The following is a guest post by Anna Sergeeva of NOMAD.
In October 2013, our startup tried a little experiment and started accepting barters as a checkout option. Instead of paying with money, our customers can now propose a barter. And if we like their offer, we’ll ship them the agreed upon number of products.
At launch, we didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately though, we received an overwhelming positive–and yes, valuable–response, and here’s what we’ve learned so far:
1. Barters are great for getting valuable services at a fraction of the cost – We’ve received legal advice, design consultations and web development work from high-level professionals thanks to barter. As a bootstrapping startup, it’s helped our bottom line and expanded our network.
2. Barters develop our brand – We’re designing products for the 21st century nomad. We want to make sure that everything we do is in line with that mentality. And what’s more nomadic than bartering? Instead of simply accumulating another “thing,” our customers have bartered everything from custom bikes and die-stamped office furniture to wall art and artisanal popcorn.
3. Barters reinforce our culture – We’re growing our team in San Francisco and it’s important for us to build a culture that reflects our nomadic values and minimalist brand. By decorating our office with eclectic barters, our current team and potential hires have a constant reminder of what we stand for.
4. Barters are fun – It’s just plain fun to receive surprises from all over the world on a daily basis. And when you’re working in a fast-paced startup environment, little sprinkles of fun here and there are a great reminder of why you chose this career path to begin with.