Business

Demo: Tradepal brings bartering of physical goods online

Karim GuessousTradepal is bringing bartering of goods back into style, this time virtually.

The company, which launched today, has a lot in common with eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. But where Tradepal differs is, in addition to selling goods for whatever price you choose, you can also accept bartering offers of other physical goods. You sign up on Tradepal through your Facebook login and can view products up for grabs from your friends and their friends. From there, you choose a buy now option and pay with PayPal, or offer an exchange of goods. You don’t see a transaction fee unless you are selling something for money, in which case the fee is 6 percent.

Craigslist and eBay allow one-on-one interactions, but they do not facilitate trades. Organized trades are a way to give something a value that otherwise just wouldn’t fit the traditional pricing mold.

“The first trade took place between Mike (our co-founder) and Keely Watson in October 2009. Keely bartered a diamond necklace valued at $1,400 for Mike’s Yashica camera valued at $300,” Karim Guessous, chief executive and founder of Tradepal, told VentureBeat. “Mike was surprised and was told by Keely that ‘her perceived value of the necklace had dropped to zero given the face that it was offered to her by her ex.’ Mike subsequently accepted the trade, and offered the necklace to his mother.”

For Guessous, starting Tradepal was a way to make eCommerce more personal. When he first began thinking of the company, he was “baffled by the fact that peer-to-peer bartering had never caught-on online.”

Because of the Facebook login, Tradepal makes transactions even more private by only showing offers available through friends or people who know your friends.

Tradepal was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Miami. The company has three employees and is self-funded. Currently, Tradepal has raised $300,000 in funding.

Tradepal is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.


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