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Author Topic: How do we get merchants on board with Bitcoin? (I've got time & money)  (Read 2333 times)
OpenYourEyes
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May 23, 2013, 09:56:10 PM
 #1

I'm really passionate about Bitcoin, with services such as BitPay it is a viable alternative to payment processors such as PayPal,
yet there a very few places that actually accept it and I'm struggling to understand why; I'm hoping it's just down to limited exposure.

Many of us seem to to jump up and down with joy when we hear about an existing service who decides to take Bitcoin (namecheap, wordpress, webmoney), yet, as far as I can see, there doesn't seem to be much drive to encourage any one to take it, but hopefully I'm wrong.

I would really like to hear your views on what you think I/we can do to try and encourage merchants to accept it.

I have created a site (http://www.takemybitcoins.com/#encourage) to try and do something, small and shoddy as it may be, to get people on board, but it doesn't seem to have had much attraction with the Bitcoin community.

I'm hoping I do get some responses to the thread, instead of it getting buried, as I've got a good couple of weeks free, and I'd be willing to chuck a £1000/£2000 or more in trying to do something about getting merchants (aiming at web based ones as oppsed to a brick and mortar business ) on board, but I need ideas how, unless any one can give me reasons why I shouldn't, or why it wouldn't work.

Thanks.

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
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neurobox
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May 23, 2013, 10:20:16 PM
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So far I've directly contacted one hosting provider as well as di.fm to request that they accept bitcoin, explaining that services such as bitpay effectively insulate them from pitfalls, and that it would generate free press.

takemybitcoins.com is a great idea, but perhaps more could be done to add incentives to the process, especially if you have funds to divulge. You could offer and issue rewards based on being cc'd on letters tailored to potential merchants.
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May 23, 2013, 10:27:09 PM
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So far I've directly contacted one hosting provider as well as di.fm to request that they accept bitcoin, explaining that services such as bitpay effectively insulate them from pitfalls, and that it would generate free press.
Nice to see you doing that.

Quote
takemybitcoins.com is a great idea, but perhaps more could be done to add incentives to the process, especially if you have funds to divulge. You could offer and issue rewards based on being cc'd on letters tailored to potential merchants.
That sounds pretty good. I'm thinking about adding a space for people to enter their BTC address beneath the form, and for each email they send, they get rewarded.
Even better may be a user area whereby if the merchant implements BTC based on their email, I'll give them a bigger bounty.
Sound alright?

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
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neurobox
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May 23, 2013, 10:35:15 PM
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So far I've directly contacted one hosting provider as well as di.fm to request that they accept bitcoin, explaining that services such as bitpay effectively insulate them from pitfalls, and that it would generate free press.
Nice to see you doing that.

Quote
takemybitcoins.com is a great idea, but perhaps more could be done to add incentives to the process, especially if you have funds to divulge. You could offer and issue rewards based on being cc'd on letters tailored to potential merchants.
That sounds pretty good. I'm thinking about adding a space for people to enter their BTC address beneath the form, and for each email they send, they get rewarded.
Even better may be a user area whereby if the merchant implements BTC based on their email, I'll give them a bigger bounty.
Sound alright?

You read my mind. You might do well to reserve the right to judge subjectively what does and does not qualify, just to discourage spamming, but dump everything to an open list of submissions including which are excluded and why. That approach would lead to crowd-sourcing options should you need to scale beyond what you can judge for yourself, and increase ability for crowd to report back on merchants who respond. It would also feed the curiosity of onlookers such as myself who would like to see who's been "invited" so far. Upon further investigation I see that you're already doing that.
OpenYourEyes
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May 23, 2013, 10:37:01 PM
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So far I've directly contacted one hosting provider as well as di.fm to request that they accept bitcoin, explaining that services such as bitpay effectively insulate them from pitfalls, and that it would generate free press.
Nice to see you doing that.

Quote
takemybitcoins.com is a great idea, but perhaps more could be done to add incentives to the process, especially if you have funds to divulge. You could offer and issue rewards based on being cc'd on letters tailored to potential merchants.
That sounds pretty good. I'm thinking about adding a space for people to enter their BTC address beneath the form, and for each email they send, they get rewarded.
Even better may be a user area whereby if the merchant implements BTC based on their email, I'll give them a bigger bounty.
Sound alright?

You read my mind. You might do well to reserve the right to judge subjectively what does and does not qualify, just to discourage spamming, but dump everything to an open list of submissions including which are excluded and why. That approach would lead to crowd-sourcing options should you need to scale beyond what you can judge for yourself, and increase ability for crowd to report back on merchants who respond. It would also feed the curiosity of onlookers such as myself who would like to see who's been "invited" so far.
Great, going to look into this now to work out the finer details and get started on it.

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
PGP key | Bitmessage: BM-GuCA7CkQ8ojXSFGrREpMDuWgv495FUX7
neurobox
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May 23, 2013, 10:45:21 PM
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Lastly, to get people to promote your site (and it's reward system), offer affiliate rewards. If someone sends an email, reward the original referrer a percentage as well. That could be as simple as providing a link with a short tag referring to a given registered bitcoin address. These could be seen in signatures across the board.
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May 23, 2013, 11:26:28 PM
 #7

One of our marketing strategy consist of build up a huge twitter acount and ask merchents via twitter to accept bitcoin in exchange of free advertising from us. When we'll be at a few k followers things should go by itself!
Any help would be welcome  Smiley

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May 23, 2013, 11:46:21 PM
 #8

I recently added a BitPay payment option for my website and its insanely easy to use. I wish I could stop accepting credit cards altogether. They are definitely not designed for Internet purchases. I'll be suggesting BitPay to any merchant that asks.

I think the main problem is ignorance. Even in the forum, posters don't understand that BitPay mitigates any exchange rate risk for the merchant (if the automatically exchange BTC for dollars after purchases). The fee is very low and the funds are in your wallet in hours instead of days with PayPal or credit cards.

Another attractive feature is fraud prevention which is built in to bitcoin itself. Credit card companies have huge fraud departments. I think max keiser said yesterday that BitPay has yet to have a single fraud claim in millions of transactions. Pretty amazing....

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May 23, 2013, 11:56:52 PM
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Another thing that could help, if you get the people power, is to get visitors to "thumbs-up" letters that have already been sent, essentially turning them into open letters/petitions. That way they know that it's much more than one or two interested consumers which are represented, and it might be worth their time.
OpenYourEyes
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May 24, 2013, 09:11:38 PM
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Thanks for your responses. I've added a reward system to my site. Hopefully it doesn't get abused. Smiley
Edit: it did, badly, so I've temporarily taken it down

Another thing that could help, if you get the people power, is to get visitors to "thumbs-up" letters that have already been sent, essentially turning them into open letters/petitions. That way they know that it's much more than one or two interested consumers which are represented, and it might be worth their time.
Ha, you read my mind on that one. I've already got the code in place, just need to properly test it.

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
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May 24, 2013, 11:08:24 PM
 #11

Well done! I like it. I guess all that's left is to smear it across the Newbie forum, on account of so many fresh users looking for honest bitcoins, but only finding worthless advertising schemes and scams. I think they'd love it.
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May 24, 2013, 11:17:33 PM
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Well done! I like it. I guess all that's left is to smear it across the Newbie forum, on account of so many fresh users looking for honest bitcoins, but only finding worthless advertising schemes and scams. I think they'd love it.
Paid you your rewards. I'm not sure if the amount I'm giving is generous enough or not though.

I've not long posted a link in the newbie section, but it hasn't had any attention so far.


I'm thinking of using a Google AdSense account to promote some sort of a Bitcoin advert based on keywords such as PayPal, WebMoney, etc that merchants would normally search for when looking for payment providers.

I am also going to buy a few thousand business cards which has a short introduction to Bitcoin, and give them away, for free, in batches so people can just drop/leave/give them away.
Even better would be to put a private key on each one loaded with a small amount of coins with instructions on how to redeem it, but that would be very time consuming.
I'm not great a design or explaining things, so I'll probably need a hand from someone with that side of things.a couple of

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
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May 25, 2013, 12:22:39 AM
 #13

That does sound time-consuming.. Also, uniquely printed business cards are much more pricey than the usual ones. I do like the idea of taking them offline, but you'll likely get people cashing them in themselves. Better to directly offer targets a code redeemable for a couple dollars of BTC, with a simple graphic explaining how to use an online wallet, maybe listing some of the places it can be used, and showing that it's fiat-inflation-proof. I could do such a graphic if I had the time.

I don't think this would be a great way to reach retailers, but consumers do drive retailers. Gyft seems to have made huge strides in this area, even just in that you can buy Amazon and other gift cards for BTC.

Would be cool though, to hand out something like a card with a qr-code on one side and maybe

THIS CARD
IS DIGITAL
C   A   S   H

on the other
neurobox
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May 25, 2013, 01:17:58 AM
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One little issue is that most bigger vendors have built-in response forms, and no public email addresses. That's where the crowdsourcing needs to happen, we need folks to bring in the startups they know of, the quirkier mom & pop shops, anyone doing anything unique.
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May 25, 2013, 09:42:09 AM
 #15

When it comes to bricks and mortar stores, my new marketing and distribution technique is a perfect introduction to Bitcoin for any merchant.

They will not even need to process any payments yet still get paid.

I am looking for people in different bitcoin communities to become agents and distributors for my new exciting range of Bitcoin themed T-shirts.

e-mail me via my website if you would like to know more and become a pioneer in Bitcoin retailing.

Quality Bitcoin T-shirts for sale http://thevillageidiotme.ipage.com/shop.html
OpenYourEyes
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May 25, 2013, 08:39:22 PM
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Sounds good bitcoinchecker.

Great news that two companies have replied and said they are very interested in taking BTC or are in the process of doing so!  Smiley

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
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May 25, 2013, 09:13:53 PM
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Excellent idea. I've just submitted a few UK merchants (and 1 Dutch one Wink ) I actively promote as an affiliate that I think would benefit from joining the bitcoin revolution Smiley
We'll see how the responses go and I'll push for more.

Anything you need a hand with I'll help out if I can.

OpenYourEyes
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May 25, 2013, 09:47:20 PM
 #18

Cool thanks.

One person is hitting the site hard and fast with random websites (~60 in an hour). I've had three emails from companies stating that they already take Bitcoin if I would have "cared to look", or they do sell anything so would have no use for any payment provider.

Please don't just spam random places/emails, I can't pay out for them if they are not appropriate.

takemybitcoins.com: Spend a few seconds entering a merchants email address to encourage them to accept Bitcoin
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May 25, 2013, 10:20:48 PM
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I only submitted 4 so far. Sensi seeds being the Dutch one, just so you know my IP from that submission and I'm not hitting it hard Smiley

I only intend to submit sites I actively promote as an affiliate and I already get conversion sales, so I know their ecommerce is already working and they will benefit from accepting bitcoins too.
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May 26, 2013, 04:55:57 AM
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Maybe a submission rate limit would be helpful
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