Has anyone else personally gotten ripped off on a PM buy?

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Predaceous Stink Bug
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I thought this might be a fun thread! :popcorn:

Whether it was on ebay, a coin shop, yard/garage sale, an online dealer, a fake, etc. I want to hear about. Don't be shy we are not here to judge. This thread is for you to tell your story. Tell us your story. In fact, I will start.

This happened when I was new to buying silver and silver was much less expensive then it is currently. I am not going to mention the name because I still go there and I believe it was an honest mistake on their part, but this happened at a local coin shop in my area. I was making a pretty big buy for myself at the time, I think it was around 30 oz. So I was going thru their miscellaneous second hand bar and round box, having already picked out a 10 oz bar and some well known names like engelhard and JM one oz's, and came across a world trade center 9/11 commemorative round in a hard plastic air-tite case with a black padded ring around it. I thought it looked nice and even though I had never seen one before, I trusted my dealer and didn't think that it mattered that it didn't say .999 fine silver or one troy oz. Like I said, I trusted the coin store to have tested it or if it had any doubts not to buy it from a customer. So I bought it, I didn't think anything of it until I got home. When I got home, I got online and looked up some of the new silver pieces I had acquired. I found this round was clad in pure silver and not actual solid pure silver. I tried to get a return from the coin store but they claimed ignorance, they don't remember every round they sell, and no returns of pm's due to price fluctuation, etc. So, I got stuck with it. I was upset at the time but it was a rookie mistake and have made up that loss substantially since then, like I said this was when silver had just crossed into the $20 range. Now I know to make sure everything I buy, unless it's junk silver, is marked for purity and weight.

Good news though, I recently sold it on eBay for $14 on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I was completely honest in the listing and told the buyers it was clad several times in the listing.

I attached pictures of this silver dud. I took it out of the hard air-tite case after I found out it wasn't pure, to put a real silver coin in it.


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I haven't been ripped off yet, but I see auctions on ebay all the time where other people are obviously being ripped off. When I get time later, I will compose a more detailed post showing some examples of what I mean.
I did get ripped off once with a silver purchase on eBay (IIRC it was 10x 1oz rounds), but wrote it off as an exception to the rule - I made a lot of other purchases, and got fantastic bargains which more than made up for the loss. This was around 2008 when silver was ultracheap.

(The guy involved ripped off a few others before disappearing, and a blog appeared sometime afterwards naming the thief and listing some of his varied crimes).

I had one other near-incident on eBay with a purchase of 1/4oz Sovereigns which were actually for someone else - the seller didn't understand the escrow rule and that PayPal wouldn't release his cash until feedback was left - ended up rewinding the trade, no loss.

Apart from that it was a bargain party on eBay up until around 2009. Since then it's been more cost effective to stick with dealers.

BTW I also picked up a couple of those 9/11 coins (gold-plated silver ones) just because one had Bush's grinning head on the back, and it was so awful I had to have it.
Nothing other than time lost.
1, 2.5, + 5 gram gold bars purchased on Ebay with no arrival.
Money was returned to account and seller disappeared.
This was when gold was just below $1000.
Policy was and is; below spot price including shipping, ALL Ebay PM purchases.
Reputable dealers are the way to go.

Jim Orcholski
J&T Coins
(262) 560-0117
ebay - Caveat emptor

One of the biggest ways people can potentially get "scammed"* on ebay is to not understand the difference between an ounce and a troy ounce. I often find auctions of 90% silver sold by the "ounce" and people are paying close to spot for them. An ounce is less than a troy ounce. Spot is a price for a troy ounce.

I prefer to buy 90% silver in lots by face value. It's easier to look up or calculate the silver content this way using a handy tool like coinflation.

* in quotes because it's not a true scam. The seller is being honest, but taking advanatge of buyer ignorance.

I was hoping to make a larger, more detailed post with examples, but I don't have the time to do that right now, so this should suffice. Maybe others can chime in with more examples of things to watch out for when evaluating ebay auctions.
Right now my comfort level is to purchase only from reputable online dealers.

So far, so good.
I luckily have nothing to add to this thread, whew.:) Like Unobtanium, I've gone with reputable dealers so far.
I go only with 90% junk silver and never online. If I can't have it in my paws when I pay for it, I don't want it.

Last deal I got was $35 face at 18 times face when spot was 24 times face.

My local dealer will sell at face and deliver it to me.
Any bad deals I have been involved with were of my own doing. I have never been pressured to buy something, and have always been in charge during the deals. If I spend too much, then shame on me.

That said, I have had significantly more good experiences than bad ones. Most LCS operators can tell if you know your way around a stack of silver, and will give you the appropriate respect during a deal, but remember, a dealer is operating in his/her own best interests, and if they can squeeze an extra dime on a deal, they will.
merlinfire said:
Beware: German Silver

I just started to see a bunch of it pop up on ebay today. Some of you already know this stuff but I had to do research.

Beware, Nickel Silver and German Silver have 0% SILVER IN THEM. They are not at all silver, but instead are copper, nickel, and zinc. The name is misleading, though apparently has been used and is "technically correct" for what the alloy is. But it is not silver.
Nickel silver, also known as German silver,[1] Argentann,[1] new silver,[1] nickel brass,[2] albata,[3], or alpacca,[4] is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc.[5] Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but it contains no elemental silver unless plated. The name "German silver" refers to its development by 19th-century German metalworkers in imitation of the Chinese alloy known as paktong[6][7] All modern, commercially important nickel silvers (such as those standardized under ASTM B122) contain significant amounts of zinc, and are sometimes considered a subset of brass.[8]


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