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Goldline Review 2022: Pros, Cons, History

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For investors and collectors, Goldline LLC has been a lucrative retail vendor of gold, silver coins, and precious metals. In the pre-internet epoch, Goldline had a strong presence in the precious metals sector. Their later years saw a marked decline marred by some scandal. Here we look at what we found out in terms of history, pros, cons, etc.

Goldline can be traced back to a 1960 Deak & Co. subsidiary, the largest storefront gold merchant in the late 1970s before shutting down in the 1980s. In the years that ensued, the company was bought and sold multiple times. In August 2017, the company sold its assets to A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc.

Goldline

Goldline has been a precious metals dealer for over 60 years. It also has been providing a simple method for creating Precious Metals IRAs. The company sells IRA-eligible coins and bars, as well as rare and valuable coins. Goldline exclusively sells a one-ounce bar of palladium. Regrettably, the organization doesn’t care to divulge much information. There is no information about product pricing on the website.

Background and information about the company

Goldline is a business based in Los Angeles, California, that was established in 1960. For almost six decades, the firm has been supplying investors with gold, silver, platinum, and palladium goods. The firm offers a good range of popular IRA-eligible coins and bars for retirement savings to retain in a Precious Metals IRA. The collection also includes several rare and collectible coins for collectors and investors.

Goldline offers something it calls its Express IRA service, which takes customers through a 3-step process to open a Precious Metals IRA. Similarly, the firm offers free bullion coins on eligible purchases to assist cover IRA account maintenance expenses.” It also provides free shipping to the storage facility to customers.

Individuals who want to sell coins or bars can use the company’s repurchase program. The program consists of three easy procedures, and money is normally issued within three business days after the precious metals are received and validated by Goldline. The firm insists it does not buy jewelry or any other precious metals that are not in the shape of a coin or bar.

The Management Team of Goldline

There are 4 people with key roles within Goldline. They are:

  • Mark Albarian, Chief Executive Officer, President.
  • Joseph P Ozaki. Chief Financial Officer.
  • Stuart Hong, Controller.
  • Charles Lee, Chief Information Officer.

Goldline Storage and Custodians

To the collector and investing world, Goldline is a direct marketer of numismatic coins, bullion, and uncommon money. Goldline is a vertically integrated precious metal goods firm with in-house shipping and fulfillment, valuation and coin pricing services, lead generation, account management, and storage capabilities, and distributes its products via different media channels.

Goldline has teamed with GoldStar Trust Company and Equity Trust Company. These are two well-known IRA custodians. Surprisingly, the corporation does not reveal which storage vault provider it has worked with when it comes to protected storage. Clients may choose from facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada, Zurich, Switzerland, and Singapore, according to the website.

Details about the Goldline Precious Metals IRA

Annual Cost:  Variable

Fees:  fixed

Partnered Storage Vault:  N/A

Partnered Custodian: GoldStar Trust Company and Equity Trust Company

Metals in Stock:  Gold, silver, platinum, palladium

Years: Been in Business for 61 years (1960)

Goldline Setup and Marketing Campaigns

The business primarily marketed precious metals to consumers through retail outlets. They sold a range of collector coins and other currencies in addition to conventional gold, silver, and platinum.

The firm had a sales income of over 800 million dollars and employed over 300 individuals as of 2009. It was one of the quickest-growing businesses in Los Angeles County.

The company ran a variety of different marketing initiatives. In addition to traditional media such as television and radio, the corporation advertised on the still-developing internet. In 2009, they had a former director of the US Mint as their spokesperson.

Goldline ran commercials on national networks such as Fox News, CNN, and CNBC. They also supported several conservative television and radio broadcasts. The pro-American Glenn Beck was a radio sponsor for the firm and was regularly referred to as a favorite client.

In 2010, the firm was chastised for advertising its services on conservative talk shows.

But what should you know about this firm?

Gold dealers are everywhere, whether in local stores or online. Businesses with nefarious activities and malevolent policies are easy to find in both circumstances. Knowing about these can assist you in determining whether or not a company is legitimate.

Controversies

Prices at the firm vary greatly based on the type of product and market conditions. They were accused of inflating the value of metals and antiques by up to double their worth.

In 2006, the corporation came into legal issues. They reached a voluntary arrangement at the time to restore over $200,000 to an elderly couple who claimed they were forced into the deal. All of the precious metals that the couple had purchased were returned to them.

Consumer Reports conducted an inquiry and produced a review alleging that the company had also coerced their journalist into selling their assets.

An examination into whether the sales representative operated as an unregistered financial counselor was also part of the 2006 agreement. Employees were forbidden from providing legal investment advice.

A Congressional hearing on precious metals company disclosures took place in 2010. Congressman Anthony Weiner spearheaded the fight against Goldline, claiming that the corporation was intentionally collaborating with conservatives to deceive the public.

The persons who spoke at the hearing said that there were already enough common law rules in place that disclosure was unnecessary. Also, there were no consequences once the hearing was done. The proposed legislation on corporate transparency was not considered in the House of Representatives because it lacked a sponsor.

However, as a result of this, a new inquiry of the corporation was launched. According to news reports, a hundred consumers throughout the country have submitted complaints regarding fake merchandise and deceptive sales representations. However, there existed another gold mine. The BBB gave Goldline an A+. The other firm received an F.

Goldline personnel were allegedly paid unfair commissions and urged to sell useless products for far more than they were worth, according to news reports. They said that higher management at the corporation urged staff to attempt to sell coins rather than bullion.

According to ABC News, one buyer was under intense pressure from a salesperson to buy $5,000 worth of coins. That same purchaser later discovered that their coins were only worth $2,900 at the time of sale. There was a significant commission markup that they were seemingly unaware of.

Another client claimed to have spent $13,000 on gold coins. However, she soon learned that the coins were only worth about half of what she had paid for them. Even though the price of gold had quadrupled in three years, she was only able to sell her assets for a little more than $10,000. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the situation, claiming she had been duped.

In fact, consumer reports identified trends of recurrent price issues. A Gold Eagle coin set, for example, was featured on the internet for over $6,000. However, customers were able to locate rival gold businesses offering it for less than $3,300.

It appeared that the firm was attempting to acquire the trust of unwary people by using its talk show presenters and television stars. They were taking advantage of folks who didn’t know how to investigate precious metals prices. These consumers had faith in the celebrity sponsors who had sold them the company’s concept.

Consumer Reports did indicate that the company’s products were reasonably priced. It seems to be dependent on the day and the specific product being referred.

When asked about the price problems, Goldline had a reason. They stated that they needed to offer collectibles at more markup than bullion. The purported reasons were many. Due to the expense of shipping, the rarity, the compensation of salesmen, and the payment of those working in the compliance department, etc.

Customers were also given clear information before making purchases, according to the business. The commissions and fees were allegedly fully included in the contract, and the business personally researched each complaint.

Website for Complaints

A decade or so ago, the City Attorney for Santa Monica established a complaint webpage. This enabled the city to collect evidence of any misconduct by the firm. Due to the continuing inquiry, the company’s assets were frozen in December 2010.

The city of Santa Monica filed official accusations against Goldline in 2011. They were accused of 19 counts of fraud and theft combined. According to the accused attorney, the firm used bait and switch techniques.

Goldline settled in February 2012, just a few months after the allegations were filed against it. They agreed to an injunction that altered some sales methods. The most significant change was that a third party was now required to verify that all commissions and markups were disclosed to clients over the phone.

As part of the settlement, Goldline offered to repay $4.5 million in assets to the 43 consumers who had complained. The criminal charges were withdrawn as part of the agreement reached by the corporation. In that situation, no further legal action was filed against the corporation.

The harm, however, had already been done. The company’s reputation had been irreparably harmed as a result of the dispute. They were unable to re-establish their previous clout. Goldline can still be found at their former website URL, regardless, they now operate as a subsidiary of another corporation. They are no longer in charge of the policies that destroyed their company. 

The question remains: Is Goldline a scam or legitimate company?

Goldline International is no longer in business. A-Mark Precious Metals purchased the company’s surviving assets after it was closed down. However, there were various legal challenges in the years preceding the closure. Instead of just a few negative customer evaluations, the firm was charged with 19 charges of theft and fraud.

True, the corporation was never convicted of any illegal activity, but this was mostly due to a settlement. The agreement to withdraw the outstanding criminal charges was part of the settlement.

What were the warning signs?

Many people believed in the company’s practices. Since it had been in operation for so long. Also, it was endorsed by numerous celebrities talk show presenters. As a result, Goldline was able to cheat customers and mislead them about the worth of their assets.

Today, we may use this as a guideline while looking for a new precious metals corporation with whom we would like to invest. Celebrity endorsements and long-term experience in the industry are insufficient.

Clear warning Signs: what investors can learn

Here are a few warning signs about the firm’s management:

  • There were several instances where journalists discovered coins sold. But for double their face value or more.
  • The firm was not forthcoming about their commission rates or fees, instead of burying it in the tiny print of their contracts.
  • When representatives were called, they utilized high-pressure sales methods to get consumers to invest.
  • The organization was particularly well-known for duping elderly customers into purchasing items worth less than their quoted price.
  • Civil and criminal investigations have been launched in several states.
  • Several complaints were submitted.

Going by the above, on the otherhand, here are some positive Signs to watch for

Part of the rationale for these red flags was that this was the country’s largest precious metals trader. Some journalists and high-level politicians spent a significant amount of time studying their methods. That is not always the case with a typical dealership.

Therefore, here are a few things you must look for while investing in precious metals:

  • The salesmen do not work on commission, or if they do, they are open about it, and the ratio is modest.
  • The firm is more concerned with educating customers than with tricking them into making terrible investments.
  • The corporation discloses its assets, fees, business relationships, and investment dangers.
  • They do not advise you to sell all of your assets to invest in precious metals.
  • After listening to your objectives and requirements, they make personalized recommendations.
  • They have received overwhelmingly favorable consumer reviews on reputable third-party sites such as Trustpilot, Trustlink, and the Better Business Bureau.
  • They simplify the process of purchasing precious metals, whether you are a first-time investor or a seasoned financial expert.

Goldline International’s Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Long-term expertise: Precious metals merchant that is around in business since 1960. (Albeit now with a different management)
  • Size and Magnitude: Was formerly the largest gold retailer in the world.
  • Good Reviews and BBB ratings.
  • There were several legal difficulties.
  • The store is now closed, and its assets are sold to a new management.
  • Non-disclosure.
  • Partially damaged rep.

Goldline Reviews, Ratings, and Complaints

Company Contact Details

Address: 11835 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA, 90064

Phone: (800) 963-9798

Email: info@goldline.com

Website: www.goldline.com

Final Thoughts

Goldline’s initial management has changed since 2017 and ownership changed hands. Despite having more than a half-century of business expertise, the corporation found it difficult to overcome weak management and legal controversies. They are simply one of several old precious metals traders that didn’t keep up with the times.

Whenever you wish to invest in precious metals, you ought to seek a reputable organization. Look for one with positive client feedback and dependable services. Also, avoid working with firms that are in legal problems. It isn’t worth the bother or inconvenience.

FAQs

Is Goldline still in operation?

According to the Los Angeles Business Journal, Goldline had more than 300 workers in 2009 and $825 million in sales revenue, making it the “6th fastest expanding firm” in Los Angeles County, California for 2010. Goldline later sold its assets to A-Mark Precious Metals in 2017 and discontinued operations as a precious metals firm. But is currently operational by a new management.

Is Goldline a reputable company?

Consumers do not appear to have many complaints regarding Goldline as of now. The Better Business Bureau has given it an A+ rating. And the history of the predecessors to the current management is momentarily forgotten.

Is Goldline secure?

Goldline has served customers for over fifty years and has delivered over $4 billion in precious metals. They are now backed by A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc. (AMRK), one of the largest publicly listed precious metals merchants and the United States Mint’s authorized purchaser. In the present times, the new administration appears to be moving away from previous contentious tactics.

What happened with Goldline?

A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc. purchased Goldline’s assets in August 2017. Goldline, Inc. is a newly created firm, a fully owned subsidiary of A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc.

How might I invest in gold safely?

Gold ETFs and gold funds can be purchased online or via a mutual fund distributor. A mutual fund distributor can also assist your investments in these products. With that said, you can consider investing in gold funds or gold ETFs through the SIP approach. You can invest as little as Rs 500 for every payment.

Can I invest in a gold ETF through an IRA?

Fortunately, the IRS has stated that IRAs can invest directly in precious metal ETFs classified as grantor investment trusts without issue. In particular, the IRS determined in Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 200732026 that IRAs could purchase shares in a gold ETF.

How can I use my IRA to invest in gold?

If you want to invest IRA funds in gold, you must first set up a self-directed IRA. This is a type of IRA that the investor administers directly and is allowed to possess a broader choice of investment items than other IRAs. 6 A gold IRA requires a broker to purchase the gold and a custodian to set up and manage the account.

Would it be worth investing in Gold IRAs?

Let us begin with the fees. Usually, a gold IRA has a higher fee structure when compared with a traditional / Roth IRA. This is because traditional IRAs merely invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Whereas, a gold IRA can function as a backup plan in the event of market fluctuations or inflation. 

What are the benefits and risks of investing in Gold IRA?

The Pros of Gold IRAs

Gold IRAs, are the same as every investment, having benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few advantages:

  • Diversified: By investing in a Gold IRA, you may diversify your retirement portfolio while avoiding taxes. This means that switching or rolling over a piece of your existing IRA account to a Gold IRA has no tax implications.
  • Financial advantages: Gold IRAs enjoy some of the same tax benefits as traditional IRAs: Contributions to traditional self-directed IRAs are tax-deductible. Qualified withdrawals from Roth accounts are tax-free as well.
  • Long-term investment: Gold bullion isn’t very liquid, nor are IRA holdings. Given that it’s a long-term, buy-and-hold kind of investment, gold is well-suited to an IRA, whose funds you frequently don’t touch for decades – generally until you retire.
  • Increased control: Gold IRAs are always self-directed, which means you personally manage your assets and make all the investing decisions.

The risks of gold IRAs

If you’re thinking of getting a gold IRA, keep these disadvantages in mind.

  • Taxes: There is no tax-advantaged income. Gold bullion does not provide interest, dividends, or other types of returns. As a result, it does not benefit from the tax-free growing feature of IRA investment. You’d only be eligible for a tax deduction if you sold your gold for a profit.
  • Expense: There are a few charges associated with putting precious metals in your retirement plan and storing them there. These expenses are an initial setup charge, annual custodian fees, and storage fees. A regular IRA will incur the first two expenditures. Fees can vary based on the Trust firm you use.
  • Funding constraints: You are not permitted to transfer any precious metals you currently own into your Gold IRA. You are also not permitted to purchase precious metals and send them to your IRA yourself. All transactions must be handled on your behalf by a custodian.
  • Theft and deception:  Investing in actual gold and silver might expose you to the danger of fraud and theft. Depositories that qualify to keep precious metals for IRA accounts, on the other hand, must be insured. There’s also the possibility of custodians pilfering from their clients, which is avoidable by using a custodian who guarantees every financial transaction. 

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