Thursday, January 26, 2012

Traveling Gold Buying Company In LaBelle - Caution Warning

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.


  1. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Is this a paid advertisement or news? "News" I always thought was supposed to be unbiased? Give your readers the opportunity to make there own decision on what they want to do.

  2. Anonymous3:49 PM

    There is no bull shit here. A simple Google search will provide a number of newspaper articles and other internet publications that reflect the same sentiment towards the company.

    Some of the horror stories you hear are unbelievable, such as weighing paper money to make an offer (really? what does the weight of a paper dollar have to do with its value???)

    Making a low offer on an item is understandable and definitely not illegal; this is pure capitalism and is the fundamental to American contract law.

    However, lying to poor old ladies that their coin is fake so that you can purchase it for the gold contact is outright wrong.

  3. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I have never sold THR so much as a thin dime and I've known of J Parson for over 20yrs - but like the days of Barnum & Bailey - there's a fool born every minute - and they sure fall for those BIG ADS !!! BUYER BEWARE is the key and always get a 2nd or 3rd opinion !!

  4. Anonymous5:05 PM

    THR & Associates and all the fancy names they come up with are just a bunch of crooks.
    They bounce check after check after check. Once they have stolen, (sorry lowballed you and bought) your old coins gold, silver or antiques, the check bounces. Just google Roadshow bounces checks.
    I went to a show in Naples, they gave me $802 for my gold coins. They check was NSF. SO i went back with the police to get my coins back, I took them to a local pawn shop and was offered $2600 and was given cash. How can they do that?
    It's time OUR government or Police depts did something to protect us from these scum.
    What happened to 'protect and servce'

  5. Anonymous1:12 PM

    My mother just got ripped off with them in April of 2012 in Kewanee, IL. She's 80 years old. I had no idea she sold anything to them - she tried to sneak it past me. Then her checks from them (for $251 and $80) both bounced. She's been on the phone with them for weeks and they keep saying it was sent - today they said they are back logged. They claim they switched banks and will cut a new check. Our local police have tons of complaints from others who went to the motel and also sold their stuff. They told my mom her coins were only worth their weight in metal. I'm guessing she had some rare stuff and they stole it all! We will try to contact the state's attorney next. What a mess! She is already living hand-to-mouth and now that the checks bounced she is at the end of her rope. These people are scum! Turning them into the states attorney is probably the best action.

  6. Anonymous10:31 PM

    Yes, report them to Lisa Madigan's office in Springfield. In fact, ask to speak with the Asst Attorney General, Matt Van Hise. They have an open investigation and would love to hear from you. I'm sorry this happened to your mom.

  7. Anonymous9:20 AM

    I worked for this company. I stopped when my conscience stopped me from sleeping and eating after I found out what the gold was actually worth. We were told we had to offer $2 for a pennyweight (20 dwt or pennyweight is an ounce. So it was $40 for an ounce of gold) We were taught at training to use benevolent manipulation. Basically screw them over and make them thank you for it. Find out what the people are wanting to do with the money so you would know how much to offer. I would testify against them for their practices in a heartbeat.

    I wrote to Oprah and Connie Chung and several others trying to get this company investigated.

    They preyed upon the elderly and used deceptive practices.

  8. Anonymous11:17 PM

    THR came to Bristol, TN in July 2012. I sold some of my deceased mother's jewelry to them. The check BOUNCED and to this day they have NOT made good on it. It was for 93.00. I have called several times and no one will return my call. They are NOT good business people!