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Author Topic: Requesting Input from Sellers - New Trading Platform  (Read 708 times)
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January 30, 2013, 01:31:40 AM

I am looking to receive some input from users who sell goods [physical or digital] for Bitcoins here on the forums or elsewhere.  I have a new project in the works, attempting to put together a strong sales platform that is easy to approach from both the buyer and seller side for goods.  While the simple comparison would be eBay/Amazon but with Bitcoins, we all know there are certain aspects of Bitcoin which require special attention when putting together a trading platform.

There have been a few attempts at such a platform, but most have failed to capture any decent market, either due to poor interfaces, poor seller tools, lack of features, or lack of available product.  A lack of vendors means nobody bothers to look at the site.  A lack of buyers makes the process of selling feel like a wasted effort.

While very little is set in stone, there are a few features that have already been decided on to begin the project:

Feature: Escrow at no additional fee.  Escrow will be through the website, which is backed by my main Bitcoin project: BTC Guild.  BTC Guild has generated and paid approximately 1 million BTC since its inception, and has shown a history of strong security.  The buyer will be the one to decide if an escrow is to be used for the sale.
Reason: Forced escrow paired with tracking requirements will reduce the ease of a scammer using the platform to make significant gains before running.

Feature: Forced feedback from buyers.  Buyers will be required to leave feedback on completed transactions before they are able to place too many orders.
Reason: This eliminates the problem of sellers feedback only showing a small fraction of their overall history, and the ability for somebody to place many orders and claim what they received wasn't what they ordered among many different merchants.

Feature: Tracking/Delivery Confirmation required on all US-based sales.  If tracking is not included, positive feedback will not be displayed under your easily visible score.
Reason: This both ensures that buyers are able to identify the status of their order, and provides a limit on sellers being able to inflate their feedback.  Tracking information will be scraped for destination cities, which will be used as one of many criteria to determine if a seller is producing fake orders in order to fake trustworthy status.

Feature: Package verification insurance.  For an additional fee, buyers or sellers will be able to pay to have a package shipped to a trusted partner [initially myself] first.  The trusted partner is authorized to open the package and check the contents to verify that the item matches what was ordered.  Upon verification that the item matches the order, the package will be forwarded to the buyer.
Reason: On high dollar items such as computer components, this service provides peace of mind for both parties.  The buyer knows that the seller isn't shipping a USB cable in place of what they ordered.  Alternatively, the seller knows that they won't face an escrow dispute where the buyer is able to make off with a free $200+ item.

Feature: JSON push notifications for sellers.  Seller accounts can enter a callback URL which is notified whenever a listing has completed.
Reason: Some sellers utilize many platforms simultaneously for sales.  Push based notifications will allow advanced sellers to adjust inventory or remove listing from other platforms automatically immediately after a sale is completed.

Feature: Mass listing/editing API.  Sellers will be able to feed listing information to the platform, remove listings automatically, and edit pricing on fixed price listings through a JSON based API.
Reason: Similar to push notifications allowing a seller to adjust their listings on other platforms, the platform will also allow sellers to use their own custom solutions to edit listings on all platforms including this one.

Other pieces are being considered [or possibly omitted from this post].  The point of this post is to find out what killer features merchants feel a platform of this nature needs in order to fit their business.  Additionally, I am looking for larger sellers who may be interested in utilizing this platform in its infancy.  Send me a PM if you would like extra information.

RIP BTC Guild, April 2011 - June 2015
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