The 26th participant is SwapAce.com
Founded by Joseph Renzi, SwapAce.com is an online marketplace that allows people from all over the world swap, sell, meet, and buy almost anything in a secure environment. It allows you to barter for goods and services; negotiate until you get the deal you want; and make offers to multiple ads without the risk of having to buy everything.
It creates and connects communities – both geographically and by interest. This enables you to meet like-minded people and trade within a special interest group. SwapAce.com also has personalised features which allow users to create a list of items you want and when someone posts something on SwapAce.com that is on your list, will suggest potential matches – increasing your chance of success.
Let us leran more about SwapAce.com from Joseph, this is what he has to say:
• How it started?
A gap was identified in the eBay net-based buy and sell model, so I set out to offer net users a unique village marketplace bartering approach. SwapAce.com was created so that users could swap and barter with items as well as buying and selling.
• How long it took before it was up and running?
The early days of the business were very challenging. I recruited a number of young people to join him, some just out of high school and some who had just finished university and soon there were 10 people working in the family home.
Four years later, and with additional funds from a government grant, SwapAce.com is now well placed to challenge eBay, the world’s largest online auction house.
• What stage of your start-up is, stealth mode, beta mode or fully functional?
• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
The main objective behind SwapAce.com is to offer users a unique experience with online bartering and negotiation.
• What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
SwapAce.com provides a place for its customers to swap, sell, buy and meet in a safe environment. And it’s free!
• What is unique about your venture?
SwapAce.com is a web-based system that enables users to buy, sell, swap and barter with virtually anything – products, services, events, etc. The company has patented several unique features which allow users to make multiple offers and negotiate the terms of the transaction until both parties are happy, enabling buyers to “shop around” during negotiation.
• What market segment verticals you are targeting for?
SwapAce.com is targeted at everybody.
• What type of customers you are targeting?
Anybody that has anything to swap or sell; or would like to buy and meet like-minded people.
• What age group of people will be benefited most?
Everybody can benefit from using this site, although the younger generation with less disposable income would benefit greatly as the site is free to swap, sell or buy.
• How many users are using your services?
SwapAce.com currently has over 200,000 members, from over 150 countries, and growing at a rapid rate.
• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
SwapAce.com is predominantly marketed through online channels. We also use public relations.
• How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are their any special mechanisms/tools are in place to monitor the progress?
Some of the key performance indicators are:
A majority of this information is provided to us through our own reporting system (attached to our database), but we also use Google tools like Google Analytics.
• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is their any new model, which is being tried?
To ensure our financial success, we have developed multiple revenue streams, including many options to provide a recurring revenue model.
Revenue from System Usage includes:
Revenue from other sources includes:
• Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
eBay, freecycle, and other online auction sites.
• What are the main technologies used behind this start-up?
The main technologies include PHP and mySQL.
• What has been the most easy to use, out of box and helpful technology?
Our internal wiki (pmwiki) for our internal intranet.
• Are you using lot of open source tool sets for this?
• What is your operating environment (operating system) and what type of database you are using?
• How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up. Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
Try to meet up at least once a month through various networking/ small business events in Sydney.
• How much money is needed upfront to start a venture?
Depends on the business venture.
• What are the main barriers in general for people start their venture in Australia.
• What are your thoughts on the future trends of your service and market segment you are in?
We believe that swapping (e.g. the swapping of products and/or time) will be increasing popular; especially for cash-poor individuals and organisations … for example, I can swap 1 hour of my time for 1 hour of your time.
• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
Thanks Joseph for sharing your thoughts. We look forward to hear from you in future on the progress of SwapAce.com. All the best for SwapAce.com and the competition in this carnival.
The 26th participant is SwapAce.com