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Author Topic: Accepting Bitcoins via Website for Purchase of Physical Goods  (Read 1372 times)
Auspician
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October 06, 2011, 08:13:35 PM
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In about a month I will be launching an e-commerce website selling physical products online.  Naturally, I am interested in accepting bitcoin in addition to other payment methods.

Unfortunately, after the better part of a day searching there doesn't seem to be a company offering merchant services for bitcoins that meet my needs; either the company requires me to be a registered business with a TIN, or only is set up to handle digital products.

My needs are as follows:
A button integrated into the website that allows processing of payments in bitcoins similar to Paypal's 'Buy Now' button.
The ability to price goods in US Dollars and have the bitcoin payment system calculate the current exchange rate and charge the customer accordingly.
For a unique payment address to be given to the buyer that is tied to their delivery address.  (I am happy to create a bunch of these in advance if necessary)
To be sent an e-mail (or web-based) acknowledgment when payment has been received from a specific customer so I can promptly ship out their order.

Does anyone have any ideas of how I could arrange this on my own (I am not super technical) or knowledge of a company that would meet my needs?  Thanks in advance!





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October 06, 2011, 09:47:37 PM
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You could set it up yourself by reading up on how bitcoind works, but keep in mind that this would require you to secure your own wallet on a server that is accessible to the web server you're using (though there are ways around this, such as precomputed addresses).  If you go the manual route, you better test it multiple times to makes sure that you're not going to simply lose customers' bitcoins.

Also, I can't speak for any particular service, but why don't you have an ITIN?  Assuming you're operating in the US and doing business legally, you either have a corporation that has an ITIN, or you're a sole proprietorship with an SSN that operates as your ITIN (or you have an ITIN assigned if you have no SSN).  If you're outside of the US, I don't see why a business would demand an ITIN from you.
casascius
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October 06, 2011, 10:04:40 PM
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I accept bitcoins at casascius.com for physical goods.  It's really easy and you don't need to run any bitcoin software on your web server.

1. Pre-generate a large number of bitcoin addresses (10000+).  You could do this into a CSV file at BitAddress.org.
2. Put the bitcoin addresses in a database table on your web server.  (Don't put the wallet/privatekeys on your web server, otherwise you risk hackers stealing your coins.  Just the addresses as they will be shown to customers.)
3. Each time you get an order, dispense one of the addresses to the customer as his "payment address" and save it with the order.
4. Whatever notifies you of a new order (an e-mail? a web page?), add a link to Block Explorer with the address dedicated to that order, so you can click it and confirm payment was made.  Transactions don't show up on Block Explorer until they get confirmed into a block (usually 5-10 min but can take an hour), but if you're shipping physical goods, it doesn't much matter.  The link will be http://www.blockexplorer.com/address/THEADDRESSGOESHERE.
5. Bitcoins will safely pile up on the block chain.  Use the original wallet file you generated in step 1 to spend them.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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October 06, 2011, 11:55:05 PM
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There are some intermediaries that might be able to help get you up and running:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:Shopping_Cart_Interfaces

Perhaps https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/BitWillet ?

If you have a problem where https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/WalletBit ( https://walletbit.com/businesstools ) doesn't solve your problem, contact the services operator -- he knows how to build, is talented and would probably figure out how to do whatever you need.

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October 08, 2011, 04:30:36 AM
 #5

I use bit-pay.com and am very happy with it.  I use opencart for my cart, and they created a payment module for that cart. 

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