Our MSRP Is Changing
As of today we have successfully tested some price formula changes on our development site. This means we can go forward with our changes as expected, at the end of this month.
What does this mean?
The most obvious change will be that the prices of the cards will now be direct multiples/fractions. The one gram silver card, for example, will have an MSRP of twice that of the half gram silver card. The new prices will be based on the lowest card of each metal type: silver card prices based on the half gram silver card, and gold card prices based on the twentieth gram gold card.
Here's a table showing how the prices would work out at the time of writing this newsletter:
Silver (current) Silver (new) Gold (current) Gold (new)
Half $1.00 $1.00 Twentieth $4.00 $4.00
One $1.80 $2.00 Tenth $8.00 $8.00
Five $8.75 $10.00 Half $39.50 $40.00
As you can see, there is an advantage to becoming a merchant; although it isn't an outrageous difference.
We did consider, at least a little, basing all the cards on one value. But as experience has shown, trying to fix a price ratio between silver and gold just won't work. We hope and expect that this won't be a big issue for most folks, but anyone that doesn't like it can stick with accepting just one metal.
This change won't create a big difference in the prices of the gold cards, but the changes in the two larger silver cards will be a little more noticeable. We know a few people won't like this, but we're confident that it will help promote acceptance in the larger community. This change will allow the cards to be more easily used as a working currency.
But we do want to reiterate that our MSRP is just that, our suggested prices. As voluntaryists we don't believe in using force to get people to do what we'd like. We instead suggest that by following our MSRP people will find it easier to make trades. Using a different formula (such as simply using the spot prices for the metals or some small markup above that) is certainly your right, but we believe that you'll find more acceptance and easier calculations by just using our MSRP.
A while ago we added a page with nothing but the prices. If anyone is writing an app or wants to display the prices on their website, the simplest place to find them is at http://shiresilver.com/msrp_txt.
Benefit To Merchants
While we're changing the MSRP and our retail prices, for merchants we're keeping our prices the same. That means merchants can buy the cards at an effective discount, and make a profit giving them out in change as well as when selling them. This gives us an advantage in promotion and sales like the Liberty Dollar had, only without as large a disparity as when the Liberty Dollar would make their base change.
When logged in to the site as a merchant you'll be able to see the MSRP like everyone else, but the prices on the product pages and in the shopping cart will reflect your special prices.
We've never limited those being merchants to people who could prove they are an actual business, but for those who aren't, becoming a merchant can be viewed as similar to becoming a "club member". They can ignore the message they'll get asking them to create their business page without any ill effects.
We're hoping this change will help us grow by allowing people to profit by being an independent sales force for us. If this interests you, please consider becoming a merchant.
One good example is Budd's Curious Itch. Budd has been selling our cards on EBay, and while up til now he has been doing it to build up his customer base while promoting sound money, he will now be able to profit as well.
Don't Forget Referrals
This change makes becoming a merchant more attractive, so it can help you get new merchants signed up. If you're interested in helping promote Shire Silver while earning yourself some residual income, please consider becoming a referral agent.
BTW, Free Talk Live was the first referrer we got, and we're getting close to sending them a first payment. [We just want to make sure its big enough that the PayPal charges don't reduce it too much - small payments can get significantly reduced by fees so we wait until its worth sending it.]
Get Some Now!
If you were thinking of buying some cards and aren't planning on becoming a merchant, you should probably buy some before the end of January. You'll save yourself some money by getting in before the switch.
We have recently added a bulk purchase discount. If you are buying more than $200 worth of anything, you can apply the coupon code "SILVER" in the shopping cart or checkout page to get an additional 1% discount. We know that's not a lot, but our margins are so tight that we can't afford anything more than that.
Also, when we make the price formula change we will be raising the minimum for the discount to apply.
Come visit us at the 2012 Liberty Forum in Nashua NH. We'll be sharing the DelValley Silver booth with our friend Karen Emery. There's a lot going on there, including some action from Peter Schiff, so its going to be a great time.
We're still working on updating our marketing, but we are making progress. We're putting together a special brochure with corresponding web pages targeted directly to merchants. We'll be highlighting the advantages that acceptance will bring, and not just the typical "true believer in sound money" stuff. We're well aware that many, if not most, potential merchants will never really care about sound money, but they will care about their bottom line. Our merchant brochure will certainly be making the point that accepting Shire Silver will improve their profits.
That's it for now. Thanks for your interest and support in building a stable, trusted, and honest wealth based monetary system with a better bullion.
Shire Silver newsletter