Tesco Gold Exchange

- review of an article published by Which?

Tesco Gold Exchange was found by leading consumer advice magazine “Which?” to be the ‘Top cash for gold buyer’.

This was the conclusion of the ‘Which?’ research that was published on their website on the 2nd April, but how accurate is it?

Hatton Garden Metals were intrigued by this claim and so conducted a detailed investigation to probe the robustness of the research and assess the credibility of the claim that Tesco Gold Exchange offered ‘far better rates than the competition’.

Tesco Gold Exchange (at the time of writing on 2 April 2011) were quoting their price per gram of 9ct Gold at only £8.50.

Hatton Garden Metals quote for the same gold would have been £10.30!

This means that the Hatton Garden Metals price was more than 20% higher than Tesco Gold Exchange!

So how is it possible that Tesco Gold Exchange can be judged by Which? as quoted in their article to offering ‘far better rates than its competition.’ Here’s what Which? had to say when we put it to them that their article was misleading for consumers: -

‘no, it was not misleading. The quote is true based on
our research, which you weren’t included in.’ Which? Action – Tuesday 5th April 2011

So Hatton Garden Metals, a company previously recognised as the No.1 Postal Gold Company by a leading consumer website were not included in a review on the online gold buying sector. Doesn’t it make you wonder how deep their research was? Here’s what Which? told us: -

‘When Which? conducts an investigation we are not able to look at every player in every industry but do aim to provide a snapshot of the market in its current state. In this news story we wanted to re-visit mostly the same companies we looked at in our previous investigation for the sake of consistency’ Which? Action – Tuesday 5th April 2011

By reviewing Tesco Gold Exchange alongside the previous companies reviewed by Which?, Hatton Garden Metals do not believe that the research conducted by Which? is of significant depth to provide an accurate snapshot of the market.

For example, a simple Google search for ‘online gold buyers’ – the term that Which? use to describe the rivals of Tesco Gold Exchange that are quoted as ‘still found wanting’ – unearths 4 companies that are offering more than the £8.50 that Tesco Gold Exchange are offering at the time of writing.

Furthermore on the Which? website we found the following claims:

‘You may be surprised by the lengths we go to in testing. We care about what matters to you – so, when we put products through their paces, we test how you would use them to uncover how they really perform.’‘When you come to us, you get informed answers. Whatever you’re buying, we can help you make the right choice.
Which? website – Tuesday 5th April 2011

The first claim implies a level of testing undertaken by Which? that we believe goes beyond the research that found Tesco Gold Exchange to be the ‘top cash for gold buyer’.

We also do not believe that this enables consumers to make the right choice, when they could be over £100 worse off when selling just 60 grams of 9ct gold using Tesco Gold Exchange compared to a number of other online gold buyers including Hatton Garden Metals.

The conclusion of our investigation is that whilst the research that Which? conducted found that Tesco Gold Exchange did offer far better rates than the competition, the sample that Which? based its research on was not of a significant size to make it representative of the industry.

Is a price comparison really valid when the researchers leave out five leading companies that are all easily found by consumers, who all offer much better prices than the companies included in their research?

It is for this reason that we believe the article is misleading for consumers, and also undermines the credibility of the Which? research.

Do you agree with our findings?

Please use the comments box below to let us know your thoughts on the issue and on the full Which? article that can be found here: Which review

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