Building an online barter community site

Hi all::tup:

I read many articles posted at [color=green][/color][color=green] website. I properly observe how and why community website like sitepointpoint forum become popular. I am impressed with writing by [i]David Mytton, a [/i]16 yr old talented boy [/color][url=][color=green]Forum Software Roundup[/color] :eek:and also by SitePoint Community member “How To Turn Lurkers Into Posters” and few other Forums Topics. I am also impressed with Site Point Forums ability to track a users movement in their website. This shows that they are really serious about their members and know what they are doing. This push me to go ahead with one of my dream to develop a community website, ofcourse with differnt theme. I am requesting all of you, and specially SitePoint respectable Moderator to help me giving expert suggestions on how to successfully develop my dream ‘Barter’ community website. :slight_smile: Please !! Feel free to point me out of any negative side also.Before you put your comment, I want to clarify one more point. I dont want to follow other popular website. Whatever excellent features they are offering may be. I wanted to set my own example. Just put your comments and I will extract the cream out of the milk.

The objective of this website is to provide a community service where individuals can exchange their favorites without spending money. It follows the path of major portals like EBay and but with a difference that instead of paying for an auction an individual can exchange his/her items for an item of same or different category. The idea was born out of a sense of requirement for young generation, who own music CD’s, DVD’s, games titles, play stuffs but looking for a platform to exchange their items for something else. For e.g. a individual who owns some XBOX game titles but either no longer like the games or is bored of them and want something new, instead of spending money on buying new stuff he/she can use this service to put his/her XBOX titles on the community service website and either put his/her preference for game titles in return or leave them open. The objective is simple instead of throwing or dumping the stuff we don’t need we exchange them for other items.

To start with there’s no charge associated with any registrations or transactions. The idea is to build a community based on the places we live and create a virtual exchange community platform. The idea is not only to exchange tangible items but also service. A plumber with a requirement to fix his car can be an ideal match for a car mechanic looking for plumber to fix his house. The reason why the concept is tied to a community is because of following reasons:
1. The costs associated with sending items.
And more than the cost of shipping the risk associated since there’s no ESCROW service are involved. In other words a person who sent his DVD on the mutual trust never receives his exchange item.

One of the primary requirements is to make the web page as clean and possible and more emphasis to be given on the navigation such that a user can look at the page and shouldn’t spend more than 1 minute to understand what’s the purpose of the web site. I keep it in mind that there will be lot of people who will open the page without any requirement for any exchange (i.e. a casual surfer or opened by mistake) and should get the purpose of the site without spending a minute or two.
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Thats all. I am really looking forward to get back reply from you all. Its a open Forum, which will help everyone to get what we website owners are missing when we develop a website.

Hey…you may look at …they have the best auction site scripts. In my usings of it ( ) I have found that it is quite customizable (is that spelled right?). anyway, I’m sure if you get a good PHP developer to work on it a little you can have it to be a bartering site. there “GPL” version is $20 so if you want it for free just go to your going to need winzip to get it unziped.

I’m not quite sure if auction application can work in this case because auction site creates a bridge between an item and money but what WebCrawler is looking for is item <-> item application. If I think about it, item <-> item is probably not how people exchange items. It should be like item <-> some kind of credit system <-> item. I don’t know exactly how you can do that though. If you want to use an auction system, you need to find a way to create credit system; you also need to find a way to find matching an item using the credit. Then, email, chat, private message and approval system; a bunch of things that need to support the communication. Pretty interesting idea though.

I’d suggest looking at current barter and alternative monentary systems like and Also find more sites and info

You will also need to understand the legal obligations in not just running it but the financial services obligations for each jurisdiction you accept members from. I’m fairly sure governments and taxation departments have some rulling over barter exchanges.

I get confused with use of ‘<->’ sign many times in your message:). Please be focus and ellaborate your thoughts. Item vs. Appl. Though your reply come near to my idea. Auction is not something I am looking for. The auction script reference given by kylebacc is no doubt helpfull when credit system is applied after a year or so. I would also like to request billiousness to give me reference of only ONE site which is one of the best and most popular barter system till date. Like to see the reason for high traffic.

Thanks for the info regarding legal obligations involved running a barter system. As already stated above, the system will be free and the members will exchange products at their own risk and also free to choose their own location. It is always preferable to go for nearby location. My question is, any legal obligations for this free system where I am not going to fix any boundary to users ?

Any other auction script you know ASP/PHP ?

Check the following links; there are a couple of auction applications.




I get confused with use of ‘<->’ sign many times in your message

I’ll be more descriptive next time.

Even if it free there are still obligations and responsibilities running any market. I suggest seeking legal advice from a local lawyer.

No offence but you should really go do your own reserach for something this specific. You can’t be that serious about the project if you’re not willing to properly research the industry via articles, reports and traffic tools like Alexa and have every piece of information handed to you on a plate.

there are tons of auction scripts…just have to look for em…still phpauction is the best.

Its okay :eek:. Thanks again for the suggestion. I will do that. I am thinking of putting my own research here but first let get few more feedback and suggestions from you buddies :wink: keep posting.

What you describe follows closely (I think) on Mike DeWolfe’s “Transaction Management System” as used on the [URL=]Victoria LETS site.

LETS is an acronym for Local Exchange & Trading System.

“We are a community of people who have collectively created and use an alternative form of economic exchange. We barter goods and services directly and use a virtual currency called Green Dollars as much as possible instead of … currency …”

Check it out. There’s also a lot of information about LETS and other alternative money/barter systems at

seeing as this was 5 years ago…