OpenBazaar costs nothing to download and use. There are no fees to list items, and no fees when an item is sold. Because the trade is p2p (peer to peer), it’s happening directly between buyers and sellers with no middleman to take a cut from each sale. It’s completely free e-commerce.
Setting up your own web server for an ecommerce store is difficult and requires specialized knowledge. Many sellers end up paying someone else to set up their store. Setting up an OpenBazaar store is simple. Download the program, run the installer, and you’ll be listing your items in minutes.
OpenBazaar uses Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency. Existing online payment systems such as credit cards are tied to identity, cost money to accept, and risk identity theft. Bitcoin is more private, has no risk of identity theft, and costs little to use. Third party payment processors aren’t able to hold funds or reverse transactions; how to use Bitcoin is up to you.
Secure Escrow and Dispute Resolution
Scammers try to take advantage of both buyers and sellers online, but OpenBazaar uses a unique feature of Bitcoin that helps prevent fraud: Multisignature escrow. In this unique e-commerce marketplace buyers and sellers agree to a mutually trusted third party before they start a trade, and then the buyer sends his bitcoin to an escrow account. Those Bitcoin can only be released when two out of the three parties agree where it will be sent. Normally the buyer and seller are the two parties in agreement, but if there is a dispute the third party will come settle the dispute. These third parties offering dispute resolution are selected on an open marketplace.
Every user on the OpenBazaar network has access to an encrypted chat feature, and can talk to any other user on the network. Buyers can ask sellers about their products. Sellers can confirm shipping details or offer customer support. If a dispute arises, all parties can talk to a trusted third party to help settle the dispute. All conversations are end-to-end encrypted for privacy.