Today a TechStars-backed company is launching out of private beta and into the App Store in an attempt to bring the Utopian notion of a barterer’s lifestyle to fruition. Bondsy, founded by a long-haired, bearded, and Brazilian Diego Zambrano, lets users trade anything they own for anything their network has to offer.
When you first sign up, you’re asked to give permissions to Twitter and Facebook and you instantly dive into a stream of your friends’ trade-worthy items. These can be things like tickets, an old bicycle, access to your home while you’re away for the week, herbs from your garden, or really anything you’re looking to get rid of.
Zambrano told me over coffee that he once traded some left-over chili to a couple of friends once. See, Bondsy only lets you trade with friends and friends-of-friends, with the ability to designate a certain item to one or both groups. You can even designate different prices for friends as opposed to the outlying network.
Let’s say I’m getting rid of my old dresser. I can ask for $200 from friends-of-friends, and “Let’s talk…” for friends, meaning I’d be open to negotiating a fair offer or giving them a discounted price.
See, Bondsy encourages you to trade things that aren’t necessarily of monetary value, since the network is only people who you know. Because friendship is baked right in, the actual transaction feels less like a chore and more like meeting up with a friend. And there’s already a topic of conversation on the table in the form of the things you’re trading.
This also means that tradable items are more likely to be favors, baked goods, and experience-based than money-based.
You can choose to flip through the stream of your friends’ items or see the entire friend-of-friend network, and the same social features that you see on other stream-based sharing sites still apply. On Bondsy, you can repost an item if your friends will be interested in it, and you can even cc particular friends in the comment with an @mention.
Bondsy is available now in the iOS App Store.