If I could do it all over again...
The very first purchase I made (5 1oz ASE's) was from APMEX. Back then, (about 4 years ago) I knew nothing about buying precious metals...NOTHING! I wanted to start collecting for 3 reasons:
1. As an investment for my retirement (Bullion Coins), 2. I wanted to start a nice collection of older coins (Numismatic) & 3. To sell if I wanted to make some extra $$$.
My first purchase was bullion. Back then silver was trading at about $27-$28 and I paid them $175 for 5 ASE coins. This included a shipping charge of $14.95. I was new and paid. As I became more experienced in buying precious metals, I bought less and less coins from them. They were/are also on eBay and continued to charge shipping for quite a long time, until finally, even they dropped their shipping charge and went to free shipping, to stay competitive with the other major PM dealers on eBay that were not charging shipping.
Today, I don't buy coins from them anymore. My last purchase was a deal they had going on eBay for 20 ASE that was only 99¢ over spot, last year (2015).
I had to call them one time to inquire about a 10oz silver bar I purchased from them on eBay and I must say their customer service left a lot to be desired. I wouldn't go so far as to say RUDE, but the attitude of their customer service rep was pretty close to that. They are so many dealers today, and with the internet, they are able to reach anyone with a computer and internet connection, that I felt they were operating in pre-internet days, when you had a very limited selection of coin dealers to purchase from (as far as you were wiling to drive) and basically you paid what they were asking, or you didn't purchase a coin.
Bottom line, in my opinion only, you would be better served doing some consumer "window shopping" online and compare not just price but service, shipping time and availability of the coin or bar you're looking for and I think, you'll find better sources for precious metals, than APMEX. Totaling up all the money I spent at APMEX, it comes close to $3400.
If I could go back to day one, and do it all over again, I would not buy from APMEX.
I have bought my last pm coin/bar from them and won't EVER go back.