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Author Topic: New habit - Do you accept bitcoins?  (Read 1591 times)
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December 13, 2011, 04:58:03 PM
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I have been buying stuff through ebay for christmas (I picked up some original Transformers and Steve Jackson's Illuminati). I have started to ask the seller "Do you accept payment in bitcoins?" before bidding now.

I don't explain bitcoins, I just leave it as that. Basically implying that everyone knows what they are. When asked I would of course give an explanation and probably point them over to weusecoins.com.  I would also set them up with a simple wallet, so they at least have somewhere to take payment (strongcoin or instawallet).

Just a little effort to infect society with the idea that everyone else is doing something, and maybe you should too.

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December 13, 2011, 05:03:00 PM
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I don't explain bitcoins, I just leave it as that. Basically implying that everyone knows what they are.

I like that.

Imagine if people, when first asking about Paypal, endeavored into a lengthy discussion of paypal server systems and payment network. Maybe paypal would never have caught on Smiley

Maybe it's like the phenomenon that when someone tries to tell you something, it's not interesting... but if you hear about that very thing, you'll be interested in learning.
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December 13, 2011, 05:10:27 PM
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I don't explain bitcoins, I just leave it as that. Basically implying that everyone knows what they are.

I like that.

Imagine if people, when first asking about Paypal, endeavored into a lengthy discussion of paypal server systems and payment network. Maybe paypal would never have caught on Smiley

Maybe it's like the phenomenon that when someone tries to tell you something, it's not interesting... but if you hear about that very thing, you'll be interested in learning.

Yep, I think it is important to treat bitcoin as a boring everyday term. Let people ask questions if they have them. If you use a term as though it is typical, some people might not think much of it, and just ask how to accept it. I would focus on the practical matters of handling bitcoins, and avoid all of the stuff that excites us about it unless asked.

Here is to a future where bitcoins are as uninteresting as pencils. (raises glass)

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December 13, 2011, 05:12:37 PM
 #4

This is a great approach! I've thought about the same thing, I need to sell something soon on a Finnish equivalent of eBay and I decided to also accept bitcoins as payment. The approach will be similar to yours.

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December 13, 2011, 05:23:26 PM
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Yep, it only makes sense for people who embrace Bitcoin to do this. I usually let people know I also take bitcoins, gold, and/or silver in place of cash. I'm convinced that these will be the monetary base of the world in the near future.

@robkohr - You might have already thought of this, but merchants not wanting to deal with the bitcoin exchange rate can also be pointed toward BitPay, so the whole thing is seamless for them. I can't think of a good reason for any retailer or merchant to NOT take bitcoins with that option available.

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December 13, 2011, 05:28:30 PM
 #6

I do the same thing. Basically, play "rope-a-dope" dumb with them as if of course you know about Bitcoin and do you accept it sort of thing.

It works brilliantly because they look it up on their own  Grin
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December 13, 2011, 05:32:51 PM
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Similarly, when I list things on eBay, I put a "If you would like to pay with Bitcoins, contact me for a quote" line at the bottom.
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December 13, 2011, 06:13:03 PM
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I was thinking of a common string for people on ebay & craigslist and such to use that accept bitcoin (so that it makes a handy search term).

"Bitcoin Accepted" seems to make sense.

I can also see:

"Bitcoin Accepted : At mtgox rate at end of auction"

or

"Bitcoin Accepted : 1 BTC = $3"

The second seems much better since it avoids looking up ugly conversion rates at specific times after the fact.

For searching on this term, "Bitcoin Accepted" needs to be in the title (ebay doesn't search the description by default). You can check the box that searches the description as well, but I wouldn't rely on consumers to do that.


----

On a side note, I also emailed Pandora support to see if I can pay them in bitcoins to upgrade my account. Keep in mind that their is a lot of knowledge of bitcoins in Silicon Valley, and emailing startups to see if you can pay them in bitcoins for service might not be as big of a deal as trying to get some other large business operation to take them.

Heck, their is a decent chance that you may end up paying the CEO/CTO directly for the service and him updating you in the database himself. Startups are rather short on hierarchy.

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December 13, 2011, 06:18:57 PM
 #9

I was thinking of a common string for people on ebay & craigslist and such to use that accept bitcoin (so that it makes a handy search term).

"Bitcoin Accepted" seems to make sense.

I can also see:

"Bitcoin Accepted : At mtgox rate at end of auction"

or

"Bitcoin Accepted : 1 BTC = $3"

The second seems much better since it avoids looking up ugly conversion rates at specific times after the fact.

For searching on this term, "Bitcoin Accepted" needs to be in the title (ebay doesn't search the description by default). You can check the box that searches the description as well, but I wouldn't rely on consumers to do that.
My purpose isn't to draw in people who already use bitcoins, but rather to get more people curious about it.  That's why it is in the auction body, not the title.

I figure anyone who is looking for Bitcoin-specific auctions on eBay would do a Title & Description search, knowing that not all sellers who accept Bitcoin also put it in the title.

Since the price of BTC has been relatively stable recently, it'd probably be fine to do a "Bitcoin Accepted : 1 BTC = $3" statement.  I might give that a try next time.
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December 13, 2011, 06:20:28 PM
 #10

Good approach Rob.  I think I'll start doing this.

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December 13, 2011, 06:24:23 PM
 #11

I just revised my auction on ebay (5 Ron Paul Bitcoin cheques) with that text:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130613951333

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December 13, 2011, 06:38:24 PM
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How about something along the lines of:
"A small discount can be given to customers paying with bitcoins because of the low fees and ease for me as a seller."

Not only does it spark curiosity, it also includes important selling points.
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December 13, 2011, 06:48:14 PM
 #13

I do the same thing. Then when they say "what are bitcoins?", I give them a judgmental look of pity.     Embarrassed

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December 13, 2011, 07:10:55 PM
 #14

I have been buying stuff through ebay for christmas (I picked up some original Transformers and Steve Jackson's Illuminati). I have started to ask the seller "Do you accept payment in bitcoins?" before bidding now.
 

EBay sellers are not allowed to accept bitcoin.
Quote from: Ebay
Important: Sellers can't require you to pay using payment methods that aren't allowed on eBay. If your seller wants to change payment methods after the listing has ended, you can insist on paying with one of the methods specified in the seller's original listing. For more about safe payment methods, see the accepted payments policy.

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December 13, 2011, 07:38:16 PM
 #15

I have been buying stuff through ebay for christmas (I picked up some original Transformers and Steve Jackson's Illuminati). I have started to ask the seller "Do you accept payment in bitcoins?" before bidding now.
 

EBay sellers are not allowed to accept bitcoin.
Quote from: Ebay
Important: Sellers can't require you to pay using payment methods that aren't allowed on eBay. If your seller wants to change payment methods after the listing has ended, you can insist on paying with one of the methods specified in the seller's original listing. For more about safe payment methods, see the accepted payments policy.

It does not say Ebay sellers are not allowed to take bitcoins, it just says ebay sellers are not allowed to require bitcoins. So you can put up a listing and say "Bitcoins accepted", but you can't put up a listing saying "Only bitcoins accepted".
Well, actually it does seem to say that.

Quote
Payment methods not allowed on eBay:

For most categories, sellers can't ask buyers to:
Send cash through the mail
Send cash or money orders through instant, point-to-point cash transfer services (that are not banks) such as Western Union or MoneyGram
Mail checks or money orders (except for items in categories specifically permitted below)
Pay through bank-to-bank transfers (except for items in categories specifically permitted below)
Pay by "topping off" a seller's prepaid credit or debit card
Pay using online or other payment methods not specifically permitted in this policy
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December 13, 2011, 10:28:40 PM
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Quote
Well, actually it does seem to say that.
Quote
Payment methods not allowed on eBay:
Pay using online or other payment methods not specifically permitted in this policy

Well, you are right. Seems like they don't allow any non-reversible payment methods based on that list. I guess this is so a consumer can always charge you back when you fail to deliver the goods. It probably saves them a lot of trouble, as they don't have do anything to stop shady sellers.

Which means that they will never likely take bitcoin. What a shame.

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December 13, 2011, 11:42:33 PM
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Quote
Well, actually it does seem to say that.
Quote
Payment methods not allowed on eBay:
Pay using online or other payment methods not specifically permitted in this policy

Well, you are right. Seems like they don't allow any non-reversible payment methods based on that list. I guess this is so a consumer can always charge you back when you fail to deliver the goods. It probably saves them a lot of trouble, as they don't have do anything to stop shady sellers.

Which means that they will never likely take bitcoin. What a shame.

It just means they need to utilize an escrow service - Send your bitcoins to the escrow, when you get the product you ordered then the bitcoins are released to the seller.

If someone sends me bitcoins, I will send them the goods. If they pay me in paypal, I will send them the goods. Their rules are to protect the buyer, not the seller, and if someone is willing to trust me to send me a non-reversible transaction, I have no problem with that.

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December 14, 2011, 01:23:43 AM
 #18

I've been doing this for what? the past 6 months, if not longer, the usual reply is either, no reply at all or just an answer like 'no we accept paypal only'

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December 14, 2011, 03:49:05 AM
 #19

I've been doing this for what? the past 6 months, if not longer, the usual reply is either, no reply at all or just an answer like 'no we accept paypal only'

Keep doing it. If you get someone to complete a transaction, than bravo. Right now, the goal is to raise awareness and give the nagging feeling of leaving money on the table by merchants.

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December 15, 2011, 08:35:30 AM
 #20

I have started to ask the seller "Do you accept payment in bitcoins?" before bidding now.

The physical bitcoin products (e.g., Casascius, PrintCoins.com, etc.) and/or the mobile wallets lets you try this when buying in-person.

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