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Barter website debuts to boost e-commerce

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Nigeria’s e-commerce was recently boosted with the debut of a website that facilitates barter among users. The website, barter.com.ng, an online platform that facilitates swapping of items among users, had been on a test-run for a month before it was recently launched in Lagos.

Founder, Babatunde Olofin, described it thus: “We both have items of value we have no need for. You like mine, I like yours. Let’s exchange. Of course, with the usual caveat emptor attached to online transactions.”

Though the site’s founding idea is built on barter, Olofin admitted that selling things for monetary value comes in naturally because some users would rather give away their stuff in exchange for money.

“We never thought of the idea of selling for money but people coming on the site were asking, what if I want this for money? We said, okay, we will accommodate such as well,” he said.

He added that his motive for founding such a site. “ is always about solving a problem I see, and one of such ideas led to what we are doing today. When people asked me, how do you hope to make money from it? I tell them: solve a problem, money will come.”

In terms of the pervasive abuse of trust in online transactions, Olofin, who has worked a total of 17 years in the IT industry, gave an assurance. “We have got our helpline. There is also a live chat on the site where we have permanently people so that if anybody is reported, we take such a person out of the site immediately.


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