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BackyardBullion

**February/March 2018** Group order from GoldSilver.be

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12 minutes ago, sixgun said:

What GS.be has done is bad form b/c they were giving The Silver Forum members preferential treatment and now they have withdrawn it, perhaps out of spite for using European Mint.

They weren't giving BYB or the group orders 'preferential treatment' - I know others who were operating in a similar fashion (locking in prices and waiting until their overall order reached free shipping level) and were receiving the same.

They now appear to have retracted this offer (despite their terms and conditions not apparently having been changed, not sure there myself - ?) across the board, but it won't be confirmed until another buyer who has previously enjoyed the same benefit confirms.

Any which way I say it sucks and Goldsilver.be have not only lost a lot of goodwill but are looking pretty 'dishonourable' if BYB's first order this time was before this 'clarification', and 'merely' 'not giving a toss about their customers' if not.

 

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5 minutes ago, sixgun said:

GS.be have not been applying the terms on their own website. It is there - first order must be 5000€ for free shipping. BYB is making multiple orders which GS.be is holding until BYB says send. i don't know how many orders are stacked up but it will be dozens of separate orders none of which is 5000€.

It is free shipping with first orders over 5000€, not total value of the box containing dozens of orders.

What GS.be has done is bad form b/c they were giving The Silver Forum members preferential treatment and now they have withdrawn it, perhaps out of spite for using European Mint.

We'll have to agree to disagree, i think. It does not say "first" or even single order of 5k, below. Which is where the ambiguity comes in. It mentions shipping costs are paid on first order only, of a combined order. Which can be taken to mean if your combined order does not go on to amount to 5k. And i very much doubt in the past they gave preferential treatment. You think so? They don't strike me as the kind of company to give a toss one way or the other, given their customer approach.

Free shipping for orders value 5k and above.
Several orders can be combined. Shipping and handling costs are paid on first order only.

Don't get me wrong either, in the same boat if it was my order i would just suck it up and give them their shipping charge. But not after i had a lot more to say to them about it.

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Thanks for all your input everyone.

It really helps to get a lot of your views and opinions on this topic. 

Personally the ONLY reason I switched back to GS.be is that they have a pretty large range of coins, they also have great prices on some of the new releases coming out. 

As I said at the start of this thread - the EU mint was informed of us using GS.be for this order. They were absolutely fine with it, they even asked for feedback on this recent group order. 

What I would like to do, and maybe this would be best for another thread, is to get your feedback on the order. The good, the bad, everything you want to share. I then plan to have a video skype call with the EU mint so that we can feed this back to them and work out how we can do business with them on a similar level to GS.be in the coming months. 

I have always had my doubts about GS.be's customer service and the way they handled this situation today is not the way I would like to conduct business. Also, as I have said the amount of sleep I have lost worrying about a GS.be order is not good. EU mint was 17 hours dispatch to door with tracking all the way. That is pretty amazing. 

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10 minutes ago, BackyardBullion said:

I have always had my doubts about GS.be's customer service and the way they handled this situation today is not the way I would like to conduct business. Also, as I have said the amount of sleep I have lost worrying about a GS.be order is not good. EU mint was 17 hours dispatch to door with tracking all the way. That is pretty amazing. 

i have only once had an issue and this was to do with the courier they were using. i had a big order with them - could well have been >15 000€. i said that there were complaints about the courier on the Silver Forum. There were lots of complaints. i invited them to the forum to see what people had to say and maybe they could reply. They did not accept the offer, they said something about being charged for posting and they weren't allowed. Well a few posts as a non member would been helpful to forum members and would not have been charged. They denied there had ever been any problems with this particular courier. i left it there and i got the delivery fine but a nasty side was apparent.

Edited by sixgun

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Good to have a range of views and positive expert contributions.  It seems as though there is a weak point with the delivery and it is certainly not fair that BYB has sleepless nights awaiting the order.

This is a fantastic community initiative, I think which showcases, along with other Group activity, the very best of a great bunch of enthusiast working together.

I was involved in the inaugural Group Order and I have to say that I was disappointed with the condition and quality of some of the coins.  I had a 10oz. QB where the capsule had been VERY poorly handled and a few Britannias with cracked capsules.  Now, I appreciated BYB's efforts too much to have drawn these "issues" to his attention, but isn't it strange what happens when what should be a really trivial matter catches so much airtime.

As @kimchi says there is a certain lack of goodwill that has arisen from this issue.

The Genie is out of the bottle, I'm afraid.  In these tough economic times I see countless examples of businesses bending over backward to help customers and I notice also the other quieter ones who can't understand why they are quieter!

I will sign off by saying many thanks to the BYB's for all their past efforts with the Group Order - it is a very entertaining and informative part of the Silver Forum, whether you participate or not.   Good always comes out of bad and I am CERTAIN this minor issue will drive the Group Order to greater levels of success with such a top man behind it.

Keep up the good work!

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@sixgun  I also have had a few large orders with them in the past.  I no longer use them because their customer service is just too poor.  There is as you say a nasty side to the way they deal with any issues and I felt completely unvalued as a customer.  I personally don't mind to pay a small amount more to deal with a business that has exemplary customer service and uses a courier that does not leave 1000's of pounds sitting on the street with a fake signature by the driver.  I recently bought some items from Auragentum and kettner and they were both superb to deal with.

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2 hours ago, BackyardBullion said:

Thanks for all your input everyone.

It really helps to get a lot of your views and opinions on this topic. 

Personally the ONLY reason I switched back to GS.be is that they have a pretty large range of coins, they also have great prices on some of the new releases coming out. 

As I said at the start of this thread - the EU mint was informed of us using GS.be for this order. They were absolutely fine with it, they even asked for feedback on this recent group order. 

What I would like to do, and maybe this would be best for another thread, is to get your feedback on the order. The good, the bad, everything you want to share. I then plan to have a video skype call with the EU mint so that we can feed this back to them and work out how we can do business with them on a similar level to GS.be in the coming months. 

I have always had my doubts about GS.be's customer service and the way they handled this situation today is not the way I would like to conduct business. Also, as I have said the amount of sleep I have lost worrying about a GS.be order is not good. EU mint was 17 hours dispatch to door with tracking all the way. That is pretty amazing. 

I participated in the group order for the first time recently when BYB ordered from the European mint.  As a new member to the forum it was a pleasure to be involved and the speed of delivery and communication seemed exceptional from my seat.  Im grateful to BYB for ordering and i think its a fantastic part of this forum.

My only comment, and this is not intended to be a criticism of any party but rather just a discussion point, is that as someone who ordered circa £300 of silver the postage costs, including special delivery from BYB came to circa £14.  Now whilst i was happy to pay this in order to be involved this number is equivalent or similar to what i would have paid for postage had i ordered solo from STG or GS.BE 

I appreciate that the Euro Mint does offer a superior standard of shipping to its competitors and this may be necessary given the stress to BYB by using the cheaper services ....... however it does slightly reduce the benefit of a group order from the Euro mint when compared to alternative sources.  Again, appreciate the Euro Mint are offering a somewhat different service however their standard postage costs for the size of the group order being nearly ten times some of their competition (and still five times with BYB's dicount) strikes me as a little but wide of the market?

Edited by Foolssilver

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19 minutes ago, Foolssilver said:

I participated in the group order for the first time recently when BYB ordered from the European mint.  As a new member to the forum it was a pleasure to be involved and the speed of delivery and communication seemed exceptional from my seat.  Im grateful to BYB for ordering and i think its a fantastic part of this forum.

My only comment, and this is not intended to be a criticism of any party but rather just a discussion point, is that as someone who ordered circa £300 of silver the postage costs, including special delivery from BYB came to circa £14.  Now whilst i was happy to pay this in order to be involved this number is equivalent or similar to what i would have paid for postage had i ordered solo from STG or GS.BE 

I appreciate that the Euro Mint does offer a superior standard of shipping to its competitors and this may be necessary given the stress to BYB by using the cheaper services ....... however it does slightly reduce the benefit of a group order from the Euro mint when compared to alternative sources.  Again, appreciate the Euro Mint are offering a somewhat different service however their standard postage costs for the size of the group order being nearly ten times some of their competition (and still five times with BYB's dicount) strikes me as a little but wide of the market?

Thanks for the input. Nothing wrong with feedback and this is great for other members to see. Onwards postage is at your cost and risk. Some choose special delivery which can cost £8 - £12. Others choose 2nd regular and pay £3.90 for a 2kg parcel of silver! Up to you really.

But, you raise an important point - the more you order the less you will save compared to ordering directly. 

What the group order does (in my opinion) is save you a lot of the hassle of having to create an account with the dealer, paying them via IBAN transfer (which can be expensive if done from your bank directly) and a hassle at least if done from transferwise. I save you the time and hassle of these things - all for a "tip" of £1 ;)

Where this works best is people who want to order 1 - 5 coins and are happy with just 2nd signed as their onwards postage option. 

So if you are considering joining this order - just be aware of that!

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Thats a great point BYB - i had overlooked the transfer factor with other currencies etc ...... the £1 tip is incredible value my friend :)

I guess my point is probably more aimed at the Euro Mint in the sense that what they are doing is providing a different option but one that in terms of postage costs is a tiny bit out of sync from my perception of their competitors

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8 minutes ago, Foolssilver said:

Thats a great point BYB - i had overlooked the transfer factor with other currencies etc ...... the £1 tip is incredible value my friend :)

I guess my point is probably more aimed at the Euro Mint in the sense that what they are doing is providing a different option but one that in terms of postage costs is a tiny bit out of sync from my perception of their competitors

It is an economy of scale - the bigger the get the more they will be able to reduce the shipping costs.

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A couple of further thoughts.

I'm curious to know how much business they actually pull in from the UK as a result of this forum??  I know I certainly started to use them after hearing about them here and I even put a couple of friends on to them as well before they spoilt our relationship.  I imagine that there will be many others like me across the UK and Europe that have done the same so this forum has likely been quite significant in directing business to their site.  Something I'm certain of is that BYB's group order will be very small beers by comparison to the aggregate numbers of people that simply read this forum for advice and prefer to do their business privately.

For a while I wondered why it was that they seem so completely uninterested in acknowledging or engaging with the forum?  So many posters have made this point in one way or another with some quite eye opening communications copied for all to see.  My theory is that they might actually resent the forum in a strange sort of way.  It seems to me that regardless of how good the forum has been for their business they really don't like the idea of engaging with it because it means they would have to pick up their customer service game.  I honestly can't see that happening but who knows.

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1 hour ago, Foolssilver said:

...

My only comment, and this is not intended to be a criticism of any party but rather just a discussion point, is that as someone who ordered circa £300 of silver the postage costs, including special delivery from BYB came to circa £14.  Now whilst i was happy to pay this in order to be involved this number is equivalent or similar to what i would have paid for postage had i ordered solo from STG or GS.BE.

...

That's your mistake for not calculating properly. If you can get it cheaper by ordering solo and yet choose to join the group order instead, whose fault is that? 

 

Edited by kimchi

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9 hours ago, kimchi said:

You have been very, very polite and businesslike as always BYB...

All that time you put in for the forum members that earns THEM thousands of Euros...well their business must be doing very well indeed if they can afford to give the impression that custom is not appreciated...and not just any custom (I'm of the opinion that any customer, no matter how small, is as important as any other) - they're particularly targeting big spenders! Madness!

OK sometimes there are unforeseen extra costs that have to be passed on to customers, or the boss makes a decision that adversely affects customers, but there's a way to explain these things so that customers understand and still feel valued, and that email is pretty much the exact opposite of it.

Shocking.

Sorry to say but to me this is a bit hilariois. So much work and management to save few cents on postage. Somebody even thinking here to first group order to UK and then sending coins back to different country with same or few pennies smaller postage with no insurance cover - just to save half a pound. What is the point?

I do not want to sound negative - I appreciate BYB effort to manage all this but from dealers point of view these group orders are still a drop in the ocean in their volumes. The margins for dealers are so thin that even with £10k turnover orders they can be considered small ordes and profit for their  business are coffey moneys. If I would be a dealer I would refuse to combine these orders as well if it would require unnecessary amount of extra work for me. Please remember that those guys need to factor some value for their used time as well. Some people seem to forget this small detail here quite often.

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1 hour ago, kimchi said:

That's your mistake for not calculating properly. If you can get it cheaper by ordering solo and yet choose to join the group order instead, whose fault is that? 

 

I did calculate it properly and i made the decision to progress  as i wished to be involved.  I could not get cheaper by ordering solo.  My point, which i think was clear from the original comment i left, was that the postage pricing from the Euro mint was out of sync with their competition.

Unsure if your reply was intended to appear as abrasive as it has appeared to me!

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5 hours ago, sixgun said:

BYB is not an agent but he is acting in a process where VAT has already been paid by GS.be.

The way GS.be and the German dealers do it, is the silver is imported into Germany from outside the EU. It is sold tax free but as it enters the EU into Germany the German customs charge the old rate of VAT for silver which was 8% (+/- 1% as i cannot remember which it is). Normally a dealer would reclaim the VAT and then charge the customer VAT except the dealers would have to charge customers the going rate for VAT in Germany which is 19%.  They don't reclaim the VAT which makes the dealer the end of the chain. They then sell the coins second hand and in these circumstances there is no VAT on the silver just the dealer profits.

It all works b/c German customs is charging this lower rate of VAT. It is an anomaly but we benefit.

So BYB is not an agent but he is selling second VAT paid hand coins.

@swAgger

i don't think the shipping is ambiguous. The first order must be 5000€ for free shipping. BYB is making multiple orders which GS.be is holding until BYB says send. The only way to get the free shipping is to make the first order 5000€ or more. This is not practical i suspect. If the price of the coins was very stable it would be but as they are constantly on the move getting 5000€ of orders all together is just not practical.

Either the 18€ is paid or he stops using GS.be and uses another dealer. GS.be offers good prices and a wide choice so i expect people will want to use them and chip in a euro for postage.

I would be most concerned about the VAT responsibility for BYB. From the perspective of tax authority this looks like BYB acts as a middleman dealer - he buys coins from gs.be (basically without VAT) and then resells them for UK customers (with zero margin but technically still resells). As he generates turnover in UK tax authorities could consider it as tax evasion and consider there should be a responsibility for collecting VAT instead. Of course this is not the intention but law does not  care about intentions. If I would be doing this - even for fun - I would double check from my lawyer (or get a preliminary ruling) that there are not unpredictable tax consequences. It would be a pity to pay tens of thousands of uncollected VAT that BYB would be responsible paying retrospectively.

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20 minutes ago, Foolssilver said:

I did calculate it properly and i made the decision to progress  as i wished to be involved.  I could not get cheaper by ordering solo.  My point, which i think was clear from the original comment i left, was that the postage pricing from the Euro mint was out of sync with their competition.

...

OK, sorry I misread that you couldn't get it cheaper by going solo.

If you're saying that you couldn't get it cheaper from elsewhere, and yet the postage was not as cheap as you'd like it to be, I don't really see what your point is.

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With regards to the postage costs from the European mint to BYB's front door you have got to factor in the fuel cost and ferry/euro tunnel cost and to pay the driver and as @BackyardBullion said the last order took 17 hours to get to him and coming from Estonia that is good going 

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13 minutes ago, HODLER said:

I would be most concerned about the VAT responsibility for BYB. From the perspective of tax authority this looks like BYB acts as a middleman dealer - he buys coins from gs.be (basically without VAT) and then resells them for UK customers (with zero margin but technically still resells). As he generates turnover in UK tax authorities could consider it as tax evasion and consider there should be a responsibility for collecting VAT instead. Of course this is not the intention but law does not  care about intentions. If I would be doing this - even for fun - I would double check from my lawyer (or get a preliminary ruling) that there are not unpredictable tax consequences. It would be a pity to pay tens of thousands of uncollected VAT that BYB would be responsible paying retrospectively.

None of these orders count towards my VAT threshold. @sixgun has hit the nail on the head about VAT on these coins. 

If Mr VAT man comes knocking, I am more than prepared - not my first rodeo 😉

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2 minutes ago, HODLER said:

I would be most concerned about the VAT responsibility for BYB. From the perspective of tax authority this looks like BYB acts as a middleman dealer - he buys coins from gs.be (basically without VAT) and then resells them for UK customers (with zero margin but technically still resells). As he generates turnover in UK tax authorities could consider it as tax evasion and consider there should be a responsibility for collecting VAT instead. Of course this is not the intention but law does not  care about intentions. If I would be doing this - even for fun - I would double check from my lawyer (or get a preliminary ruling) that there are not unpredictable tax consequences. It would be a pity to pay tens of thousands of uncollected VAT that BYB would be responsible paying retrospectively.

I am not a lawyer but as far as I can see BYB is acting as an agent for other silver forum members and not as a middleman dealer.  When I place an order I believe I am placing it with gs.be through BYB.  It does not matter that gs.be may not know I exist.  BYB enters into the contract with gs.be as my agent.  As far as I am aware he does not place the order until I have transferred the money so that he can pay gs.be.  So he is not buying the coins with his own money and then reselling them to me - he is buying them with my money for me.  

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4 hours ago, silversky said:

@sixgun  I also have had a few large orders with them in the past.  I no longer use them because their customer service is just too poor.  There is as you say a nasty side to the way they deal with any issues and I felt completely unvalued as a customer.  I personally don't mind to pay a small amount more to deal with a business that has exemplary customer service and uses a courier that does not leave 1000's of pounds sitting on the street with a fake signature by the driver.  I recently bought some items from Auragentum and kettner and they were both superb to deal with.

Goldsilver.be are the biggest pile of poo I have had to deal with in Pm's. Absolute shoddy practices and terrible customer service, along with the worst delivery company you can imagine.

I don't buy a coin or two, but provided orders in excess of a few £k each time. Each time I had probs. My history is available in the forum if you wish to search.

Gold:

Atkinsons: Very Good.

HGM: Very Good (including speed of buy back)

Sharpspixley: Very Good

Silver:

A couple of german dealers, ie Heubach and gold-silber-muenzenshop etc, all good. European Mint is good, but call and they'll met goldsilvers' price (decent order). 

All the best

 

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17 minutes ago, kimchi said:

OK, sorry I misread that you couldn't get it cheaper by going solo.

If you're saying that you couldn't get it cheaper from elsewhere, and yet the postage was not as cheap as you'd like it to be, I don't really see what your point is.

A conversation had developed in the thread about postage costs from GS.BE and there was a post about the Euro Mint and what the feedback on the first order through them. My point was that the cost of postage did not compete with the alternative providers. 

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1 hour ago, MoralHazard said:

Sorry to say but to me this is a bit hilariois. So much work and management to save few cents on postage. Somebody even thinking here to first group order to UK and then sending coins back to different country with same or few pennies smaller postage with no insurance cover - just to save half a pound. What is the point?

I do not want to sound negative - I appreciate BYB effort to manage all this but from dealers point of view these group orders are still a drop in the ocean in their volumes. The margins for dealers are so thin that even with £10k turnover orders they can be considered small ordes and profit for their  business are coffey moneys. If I would be a dealer I would refuse to combine these orders as well if it would require unnecessary amount of extra work for me. Please remember that those guys need to factor some value for their used time as well. Some people seem to forget this small detail here quite often.

I think you've missed the point. 

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When i get a delivery from GS.be it's via bpostinternational direct to our normal postal carrier, signed-for delivery in about 4 working days. And once it arrives on our shores the tracking is updated at each depot along the way so i know by checking in the morning if i can expect the postie to be knocking by lunchtime. Or if i'm not in, it's available for pickup at the local post office. Unusually, unlike a lot of other (non PM) internet purchases i do, there is no contract with any of the courier companies here, thankfully. Although the couriers have always been good i have to say, i still prefer my postie handle the PM.

From what i gather, this kind of delivery service is what is sadly lacking with the UK orders, and giving byb anxiety. But it sounds to me to be something that has come about due to the Royal Mail choosing not to accept the parcels, rather than GS.be choosing to use cheap-ass couriers. They just hand off to bpostinternational. So perhaps bpost have not been able to negotiate a insured-parcel contract with Royal Mail, for deliveries past a certain threshold of value?

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