Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bartering made easy by SwapSity

There is so much unused or forgotten stuff floating out there, or lodged in basements, closets or shelves, they often at some point end up in landfills. Why not extend their life a bit longer and in turn receive goods or services you really would use?

I believe that bartering is the perfect eco-friendly, community-building activity for artists in particular, but hey, for everyone too. So many artists develop a range of skills to augment their income: carpentry, handyman, jewelry making, furniture making, upholstery, cooking, cleaning, and so on. When work or money is hard to come by, why not trade services for services, or services for goods, or goods for goods?

This is all fine and good if there was a system set up to enable such a bartering market. Happily, there is – in Canada at least. It’s called SwapSity and on March 22, this by-invitation-only exchange is opening up to the public.

At the moment, the site is available in Ontario and British Columbia only, with the majority of active users in the Greater Toronto Area. SwapSity Founder, Marta Nowinska plans to expand the service to more provinces later this year.

“To the best of my knowledge, SwapSity is the first Canadian consumer bartering community for trading virtually all goods and services between individuals and within swap groups,” says Nowinska. “It's very exciting for us!”

Getting started with SwapSity is simple. Users create a list of all swappable items and skills and make a wish list of the things they want to receive in return while SwapSity instantly generates local matches to jumpstart swapping.

Users can communicate freely and decide whether they want to accept a swap offer, negotiate or decline it. They can also equalize uneven exchanges with cash. Once a deal is made, swappers exchange in person or ship the items. The transaction rating system establishes a member’s track record and builds trust within the barter community.

The membership is free and the site charges no transaction fees. The site also offers a user-friendly interface to keep track of multiple swap transactions.

If you prefer face-to-face swap meets, SwapSity organizes them in the Toronto area.

To learn more, visit http://www.swapsity.ca/pages/launch_faq

1 comment:

Lilly said...

Sounds interesting... I have to check it out! I think it is similar to a Website I know (www.barterquest.com) I like those Websites a lot, because you can very easily trade the stuff you don't need anymore and additionally get what you always wanted (what you probably couldn't afford yet). Furthermore it's a lot of fun too! I'm very excited about how this trend will develop.