Bartering is the comeback kid of twenty-first-century commerce, even without too much help from technology beyond the internet and its forums.
The continuous growth of sharing economy startups has helped re-familiarize people with the idea of not buying new stuff, but trading without money is still largely left to Craigslist, Facebook Groups, Nextdoor comments, and the desert city of Burning Man.
Now that social distancing and tough times have given people extra incentive to swop stuff, there could be enough demand for better tech.
Enter Swop.it, a new app for exchanging items based on location and interest. Is an app dedicated to bartering enough to take people away from the familiarity of apps like Facebook?
Here’s what makes Swop.it interesting. Along with baked-in shipping, audio, and video calls, Swop.it can create a chain of exchanges where the initiator doesn’t have to negotiate along the way.
“We engineered a mechanism in which [the] user chooses desired item, but if he doesn't have a same-value trade for it or interests simply don't match — we find people with goods that can be placed in-between to complete the deal,” maker Julie Bonbina shared.
We’ve all read those articles — the ones where someone swops a bobby pin for bigger and bigger items until they end up with a house. They’re fun, but gimmicky too. Swop.it doesn’t seem to be too interested in gimmicks. Bonbina explained that the service is designed for individuals, not resellers. Also...
"The morale [of those stories] is the exact reason why we engineered our product in a way where not only one person can get something valuable from the deal and enjoy it, but many."
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