- 21 Aug 2021
- Precious Metals
- Comments: 0
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AJPM is a precious metals dealer headquartered in Portland, Oregon. While most of their business is conducted through their several local Portland storefronts, they may sell items online to interested non-local buyers. You can call their toll-free number to place an order for shipment.
But are they actually the best option on the market? Does operating several stores indicate that they treat their customers well?
Here's what you should know about AJPM and their customers before you make any hasty decisions.
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AJPM stands for Affordable Jewelry and Precious Metals. The company offers a relatively wide range of platinum, silver, and gold. Some of the bars and coins are eligible for use in an IRA, meaning that they comply with the strict purity standards outlined by IRS regulations. There are also certain collectible coins available.
AJPM has been in business since 1991. Their catalog of products includes IRA bullion, numismatic rarities for coin collectors, and other items. They also have a program for buying platinum, gold, and silver. Purchase and sale prices of each product are listed on the site.
AJPM's locations are found in Southwest Portland, Southeast Portland, and Beaverton, OR, which is in the Portland metro area. Their website displays the bid and ask prices of different precious metals, along with an arrow indicating whether the price has risen or fallen recently.
The company sells gold, silver, and platinum. They also have a section on their website for specials, where they sell certain products at a discounted price.
In addition to their sold products, the company is looking for scrap metal. If a scrap gold dealer is interested in selling a melt lot, the company will pay 97.5 percent of the market value for it. They have a calculator for you to determine how much your scrap gold is worth.
The company began offering licensed loans for precious metals in November of 2020. They will loan palladium, platinum, and gold bars and coins. Certain numismatic coins can also be loaned, as long as they're graded.
The loan formula published on the website includes:
Their website lists the items that are eligible for a loan. If you're interested in loaning an item but don't see yours on the list, you can call the company and ask if you're eligible.
As an Oregon-based company, there is no precious metals or sales tax on your purchases. The company asks that people only call if they are willing to adhere to their word with regards to purchases.
If you want to sell your precious metals or buy from the company's marketplace, you can call the toll free number. There is no online shopping platform available, and the company website may not accurately reflect the inventory at any time.
When you make the call, you'll tell the representative what you want or what you're offering to sell. To place an order, you'll need to provide a phone number, name, and address. You'll be given a confirmation number when the price is locked.
This confirmation number should be written on your check's memo line, as well as outside your mailed check envelope. The company says that if you fail to do so, your order might be delayed.
After placing an order, you are legally obligated to mail your payment to the company within 24 hours. You cannot cancel or change your order after receiving your confirmation number. The company says that they will take the case to civil court if you try to cancel.
Is AJPM a Scam?
AJPM does not appear to be a scam. The company is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.
But there are some serious red flags to be aware of.
While the company does not have any complaints filed with the BBB, they do have just one customer rating. That gives them 1 out of 5 stars, the lowest rating possible.
For more comprehensive customer reviews, the website Sitejabber has 18 to look at. There's a total average of 3.1 out of 5 stars, indicating an incredibly mixed response. It seems that about half of the consumers had a good experience, and half had a terrible one.
We can't recommend a company that seems to upset half of its customers. But let's take a look at what the reviews say specifically. The content of negative reviews helps consumers get a sense of any systemic issues with the company's management.
Let's take a look at the Better Business Bureau review first. BBB reviews tend to be reliable because they go through a verification process. The company also has an opportunity to respond.
This review was left in March of 2020. The customer said that he tried to sell his one-ounce gold coins and was offered under 50 dollars per ounce. But the global price monitor on the wall said that the total value of the coins was over 16,000 dollars, far from the 500 the customer was offered.
The customer refused the offer and was told to get out and never return. They then took their coins to a different dealer and were offered the spot price of more than 16,000 dollars. Apparently this broker told the customer that AJPM has a bad reputation for trying to scam people out of their gold coins.
The customer said that he was stunned by how rude and impractical the owner was. There was no attempt to give them a better sale price. He said he felt he had a duty to report the incident on the BBB website so that people would know to be wary in the future.
The company has not responded to this review.
Now, a lot of that is hearsay. It's difficult to verify that the customer was given such a low offer, or that they were given reliable information from their new broker. So let's take a look at what the negative reviews on Sitejabber have to say.
Of the 18 reviews, 8 have five stars and 7 have one star. There is one four star review along with two two-star reviews. The company is almost entirely even when it comes to good and poor feedback. Both categories have 9 total reviews.
One person said he had one of the worst industry experiences he's ever had. He said that the company took his order and accepted his payment, but then they lost the order. The company seemed to send a package to the correct address, but the customer was never notified that they needed to pick it up at the post office.
Apparently the confusion didn't end there. The company sent an envelope with nothing inside, but it had the wrong address. The address wasn't even in the customer's county. When the customer did eventually get a refund, the company only sent back the current price of gold, which was lower than what he paid.
Another person said that they tried to place an order. The price was locked, and the sales representative asked for a number on the customer's check. The customer didn't have their checkbook, so the representative told them to call again later.
The customer attempted to call but was sent to voicemail. They gave the company the check number on the answering machine. Their expectation was that the customer service team would call back to confirm the receipt of the number. But the customer was never called back.
Apparently three weeks went by, and then a sales representative called and began issuing threats. The customer did not detail in the review the nature of these threats. But they did say that it was the worst customer service experience they'd ever had.
Another review also stated that the customer service was rude. They said that the representatives talked over them and acted condescending.
One review from 2010 says that the company had an "F" rating and 22 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau in 2009. If that's the case, then their management has improved significantly since then. But it's still a major red flag.
There is a detailed review from a customer who says that they worked with AJPM for several years. During the time that they worked with the company, they were happy with the service. They said they would have offered a 5 star rating then.
But then they had an issue that caused them to leave the company forever.
The person called to place an order like they usually did. Their sales rep gave them a confirmation number. Since the rep was new, the customer asked if their usual rep was still working there. They were told that the company had been bought by new owners and that their prior sales rep was fired.
The customer placed their order and mailed their check on the same day that the price was locked in. The check cleared one week later. In every dealing with the company prior to that, the products had arrived in the mail in around 7 to 10 days after the check being cleared.
In this case, though, a full 20 days went by. Then the customer decided to call and find out what was going on. The person they spoke to on the phone said that it wasn't possible to check the status of an order by the phone, so the customer would have to send an email.
The customer said that they'd been a regular client for years and needed to place a new order. Though the representative was interested in taking this order, the customer said they wouldn't place it until they got their current order.
At this point, the customer was worried that they might never receive what they purchased. So they told the representative that they intended to make a purchase three times larger than the one in transit. Then they asked for a shipping check.
The sales representative told them that the order was shipped the prior day. The customer said they'd place the new order when their current one arrived. Eight more days went by before they finally received their original package. It had been more than six weeks since placing the order, when usually the process would take two weeks.
The customer's biggest issue was that the sales representative lied. The postmark on the package indicated that the order was shipped after their conversation. They said that they couldn't be sure whether the company ever intended to send their package, so they stopped doing business with them.
One final customer stated that they never received the package that they paid for. It was a package of ten coins that were worth more than 9,000 dollars. As of writing the review, the customer had been calling the company for 5 months to try to get answers.
The reviewer alleged that the company gave them a fake tracking number. They also said that the company repeatedly said that the order was "shipped this week" whenever they called -- for weeks on end. There is no indication of whether or not this person ever received their items or their money back.
Many of the negative reviews are from several years ago. Let's take a look at the positive reviews and see if the business has undergone any meaningful change.
One person said they sold their gold and got an excellent price, which contradicts what the Better Business Bureau review said. However, they did not provide any details about the price they were offered or the type of gold product that they sold. This is also their only review, meaning that it might be a false flag.
Another person said that while the company did have a rough period of time around 2010, their management has improved exponentially. They said that the items they want are always in stocked, and the customer had never had an issue with delivery time. They'd been using this company for several years.
One customer said that they'd made two purchases and received excellent service both times. The sales representatives guided him through the process because he was new to precious metals investing. In addition, the packages shipped the moment the check cleared.
There is one review stating that the shop is always busy when the customer arrives, but the owners still take the time to do small orders. According to this customer, they've bought around 12 ounces of gold over a year. They said that they felt respected and prioritized.
Other reviews say that the staff is helpful, that the pricing is fair, and that this is the only company they go to for gold. But many of these are even older than the poor reviews. There are a few good reviews from just a few years ago, though.
Pros & Cons of AJPM
Overall, we can't recommend this company. There are just too many complaints and red flags. Though they may have changed management since the "rough patch," there aren't enough recent customer reviews to tell. A good business would have many recent glowing reviews regarding their service.
All in all, you can find a better precious metals dealer if you want to buy or sell online.
We don't think that AJPM is a great company and we believe that there are better companies out there to make your investment with.
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