It’s that time of the year again.
Get your bitcoin wallets at the ready and prepare yourself for a day of frenzied discounted online shopping. Bitcoin Black Friday is back!
Founded by digital currency entrepreneur Jon Holmquist, the event, which sets out to unite cryptocurrency enthusiasts and retailers for a day of bitcoin-fuelled consumerism will take place tomorrow.
Now in its third iteration, Bitcoin Black Friday is often cited as one of the year’s busiest periods in terms of bitcoin transactions.
James Walpole, a marketing associate at bitcoin payment processor BitPay told CoinDesk:
“The bitcoin user base is growing and the bitcoin payment experience is getting better, so we expect that the spending patterns for this year’s Bitcoin Black Friday will be a continuation of last year’s trend towards payments for everyday items.”
Back in 2013, Walpole said, most of the items purchased during the shopping extravaganza were bitcoin-related products such as mining equipment.
During last year’s event BitPay saw a drop in total transactions but witnessed greater participation from merchants and more diversity in terms of the items purchased by customers, according to Walpole.
“These Black Friday transactions were oriented toward consumer items like gift cards and personal electronics,” Walpole said.
As customers paying with bitcoin appear to spend their digital coins across a wider range of items, the real question on everyone’s minds as Bitcoin Black Friday rolls around again, is what can they buy with their bitcoin, and what will it cost them?
To that end, CoinDesk has rounded up some the deals out there for bitcoin-paying consumers.
Searching for deals
Bitcoin Black Friday is a good first stop if you would like to see all sorts of different deals in one place. The only downside is that these will not be available until the day of the event, so you can’t plan in advance.
For now, users can subscribe to the service and will receive a reminder on the day.
The website reads:
“Bitcoin Black Friday is a one day event that brings together bitcoin merchants and bitcoin users. Merchants simply list their bitcoin-exclusive deals, and users can check out all the deals in one place. This year, we’re focused on quality merchants that care about the bitcoin community.”
Although Spanish online travel agent Destinia is not rolling out any bitcoin specific promotions, Amaia Arteta Arregui, from the company’s press department, told CoinDesk that customers paying with the digital currency will be able to enjoy discounts on hotel bookings as part of its general Black Friday campaign.
“We have a special Black Friday campaign but we are not rolling out anything specific for bitcoin,” explained Arteta Arregui.
Bitcoin paying customers, she added, should be able to get a discount if they use the #BlackFriday coupon at the point of checkout.
The Bees Brothers, dubbed the world’s youngest bitcoin entrepreneurs, are offering a 20% discount off all honey-related items to customers paying with the digital currency.
Seventeen-year-old Nathan Huntzinger, who runs the Bees Brothers with his two younger siblings, told CoinDesk:
“At this [discounted] price we cannot stay in business, but it is a great time to say thanks for all the repeat customers and friends we have made over these past five years since we have been involved in bitcoin. Also, we hope that these prices will gather in a few new friends that might want to try our honey caramels.”
The Huntzingers first participated in Bitcoin Black Friday in 2012 and since then, according to Huntzinger, the shopping weekend continues to be the busiest time of the year for them.
Looking back, the teenager said that the Bitcoin Black Friday in 2013 was the biggest one to date by sales volume.
“I think it was so big for two reasons. First the price was an at all-time high, over $1,000, and second, at the time there were not a lot of merchants to choose from.”
As the digital currency’s price dropped at the beginning of 2014, so did the sales.
“Our bitcoin sales started decreasing and by the middle of the year, our fiat sales were greater than our bitcoin sales. This is still the case today,” Huntzinger said.
Bitsoaps is run by a young couple, who according to its website, stumbled upon bitcoin and became fascinated by both its concept and versatility.
Anecdotally, the website notes that the owners came up with the idea to combine their love of environmental mindfulness and digital currency over Thanksgiving dinner in 2013.
The website currently lists six different soaps made at the couples’ South California home, some of which feature an emblem of the bitcoin symbol.
The company is offering a 20% discount to bitcoin-paying customers from 26th November until 6th December.
The domain registar first began accepting bitcoin in the summer of 2013 and also participated in Bitcoin Black Friday during the same year.
Although the company did not reveal any specific details, confirmed that it would offer discounts to its customers during Black Friday:
@yessi_kbello We offer discounts for all customers on Black Friday! Over $10 million worth of savings. Stay tuned.
— Namecheap.com (@Namecheap) November 25, 2015
Further details are expected to be released tomorrow.
Vinny Lingham, the company’s co-founder and CEO, told CoinDesk that at the time that bitcoin payments accounted for 90% of the company’s sales. PayPal and credit cards made up the remaining 10%.
Although this pattern has now reversed, Lingham recently told CoinDesk that his company would be participating in Bitcoin Black Friday:
“Yes, we are giving 5% [of Gyft points] back on all bitcoin purchases.”
Shopping image via Shutterstock
Please do let others know about other offers in the comments below.