Jes Bickhart

Do you have stuff lying around collecting dust…sporting equipment, cameras, or perhaps a drum set that you never learned to play?

Barttr, a new app launched by Jes Bickhart (Production – B. A. ‘13), allows you to swap those unwanted items for something else from another user.

The gist is this: let’s say you have a lightly used pair of Ray Bans that you bought on a whim. Snap a picture of them, enter a brief description and perceived value. Swipe your item and one item of someone else’s into the Barttr pool to submit a trade request.

The idea came about when Bickhart was a senior in high school, and now that technology has caught up, he and partner Ryan Lang decided to launch the app.

“We all love the idea of selling our old stuff, but when it actually comes time to list and post an item on sites like Amazon or eBay, the inconvenience of dealing with shipping and competitive pricing is a barrier to entry for many people including myself–a frequent seller on Amazon,” said Bickhart. “Similarly with Craigslist, the idea that I could get a good sale but then have to arrange a meeting with a total stranger from a neighborhood I don’t know or trust can be more than a little daunting.”

One of the great things about Barttr is that it allows users to know who they are trading with before ever meeting them in person. Every user on the app has a comprehensive profile, along with a picture and past trading history. When a trade request is submitted, users are allowed to message each other through the app directly before agreeing on a safe place to meet up. And if that wasn’t enough to make you feel safe, users have complete control over their location preference. Only want to trade with people five miles around you? No problem, in the settings scale you can specify your search location down to the minimum. Want a more full inventory of possible trades? Scale your search up to 25 miles. The power to choose is completely in your hands.

“It is our hope that though bartering, people will build passionate communities centered around a free exchange of goods reminding everyone of the joy in discovering new things,” said Bickhart.

Barttr is available for free in the US and currently exclusive to the App Store. Development for Android is in progress and updates will be announced. Download it here.

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