I love being a part of UndieGuys – beside our customers and products, I enjoy working with the nuts and bolts that allows us to run behind the scenes and ultimately provide an awesome customer experience.
If you’ve ever purchased anything from us or visited our FAQs, you’ve probably seen payment methods like Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin show up. I wanted to give you some background on how we came to accept crypto currencies and our experiences on accepting it as a merchant.
I’m a self-professed tech nerd, so when I first heard about Bitcoin in 2011, to say I was “interested” would be an understatement. There are so many reasons to love crypto currencies, but I won’t go into them all during this post.
One of the obvious draw cards for merchants like UndieGuys is the low transaction fees. Where traditional credit card payment processors can take over 4% (thats $1.25 for a $26.99 pair of undies), Bitcoin transactions are currently a flat 30-cents paid by the buyer. No percentages. Just 30-cents even if you’re buying a Maserati.
Online retailers currently build this additional credit card payment cost into their products and services, so in a Bitcoin-only e-commerce environment things would get a lot cheaper.
Bitcoin is convenience. Like many people today, I’d be more likely to forget my wallet at home than my phone. You can store your Bitcoin on your phone and make a payment to anyone in the world in seconds.
So how did UndieGuys get started with Bitcoin?
Having asked the obligatory newcomer questions such as “what is Bitcoin?”, “how does it work?” and “is it a ponzi scheme?”, I needed to get some in my digital wallet – there are 3 ways to get your hands on Bitcoin – buy some with your good ‘ol fiat currency, sell goods or services or set up a mining rig. Being the tech nerd I am, the latter option seemed like the “best” option. $1000 later and several trips to the local computer store, and I had built the worlds loudest and most expensive heating system – and while not as good as the split-system, it did admittedly help during the winter of 2011 in Melbourne.
The mining rig did generate some Bitcoins (which were much easier to get back in the day), but around this this time UndieGuys was starting to take off, and the thought dawned on me: why not combine 2 awesome things – Mens Underwear and Bitcoin.
One of the most publicised bitcoin transactions took place in 2010 when an early Bitcoin adopter purchased 2 pizzas for the (then measly) sum of 10,000BTC. While we don’t quite come close to topping that, our first Bitcoin sale was in January 2012 – we sold a pair of 2xist trunks for 6.53BTC.
The first payments were a somewhat manual process. When a customer placed an order they would request a Bitcoin total. We’d then manually look up the current exchange rate and send our payment address back and wait for the payment.
But things move quickly in the Bitcoin world, and a number of startups have emerged to make crypto currencies more palatable for both merchants and customers. Today, UndieGuys uses local Melbourne startup Coinjar to process our Bitcoin payments. Customers are treated to an experience not all that different to paying by credit card (though some would say it’s even easier!).
If you found this post interesting and want to know more, check out weusecoins.com for more info. Buy some Bitcoin, or even better, sell a product or service in exchange for Bitcoin. Buy breakfast, a beer or more undies!
Bowdie Mercieca | Undies Guru