Commuto, a Canada based start up, allows its member to smart swap things they have for free. It provides a unique secure and safe way to to exchange stuff or barter online with other members locally. It is aimed at college or university students though anyone can join. The way it works is
- create an account
- create communities and list what things you have to share
- when you see an item on the website which you would like click on the “I want this” link next to it.
- Based on what you want to share or what you want the system at Commuto will notify you when someone is looking something you have to share or someone has a “I want this” item.
- Contact the members to arrange for trade.
- The service is available in limited countries and the list can be accessed here.
Commuto has entered a segment that is huge and there are many big players in the market like ebay. However, it is unique as people trade between themselves and there is no charge. As the community grows bigger it can be a big hit. However, the developers of the service have to thing about monetizing the service as it would tough to survive others and they need to survive for a long period to be successful. Commuto is taking the right steps as it has built an application for Facebook as well which will help in popularizing the application.
Commuto would not find things to be easy as there are a lot of competitors who have similar services like swaptree and bookmoch. Therefore they will have to provide a service that is unique and therefore monetization is important to sustain. I would recommend trying out the service and you would find something interesting for sure.