Trade on this site and you earn a sort of currency, and even find ways to build community.
Leila Sidi now owns a weed whacker — and it only cost her a Vietnamese sub.
Sidi posted her need for the whacker on the Bunz Trading Zone on Facebook recently, and within a day had found a successful trade.
“It’s like exchanging gifts,” said Sidi. “There’s something that all of us need and this is a way that bypasses consumerism.”
The Bunz Trading Zone is another forum to create that economy. Bunz is an online trading post that started in Toronto in 2013.
It currently has close to 60,000 users, and in Toronto sees 600 successful trades per day.
Bunz groups exist on Facebook, but this month Bunz has set up an app for better city-specific organized trading of goods and services — and that includes Edmonton.
The Bunz app allows searching by distance and type including jobs, apartments and lost items. Groups have formed for specific types of trades.
Trades can happen in any form or combination and currencies, such as food or alcohol, start to appear.
Eli Klein, an Edmontonian who now lives in Toronto, is the community and events manager for Bunz in that city.
He said he makes trades on Bunz not simply for things but to build up a type of currency that allows him to get what he’s after.
“I’ve accepted a trade so I can use it to trade for something else,” Klein said.
For Sidi, bartering has always been an economy and Bunz is another forum to practice that.
Recently she traded an unused guitar for an astrological reading.
“I just saw someone posting that they wanted to learn [guitar] and it feels good to be like ‘Shoot take mine.’”
Sidi has started to find different communities around trading. She posted a need for an immersion blender to make soap. That led to a soap making party.
“I’ll go back to her when I need more soap and see if they want to have a party,” she said.
The Toronto Bunz community has expanded to include finding lost pets and stolen bikes.
Klein said one woman posted to ask for help with her daughter’s birthday party when she couldn’t afford a cake.
“The community jumped to it, gave her a cake for free,” Klein said. “A guy delivered a bouquet of flowers and someone brought a balloon bouquet.”
Klein said the Bunz community has grown internationally and city-specific apps are being launched to better organize trading.