direct Metals on that webpage, let alone a complaint.
The Wholesale Direct Metals Online Reviews
As stated, there aren't many, and those that exist are at least five years out-of-date. One reviewer mentioned the fact that the reason the company has so little information on its website is that it doesn't do business over the internet.
Rather, Wholesale Direct Metals prefers to handle business over the phone.
That's not as big a security risk as it seems because Wholesale Direct Metals prefers wire transfers as payment instead of checks or credit cards.
Trustlink has 20 reviews of the company, but they're all six years old or older. Some of the reviews are 15 years old. In this case, these reviews aren't relevant.
The company seems legit, but the lack of any real web presence over the last six years is troubling. The lack of information on the website and the shadowy references to "American" in the terms and conditions are also disquieting. Still, the company does have its good points.
Wholesale Direct Metals will assist you in setting up your self-directed IRA, and they partner with good companies to store your physical precious metals. The company has had no complaints filed against it in the last three years.
Still, this we can not recommend Wholesale Direct Metals because of its scanty web presence and a distinct lack of relevant and accessible information.
Remember to read out list of the Top Gold Companies to see if Wholesale Direct Metals made the cut.
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