Today, we’re going to discuss Simbi.com.
As you know, to be thrifty is to be trendy. Goodwill Industries has made secondhand shopping an art form to brag about. “Where’d you get that adorable dress?!” “Goodwill. And only two dollars” (cue sassy hip swish). Recently though, even better than thrifting, we’re seeing a rise in free exchange networks.
Clothing swaps are swanky ways to socialize, ditch your old clothes, and snag from free new styles. Home Exchanges make travel simultaneously cheaper and classier—who wouldn’t prefer a private villa over a dingy hotel? PaperBackSwap feeds voracious readers, while Seed Swaps feeds gardeners.
Essentially, while free is great, we sure do love to give something for something.
Enter the Simbi.com Marketplace!
Simbi.com: This is the barter economy app/site for which you’ve been waiting. Members post skills—from vehicle maintenance to telling a great lie—that they’re willing to share and barter skills or Simbi “coins” (S) for what they need in exchange.
Not one to give a full recommendation without a test drive, here’s a rundown on how I nabbed a professional massage for zero-flippin-US-dollars.
First Steps to Simbi.com
- Make a Profile – provide your email and a password
- Fill in some basic information about yourself
- Add skills
- For my skill shares (since they’re not terribly technical), I came up with “English Editing,” “Networking Tips,” and “Rideshare Transportation”
- Verify – connect to LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+
Just for joining, Simbi credits you with 100S. That’s more than enough to barter for several services. Next up was simply finding a skill for which I’d be willing to barter.
How to Barter a Service on Simbi.com
This was super simple! I was desperately aching for a massage (thank you, sleeping angst-ily over moving abroad) and searched my local area for massage therapists trying out Simbi. That’s how I found Jen.
Jen Lemke‘s profile states “I’ve been a licensed massage therapist for nearly 8 years and owned my own practice for nearly 2. I specialize in pain management and prevention using deep tissue, Swedish and other methods and can also do hot stone massage.”
Wauwatosa wasn’t too far of a drive and she was offering a 60-Minute massage therapy session for only 50(S)!! Naturally, I messaged her real fast.
How was the Experience?
Unfortunately, a surprise stomach flu caused me to cancel our first session. Fortunately, Jen is a great human being who rolled with the cancellation and promptly rescheduled me for the next week.
I was a bit nervous—as I am anytime I have to be someplace new at a set time. Well, badabing-badaboom, I found the place and had a fantastic massage! She worked those knots n’ kinks right out of my back. Plus, we had some great conversation about the barter system. Already bartering a bit for some of her business needs, Jen thinks Simbi will really take off in the next few years and is getting her profile set n’ ready.
Final Thoughts on Simbi.com
There is a lot of freaking out going on over the economy. Specifically, regarding global economy, rising inflation rates, and the general continuation of a slow growth economy. With bartering systems budding, that last item might not be so bad.
What if you mixed barter system with the usual capitalistic ventures? Perhaps covering some needs (or “needs” like my massage) with means other than money would make goods and services more accessible to all. This is already happening in places all around the world, from Athens, Greece to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (time exchange is awesome).
Simbi.com, seems to already have a global reach and some great potential. So, how about it? Here, you can even use my referral code to start the bartering fun!