It’s no secret that a slew of online retailers and service providers have begun accepting Bitcoin over the last several months. However awesome it might be that sites like MEGA and NameCheap accept Bitcoin the real game changer lies with Bitcoin only retailers. Amongst the early pioneers stand BitcoinStore and Bitcoinin, who have been paving the way for Bitcoin only retail online. Why accept only Bitcoin? It’s simple, by eliminating credit card fees or paypal fees, Bitcoin only retailers can offer the same products at or most often below competitor’s prices. After putting it off for several months, I decided to go ahead and give Bitcoinin a shot. Here’s my experience with Bitcoinin.
Overview Of Bitcoinin
BitcoinIn is a somewhat unique Bitcoin retailer with the slogan “Bitcoin In, Stuff Out”. They originally launched their Beta site in late November, 2012, well ahead of Bitcoin’s acceptance by many large online sites (slightly after the WordPress announcement). The site offers a slew of items aimed at the Bitcoin enthusiast. While Bitcoinin originally feature books, they’ve since added everything from Tablet computers to Raspberry Pi’s, to coffee and candy.
I placed my order just after midnight EST on April 15th, 2013. My order consisted of two items, a Raspberry Pi complete bundle for 0.875 BTC and a 10 oz Bag of Green Mountain Coffee for 0.100 BTC. In total my purchase came to 1.090 BTC (including shipping). At the time Bitcoin was trading on MtGox for around $93.39 USD.
The shopping cart portion of the site works as you’d expect, much like any other online retailer. Simply add items to your cart as you browse. Once you’re ready to checkout, go to your shopping cart and click checkout. The checkout process is done in four parts: sign in or checkout as guest, enter shipping address, select shipping options, and finally pay with Bitcoin. The payment process is among the easiest methods for payment I’ve encountered online. Once you get to this section a Bitcoin address will come up. Simply send the specified amount of Bitcoin to that address within 30 minutes. Once you’ve sent the Bitcoin hit submit my order and they’ll confirm receipt of your Bitcoin (Make sure to enter the correct address, this is very important when conducting business with Bitcoin).
Shipping and Receiving
I received my packages within a week of ordering. My order was split into two shipments, the Raspberry Pi bundle and the Coffee. The Raspberry Pi package arrived in about five business days, while the coffee took six. Both packages were well protected and arrived in good condition.
Each of these items arrived in good, working condition. The Green Mountain Coffee has a best by date of 08 Nov 2013 (It’s mid April at the moment). One thing to note about the Raspberry Pi Complete Bundle is that it does not come with an HDMI cable, which shouldn’t be a problem if you’re already using an HDMI monitor.
The Future Of Bitcoinin
Bitcoinin has reported that they’re doing very well. They’ve received an unexpected amount of business since opening and have been steadily expanding. They’re also open to carrying additional items, so if there is something you’re looking to purchase regularly with Bitcoin you might try shooting them a request in an email.
Previously I’d been a bit down on Bitcoin for online retail. However, the smooth process used by Bitcoinin has changed my stance on the matter. While Bitcoin’s fluctuation in value may still keep some away, I’ve decided to make whatever online purchases I can with Bitcoin. Once you’re acquainted with Bitcoin, it becomes much easier to use than any other payment method. Given Bitcoin’s generally upward long term trend, keeping a bit of money in Bitcoin for later online purchases isn’t a bad approach, and has resulted pretty well for me thus far.
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