When it comes to online commerce, most people automatically think of Amazon as they are one of the largest online retailer of goods.
Of course, Amazon isn’t the only one in town as there are plenty of other popular online stores which specialize in niches such as Zappos for shoes or eBay for antique items.
These types of websites are very standard in terms of how they operate. A customer shops the online store, picks an item they want, places it in the shopping cart, pays for it via credit card and then waits for the item to ship to their house.
Almost since the beginning of the Internet, such sites have made it extremely convenient for individuals to purchase hard to find items. One example is eBay which has established itself as an online auction site for obscure items.
But more than that, these sites have fundamentally changed how many shop for goods by allowing consumers to get the best deals and to read product reviews before finalizing a purchase.
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While such sites will continue to be popular destinations for millions of shoppers, a new kind of site has slowly been gaining popularity: bartering websites.
The Rise of Bartering Websites
Bartering is an old form of commerce that involves two individuals exchanging goods which are of similar value. A hunter may trade food with locals in exchange for goods such as a knife or a spear.
Such form of exchange were the most common in ancient times. However, people now use some form of currency or credit in order to get the goods they need.
Having more money gives a lot of buying power but when times are tough, many people are often forced to think of creative ways to keep costs to a minimum.
The Internet has influenced the world in more ways than we know. Not only has it made it really easy to connect with others on a scale never before seen, but it has also led to the rise of social networks and other forms of commerce.
One of these methods is bartering websites as such services allow its members to exchange goods with each other. These can be trivial things from exchanging video games and books to services such as swapping babysitting or tutoring sessions.
It’s not surprising that such services have become so popular as they allow individuals to swap out unused objects for something else of immediate value.
Are Bartering Sites the Future of Internet Commerce?
As popular as sites such as Craigslist are to bartering just about anything, there will always be demand for new products and the latest fashion trends. While bartering sites are likely to remain popular in the future, it is still too early to determine whether they will completely replace online commerce as we see it now.