A couple of weeks ago we reported on TigerDirect beginning to accept Bitcoin on their Canadian domain after previously accepting it on their American domain. Not to be outdone, another electronics retail giant, Newegg, rolled out their acceptance of the digital currency on 7/1/2014. The previous link takes you to their page with a “How do I pay with Bitcoin at Newegg?” section at the bottom.Their press release can be found here.
Like TigerDirect, they have also teamed up with BitPay to integrate the new payment method and their press release indicates, “The company’s more than 25 million registered customers can now pay for more than 10.5 million products … using bitcoin through BitPay.” It goes on to say about BitPay, “BitPay now serves more than 35,000 merchants and has raised over $32 million in venture capital funding.” They also plan on hiring 70 new employees as they continue development on their product, and to support the growth in merchants.
We ran through the Newegg checkout process to see just how they were handling Bitcoin. Below you can see how it works after you select “checkout” and input your shipping information. Selecting the small radio button next to “Bitcoin” pops up the window shown:
There’s an important line there at the bottom, “All orders fully paid by Bitcoin are final and cannot be returned for Bitcoin or hard currency. All returns will be made in the form of a Newegg Gift Card. All returns follow our return policy.” (emphasis mine) Newegg didn’t return our request for information, but we suspect this policy to be related to money laundering concerns.
Clicking on “Learn more” takes you to the website for BitPay.
When you get to “Bitcoin Payment” you’ll see the screen below:
At the time of writing, they based their price calculations at a Bitcoin price of $651.58. This is a fixed rate for the 15 minute time period you have to send in your Bitcoin. We watched the clock run down to zero and the exchange rate never fluctuated. This was a fair price based on current exchange rates right around the same price. Since we didn’t send in any Bitcoin we received a notification that our order wasn’t paid for and had been cancelled.
Newegg is lacking one thing that TigerDirect brings to the table; brick and mortar stores. TigerDirect already mentioned, during their Reddit Ask Me Anything, that adding Bitcoin acceptance to their physical stores was “on the roadmap.” Unfortunately they wouldn’t provide any sort of timeline, but we’re looking forward to a large retailer accepting it at point-of-sale!