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BTC eCommerce, no chargebacks, and Amagi metals; a bad combination
This is a follow up to my previous post on Amagi Metals TLDR of the previous post: I bought 6.3~ BTC worth of gold/silver from Amagi Metals which didn't ship for 36 business days with inconsistent communication and customer support; a few hours after making a BBB complaint I received an email saying that my order had shipped. I finally received my package from Amagi Metals, 7 weeks after I ordered it.Here is my invoice from Amagi Metals. There are a few problems with the shipment:
The "shirt" listed on the invoice, which I assume is the "free gift" Amagi Metals mentioned (see previous post), was not included.
Instead of getting 1 1/4oz Gold Eagle and Gold Maple, I got 2 1/4oz Gold Maples.
Amagi Metals switched my order, without contacting me or asking for my permission, to my disadvantage as Gold Maples are cheaper than Gold Eagles by about $1 USD. (The current difference is on their website is about $0.40 and I don't want to give them any free traffic by linking it.) On top of this, I'm assuming as some sort of "make up" for the value loss created by them changing my order without my permission, Amagi Metals included 3 1g Canadian Silver Maples; tiny coins which are smaller than a dime. Note, these weren't listed on invoice so I have no idea if this was intentional or just a complete mistake on their part. Or maybe this is the free gift their customer support was talking about? Maybe it's to make up for the shirt? Who knows. This whole experience has made me wary of using BTC as a payment method as opposed to traditional credit cards, Paypal, or wire transfers. With any of those payment methods, I would back been able to declare the payment as fraudulent at any point and start a process to recover my money via a charge back. With BTC, the only options I have are suing in small claims court or trying to file for Consumer Protection with a state's Attorney General's office. I now realize that using BTC for eCommerce requires a lot more trust than the other payment methods. As Bitcoin becomes a payment solution to help small businesses get around the expenses tied to credit cards and Paypal, lack of consumer protection will make large purchases very risky for consumers at newer and smaller businesses. Personally, I'm not sure if I would use Bitcoin again when buying from a small or new business and definitely not for any amount over $100 USD. This whole experience was terrible and made me realize the value of consumer protections and chargebacks. I am not suggesting that a chargeback mechanism be introduced into Bitcoin; rather I think payment processors such as Bitpay (which processed this transaction) might need to consider supporting some type of chargeback mechanism as Bitcoin moves into mainstream use.
Being advised to post here instead of r/gold - Need to know where/how to purchase precious metal in small amounts but regularly.
So heres the break down. I am formally educated on economics and libertarian minded hence my interest in precious metals after this shit in Europe is eventually going to come to a head. Its finally spurred me to get something other than fiat assets in my life. I recently starting mining Litecoins (Bitcoins largest derivative). I mine at least one Litecoin a day with my gaming computer while Im at work or asleep, or rarely when I am home and am not on the machine. Currently Litecoins are worth 3 USD , very volatile etc. Two days ago they were worth over 5 USD each, and if/when the largest trading hub of Bitcoins adopts Litecoins into its trading the value should go way up due to increased exposure and increased security as a unit of currency. Doesnt matter, I mine them in my spare time because I have every intention of converting them into cash or into Bitcoins. I then want to go to Amagi Metals or whoever else sells precious metals and accepts Cryptocurrency or a dealer who you would recommend to me for great pricing and good shipping and pay with fiat after turning my crypto into fiat. So, as it currently stands I mine out at least 30 dollars of Litecoines a week. My power bill is included in rent so this is pretty much free money for me. My wife thinks of the litecoin mining as an interesting sleephobby and I want to make it produce real world tangible results. In my mind, investing these crypto generated funds into precious metals, especially with the previously mentioned Euro crisis part X raging (also consequently making my crypto funds more valuable) is a good idea. So Im not dealing with big money here. Only a mere 120-145 bones a month at the current Litecoin exchange rate. Where is an ideal place to purchase small quantities of gold (or if silver suits me better so be it) either bi-weekly or monthly. If gold thinks this is ill-adviced and I should do something else also chime in, but I can tell you I really want to get some precious metals in my hands. Thanks for reading and replying.
As I've written previously, I believe that Bitcoin is the dog wagging the tail. Therefor I will focus this post on Bitcoin and see what's happening there. Seven days ago, there was a spike in number of hits on the Bitcoin wikipedia page (http://stats.grok.se/en/latest90/Bitcoin). Accordingly to Google trends, this happens the same day the Shrem news hits the wires (http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/09/04/4326680/plea-scheduled-for-ny-bitcoin.html). Accordingly to Google trends, Bitcoin is a hot topic in US and Canada. Accordingly to ahrefs Russia is also showing a lot of interest and is linking a lot to bitcoin.org (https://ahrefs.com/site-exploreoverview/subdomains/?target=bitcoin.org), the overall upwards trend is stagnating and almost beginning to turn down though. Reddit confirms this view and there the trend is also turning down (https://pay.reddit.com/Bitcoin/about/traffic). The Bitcoin Sentiment Index is also turning down (http://www.coindesk.com/sentiment-index/) and even hard core enthusiasts such as the guy behind the mike at Bitcoin and Gravy (http://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/bitcoins-and-gravy-ep-32-the-big-apple-amagi-metals) admits to feeling a little bit depressed. The trading price on exchanges confirms this bleak picture and overall trading volume across exchanges are declining (http://data.bitcoinity.org/markets/volume/30d?c=e&t=a&volume_unit=btc). My personal belief is that what we have had the past few months, is a much anticipated consolidation after the wild ride to above 1000, down to super lows and oscillations around 500. It's pretty obvious that people have been betting on BTCUSD going down and actually the sum of active BTC swaps on bitfinex hit the considerable high point of 10K (http://www.bfxdata.com/combined/btc.php) which tells us that a lot of people are shorting - so that's how we know that people are betting on price going down. So what is the take away from all of this? I believe that the saying "the market is pricing in a future events" is very true for Bitcoin. Bitcoin, I believe, derives its value from the prospect of the currency becoming viable and wide spread. While this is in many ways becoming true with Paypal/Braintree, Dell to name only 2 out of an "endless amount of spectacular announcements" the past year, I believe much of it was already priced into the market so to speak. A string of almost to good to be true news, have hit a market that has been consolidating and being under great selling pressure. What does this mean? In my view it means that people who bought coin, anticipating that Bitcoin would someday "go mainstream" have been depressed about the collapse in price and all of the good being already priced into the price, has obviously not been enough to prop it up, hence many people think it's either time to take profit or cut the losses short. So then, is this the end? I definitely think it's not. While Paypal/Braintree and Dell are good reasons to sell bitcoins (in exchange for goods and services) I still think the "killer app" for buying has not yet materialized. While I think more and more wallet apps, will be thrown to the wall until something sticks - I think the killer app is not an app really, but actually a "killer feature" of the protocol itself; namely that it is a system that works outside of the traditional banking system. What I'm waiting for, is some kind of crisis in the banking system where things freezes up and where people, who uses VISA etc, will have trouble moving money while the Bitcoin network just continuous to work. Something like that, banking holiday or similar, that could spike the price of bitcoins. If nothing like it happen, I still believe the price to go up anyway, since there are so many people still out there who hasn't heard about it and don't own any. Everything isn't down, only the price and peoples sentiment. There is nothing that draws attentions, such as a runaway ascent where price goes parabolic to the moon, and when that happens I believe the number of search hits on wikipedia etc will increase as well. People are trading more and more bitcoins and on localbitcons we hit an all time high in volume (https://bitcoincharts.com/charts/localbtcUSD#igWeeklyzm1g10zm2g25zi1gVolzvzcv) and this happened last week. Besides the BitLicense, everything I've heard is positive. Everything besides the price which is down. And price I believe, is down because of the bad sentiment, because people look at the price and not the spectacular things happening. More ATM's are being added all the time and he number of transactions on the network is actually picking up (https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions-excluding-popular?timespan=2year&showDataPoints=false&daysAverageString=30&show_header=true&scale=0&address=) so we know it is being used, for one reason or another. Nothing here that says bitcoins will be worthless soon. Buy when sentiment is at a low point, sell when people are euphoric. Is this where we're at? People sure aren't euphoric but I wouldn't say that we're at the "puke point" either. The simple answer is that I don't know where the low will be but I'm confident that someday the price will cross 1000 again, so I believe it's all about dollar cost averaging down, keeping some chunk of money on the table if the price goes really super low.
For the last year and a half, Amagi has been the only online, bitcoin-accepting precious metals dealer I've bought from. But since the company seems to have gone into some kind of funk - some people have reported that their orders are stuck in limbo and they currently are not taking bitcoin orders (good on them for that BTW: if they are running into problems, it's nice that at least they aren't soaking up orders that they know they'll have trouble fulfilling) - I decided to give Veldt Gold a try. A lot of people here recommend Provident, but their policy for overseas customers is on a case-by-case basis. (I'm sure it'd probably not be an issue, but I wanted to avoid the time and cost of calling the US just to see if an order was doable.) Veldt ships to Japan, and everything could be handled online. It was a small order (<$1000 USD). The online process was simple. Even though it was a first time order, it processed quickly and they sent two status emails after I ordered. One to confirm the order, and then one five business days later (!!) to apologize for the delay and note that the coins would be shipped the next day. Within 72 hours of that email, they arrived at my home. This compares to Amagi that would sometimes have my bitcoin-paid order "processing" for up to two and a half weeks before shipping. Coins are factory sealed and I'm happy with the purchase. Just sayin'.
I purchased around $80 face value junk silver from Amagi Metals for around 4.3 BTC(Was 1,400 at the time) and I only got $10 worth in the mail. Amagi Metals has agreed to refund me remaining silver that has not been shipped. I talked with an Amagi representative, and she said that they only can refund $1100 worth in USD due to Bitpay paying them in cash instead of bitcoin. I think it's insane that BitPay cannot repay my whole 4 BTC back, after all they are damn revolved around bitcoin. I feel jipped that BitPay stole over $1000 from me. I've emailed them and will re post a response.
Need some advice on buying smaller amounts of gold (or silver) semi regularly.
So heres the break down. I am formally educated on economics and libertarian minded hence my interest in precious metals after this shit in Europe is eventually going to come to a head. Its finally spurred me to get something other than fiat assets in my life. I recently starting mining Litecoins (Bitcoins largest derivative). I mine at least one Litecoin a day with my gaming computer while Im at work or asleep, or rarely when I am home and am not on the machine. Currently Litecoins are worth 3 USD , very volatile etc. Two days ago they were worth over 5 USD each, and if/when the largest trading hub of Bitcoins adopts Litecoins into its trading the value should go way up due to increased exposure and increased security as a unit of currency. Doesnt matter, I mine them in my spare time because I have every intention of converting them into cash or into Bitcoins. I then want to go to Amagi Metals or whoever else sells precious metals and accepts Cryptocurrency or a dealer who you would recommend to me for great pricing and good shipping and pay with fiat after turning my crypto into fiat. So, as it currently stands I mine out at least 30 dollars of Litecoines a week. My power bill is included in rent so this is pretty much free money for me. My wife thinks of the litecoin mining as an interesting sleephobby and I want to make it produce real world tangible results. In my mind, investing these crypto generated funds into precious metals, especially with the previously mentioned Euro crisis part X raging (also consequently making my crypto funds more valuable) is a good idea. So Im not dealing with big money here. Only a mere 125-150 bones a month at the current Litecoin exchange rate. Where is an ideal place to purchase small quantities of gold (or if silver suits me better so be it) either bi-weekly or monthly. If gold thinks this is ill-adviced and I should do something else also chime in, but I can tell you I really want to get some precious metals in my hands. Thanks for reading and replying, I know my typing is atrocious but its 3 am and I wanted to fire this thread off before hitting the sack.
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