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Blanchard & Company, commonly known as Blanchard Gold, is an established precious metals dealer in the United States. It is currently one of the largest and most popular gold firms on the market.
Blanchard Gold was founded in 1975 after the founder Jim Blanchard's successful marketing campaign to pressure the government to legalize private ownership of gold.
This family owned company helps their clients use the timeless proven strategy of protecting wealth with a portfolio of high quality tangible assets.
And while they might seem to invest heavily in promoting themselves, are they worth their salt?
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About Blanchard Gold
Having been in the industry for more than four decades, the company has established an adequate track record to be comfortably considered a legitimate business.
It hasn't been all smooth sailing, though, as the company has been hit with several customer complaints over the years. And these are some of the most important things to consider when deciding whether to work with a particular precious metals dealer.
The right precious metals dealer will sell precious metals at a fair market price. They should also be able to address your questions and concerns adequately and on time.
And most importantly, they should provide quality customer service throughout the process of doing business with them. By no means does Blanchard excel in any of these areas.
While their products might be legitimate, their deals are far from the best on the market.
There have also been many concerns regarding the overpricing of their rare coins. The prices of collectible coins are typically more flexible than those of pure precious metals.
There have been allegations alluding that Blanchard blatantly sets excessively higher prices for their holdings then upsells the investment opportunity.
Background on Blanchard
Blanchard Gold is an investment company specializing in rare collectible coins, gold, platinum, and palladium. Gold is normally bought as bullion or as coins, while platinum and palladium are bought in bullion form.
The company offers a wide range of gold coins.
There are options for those looking to roll over their existing IRA or 401(k) into precious metals. Since precious metals respond differently to economic risk factors as compared to stocks, investing in precious metals is highly recommended when it comes to retirement holdings.
Should the market tank or make a sudden drop, you will have a cushion of safety. Precious metals investment gives you peace of mind knowing that will have a retirement account with value and that you will have enough funds to help you get by.
The general rule of thumb is to invest between 10-20% of your retirement savings in precious metals. The IRA has provided certain regulations regarding precious metals investment including having an account custodian and storing your precious metals in an approved facility.
As a result, you will have to incur annual fees for the duration you hold the account.
Blanchard is focusing on making the process much easier and smoother for clients by connecting them to their custodians and completing the necessary paperwork on their behalf.
However, other investment firms have specialized in doing this. What's more, they do a better job and at a more affordable rate. Blanchard seems to lag in this area thanks to its focus on rare coins.
According to the BBB, Blanchard has been in operation since 1975. They first began as an investment consultant advising people on investing in gold. The company became accredited with the BBB in 1982, meaning that there is almost forty years worth of BBB data to analyze.
For an investment company, especially in the precious metals market, to be in business for this long is a great achievement. The company has been in operation since about when it became legal for the public to own gold in the United States.
The company's founder was a key part of the 1970's movement that fought for people's right to own precious metals as an investment.
Why Put Gold in Your IRA?
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) protect your retirement as well as your family's financial security.
These special accounts allow you to set aside tax protected savings that you can use in the future.
With these long term accounts it's important to allocate a significant portion to assets that are solid and reliable, so you have a secure future.
You can have cash in an IRA, but that is devaluing at a rapid pace and inflation is out of control.
You need an asset that's reliable, retains it's value, and even increases in value over time, and there is no better asset for this than gold.
With the world's economy struggling through lockdowns, shortages, wars, and inflation, uncertainty has never been higher and investors are protecting themselves by placing physical gold in IRA's.
A gold IRA investment prospers from these crisis that negatively affect most other assets.
Risk is knowing the economic dangers and doing nothing to protect yourself and your family.
Safety is knowing the economic dangers and taking action to protect your financial future, and this is easy to do with a gold IRA.
Over the period it has been in business, Blanchard has garnered many negative reviews from customers. As the company doesn't seem to have significant interaction with customers online, these reviews are astounding.
There are many more people reporting bad experiences as compared to those reporting satisfactory experiences.
This can be attributed to some reasons with the most prominent one being the fact that the company's clientele edges towards older age groups.
These are individuals who got in on precious metals investment at its infancy in the '70s and 80's. One of Blanchard's key priorities is to foster long-term client relationships.
This can be reflected in the positive customer reviews. Several people have left feedback on the BBB website stating that they've stuck with the company for decades.
They have indicated that they've had a generally satisfactory experience and gotten their metals promptly. They've confirmed that they can recommend the company to others.
But on the downside, it seems that Blanchard has been left behind with the times. While the company was an industry leader for a long time, many other companies have cropped up offering way better customer service while demonstrating a higher level of exercise.
With this in mind, one may argue that these seemingly happy clients are satisfied with the company because they don't know any better. They haven't yet realized what they are missing out on.
It's also not out of the question that the company might have actively tried to conceal negative reviews by flooding the site with their positive reviews. Should this be true, then they've done a very poor job of it, strengthening our earlier point that the firm's management team may not be tech-savvy enough to keep up.
It seems that most complaints that were on the company's BBB page have been deleted. If there was something to raise an issue about, believe that there were complaints about it.
People raised complaints about issues such as:
Of late, there have been increased complaints about the company's rare coins. Many customers are alleging that Blanchard has marked up its rare coins using ridiculous commission rates making them sell for twice their market price.
But the company has responded stating that they've never used a 100% markup rate for their rare coin products. They've categorically stated that the company has never marked up any of their products more than 50%.
Blanchard seems more invested in saving face, especially when it comes to the prices of their rare coins rather than taking the necessary steps to resolve the real issues affecting their customers.
The company is notorious for just denying what they are being accused of without taking any further steps. So, one is just left with the option of believing the company or not.
Here, we can't recommend trusting the words of the company. Many other companies have garnered way more positive customer reviews with very few complaints.
Any reputable company will seek to quickly address customer complaints and ensure that it is properly resolved.
Trustlink and Ripoff Report
These are two of the most well-known third-party watchdog sites where customers leave their reviews.
While Trustlink is designed to collect all kinds of reviews from clients that have worked with the company, Ripoff Report mainly focuses on bad business practices and negative customer experiences.
At the moment, Blanchard isn't on Trustlink. You can't find any reviews (positive or negative) of the company on the site. While this might be due to a lack of technical expertise, it can also serve as a warning sign.
Two complaints have been raised against the company on Ripoff Report.
One of the complaints is in regards to a problem customers seem to have the biggest issue with right now: the marking up of their rare coins to unusually high prices.
This complaint has been filed many times and over different platforms.
However, it is difficult to determine the rate at which the prices have been marked up. This is partly because rare coins are priced differently from bullion.
The coins have to be appraised first, and the actual market value is dependent on what people are willing to bid.
Additionally, the value of a coin tends to fluctuate drastically based on its demand. What this means is that if many collectors want a certain coin, its value will increase and vice versa.
This is what makes investing in rare coins pretty risky. You need to put this into careful consideration before investing.
The other complaint alleges that Blanchard isn't forthcoming about their pricing. The complaint states the company changed the prices of products without first consulting the customer and they didn't let the customer lock in the lower price.
As a result, the customer ended up paying much more than had been initially quoted.
As far as we can tell, this is a justifiable complaint. Once you've been informed about the cost of your intended purchase, you need to be confident that you will pay that exact price.
And should there be any change, the company needs to be open about its lock-in policies.
Blanchard Gold Company Policies
The company policies are pretty standard and easily comprehensible. There is a policy that offers a 10-day satisfaction guarantee to customers.
Should you be unsatisfied with your purchase, you can return the coins and receive your money back.
In regards to getting the wrong product, this policy is applied in the customer resolution.
Keep in mind that the 10-day money-back guarantee kicks at the moment you get your coins, not after they ship. And it can take almost 2 weeks to ship to in the US. This gets even longer for those shipping internationally.
There is also a buy-back policy for when you want to liquidate your rare precious metals. The company will buy back your metals at the current market price.
All investments come with their fair share of risks, and there is a chance that the value of your precious metals might be significantly lower than when you bought them, translating to a loss.
However, precious metals do provide a financial safety net during a financial crisis. The value of precious metals tends to rise as the dollar value decreases. With inflation being a major concern for retirement savings holders, precious metals investments offer the perfect solution.
It is important to note that you can also turn to other gold IRA distributors to trade in your precious metals for cash. If you are not satisfied with what Blanchard is offering, you can settle for another buyer.
Blanchard Gold Shipping Policy
Once you make your order, it will be shipped either through FedEx, USPS, or UPS. Orders are normally verified at the time of shipping. You will receive a tracking number to help you keep track of the delivery progress.
You might have to pay a shipping tax based on your state. You also have to sign for the delivery. In case the carrier doesn't get your signature, you will receive a note informing you that delivery was attempted.
They might try again a couple of times and if you are still unavailable to sign the delivery after the third time, they will return the package to Blanchard.
In this case, the company may arrange to have your package sent to a secure facility when you can pick it up at your convenience.
The package is normally wrapped discreetly and doesn't show any details of its contents or the sender. In addition, the contents of your package are protected with full insurance cover, ensuring that you will get your money back should the metals get lost in transit.
If your order is worth less than $300, you will be required to pay a flat fee of $23 to cover insurance and shipping. This fee will be the same regardless of where you are located in the US. For orders above $300, the company offers free shipping and insurance.
Having been in the business for more than forty years, Blanchard is one of the pioneer precious metals investment companies in the US.
Its founder's contribution played a significant role in helping make owning precious metals legal for Americans back in the 1970s. The company has been in operation since 1975 helping people invest in precious metals.
While all that is fine and dandy, the company seems to be struggling to keep up with evolving precious metals market. While they have some positive reviews under their belt, there are more negative reviews for every positive one.
Besides having misleading purchase policies and overpricing their rare coins, they lack the expertise in IRA planning that so many other companies have.
As a result, we advise against working with this gold dealer and taking your business to a company that has built its reputation around providing exemplary customer service.
Blanchard Gold is reputable company, but we do not recommend them. They aren't a scam, but they are not the best choice for gold investments and certainly not IRA's, like other companies we have written about on this website.
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I started BMOGAM Viewpoints 15 years ago as a way to compile all my views on investing in one place. I own my home, have some real estate, and own a few stocks like most people, but what really drives my interest in investing is I have a strong love of precious metals, especially gold.