Beth-Ann wrote the other day with a link to the Minneapolis contemporary furniture design company, Blu Dot. This is the quirky local firm that announced the opening of its Manhattan store a year and a half ago by abandoning several dozen chairs on the street corners of New York just to see what would happen.
Now Blu Dot is trying a new technique to get its furniture into the hands of customers – barter. Online barter, with voting. They’re calling it a Swap Meet.
Here’s how it works – you go to the company’s website, find a piece of furniture you covet, and then propose to trade something for it. Other readers have the opportunity to endorse your offer (or not).
Fun gimmick, and it’s interesting to see what people think they have that’s worth a fold out bed or a futuristic looking metal chair. I’m most impressed with Kirk McCall’s offer of some authentic, artistic 17th century sound effect machines (for opera) in exchange for a sofa. Invaluable, especially if you’re about to produce an opera in a venue without electricity! Blu Dot has already accepted a proposal to trade a sectional for a full sized motorcycle sculpture made out of 9,000 popsicle sticks. Smart move.
I wrote about Blu Dot for The Line and KFAI, and as part of my research visited the company’s one retail outlet in the Twin Cities, a little store called Roam, across the street from the International Design Center in Minneapolis. Of course the thing I found that I liked the most was an expansive, futuristic desk called Desk 51 – physically solid and heavy but visually light and sleek. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a thing I have that’s worth $699 in trade, unless it’s fawning publicity, and I’ve already delivered that for free.
Besides, there might be ethical concerns. A few.
Speaking of barter, it’s time once again to offer an opportunity for you to trade your writing and your unique perspective on the world for fantastically valuable rewards – my gratitude and the rapt attention of your fellow baboons. I’m hoping to run a string of guest blogs during the week of March 21st. Sherrilee and Barbara in Robbinsdale have already submitted some excellent posts. Four more will get us through the week.
Any takers? You can e-mail me directly at email@example.com
UPDATE: Clyde, tim, Beth-Ann and Jim have stepped forward. We’re set for the March guest spots. Thanks, bartering baboons!
What goods and services have you exchanged through barter?