Sean King

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San Juan, Puerto Rico, United States

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Buy on with Bitcoin!

One of the touted advantages of engaging in commerce using Bitcoins is that there's supposedly no need for a "trusted intermediary" (i.e., a bank or credit card company). However, that's only true once sufficient numbers of businesses begin accepting Bitcoins as direct payment for goods and/or services. Until then, converting your Bitcoins to fiat currencies, or even better, real things, can be difficult.

Many have already begun offering trusted intermediary services that permit you to trade Bitcoins for fiat currencies like the US Dollar, but what if you want instead to buy real goods without the hassle of first converting your Bitcoins to dollars? That's more difficult. I want to make it a little easier.

To this end I've decided to offer up my services as a trusted intermediary who is willing to purchase goods on on your behalf and have them shipped to the address of your choosing in exchange for you sending me sufficient Bitcoins to cover my cost, plus a nominal fee for my services (only one percent for a limited time!). In, short, if you contact me following the below instructions (or by email if you want to work out alternative arrangements), I will purchase (same day) any item available on and have it sent to the person/address of your choice, subject to the below terms and conditions. Gift cards are a particularly good choice because I can send you those by email from Amazon almost instantaneously. Turning your Bitcoins into real goods just got a little easier!

As for why you can "trust" me to function as your intermediary in this regard, consider that I have lived in the same town (Knoxville, Tennessee) since I was five years old, I run several successful businesses from there, and I hold several professional designations and licenses (any of which could be jeopardized should I attempt to defraud you). A simple Google search of my name should be sufficient to verify this information, establish my identity, and hopefully confirm my trustworthiness.

Anyway, here are the steps you need to follow begin ordering goods on with Bitcoins:

Step 1) Find the item you want on and determine its total cost. For this purpose, total cost includes the cost of the item plus shipping & handling and any applicable sales tax.

The easiest way to determine the total cost is to log into, add the item to your shopping cart, proceed to checkout, choose your shipping method, and then note the "Order Total" in red at the top right of the screen, but DO NOT CLICK ON THE "PLACE YOUR ORDER" BUTTON. Instead, take a screen shot of this Order Total page. The amount noted in the "Order Total" represents the total cost of the item. Here's a screenshot that gives an example of the Order Total page (click on the picture to enlarge):

Step 2) Email your order to me at sgking37922[at] Your email should be in the following form:

a) Include the words "Amazon Bitcoin Order" in the subject line of your email.

b) Include a link to the page for the item you wish to purchase. For instance, if you want a new Kindle like the one in the above screenshot, simply include a link to it (or its URL) in your email.

c) Include a copy of the screen shot from step 1) above reflecting the total cost (i.e., the "Order Total").

d) Include the name of the person to whom you'd like the item shipped along with the desired shipping address.

e) Include a single screenshot showing both this page reflecting last price (in US Dollars) of a Bitcoin (see note at bottom left of the chart) and this page reflecting the official US time. Your screenshot should look like this (click on the picture to enlarge):

The email containing the above-described items should be sent to me within ten minutes of the date/time noted on the Official US Time screenshot accompanying your email.

Step 3) After sending your email, send a sufficient number of bitcoins to cover the total cost ("Order Total") of the item from step 1, plus a one percent fee for my services, to the bitcoin address at the top left of this page. Yes, for a limited time I'm willing to do this for only a one percent fee! Your email should reference the exact amount of Bitcoins sent to me as well as well as the time they were sent so that I can tie the Bitcoins you sent to your email/order.

For instance, if the total cost of the item (i.e., your Order Total) per the first screenshot above is $164.00 and the current Bitcoin value at the time you email me is $20.14 per the second screenshot above, then you would email me 8.22 Bitcoins ($164.00 divided by $20.14 equals 8.14 Bitcoins which is then multiplied by 1.01 to cover my one percent fee, bringing the total to 8.22).

Subject to the below conditions, I will place your order on the same day that I receive your email and confirm receipt of your Bitcoin transfer. I will also (same day) email you confirmation of the order for your records.

Terms and Conditions

By emailing me an order as described above, you agree that my services are provided subject to the following terms and conditions which shall be contractually binding on us both:

In providing these services, I am (1) providing liquidity for your Bitcoins (i.e., I purchase goods on your behalf with my US Dollars in exchange for your Bitcoins), and (2) I am acting as your agent in executing your directed order at in my name. I do not guarantee Amazon's services or those of their affiliates, partners, or shippers. Although my responsibility in this transaction shall end with placing an order at at Amazon in a manner consistent with your instructions and providing you with proof of my having done so, I will of course assist you as best I can in resolving any potential issues with Amazon or its affiliates, partners or shippers (since the order was placed in my name, after all), provided that you agree to cover any out-of-pocket costs that I may incur as a result (just as you would be responsible for such costs had you placed the order directly with Amazon).

You represent and warrant that any Bitcoins sent to me in accordance with the above are your property, that you have the legal right and authority to transfer legal title to them, and that they were obtained legally and not in exchange for any illegal good or service.

As the end purchaser of any goods that I may order on your behalf in my name for delivery to your designated address, you are solely responsible for any sales or use tax that may apply to the transaction and you agree to indemnify me and hold me harmless for the cost of such taxes should you fail to pay and should any governmental agency therefore attempt to collect such taxes from me instead.

I reserve the right to refuse to place any order that you may send me, or to postpone such an order for up to a week, for any or no reason whatsoever, including the fact that the value of the Bitcoins sent to me may have declined considerably between the time you sent your order and the time I place it. In the event that I refuse or postpone any such order, I shall notify you of this fact by email the same day I receive your order.

You may cancel any order prior to its execution by me on the site by notifying me by email referencing your prior order and including "Cancel" in the subject line. However, if an order is executed by me prior to receiving your cancellation, that order is final and nonrefundable unless I am able to obtain a refund through I shall promptly pay to you any refunds that Amazon may pay to me for any goods you may return. I may at my sole election pay any such refunded money to you in US Dollars or its equivalent in Bitcoins (as valued at the time of the refund on the exchange).

In the event that I refuse any order or you cancel any order prior to execution, I will refund all Bitcoins that you sent to me for that order within 24 hours of receiving a return address to which I can send them. My sole obligation in the event of a refused or canceled order shall be to return any and all Bitcoins that you sent me for the cancelled order.

Feel free to email me at sgking37922[at] with any questions.




Steve said...

Did this work out? It's been 2 years, and there's no comment on this blog entry.. I'm just curious, since I just found out about Bitcoin, and it sounds interesting..

Sean King, JD, CPA, MAcc said...

Yes, it worked out well. I've provided the service on several different occasions, one just last week, though there are now far more sophisticated ways of doing this. In fact, there are now websites dedicated to this very thing.

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