Liberty Merchant Handbook
Click HERE to become a Liberty Merchant.
Table of Contents:
Congratulations on your decision to become a Liberty Merchant and increase your business and profits, while serving your community, by accepting the Liberty Dollar! Your decision will have far-reaching benefits not only for yourself, your business and your family, but for all of your community and its surrounding area.
The Liberty Dollar, since it is not commonly accepted by banks and large corporations, is a natural tool for building local commerce. And as a Liberty Merchant, you have taken a giant leap towards bringing value back to local shopping and as the Liberty Dollar gains in recognition and grows in circulation, you'll notice other positive effects, such as:
In short, the honest-value Liberty Dollar, being based on real value in contrast to the country's current debt-based, inflationary, corporate monetary system, brings its merchants and the customers they serve closer, by allowing them to share in the formation of real wealth within their local economy.
1. Who Is a Merchants?
Since the introduction of the Liberty Dollar in 1998, there has begun a sort of revolution in the United States… a revolution of businesspeople who are tired of being overrun by great multi-national corporations with thousands of locations, tired of being forced to cut prices and profits to less than minimum in order to barely survive in the local economy. These people are the small-business-folk of America, who have watched as foreign products sold at devastatingly low prices by marketing giants have funneled vast sums of money away from their community. They are Liberty Merchants.
Liberty Merchants recognize the need for a way to return their communities to local values that is superior to low prices at the cost of quality products and services. Thi is made possible by using the Liberty Dollar by accepting as payment because it is:
Far sighted businesspeople have given their communities a reason to come back to values that have been lacking for over forty years.
Liberty Merchants are the Mom and Pop stores, the local restaurants, the auto parts shops, the hardware stores, the tire stores… Liberty Merchants are the local folk who choose to run their own businesses and offer their experience and services to their own communities. Money spent with them stays in the local economy, increasing the amount of true wealth in their communities. Doing business with them fosters the old community spirit that has been slowly fading since big box retailers became the common place to buy your goods.
Liberty Merchants are the pillars of their community because they are dedicated to to the good of their communities by using the Liberty Dollar.
2. Why Should I Become a Liberty Merchant?
The first and foremost reason why most businesses become Liberty Merchants is simply this: it is good for your business because by accepting the Liberty Dollar, you will make you more money. Let's take a look at how your profits will increase with the Liberty Dollar.
As described in the first chapter, small merchants are losing business because it is difficult to compet with the big, centralized companies that have invaded small-town America. Many local folks have been driven out of business because they are unable to meet or undercut the low prices made possible by the million-item bulk purchases by the big companies and take the hard-earned dollars of the customer away from the local community.
In some communities, however, there is truly an alternative.
In 1998, a small non-profit organization launched a new value based Liberty Dollar to compet with the commonly accepted money issued by the government. This is a true, legal money even though it is not issued by the government or not accepted by the banks. It is designed to encourage local economic growth and recovery because it will remain in local circulation.
Businesses that choose to accept the Liberty Dollar do so voluntarily. They are aware that it is not accepted by banks, but since that means as they hand it out to their customers in change. So the currency will be spent again at their establishment or that of one of their fellow local Liberty Merchants for the advantage of the community, for increased their sales and, and thereby enrich the community and lead to more business with other Liberty Merchants.
The question to become a Liberty Merchant is often more than an easy yes-or-no decision, but after some thought and a small amount of education about money can be used to benefit a community, many businesses become Liberty Merchants.
3. Money and the Community
Money… the one concept that has captivated the interest of virtually every human being since Ogg the caveman first noticed the pretty colors inside a clam shell and swapped it to his cousin Ugg for that funny round thing that rolled on the ground…
The accumulation of money as wealth became a fad when it became obvious that simply bartering one's own goods and services for those of another was time consuming and often difficult. Imagine transporting your wares every time you wanted to trade a stone block for a side of beef, or a load of roofing timbers for some foundation stone, and the concept of a medium of exchange becomes sensible. Just imagine: If you carry your load of timbers to the stone quarry and find that they don't need any timbers, then you must find someone who has something the quarry-master needs, and who also needs timbers… or someone who needs timbers who has the thing that this third person needs… or on, and on, ad infinitum, until a simple swap has become a world shattering event!
However, if you can trade some of Ogg's clam shells for the stone, and someone else will give you more of them for your timbers… now, this is a lot simpler! By voluntarily accepting a common medium of exchange, all of the community has come to benefit, since each person can now trade without carrying large quantities of products around unsold, and without trying to find lots of other people to participate in the transaction until you get what you need.
But then, clam shells can be picked up off the beach by anyone industrious enough to go down there and spend a day looking around, making their value somewhat questionable. So a medium of exchange had to be found that a) everyone could agree on, b) was sufficiently uniform in the value its users perceived to make it stable as a means of conducting commerce, and c) was not so plentiful as to make its value decline from ease of acquisition. Certain metals, worked into shapes that were pleasing to both eye and hand, filled the bill nicely, and the most common of these was gold and silver. The beautiful colors of the metal objects that came to be known as "coins" or "money", when stamped in specific sizes, became standard units of exchange, taking the place of the items that had previously been bartered directly. A transaction came to be the exchange of your goods or services for a certain amount of one of these metals, in various shapes and sizes to make up the total "value" you would accept in "payment".
This new system worked because both Ogg and Ugg and everyone else in town would accept the gold and silver from you, and from anyone else, in exchange for their own goods or services… and finance was born.
Today, money is most commonly thought of as the "bills" and "coins" issued by the government of whatever nation a person lives in, and while many people do trade in the money of other lands, most people are only familiar with the money they have always known… in the US, that would be the Us dollar.
The money the Federal Reserve issues is known as "fiat" money, meaning that it is only worth anything because the government says it is! It is subject to inflation, can be completely devalued by its issuer, or by circumstance, at any time without warning, and is regarded as having value only so long as its issuer can be trusted to accept it back for some other form of value. If it is backed by nothing, however, then the only value it can be certain of in exchange is payment of debts to the issuer… and if the businesses who sell goods and services to the people ever find that it is no longer acceptable to pay any debt other than taxes, then it will be utterly worthless.
The unfortunate the current US dollar issed by the Federal Reserve is based on debt and has consistently lost value, actually lost your purchasing power. As more money is created, more debt is created endangering you local community and its businesses.
And while the US dollara appears stable for most businesspeople, no government that issues money without a value backed reserve can ever be stable which is obvious by higher price.
To resolve this risk, many communities have created local currencies. The currency is accepted in a certain area and backed by something that they can reasonably expect to collect if they want to. One of the most prominent local currency is the "Hour" in Ithaca, NY. It is based on human labor at a rate of $10 per hour. Many local Ithaca businesses accept them in payment for their products and services, simply because they know it is good for the community and that they can spend them with many other businesses! Many companies also pay their employees partly in US Dollars and Ithaca Hours because the employees know they can use the Hours to buy groceries, or gasoline, or pay rent, or just about anything else except pay taxes or fines in the Ithaca area.
Local currencies have improved the economic stability of many areas since the money naturally stays in the region where it is acceptable as a medium of exchange. In addition, there are often ways of acquiring the local currencies at some discount, so the spending power of the consumer is increased, while the profits of the merchants are protected.
The Liberty Dollar organization has grown to be the most stable and trustworthy money worldwide because it is 100% backed by Silver! At any time, any person may redeem their Liberty Dollars for the actual silver that backs them with beautiful Silver Libertys that can be carried and spent directly. Minted in pure silver, the new silver money have captured the attention of many local businesses across the nation.
Acceptance of the Liberty Dollar is legal as a medium of exchange and use voluntarily. And while most banks will not accept it for deposit and it cannot be used to pay any debt or taxes, and build customer loyalty.
Most importantly, the Liberty Dollar it is available at a discount to Merchants so they can profit from it just like they do from other merchandise and it will increase the profits of any businesses that accepts it.
This is because money that can be spent only at local merchants inevitably will be spent there… just as a coupon that is only accepted at certain stores will bring customers to that store to get the savings it represents. In the same way, shoppers with Liberty Dollars will spend the money where they can to realize the increase in their spending power.
Local businesses who accept the Liberty Dollar are assured of a customer base that is destined to grow as more and more Liberty Dollars become available in the local economy. The number of Liberty Dollars in local circulation grows in three ways:
In these ways, the amount of Liberty Dollars grows, and as it grows, so grow the sales and profits of those Merchants who accept them.
4. Accepting the Liberty Dollar
Now that you understand how money works in the community, here is how you can use the Liberty Dollars in your business. The following simple rules will work with any business when properly employed in the sale of quality merchandise or services, and will ensure the growth of sales and profits discussed in the previous section.
a. If you're among the first Liberty Merchants...
Start by using the $10 Silver Liberty made out of real silver! We recommend that the first Liberty Merchants start out by using and accepting the Silver Liberty. Just remember that it is not a "coin" as that is something issued by a government and the Silver Liberty is a private local currency.
The Silver Liberty is beautiful to look at and pleasant to hold, especially when "dropped" into the hand of the customer. The weight of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver pleases the customer who wants to look at it before agreeing to take it, so ask your Liberty Associate to show you and your employees how to "Do the Drop"!
Silver Libertys tend to excite the customer, whether he remembers the old real silver coins we used to know or not. Many of your customers will show them to their friends and family, and you'll actually have people coming in just to buy one from you, or spending money just in the hope of getting one in their change!
b. Accept the Liberty Dollar with a smile!
Each of your clerks must be aware that the Liberty Dollar is now accepted at your business and should be instructed to accept it with a smile. Make the customer aware that you are glad he is spending the new value backed money, because it is good for the local economy, not just for your business!
c. Offer it in change!
Whenever a customer offers payment in US dollar, offer the Liberty Dollar in change! Be sure your employees know that it is not accepted at banks or issued by the government: "Would you like one of the new Ten Dollar Silver Libertys in your change? (while holding one up for them to see, and "Doing the Drop" when they reach for it to look it over) It's not from the government, it's really an ounce of silver, and the banks won't take it, but you can spend it in the local community!" Please memorize that simple phrase as it easily explains the nature of the new money, and eliminates any concerns by the customer.
d. Know who your fellow Liberty Merchants are!
Ask your Liberty Associate to create a Merchant Directory of all the merchants who accepts the Liberty Dollar in your area! By telling your customers where else they can spend the money they get in change from you, you are supporting your local community; and as other Liberty Merchants tell their customers about you, you will all gain new customers that have never shopped with you before, and retain many who have! This will result in a "circular promotion" that will help to keep money spent locally and help each of you to see significant increases in sales!
e. Don't hesitate to buy them back!
No matter how well your employees explain the new money, there will always be the occasional dissatisfied customer! Anytime one of your customers comes back and insists that you take back the Liberty Dollars he got from you, do so with a smile! You'll find that he will soon return and spend one he got from someone else, as the Liberty Dollar becomes more widely known in your community.
The important point is to make sure that anyone who wants to get his US dollars back can do so with a smile because for every customer who is dissatisfied with the new money, you'll find that you'll gain hundreds of customers who will be pleased and excited by them! The number of Happy customers will inevitably grow as long as you always buy them back with a smile!
f. Decide how you want to make money with the Liberty Dollar.
There are three ways to make additional profits as a Liberty Merchant. Get them at a discount from your RCO or from the National Fulfillment Office and them out in change. This method will work because many people will buy them at discount and spend them, often along with the extra spending power they gain at your store!
The second is to become a Liberty Associate and sponsor new Associates who who you can distribute the currency to at a discount yourself. In so doing, you're giving out a ten dollar value that only cost you $8.50 or so, and making up to an extra $1.50 on the current sale, just by making change for a $20 dollar bill! Imagine, "Making Money Making Change"! You will even have opportunities to give out multiples when customers offer a Fifty or One Hundred dollar bill! Imagine making an extra $6.00, over your normal profit, when a ten dollar purchase is paid for with a $50!
Both ways will see an increase in your profits, and buying them at the Liberty Merchant Discount will make you more money. There is a third way! The third way is to sponsor a Liberty Associate yourself earn $100 every time you do!
5. A Return To Community Values
There you have it, everything there is to know about being a Liberty Merchant! However, there is one added bonus to becoming a Liberty Merchant in your community that is often overlooked. Liberty Merchants return value to their community, by re-introducing real value to local commerce. They also return another kind of values: community values. The morality and honesty that so many of us fondly recall from our childhood and youth was founded on the fact that the people in the community knew each other. When a customer who came into the store to buy his groceries, stopped to fill his gas tank, or shopped for clothes, shoes and toys were not just dollar signs in the accounting ledger of some big company. They were the shopkeeper's friends and family. They were their church-fellows, neighbors and schoolmates.
With the entrance of the big box retailers that friendliness has been lost. The personalness has been replaced by "store greeters" and "smiling cashiers" who don't really know who the customer is. The dependent on the customer's money for their own employment ans simply see customers as merely the means of getting paid. Communities who bring back those traditional values are finding it a big draw to the customers, their business and the local community at large.
That is the final bonus of being Liberty Merchant. By encouraging your community to shop locally, by giving them a way to do so and still save money with the Liberty Dollar, the Liberty Merchants makes it possible for that old community spirit to grow once again, and for the people to once again be more than just numbers for some far-off big box retailer. They're your customers. They're your friends. And in the final analysis, they're the real reason why you chose to become a Liberty Merchant.
6. Become a Liberty Merchant.
Ready to get started? It costs nothing and you will Recieve the Currency at a Discount. Click HERE to become a Liberty Merchant.
The Liberty Merchant Handbook, by Wayne Hicks © 2003 Ozark Monetary Services