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Author Topic: Convincing local retailers...  (Read 1013 times)
brwyatt
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July 11, 2011, 12:36:41 AM
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I got a crazy idea earlier today about going around town to the local businesses (the smaller ones, "Mom and Pop" type stores) in an attempt to personally talk to them about accepting Bitcoins.

My two biggest fears are for them to assume two things: 1) That I'm trying to sell them something, or 2) that it is nothing more than a scam.

Key points about what I want to do:

-I don't want to charge to help people start accepting/using Bitcoin. To me, this would undermine the goal. If a business would have to pay in order to accept Bitcoin, they would be less willing to do so. (though I would accept "tips" if they want to after their first few transactions in Bitcoin)
-I DO want to look professional and be prepared.
-I am perfectly willing to help with (almost) any costs. This would include "Bitcoin accepted here" signs, and other sorts of things. I would NOT be willing to cover costs of computers/PDAs/Phones.

As of now, I'm looking for "marketing materials" that I could bring in a folder when I talk to store owners. I am also considering wearing jeans and the Bitcoin polo from cryptoanarchy.us; a kind of, semi-casual, but still professional kind of look, that also is related to what I'm there for.

I think the real key is to not get to technical about Bitcoin; maybe explain it more like "tokens that can be exchanged for dollars, or used to buy other goods"? From a business perspective, at least right now, that would probably be the best way to sell them on it. Much like Visa and Mastercard are services that facilitate the exchange of dollars.

Any additional suggestions? Anyone have materials already made up that I could use?
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July 12, 2011, 05:01:52 AM
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Merchants aren't going to jump right in on first hearing, but they (some at least) do listen to what customers are asking for. I would be careful not to push anything even 1 second beyond what people want to hear. Just say "Have you thought about accepting Bitcoins?". If they are interested they will ask more, if not it'll just sit in their minds for next time someone asks or they hear it on NPR.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
brwyatt
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July 12, 2011, 06:28:34 PM
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One thing I was thinking was a kind of "Hey, I hear you accept Visa and Mastercard?" intro and go from there, trying to set it up as a "free payment processor". And lead with that, as I think that would appeal to most (especially small) business owners.

But either way, it comes down to convincing people of something new and, in many ways, unproven.

I do want to make up business card simply for the situation you describe. Don't want to push them bast anything they are willing to hear, but leave them a way to contact me if they change their mind.
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July 12, 2011, 10:13:40 PM
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If you haven't already purchased it, you can get a deal on a cryptoanarchy bitcoin polo by purchasing today's metaco.in deal: http://www.metaco.in/deals/pay-1-94btc-28-for-a-40-credit-at-cryptoanarchy-store/

brwyatt
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July 13, 2011, 01:05:54 AM
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I had actually considered that, and your mention of it here just tipped me over the edge to do it. I've bought from their store before (Got the Bitcoin stickers for my car and laptop). Really do like the place, hope they open up their inventory even more, it really is a wonderful web-store. (not to mention that metaco.in is a great site as well!)

Now all I need is a place that can print signs and fliers and business cards for Bitcoins...
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July 17, 2011, 01:39:21 AM
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Here is a great tool you can use to help make signs for the merchants:

http://ma.eatgold.com/accept/

BradZimdack
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July 17, 2011, 04:59:37 PM
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Assuming you're able to get past all the other obstacles in a sales pitch to a retailer, there is one question you won't be able to avoid: How does the customer pay?

As far as I know, there is no Bitcoin iPhone app, and the only Android app sounds dangerously unreliable.  Until we have some simple, quick way to do mobile payments, I don't see how a retailer would be too interested.
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July 17, 2011, 06:10:34 PM
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Assuming you're able to get past all the other obstacles in a sales pitch to a retailer, there is one question you won't be able to avoid: How does the customer pay?

As far as I know, there is no Bitcoin iPhone app, and the only Android app sounds dangerously unreliable.  Until we have some simple, quick way to do mobile payments, I don't see how a retailer would be too interested.

Bingo.

Bitcoins are not money in the sense that I CAN go out and pay. They are an asset like a bond - usable through excahges and they are a virtual payment method, but there is a LOT that must happen before I can go into a normal shop and pay, from an infrastructure, and a wallet for users is part of that.
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