Greetings SUN community members,
I have just finished construction of my website for The Michigan Barter Marketplace. It can be viewed at www.mibartermarketplace.com.
The goals of this venture are to:
- create a reciprocal community for Michigan individuals, small businesses and family farms to trade to meet their needs.
- to foster relationships between locally owned businesses and individuals.
- to provide a new way for non-profit fundraising, in a difficult economy.
- to promote the consumption of locally grown food and locally sourced food products.
- to inspire others to use bartering to develop a small business or turn a hobby into profits.
- to promote Michigan freelancers, musicians and artists and bring their products to new consumers
- to offer an alternative to risk and debt, by empowering people to use what they have already to meet needs, instead of reaching for a credit card.
- to promote thoughtful, beneficial consumption.
This system is different from others because:
- We designed it for not just business to business barter, but for individuals and families.
- The system is fully automated, so each member has full control over the frequency and ammount they wish to barter.
- In addition to regular goods and services listings, the listing system allows for "Services Requiring an Estimate" and that process is fully automated, putting the transaction easily in the hands of the service provider and their customer.
- Members do not need to call an agent for permission before transacting. There aren't any paper scripts or catalogues to keep track of.
- And we will never "cherrypick" the best items for ourselves or treat the bank as our personal bank. Honest monetary policy. Math that adds up.
- The cost is significantly lower than others. I didn't want to price anyone out.
The actual internal community is available to members. Things that cannon be seen until registering are:
- The "Name the Currency" box, where members can send in name suggestions for the Trade Dollars. The contest will end in January.
- The actual listings in the marketplace. They are all photo ads and members can put quite a bit of information in them, as well as delivery options, etc.
- The community feedback system.
- The actual bank accounts.
- The "Barter Buddy System" which enables members to log their person-to-person meeting's specifics.
One worry I have is that I have been working on this for almost a year and I hope that it makes good sense to people- other than myself.
One area I have yet to realize is finding my personal voice in my blog. I just haven't hit a stride in this writing. I waffle between being personal and sounding like a bore. :)
I would be greatly appreciative of any honest feedback on the site. Is it as easy to understand as the system actually is to use? Is it presented well?
Thank you very much for giving your time and considerations in advance. I look forward to receiving your input.
The Michigan Barter Marketplace
The Solidarity Solution LLC