Newly Formed Company Wants Your Gold - "Inadequate" Prices Some Say?
LABELLE, FL. -- A company formed in Florida just last October to buy gold is in LaBelle next week. One of many outfits renting hotel rooms for a few days around Florida to attract gold sellers, "International Gold, Silver, and Diamond Buyers" registered with Florida as a fictitious business name October 12.
UPDATE: In new local ads this week they have changed their name in the two page ad to "THR's Treasure Hunters Roadshow" and an ad for "International Collectors Association" which claims "members are looking for the following types of items."
The company lists wanting just about every kind of collectible imaginable including coins, gold, silver, jewelry, toys, trains, dolls, military items, and advertising items.
Treasure Hunters Roadshow is a Florida fictitious business name registered to Jennifer Parsons of Athens. Il. The International Collectors Association is not registered in Florida.
The actual owner of the gold and valuables buying company is THR & Associates, Inc. of Springfield, Il. which is owned by Jeffrey and Jordan Parsons of Springfield. Jacob Parsons is also associated with the company. The company had a storefront location in Huntsville, AL.
The company travels the country under dozens of different names, and does not make appraisals, but offers to buy gold and silver and other valuables. Reportedly, they operate 120 transient shows each week around the country, many times without obtaining permits from the city or county.
The Hendry county tax collector says they have issued no permit for the company, although reportedly the company representative contacted the office and told them it was a one-time event, and the tax office waived their application for a permit.
An Oregon newspaper reports the company has set up their operation 7 times in Eugene, OR in the last 18 months.
Their local ads says they provide "an economic boost to each region it visits" and they "project to pay out $350,000 at each event." But that may well be advertising puffery if not an outright false statement.
On January 11, 2012 the BBB in Southeast Texas challenged that advertising claim made by International Gold, Silver & Diamond Buyers (IGSDB), which was published in the Tyler County Booster on Friday January 5, 2012.
The company sells the items it buys from around the country on eBay or puts them up for auction at Heritage Auction House in Dallas, TX. Obviously, gold and jewelry sellers could put items on eBay themselves and reap the extra dollars if they didn't sell to THR for a fraction of the real value.
A show by THR & Associates was shut down in Brainerd, MN when the company failed to get a peddler/transient/solicitor or a second hand goods license from the city after they failed a background check. The company tried to operate anyway and the police had to intervene to close them down.
The Brainerd Dispatch reports the company received an F rating from the BBB.
The company was sued in 2010 by PBS's Antique Roadshow to prevent the company from using the "Treasure Hunters Roadshow" name and treasure chest logo. The suit said THR is no more than a "scrap metal" dealer and pays customers "pennies on the dollar" for valuables.
They agreed to make a $150,000 charitable contribution to WGBH and to use the word “roadshow” in a strictly limited circumstances and also agreed to pay $25,000 for violations of the agreement after they had violated it.
Jeffrey Parsons was also sued in Federal court for bouncing 140 checks. He admitted that was true at one period in 2010 due he says to a business giving him a check that bounced. Parsons had a failed outdoor vending machine business around 2007.
THR is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois. That group has given the company a B+ rating and notes they had issues with the company's advertising. There have been 16 complaints in the last three years and 5 in the last 12 months. 7 were for product and service issues, and 6 for advertising and sales complaints.
The BBB says "Consumers contacting the BBB expressing sellers remorse. Consumers state that after selling their items to the company, they felt the offer they accepted was inadequate."
Other names the company operates under: Treasure Hunters Roadshow, Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery, International Coin Collectors, National Gun Collectors Association, International Vintage Guitar Collectors Association, Cash for Tools, FINE ART COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION, Fuller Roadshow, The Traveling Roadshow, Premiere Estate Buyers, International Gold, Silver and Diamond Buyers, J. Parsons, Mississippi Valley Gold and Silver Refinery
To check customer comments and press reports on the company behind the gold buying check this link: "THR Associates complaints." Search results on the fictitious business name "International Gold Silver Diamond Buyer" hides the true news, bringing up lots of results of small newspapers they buy ads from, overshadowing any news reports and complaints.
Links to some complaints about THR & Associates:
Disclosure and Recommendation: One of Southwest Florida Online's advertising sponsors is Gold & Guns, Inc. at 123 Riverbend Dr. in LaBelle. Check with a reputable licensed gold buyer before making a decision.
We advise knowing the value of your gold and valuables before accepting an offer from a traveling gold buyer, who may not have a local license to do business. Bring a video camera and film the offer, if they allow it and we bet you'll get a better deal! Ask to see their local business license or permit.