Bartering On-line All the RageThe ancient art of bartering is coming back into vogue. Witness this written on an on-line site: "I just bought a deskclock to give as a present, but I haven't been able to give it. It looks like a small helicopter that children might enjoy. I hope that I can swap this for a pretty plant."
This type of Internet-based trading has been become an easy and free way of acquiring and selling things no longer wanted or needed. Barternet, which can be found at www.barternet.co.kr, is not only for individual users but for corporations as well.
In cases where people don't agree on what is being swapped, there is a 'barter money' system valid only on the site itself. So, if there is someone who wants what you have to offer, but you do not like what they have on offer, the 'barter money' can be had for your unwanted thing.
Barternet takes a 5 percent commission on deals using this 'barter money', and so far, this 'barter money' system has been the sole 'currency' used. However, the website plans to introduce credit card or installment payment systems soon. At the moment, over 30 companies are affiliated to the site.
President of Barter Kim Yong-hwan said that, "It is true that our customers have to eventually meet face-to-face to actually finalize the barter. So, we are in the midst of linking our site with a delivery company to make matters more convenient."
Also in the market is DC King (www.dcking.com) which launched on May 10th of this year. The site allows Net surfers a place to unload their unwanted things. But, this site offers a twist, with services as well as goods able to be bartered. Among the items currently up for grabs are not only things like computers or clothing but also some 'interesting' proposals like a introduction to a woman in exchange for swimming lessons or offers of English language instruction for an MP3 player.
DC King president Kim Dong-hyun said that they have only some 3,000 members registered to the site, but the number of website hits is increasing steadily. He added that their strength lies in the "descriptions" given for the items on offer on their site.
Other barter websites include swapi at www.swapi.co.kr and scale626.hihome.com as well as a computer-equipment barter site found at www.kkabi.com, auction site www.auction.co.kr, classified circulars site at www.kstop.co.kr and www.findall.co.kr.
by Choi Joon-ho