Are you planning to safeguard your wealth, but don’t know how? If so, investing in precious metals can be a safe choice. Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are among some of the world's most valuable commodities. However, with the endless investment partners out there, figuring out which company is ideal for your investment needs can be tricky.
I understand the struggle. Starting my investment journey, I wasn't sure which company met my very basic investment goals at that time. After two decades of experiencing the ins and outs of the industry though, I now possess the skills to guide you through your research for the same.
Today, I’ll be comparing two of the most popular names in the industry: APMEX and JM Bullion. Read on to discover which company better suits your investment goals based on product selection, pricing, customer service, and reliability.
Regarding the establishment, both APMEX and JM Bullion have had unique beginnings. Starting with APMEX, the story of this company's establishment dates back to when its founder and president, Scott Thomas, inherited his grandparents' coin collection.
After their passing, Thomas revisited the collection he had helped create as a child and discovered its net worth to be roughly $100,000. This realization eventually pushed him to sell it on eBay, turning it into a hobby of purchasing and selling unique coins.
Over time, this hobby turned into a business. Scott initially started with a small shop in an Edmond, Oklahoma strip mall which eventually grew into a brick-and-mortar coin store. As the online presence of his store gained traction, Thomas officially opened APMEX for precious metals investors in 2000, marking the company’s inception.
Unlike Scott though, whose hobby led to the establishment of APMEX, JM Bullion's founders, Michael Wittmeyer and Jonathan Wanchalk, were visionary entrepreneurs. So, as the demand for precious metals investment increased, the two saw a market gap for an accessible and reliable internet platform for trading these assets.
Following this realization, they launched JM Bullion in 2011 in a basement in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Their vision behind JM Bullion was to make buying gold, silver, and other precious metals easier through an organized online platform. For that, they provided easy transactions and trustworthy services to investors and collectors, marking the beginning of JM Bullion.
Product Range and Availability
While investing with APMEX, I encountered various basic investment options. However, exploring JM Bullion revealed a broader range of collections and product offerings.
Simply put, the APMEX website allows you to invest in gold, silver, platinum bullion, and rare coins, with various products in each category.
On the other hand, JM Bullion also supports investment in palladium and copper items. Not to mention the presence of accessories like coin capsules, storage tubes, display cases, and safety gloves.
In my experience, I found JM Bullion’s incorporation of copper and palladium products to be a valuable addition, especially for those with smaller budgets. However, I must note that navigating through these additional options can be a bit overwhelming.
On the other hand, APMEX's focused collection, focusing on popular precious metals categories and products, can prove to be ideal for newbie investors.
Product Range and Availability - WINNER
JM Bullion offers a wider range of investment products, including palladium and copper products, as well as accessories such as display cases, safety gloves and storage tubes.
Pricing and Fees
In terms of fee structure, both companies exhibit transparency in disclosing the various fees associated with precious metals investments. Starting with product pricing, APMEX and JM Bullion’s products always have up-to-date pricing on the website.
Additionally, both companies charge a shipping fee for orders below $199. Since my investment with APMEX was above this budget, I didn't have to pay any shipping fee. However, during my investment with JM Bullion, my total order value fell below $199 and I had to pay an additional $9.95 for shipping. It is worth noting that these shipping rates are listed and added to the final cost at the time of purchase on both websites — dependent on the order value.
APMEX’s Pricing Advantage
While there isn’t much difference in both companies' pricing factors, I did find APMEX to offer a 4.0% discount on all orders paid by check, eCheck, or bank transfer. Notably, the prices listed on their website for each product already include this 4.0% discount.
Pricing and Fees - WINNER
APMEX offers 4% discount on any orders that are paid by bank transfer, check or eCheck.
Customer Service and Support
Another aspect I found quite similar in APMEX and JM Bullion was their customer support service. Starting with APMEX, the company only offers contact options through email or live chat (accessible from Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm EST).
Likewise, JM Bullion also offers contact options through email or call (accessible from Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm CST). Besides these contact options, there’s also a detailed FAQ section in the platform to help investors with their queries.
While this is helpful, It was disappointing to note that neither company offers 24/7 customer support option.
With that said, the service of their customer support team is quite excellent. Why do I say that? When I reached out with basic investment questions, both teams were quick to respond and very helpful.
While JM Bullion’s team gave detailed answers, APMEX’s team went the extra mile, providing additional insights into the precious metals industry and the potential of different metals. This helped me make a more informed investment decision.
Altogether, I found both company’s customer support teams to be knowledgeable and up to date with the industry and highly supportive in handling customer concerns.
Customer Service and Support - WINNER
While both companies have top-tier customer service, I found that APMEX was more focused on educating me and helping me make the right investment decisions.
User Experience and Website Navigation
While exploring JM Bullion and APMEX's websites, I noticed both were user-friendly and easy to navigate. However, there is a notable difference in their appearance.
In simple terms, the APMEX website is quick to navigate with an easy-to-understand website layout, making it ideal for beginner investors,
In contrast, JM Bullion's website is more crowded with various promotions, offers, and service options, making it ideal for experienced investors well-familiar with these categories.
Security and Reliability
Undoubtedly, APMEX and JM Bullion have a great reputation in the precious metals sector for high-quality products, insured products, and safe and timely delivery. Let's explore further by comparing their ratings and reviews on several trusted sites:
Consumer Protection Agency
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Business Consumer Alliance (BCA)
- A+ rating
- 390 reviews
- 96 complaints
- BBB rating
- 5 reviews
- 0 complaints
- 1.8/5 rating
- 7,884 reviews
- 473 reviews below 4 stars
- 3.5/5 rating
- 248 reviews
- 90 reviews below 4-stars
- A+ rating
- 558 reviews
- 45 complaints
- F rating
- 1 review
- 0 complaints
- 4.0/5 rating
- 1,090 reviews
- 204 reviews below 4-stars
- 2.5/5 rating
- 291 reviews
- 98 reviews below 4-stars
Security and Reliability - WINNER
While both companies have some good and bad ratings, overall APMEX has a better reputation from online reviews. However, there are still some concerning numbers, such as the low TrustPilot rating of 1.8, and the high number of 96 complains on BBB. If you are interested in researching other precious metals companies, you can read my article on the best choices.
Special Features and Services
Beyond the basics, let's explore these companies' special features and services. Starting with APMEX, here are some special services I came across during my investment with the company:
JM Bullion also offers plenty of special services and products. These include the following:
While APMEX's products and services cater to beginner investors' needs, I found JM Bullion ideal for experienced precious metals investors looking for wider options.
But, which company is ideal for you? I believe the only way to find out is by comparing your specific investment preferences with what JM Bullion and APMEX offer. Moreover, it is also important to consider your familiarity with the precious metals investment industry to understand which company best caters to your investment needs accordingly. I hope this detailed guide will help you make a more informed investment decision.
APMEX is a better choice for those who are just starting out with precious metal investments, since it is more user-friendly and has a more basic layout. On the other hand, JM Bullion is the better option for seasoned investors who are looking for more diverse options when investing.