Bullion Direct is an established operator in the precious metals niche. Set up in the year 2000,with its headquarters at Austin, Texas, this company has gained rich experience which gives them an edge over their more recent competitors. However there has also been a resistance to change which is reflected in their website. Though visitors to the site are offered a range of products suited to all types of investors in silver and gold, the website has not been upgraded regularly and lacks the ability to interact effectively with the users, a feature which the more recent players in the market like Golden Eagle Coins have incorporated into their sites.
Besides gold and silver, Bullion Direct also markets palladium and platinum products which attract large investors.
In spite of offering a wide choice of bullion products, Bullion Direct does not display them attractively in a manner that will induce people to buy. Listing of products without pictures makes it impossible for customers to compare the various products of a specific type like coins. This article deals at greater length into some of the aspects of the company’s website.
Products and Pricing
Bullion Direct offers a generous selection of precious metal products, with gold and silver products forming the major part of its range. It’s Nucleo Exchange allows both small and large members to place their orders for physical products, in real time and any time of the day or year. The items are listed out on four pages, one each dedicated to silver, gold, palladium and platinum products. There is a list of products on each page but the basis on which the lists are organized is not clear, giving the impression that they are randomly inserted within the list.
The bullion products at Bullion Direct are usually priced reasonably as compared to the market standards and it is not often that you will find any instance of overcharging. It uses activity-based costing to decide on its service and fee structure, which ensures that you are charged for only those services that you avail of. The prices at Bullion Direct are generally better than some sites like APMEX but you may get better deals on other sites like Golden Eagle.
At Bullion Direct you can be assured of a good selection but not anything that will excite you greatly. American Eagles and Buffalos, Maple Leafs from the Royal Canadian Mint and Krugerrands from South Africa are among their standard offerings. Perhaps the major advantage they have over the other players in the market is their range of palladium and platinum products, which is not available at every online site.
The payment options are listed in their FAQ page. Bullion Direct accepts payments by way of credit cards, cashier and personal checks, and bank wire where the amount exceeds $5,000.
The company specifies that personal checks are the preferred payment option. This has nothing to do with the security of the payment as debit and credit cards also ensure that payments are received. However, settlements through credit cards entail payment of additional fees and there are restrictions on the type of product which can purchased with the card. There are few such restrictions on check payments.
The Bullion Direct site is not well organized and hence obtaining information on shipping options was time consuming. A persistent search revealed that they offer the option of shipping through FedEx, UPS or USPS, which is similar to that of other sites. However, the website does not explain the reasons why and in what circumstances a particular shipper may be chosen as the preferred carrier.
Bullion Direct allows customers to accumulate orders before taking physical delivery. This service is provided free of cost. The company levies a shipping charge and a handling fee on all orders entailing physical delivery. Costs of insurance are included in these charges.
Bullion Direct is a solid, functional site for choosing products but is old-fashioned and not very user-friendly. Besides, there may be better deals available on other similar sites. Bullion Direct may suit people who do not mind spending their time and efforts looking through the site and who prefer to deal with a well-established and reputed bullion dealer. People who prefer an interactive website with a lot of pictures will have to switch to some other site for their bullion needs.