If you’ve been searching for an alternative way to pay for goods and services, a new website called Igobono might be just the thing you’re looking for. The Brooklyn-based startup recently unveiled a free web-based service that allows consumers to buy, sell, and donate goods and services with their social connections using virtual currency instead of money.
Says Max Volsky, Igobono’s co-founder: “Social networks provide a source of trusted connections who need goods and services or can provide them. After all, anything that people need could be available from their friends, if they only knew about it.” Co-founder Mike Dolan says the company based the idea for the service on concepts from peer-to-peer trading networks.
Igobono is a marketplace that helps members of a social network learn what their friends want to buy or sell, and then allows them to trade with each other through a virtual “social currency” called “bonos.” In addition, participants can make donations and volunteer their services to those in need.
Here’s how Igobono works: after you create member profile and select your product or service needs or interests, the site offers personalized recommendations so you can trade or connect with other members to learn what they desire to buy and sell.
Volsky and Dolan say their goal is to make it easy for consumers to make peer-to-peer connections so they can create a personal social economy that serves as a trusted source of goods and services.