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Last Updated on May 19, 2023
Navigating the precious metals market can be a challenging task for beginners and seasoned investors alike. Among the most prominent players in the industry are SD Bullion and the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX).
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the specifics of these two reputable dealers, comparing their products, services, pricing, customer reviews, and much more.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a firm grasp of the key differences between SD Bullion and APMEX, enabling you to make an informed decision for your investment needs.
What is APMEX?
The American Precious Metals Exchange, commonly known as APMEX, is one of the world’s largest and most trusted online precious metals dealers. Established in 1999 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, APMEX offers a vast selection of products, including gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and rare coins. The company has built its reputation by ensuring excellent customer service, providing comprehensive educational resources, and guaranteeing the authenticity of its products.
What is SD Bullion?
SD Bullion was founded in 2012 during the aftermath of the global financial crisis. With a belief in the value of precious metals as an investment to hedge against financial uncertainty, the founders of SD Bullion have since then been dedicated to offering the lowest prices in the industry. Over the years, SD Bullion has grown in leaps and bounds, becoming a market leader in the sale of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products, and gaining millions of loyal customers along the way.
Key Differences Between SD Bullion and APMEX
When investing in precious metals, it’s essential to understand the differences between the providers. Let’s explore some of the key differences between SD Bullion and APMEX.
Business Philosophy and Focus
APMEX and SD Bullion have different core focuses. APMEX focuses on providing a broad product range and delivering exceptional customer service, while SD Bullion emphasizes offering the lowest possible prices to make precious metal investment accessible to more people.
APMEX boasts one of the largest product offerings in the industry, spanning gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins, as well as rare and collectible coins, international currencies, and numismatic items. For collectors or investors seeking variety or specific items, APMEX may be the better option.
On the other hand, while SD Bullion may not match APMEX’s product range, especially in the numismatic space, they offer a solid selection of standard bullion products such as bars, rounds, and coins across the four major precious metals.
Pricing is a significant area of difference between the two. While APMEX is known for its quality service and product selection, it often comes with a higher price tag compared to SD Bullion. SD Bullion generally offers lower prices on many of their products, living up to their motto, “The Lowest Prices. Period.” They also provide a price match guarantee, further cementing their commitment to cost competitiveness.
While both companies strive to offer excellent customer service, the feedback from consumers varies. APMEX is widely recognized for its stellar customer service and educational resources, making it a preferred choice for those who value this aspect of the buying experience.
SD Bullion has also received positive reviews for its customer service, but their standout trait is their commitment to providing the best prices, making them an attractive choice for cost-focused investors.
Both SD Bullion and APMEX offer storage options for investors who prefer not to keep their precious metals at home. APMEX has partnered with Citadel Global Depository Services, a subsidiary of Brink’s, one of the world’s most trusted names in secure logistics. SD Bullion offers storage through the Doc’s Depository, which provides fully insured, segregated, and allocated storage solutions.
In summary, your choice between SD Bullion and APMEX should reflect your investment priorities, whether they lie in pricing, product selection, customer service, or storage options.
APMEX Products and Services
APMEX’s product catalog is exceptionally extensive.
Beyond the staples of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins, APMEX offers an expansive selection of rare and collectible coins, international currencies, and numismatic items.
They also provide an array of storage options for precious metals, along with an automatic investment program called AutoInvest that allows you to steadily build your precious metals portfolio.
APMEX’s product lineup is incredibly expansive and arguably one of the most diverse in the industry. Here’s a closer look at their primary categories:
- Precious Metals
At the core of APMEX’s product offerings are the traditional precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, and pallium. These are available in various forms, including bars, coins, and rounds, catering to a wide range of investment strategies and preferences.
- Numismatics and Rare Coins
APMEX offers an impressive selection of numismatic coins and rare pieces. Their offerings span numerous mints, countries, and periods, making APMEX a top destination for collectors. Their collection includes U.S. and international coins, ancient coins, and even shipwreck coins.
APMEX’s product range also extends to currency, specifically paper money from various parts of the world. This is an exciting option for collectors interested in currency.
APMEX is not just a sales platform; it also offers services designed to meet the needs of precious metals investors.
- APMEX SecureTrade
This is APMEX’s proprietary transaction system, ensuring the security and privacy of all transactions made on their platform.
- Precious Metals IRA
APMEX provides a Precious Metals IRA service, allowing investors to add eligible gold, silver, platinum, and palladium items to their individual retirement accounts (IRAs). This service offers investors a way to diversify their retirement savings with tangible assets.
- APMEX Club
The APMEX Club is a rewards program that offers benefits like exclusive sales, priority access to new releases, and faster checkouts.
- AutoInvest Program
APMEX’s AutoInvest program is an automatic investment plan that allows users to regularly purchase precious metals, facilitating a disciplined, long-term investment approach.
- Secure Storage
Through a partnership with Citadel Global Depository Services, APMEX offers secure, insured storage for precious metals, ensuring peace of mind for investors who do not wish to store their assets at home.
- Education and Market Reports
APMEX offers comprehensive educational resources, including an informative blog, market reports, and price alerts, providing investors with the knowledge and insights they need to make informed investment decisions.
By offering a vast product catalog alongside a suite of services tailored to investors, APMEX has established itself as a premier destination for those interested in precious metals.
SD Bullion Products and Services
SD Bullion’s offerings are similarly comprehensive, covering gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products. However, their numismatic selection is less extensive than APMEX.
SD Bullion stands out with their commitment to offering the lowest prices in the industry and a price match guarantee.
They also provide vault storage services and a monthly savings program similar to APMEX’s AutoInvest program.
SD Bullion’s product offerings are extensive, providing investors with plenty of options across various categories.
- Precious Metals
SD Bullion offers a comprehensive selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars, coins, and rounds. They source their precious metals from reputable mints worldwide, ensuring the authenticity and quality of their products.
- Specialty Bullion
In addition to standard bullion products, SD Bullion also offers unique items such as hand-poured silver bars, bullet-shaped bullion, and other specialty bullion pieces, providing more diverse investment options for collectors and investors.
- Survival Food and Supplies
In line with their vision of preparing for financial uncertainties, SD Bullion also sells survival food and supplies, making it a unique destination for those looking to stock up for potential emergencies.
Beyond their product range, SD Bullion also provides several key services for the precious metal investment community.
- Monthly Accumulation Program
Similar to APMEX’s AutoInvest program, SD Bullion’s Monthly Accumulation Program (MAP) allows investors to automatically purchase precious metals each month. This program provides a disciplined approach to investing, enabling customers to consistently grow their precious metals portfolio.
- Secure Storage
SD Bullion’s partnership with the Doc’s Depository allows investors to securely store their precious metals. This facility offers fully insured, segregated, and allocated storage solutions, ensuring the safety and security of your investments.
- Buyback Program
SD Bullion offers a convenient buyback program where they purchase precious metals from individuals. This service adds flexibility for investors, as it provides a straightforward way to liquidate their assets when needed.
- SD Bullion Price Match Guarantee
As part of their commitment to provide the lowest prices, SD Bullion offers a price match guarantee. If a customer finds a lower advertised price from another dealer, SD Bullion will match that price, subject to certain terms and conditions.
- Educational Resources
SD Bullion provides a range of educational resources to equip investors with knowledge about the precious metals market. They offer weekly market updates, a comprehensive blog, and a precious metals investment guide.
In summary, SD Bullion offers a solid range of products and services, centered around their commitment to providing low-cost precious metals. Their unique offerings like survival supplies, coupled with a robust suite of investor services, make them a competitive option in the industry.
Pricing Comparison Between SD Bullion and APMEX
Price is a major consideration for any investor. While APMEX boasts a wider product range and is often recognized for its customer service, SD Bullion is typically the less expensive option. SD Bullion consistently offers lower prices on a majority of their products, making them an attractive choice for investors who prioritize cost-effectiveness.
APMEX, being one of the largest online dealers of precious metals, often offers competitive prices, especially for bulk purchases or for buyers in their APMEX Club. However, due to their extensive range of products and renowned customer service, their prices can sometimes be higher than those of SD Bullion.
It’s also worth noting that APMEX’s product range includes many rare and collectible items, which can be priced significantly higher due to their numismatic value, not just their metal content.
SD Bullion Pricing
SD Bullion, on the other hand, has built its business model around offering “the lowest prices, period.” They aim to offer the most cost-effective options for investors who are primarily interested in the bullion value of coins, rounds, and bars. Their price match guarantee underscores this commitment. If a customer finds a lower advertised price from another dealer, SD Bullion pledges to match that price.
While SD Bullion may not offer the same breadth of product selection as APMEX, particularly when it comes to rare and collectible items, they are hard to beat in terms of pricing for most standard bullion products.
Final Pricing Comparison
In conclusion, if your primary concern is acquiring precious metals at the lowest cost possible, SD Bullion may be a better fit for you. However, if you are interested in rare or collectible items or value a vast product selection, APMEX might be the better choice, even if it may come with a slightly higher price tag.
Remember that pricing can fluctuate based on factors such as market demand, inventory, and changes in spot prices for precious metals. It’s always a good idea to compare prices between dealers before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
BBB Rating and Customer Review Comparison
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and customer reviews are crucial tools for evaluating a company’s reputation and reliability. Let’s examine how SD Bullion and APMEX stack up in these areas.
APMEX enjoys a solid reputation in the market, as reflected by its BBB rating and customer reviews. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, APMEX held an A+ rating from the BBB, which is the highest possible rating. This rating is based on factors such as complaint history, transparency of business, and adherence to best practices.
In terms of customer reviews, APMEX generally receives high praise for its vast product selection, secure packaging, prompt delivery, and excellent customer service. However, some customers have noted higher prices compared to other dealers, which can be a downside for those focused primarily on cost.
SD Bullion’s Ratings
Like APMEX, SD Bullion also had an A+ rating from the BBB as of September 2021. This rating indicates that SD Bullion also meets high standards in terms of business practices and handling customer complaints.
Customer reviews for SD Bullion are generally positive, with many customers praising their competitive prices and reliable delivery. Customers have also appreciated their customer service and the overall smoothness of the transaction process. However, some reviews have mentioned a smaller product range compared to some competitors, which may be a drawback for those seeking more unique or rare items.
Comparing Their Ratings
In terms of BBB ratings, both APMEX and SD Bullion hold the highest possible rating, reflecting their reliability and commitment to good business practices. However, customer reviews highlight some differences between the two. APMEX seems to stand out for its extensive product selection and customer service, while SD Bullion is frequently praised for its competitive pricing.
It’s important to note that customer reviews can vary greatly based on individual experiences and expectations. Therefore, prospective customers should consider both the BBB ratings and a wide range of customer reviews when deciding which company to choose for their precious metal investments.
Top Reasons to Consider APMEX
APMEX is one of the leading names in the precious metals industry, and there are several compelling reasons to consider them for your investment needs. Here are some of the top reasons to choose APMEX:
- Extensive Product Selection
APMEX boasts an impressive selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products, as well as a variety of rare and collectible coins. Their catalog includes options from mints around the world, catering to a wide array of preferences for investors and collectors alike. If diversity and variety are your top concerns, APMEX is hard to beat.
- High-Quality Customer Service
APMEX’s commitment to customer service is well-regarded in the industry. They offer knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives to assist with any questions or concerns. Their aim is to ensure a smooth and satisfying buying experience for each customer.
- Comprehensive Educational Resources
APMEX provides extensive educational resources, such as market reports, blog posts, and a knowledge center filled with information on various aspects of precious metal investment. These resources can be invaluable for both new and experienced investors.
- Secure Storage Options
Through its partnership with Citadel Global Depository Services, APMEX provides a secure storage option for your investments. This service is highly beneficial for those who prefer not to keep their assets at home or are looking for a safe and insured storage solution.
- Precious Metals IRA
APMEX offers a Precious Metals Individual Retirement Account (IRA) service that allows you to include eligible precious metals in your retirement account. This offering provides an avenue to diversify your retirement savings beyond traditional assets.
- AutoInvest Program
APMEX’s AutoInvest program allows for systematic, recurring purchases of precious metals. This can be an excellent tool for investors who want to consistently invest in precious metals over time, following a disciplined, dollar-cost-averaging approach.
- APMEX Club
The APMEX Club loyalty program offers a host of benefits, including exclusive sales, priority access to new releases, and faster checkout processes.
These factors make APMEX a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for precious metal investment needs, from an extensive product catalog to top-tier customer service, and educational resources to user-friendly investment programs.
Top Reasons to Consider SD Bullion
SD Bullion has built a strong reputation in the precious metals industry. There are several reasons why one might consider choosing SD Bullion for their precious metal investments.
- Competitive Pricing
One of the most significant selling points of SD Bullion is their commitment to offering competitive prices. They promise to provide the lowest prices possible, backed by a price match guarantee. If you find a lower advertised price from another dealer, SD Bullion pledges to match it.
- Solid Product Range
While SD Bullion’s product range may not be as extensive as some competitors, they offer a solid selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products. Their catalog includes a variety of bars, coins, and rounds from reputable mints worldwide.
- Secure Storage Options
SD Bullion partners with Doc’s Depository to provide a secure storage solution for your precious metals. With fully insured, segregated, and allocated storage options, you can have peace of mind about the safety of your investments.
- Monthly Accumulation Program
SD Bullion’s Monthly Accumulation Program (MAP) offers a systematic, disciplined approach to investing in precious metals. You can set up recurring purchases to steadily grow your investment over time.
- Buyback Program
SD Bullion’s buyback program offers a straightforward process for selling your precious metals back to them. This feature can provide flexibility and liquidity for your investments when you need it.
- Unique Offerings
SD Bullion stands out with some unique product offerings, such as survival food and supplies. This aligns with their philosophy of preparing for financial uncertainties and might appeal to those looking for a one-stop-shop for their preparedness needs.
- Excellent Customer Service
SD Bullion is praised for its excellent customer service, with representatives who are helpful, knowledgeable, and responsive. Their team is ready to assist with any queries or issues to ensure a smooth transaction process.
In summary, SD Bullion provides a robust platform for precious metal investments with competitive pricing, a reliable range of products, secure storage options, and convenient investment and buyback programs. Their unique offerings and dedicated customer service further enhance their appeal to many investors
In conclusion, both SD Bullion and APMEX are reputable, trustworthy precious metals dealers. APMEX stands out for its extensive product selection and quality customer service, while SD Bullion is noted for its competitive pricing strategy.
It ultimately depends on the individual investor’s needs and preferences as to which dealer is the best choice.
Remember, investing in precious metals should align with your financial goals and risk tolerance, and it’s always wise to diversify your investment portfolio.