The Liberty Merchant Handbook
By Wayne Hicks
Who Are Liberty Merchants?
Why Should I Become a Liberty Merchant?
Money and the Community
Accepting the Liberty Dollar
A Few Words About Taxes
A Return to Community Values
Congratulations on your decision to become a Liberty Merchant and increase your business and profits while serving your community by accepting Liberty Dollars in your business! 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 corporate marketers, 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! As Liberty Dollars gain in recognition and grow in circulation, you’ll notice other positive effects, such as a return of the Community Spirit, a growing circle of customers who are also your friends, and an increased awareness that the local merchant is no longer just one of the businesses in town; instead, he or she is an indispensable part of the community, just as it was before the arrival of the big-box “Super Stores”.
In short, the Silver-Backed Liberty Dollar, being based on real value instead of debt, brings its merchants and the customers they serve closer, by allowing them to share in the formation and preservation of real wealth within their local economy.
WHAT ARE LIBERTY DOLLARS
Liberty Dollars are Negotiable Digital and Paper Warehouse Receipts (Silver Certificates), each of which conveys title to a specific quantity of .999 Fine Silver stored in a secure facility in Pennsylvania. Since they are redeemable by the Bearer on demand, they are considered lawful negotiable instruments. Most Warehouse Receipts are used to secure credit, but they can lawfully be used as a medium of exchange, since the act of giving one to another person transfers ownership of the goods they represent to that person, who can then claim and take possession of them.
This makes them fully acceptable and legal as a form of money. However, the actual silver itself, regardless of size, shape or design, cannot legally be used in this way. This is because of Counterfeiting Laws that specify that only the government or its authorized representative can make and distribute money made of metal, and for anyone else to do so is a crime. The law specifically allows the use of Negotiable Warehouse Receipts, however, and this is the foundation of the Liberty Dollar Financial Association.
As mentioned above, our Warehouse Receipts come in both Digital and Paper forms. The Digital Warehouse Receipts can be found in your account on our website, where you’ll see your balance in both Ounces and the US Dollar equivalent value based on SPOT at that particular moment. You can transfer value to any other Member of the Association using their email address, or by using our SmartPhone app. The app can also be used as a point-of-sale system, using a QR code assigned to each and every Member. In order to make a transaction happen, the Seller would display his or her QR code and the Buyer would scan it using the app, then input the amount of the transaction and click the Send Button. The transaction takes place instantly, and the Seller has the silver in his account.
Our Paper Warehouse Receipts, which we refer to as Silver Certificates, are denominated only in ounces and fractions of ounces. They range from 1/20th of an ounce up to 5 ounces, and each bears a QR code on the back that, when scanned, will take you to a page on our website that shows the exact US Dollar value of the silver represented by that certificate in real time.
Acceptance of Liberty Dollars is entirely voluntary, and it is important to know that it is not Legal Tender, and most banks will not accept them for deposit at all at this time. They cannot be used to pay any debt or taxes to the government. However, they are perfectly legal for use as a medium of exchange for any other lawful purpose, because they are lawful Negotiable Warehouse Receipts.
A Warehouse Receipt is a document of title which states that the Bearer (whoever has it in his or her possession) is entitled to receive the item stored in the warehouse for which it was given, upon demand (just by asking for it and presenting the Warehouse Receipt). This means that anyone who holds Liberty Dollars owns the silver that backs it, and can take physical possession of that silver at any time.
This makes Liberty Dollars a viable medium of exchange, because there is genuine value that can be held in the hand of the Bearer upon demand. The exchange of one item of value for another is known as Barter, and it is the oldest form of commerce.
WHO ARE LIBERTY MERCHANTS?
Liberty Merchants are business people who have recognized the need for a way to return their communities to a form of value that is superior to Big Box Store low prices at the cost of quality products and services, and the all new Liberty Dollar makes this possible. By accepting payment in a form of currency that is
Backed by a historically-valuable commodity such as silver,
Unacceptable to banks and Big Box Stores due to its non-acceptance by the Global Banking System,
Likely by its very nature to remain in local circulation, and
Convertible when necessary to fiat currency, in order to pay bills, suppliers and employees.
These courageous businesspeople have given their communities a reason to come back to the genuine values that have been lacking for far too many years.
Liberty Merchants are the Mom and Pop stores, the local restaurants, the auto repair shops, the hardware stores, the tire stores… Liberty Merchants are the local folks who choose to run their own businesses and offer their experience and services to their neighbors, friends and communities. Money spent with them stays in the local economy, increasing the amount of true wealth that can remain there. Doing business with them fosters the old community spirit that has been slowly fading since “Big-Mart” became the common place to buy goods and services.
Liberty Merchants are the pillars of their community, because they have placed the community above themselves. Their dedication to their community is evident in their willingness to endure the occasional wistful smile over their acceptance of Liberty Dollars, as they look forward to the many benefits of keeping money in local circulation.
WHY SHOULD I BECOME A LIBERTY MERCHANT?
The Liberty Dollar Financial Association is working to establish Service Centers and Branch Offices wherever Liberty Dollars are welcomed. They will promote Liberty Dollars to your community with you, and will offer bank -like services to everyone who becomes a Member.
If there is no Service Center in your area, don’t worry. Our Global Headquarters will work with you directly to make sure you can take advantage of all the benefits Liberty Dollars have to offer.
Or, you might consider becoming a Service Center, if there is not already one in your community. This will lead to additional profits, and could strengthen your own position within the community.
Liberty Dollars can be redeemed for the actual Silver they represent at any time, and your local Branch will always be ready to help you do so. However, we also recognize that there may be times when the Liberty Merchant needs to quickly convert Liberty Dollars to Legal Tender, and that’s why we agree to buy back your silver when you need us to, at the current SPOT price at that time. This allows you to let the value of your silver holding grow as inflation drives the price of silver upward, so you don’t lose the spending power of your original income.
Of course, the first and foremost reason why most businesses will become Liberty Merchants is simply this: accepting Liberty Dollars will make you more money. Because “Local Money Stays Local,” those big-box Super Stores won’t accept them, so the customers will be seeking you out the way they used to. People who enjoy the genuine value of Liberty Dollars will be coming through your door every day.
In addition, as a Registered Liberty Merchant, you can accept both the Digital and the Paper Warehouse Receipts. You will quickly find that setting a price based on Ounces and Fractions of Ounces of Silver will mean that the pricing will remain stable. You won’t have to change them as inflation drives regular prices upward.
Let’s take a look at how your profits will increase with Liberty Dollars.
As described in our opening paragraphs, small merchants endure terrible effects because of big, centralized companies that invade small town America and put local folks out of business. Unless the merchant can actually meet or undercut the low prices made possible by the million-item bulk purchases the big companies can make, he can look forward to, at best, a mediocre existence and a slowly impoverished local economy, as the giants take the hard-earned dollars of the local customer far away to some central bank, often in another country altogether.
In some communities, however, there is truly an alternative. Businesses that choose to accept Liberty Dollars do so voluntarily. They are aware that it is not Legal Tender and is not accepted by banks or the government, but that only means they must return it to their customers in change, to be spent again at their establishment or that of one of their fellow Liberty Merchants. That way, the money keeps coming back, increasing their sales and their profits, and making the community richer as Liberty Merchants, in turn, spend the money with other Liberty Merchants in town.
The question of whether to become a Liberty Merchant may seem like an easy yes-or-no decision, but it does require some thought, and in many cases, a small amount of education about money, and about how it can best be used to benefit a community. The next section will address those issues, so that the reader can make a truly informed decision.
4, 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. That was the beginning of barter, which was the first known form of commerce.
The accumulation of money as wealth became a fad somewhere after that point, 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. 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 could 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,” 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 coins from you, and from anyone else, in exchange for their own goods or services… and retail commerce 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 U.S., that would be the Federal Reserve Notes that we call “dollars.”
The money currently issued by governments 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.
With a stable government, this is not a worry to most business people, and that is normal. However, no government which issues money without a value-backed reserve can ever be certain of its stability, since its power in the world is measured entirely by the strength of its money against the money of other nations. Therefore every dollar issued, every dollar we spend, is at risk of suddenly being absolutely worthless.
To mitigate this risk, many communities have created Local Currencies, a form of money that is accepted in a certain area only, and which is backed by something that they can reasonably expect to collect if they ever needed to. One of the most prominent of these is the Ithaca, NY, HOUR, based on human labor at a rate of $10 per hour. Many local Ithaca businesses accept them in payment for products and services, simply because they know that they can spend them with many other businesses! Many companies pay their employees partly in US Dollars, and partly in Ithaca Hours, because employees know they can use the Hours to buy groceries or gasoline, to pay rent, or just about anything else except pay taxes or fines, or make purchases from outside the area.
Local currencies have improved the economic stability of many areas of the nation, since the money naturally stays mostly within 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 Financial Association was founded to offer one of the most stable and trustworthy forms of Local Currency in the world, since its Liberty Dollars are backed entirely by Silver Bullion! At any time, any person may redeem their Liberty Dollars for the actual Silver Bullion that backs them, in the form of beautiful Silver Liberty Coins or Silver Cards, a one-ounce piece of .999 fine silver that is the size and shape of a credit card. These silver bullion items, however, are not lawful for use as money themselves, as we noted earlier.
Liberty Dollars are as stable as the silver they represent, and that stability is known to build customer loyalty as it combats inflation and its ravaging effects.
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 wa y, since Members of the Liberty Dollar Financial Association can acquire Liberty Dollars at a discount, those Members—your customers—will shop where they can be spent, in order to realize an increase in their spending power.
Local businesses who accept Liberty Dollars 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 circulation locally will grow in three ways:
Through the exchange of Liberty Dollars into circulation by Members,
Through merchants who purchase additional Liberty Dollars to use in making change,
Through programs instituted by Members, Service Centers and/or Liberty Merchants to use Liberty Dollars in promotions. 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.
6. ACCEPTING LIBERTY DOLLARS
Now that you understand how money works in the community, you need to know how to use Liberty Dollars in your business. The following simple rules will work with any business at all and will, when properly employed in the sale of quality merchandise or services, ensure the growth of sales and profits discussed in the previous chapter.
Accept Liberty Dollars with a smile!
Each of your clerks must be aware that Liberty Dollars are now accepted at your establishment(s), and should be instructed to accept them with a smile. Make the customer aware that you are glad he is spending the new value-backed money, because it is good for your local economy, not just for your business!
Accepting them is simple: Keep yourself and your employee aware of what the SPOT price of silver is each day, or scan the QR code on the back of any Liberty Dollar Silver Certificate to find out what it is in real time. Then it’s just a matter of doing a simple conversion. If SPOT is at $23, for example, and an item is priced between $22 and $24, then you can feel comfortable charging an ounce of silver. If the item is only $10-$12, then you might accept a half-ounce Certificate. Once you know what the value of the silver is, it’s not hard to do a quick mental calculation.
Once Liberty Dollars become widely used in your community, you might even consider double-pricing. Show your customers both the cash price and the Ounce price, making it simple for everyone. The beauty of thhis system is that you probably won’t need to change the ounce price very often, as the SPOT price of silver rises along with inflation. This means that your ounce pricing will remain stable, no matter how low the value of the dollar sinks.
For accounting purposes, of course, you will need to ring up or record the cash value of the sale, which would be the price a customer would pay if they bought it with cash. Naturally, you do still have to add and eventually pay any sales or use taxes that apply.
That’s all there is to it. Now you’re ready to accept Liberty Dollars and start working with Real Money that has its own value!
Offer it in change!
Each paper Silver Certificate bears a QR Code that will show you the actual cash value of each Silver Certificate in real time. Whenever a customer proffers a payment in greenback money, offer Liberty Dollars in change! Be sure your employees know, and tell the customers, that they are not accepted at banks or issued by the government:
“Would you like some of the new Liberty Dollars in your change? (while holding one up for them to see) It’s not from the government and the banks won’t take it, but it’s really backed by silver and you can always spend it here!” That simple phrase, memorized easily, explains the nature of the new money, and eliminates any thought that you might be foisting off something false or illegal on the customer.
Use the App!
Using the App is as easy as App-le pie, and even easier than using a credit card Point-Of-Sale system. Just print out your QR code and post it prominently beside your cash register, right next to the sign that proclaims that Liberty Dollars are welcome. When a fellow Member comes in to make a purchase and is ready to check out, all he needs to do is scan your QR with his App, enter the amount and hit the submit button. As soon as he does, the transaction is complete and the silver is in your account.
Know who your fellow Liberty Merchants are!
If your community has a Service Center or Branch Office, they will keep you fully informed of who else accepts Liberty Dollars in your area; in addition, we’ll post them on our website as they register with us. Along with the simple spiel above, tell your clerks to point to a list of Liberty Merchants that you keep prominently displayed, or you can buy lists from your Service Center or Branch Office to hand out or make copies. 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 traded with you before, and regain many you may not have seen for a while! This will result in a “circular promotion” that will help to keep a lot more money spent locally and help each of you to see significant increases in sales!
Don’t hesitate to take 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 Liberty Dollars he got from you and swap them for greenbacks, do so with a smile! You’ll find that he will soon return and spend Liberty Dollars he got from someone else, as Liberty Dollars become more widely known in your community.
The issue here is to make sure that anyone who wants to get his greenbacks back can do so, because for every customer who is dissatisfied with or frightened by the “new money,” you’ll find that you’ll gain dozens of customers who will be pleased and excited by them! Happy customers will inevitably come from both sides, as long as you always exchange them back with a smile!
7. Make A Plan
Decide how you want to make money with Liberty Dollars.
There are three ways to make additional profits as a Liberty Merchant.
One is to merely accept them, working with your Service Center or Branch Office to promote them directly to the consumer, recruiting Members into the Association so they can learn how Liberty Dollars can help them preserve their spending power against inflation. This method works because Association Members share them with their friends and family, who will then spend them to hold onto their own spending power as they shop at your stores!
The second way is to get them from your Service Center or Branch Office and give them out in change. When you give someone a One-Half Ounce Liberty Dollar Silver Certificate in change, you’re handing out an engraved invitation to come back and shop at your store once again.
The third way is to offer your goods and services through the Internet, using Digital Liberty Dollars. Your Membership in the Association automatically provided you with a Digital Liberty Dollars account, just as it does for every Member. You can add an LDFA shopping cart or payment button to your website, and offer your work or products for sale anywhere. We even have a Woocommerce plugin for your WordPress website.
The fourth way is to recruit new Members to the Association yourself, because we have a built-in referral program that pays you 5% on every fee we earn from your referrals. Three levels deep. This means that you’ll earn commissions on the people you refer, and the people they refer, and even the people they refer. These commissions go directly into your account as soon as they are earned, and you’ll even earn commissions when they spend Digital Liberty Dollars at other stores.
Of course, it also means they’ll be coming to you to get their Liberty Dollars, and they’ll be coming back to you to spend them. That means more profits in your pocket, as they return again and again to spend Liberty Dollars with you.
8. A Few Words About Taxes
It’s important to remember that the use of Liberty Dollars in any form does not absolve you of any obligation you may or may not have to either pay or collect and remit taxes. Be sure you understand where Liberty Dollars fit into your business and your income and how to account for them properly.
9. A RETURN TO COMMUNITY VALUES
There you have it: everything you need to know about being a Liberty Merchant! However, there is one added bonus to establishing Liberty Merchants in any community that is often overlooked, and we’ll close with that in mind.
Liberty Merchants return value to their community by re-introducing real value into local commerce, but 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, that the customer who came into the store to buy his groceries, or stopped to fill his gas tank, or shopped for clothes or shoes or 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 super stores, however, that friendliness was lost, and replaced by “store greeters” and “smiling cashiers” who don’t really know who the customer is and are dependent on the customer’s money for their own employment, and so see them as merely the means of continuing their jobs. Communities that try to bring back those traditional values are finding it difficult to do, as long as the big corporate stores continue to draw the customers, and the dollars, away from the local community.
This is the final bonus of being a Liberty Merchant. By encouraging your community to shop locally, by giving them a way to do so and preserve their spending power with Liberty Dollars, the Liberty Merchants make it possible for much of that old community spirit to grow once again, and for the people to once again be more than just numbers in a bank account in some far-off land.
They’re your customers. They’re your friends. And in the final analysis, they’re the real reason why you might choose to become a Liberty Merchant.
You can contact the Liberty Dollar Financial Association at:
Liberty Dollar Financial Association
1126 N. Jefferies Blvd.
Walterboro, SC 294 88
contact your local