A social bartering platform that allows users to trade goods and services is creating a buzz in London.
BUNZ Trading Zone is an app designed to help users swap things they need in exchange for things they don’t want or have a use for anymore.
The only catch is that there are absolutely no financial strings attached.
The concept exploded in the West End of Toronto after creator Emily Frances started a simple Facebook Page.
Now with up to nearly 50, 000 users – BUNZ is designed to connect users locally for the intent of exchanging goods without the need for monetary compensation.
Geoff Bardwell is a local BUNZ user who’s been deeply involved with its growth here in London.
“It’s a different form of currency,” Bardwell said.
“We have a throwaway culture so we have something we don’t like we throw it away – well, why not throw it up on the app and someone might want it and you gain something out of it – if not a few tall cans of beer than maybe a friendship.”
As Bardwell points out – transactions are simple and straight forward – if someone has something you need and they want something you were thinking about throwing out any way all that’s required is a simple meet and greet and exchange.
“I posted a puzzle that I don’t want and someone replied saying ‘hey, I heard you want candles so do you want to trade?’” Bardwell explained.
“So I’m going to go and meet up with her, somewhere close to her house and do the trade.”
For those that might feel iffy about meeting with strangers – Bardwell feels they should have no serious concerns as there are two designated “trade safe zones” for BUNZ the over 1200 users in London.
Bardwell also says that there is also an accountability system to keep users honest when it comes to transactions.
“If they don’t show up or they’re late or they’re giving you something that they didn’t say they were giving – then you can give them a bad review. Fortunately I’ve only given positive reviews.”
With fall just around the corner and Fanshawe and Western students getting ready to hit the books for another year – Bardwell feels the launch of BUNZ in London could not have come at a better time.
“We know that students are on tight budgets and one of the old BUNZ posters – the tagline is ‘When you’re out of beer but you’re also out of money,’” Bardwell laughed.
“So it’s kind of like one of these things where it’s like I have this old lamp I could trade and I could use four tall cans.”
In Bardwell’s opinion – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and that’s the main objective of BUNZ but it goes beyond just trading material goods and services.
“I’ve seen in Toronto that people say ‘Oh I want to make a pulled pork dinner, if you supply the goods, I’ll make the dinner, or if you want me to cut your hair or if people are looking to hang with people’s pets because they don’t have pets.”
Bardwell thinks that in time, with the return of students in the fall – and with an already impressive community of London users – BUNZ could just be something worth grabbing on your phone.
You can download the app for free through your Smartphone.