Let’s face it. We all know how sketchy Craigslist can be. Whether you’re getting scammed on the front end by someone who wants to charge your PayPal $500 more than your product is selling for, or you’ve got a seller who wants to meet you in a dark alley. While some may score some great deals using Craigslist, others aren’t so lucky. Which is why this Seattle startup created these risky ads.
Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Amira Fickewirth had a bad feeling about a camera purchase she had set up using Craigslist and thought that there had to be a better and safer way. That’s why she and her team created AroundWire, a startup they are calling a “social exchange.”
Alex Brown described it like this: “…a social network, a marketplace, and a payment system all rolled into one. On AroundWire you can ‘partner’ with people you trust and gain access to their “partners” to create a reliable community of people to buy and sell goods and services with. You can also choose to do business with the greater public AroundWire community and feel secure knowing that we have verified accounts, reputation metrics that mimic the way people consider reputations in real life, and excellent customer service and protection for all parties should anything go awry.”
AroundWire wants to bring things like trust, accountability, and conversation back into the online sales equation. They also want to establish a community in which people can go to the other community members over and over again as a source for new sales, referrals, and repeat business.
Sometimes, on Craigslist, you find that one seller that may have the same hobbies and interests as you and you strike up a relationship. That’s happened a few times with me over electronics, camera equipment, and bird supplies. I’ve dealt with the same few people time and time again on Craigslist so they finally started calling or emailing me directly, knowing I would probably buy what they are selling. I have a list of people I can go to when I burn through technology.
For most though, these are rare occurrences. AroundWire wants to create these collisions over and over again between trusted people who develop relationships using their site.
We had a chance to talk with the AroundWire team.
What does your company do?
AroundWire is the world’s first social exchange – a social network, a marketplace and a payment system all rolled into one. On AroundWire you can “partner” with people you trust and gain access to their “partners” to create a reliable community of people to buy and sell goods and services with. You can also choose to do business with the greater public AroundWire community and feel secure knowing that we have verified accounts, reputation metrics that mimic the way people consider reputations in real life, and excellent customer service and protection for all parties should anything go awry. Whether you’re buying vinyl records, looking for a reliable car mechanic, want a great referral for a graphic designer or are trying to launch your business from home, AroundWire can help.
How did the idea for the site come about?
The idea for the site came when our CEO/founder Amira Fickewirth went to go buy a camera off of someone on Craigslist and felt unsafe. She knew little to nothing about the person she was meeting up with and there was no real accountability if the gear was faulty or the person decided to try something unexpected. It dawned on her that there had to be a better way to buy and sell goods and services online – a place where people interacted on a real name basis and were held accountable for being honest in their transactions.
What problem do you solve?
Somewhere along the line, a gap has developed between the way people do business in the real world and the way they do business online – AroundWire’s mission is to change that, to bring the traditional values of business – trust, accountability, personal connections and earned merit – back to business online.
E-commerce sites and social networks are facing a crisis of confidence, with fake profiles, phony reviews and ads sowing an environment of distrust. While other social commerce sites struggle with security and fraud, AroundWire aims to tackle those issues right from the get go. With no fake profiles, no annoying banner ads, and an ultra secure built-in payment system, AroundWire will set a new standard for online consumption that demands a real-world level of trust.
We will be launching in Beta in October!
Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?
Sign up for a Beta invitation at our landing page: www.AroundWire.com