Spending Bitcoins: The Right Way

3 minute read

Posted by: Kyle Severance

March 30, 2015

The excitement of spending Bitcoin is limited; very few online retailers accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Your best option to pay directly with Bitcoins is any merchant who accepts Bitcoin and is fulfilled by Amazon. A few other options are Overstock.com and a handful of Etsy vendors. Many people claim that you can spend Bitcoin freely, but they require third party sites to do so. Many countries or companies require verification for shipment of certain goods and services – this would require some sort of identification, something Bitcoin does not provide.

There are many people who wish to purchase Bitcoin quickly online with a credit card or PayPal. There are certain sites such as Brawker.com, which provide the middleman service of buying and selling bitcoin through online purchases. Someone with Bitcoin simply provides the URL of the item they wish to buy and records the price (including shipping). That translates into a certain Bitcoin amount that they can alter; they can choose to raise the value of Bitcoin giving them a certain percentage discount. The offer will be poster where people who wish to buy Bitcoins will either accept the premium price or make a counteroffer.

The site purse.io acts similarly to Brawker. It is considered the more safe and secure of the two sites. Purse.io deals only through Amazon’s wishlist feature. The buyer will never see your home address unlike Brawker, but you are forced to shop solely on a single site. You simply put the items you want purchased in your amazon wishlist and import it to Purse.io. You put the required Bitcoins into the escrow wallet integrated into the site and select your market buffer percentage – a way for you to try to reduce the amount of Bitcoin spent. You can see when a purchase is made because it will disappear from your wishlist. Purchasing Bitcoin is a little odd; you need to level up to make larger purposes. This is an anti-theft mechanism set in place that requires you to make a single purchase under $50 before you can begin purchasing larger orders. They also offer VIP status to unlock better rates for buying Bitcoin; you must have 10 successful transactions and be an Amazon Prime member. Overall this site is well run, but restricts users solely to Amazon.

Many people turn to purchasing gift cards online with their Bitcoins. A large retailer is gyft.com, which allows its users to purchase any of their gift cards with Bitcoin (and also earning a bonus 3% rewards points on their site). They are not an online auction site; it is a company that directly fulfills all orders and there are no bidding wars or selected discounts on their products. The upside to this method is that you have no need to worry about scammers or long waits for product fulfillment. The company emails you the gift card in a reasonable amount of time after receiving payment. The site is based off of their iOS and Android apps which act like a virtual gift card wallet, holding all your gift cards in a single spot. They offer over 200 different retailers and offer denominations up to $2000.

eGifter.com is another site that sells gift cards purchasable with Bitcoin; they offer apps for your mobile device to house your virtual gift cards as well. They offer gift cards for the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – only offering Amazon gift cards to European countries however. Some of the cards are offered as an in-store, physical option as well; similar denominations compared to gyft.com. They also have a points program that allows them to spend their earned points on gift cards. These points can be picked up by spending Bitcoin or using PayPal to purchase gift cards on their site. These points can be multiplied if you can become an “insider” – a part of their VIP program. Becoming an insider is difficult; you must be invited to the program by other users. Insiders can invite two other users to become insiders (the only way to become part of the program at this point). It offers a 15% percent discount for each dollar spent, so for people who purchase a lot of gift cards, the savings can really add up.</p>

Updated: 2015-03-30