What is OpenBazaar?
OpenBazaar is an open source peer-to-peer application supported by Windows, Mac and many Linux desktops. It can also be accessed through mobiles. It is the revolutionary way of conducting online commerce. Being a peer-to-peer application, it is devoid of middlemen, fees and restrictions. You can create a store in OpenBazaar and sell whatever you would like to reach a new audience. In return you get paid in cryptocurrencies.
OpenBazaar connects people directly through a peer-to-peer network while the data is distributed across the network and not stored in the central database. The main motive of OpenBazaar is to provide everyone with a platform where they can buy and sell freely. Thus, nobody has control over this e-commerce website. Each and every user contributes eqy to the network and is in control of their own store and private data.
Striking Features of OpenBazaar
⦁ No Platform Fees
⦁ No Monthly Fees
⦁ No Listing Fees
⦁ No CC / Bank Required
⦁ Live Chat with the Customers
⦁ Customization of Stores
⦁ Peer-to-Peer (No Middlemen)
You can, in general, access OpenBazaar by visiting them at openbazaar.com. When you feel you are ready to create a profile and start being a part of this e-commerce network, simply follow the below mentioned in-depth step by step guide.
Step 1: Download & Installation of OpenBazaar
The important thing that you must keep in mind is – you have to download and install OpenBazaar that is compatible with your Operating System (OS). You simply need to visit “openbazaar.org/download” and download the package that is most suitable for your OS.
OpenBazaar is available to download for a multiple OS from Windows to Linux to Whonix and more. If you bear some technical expertise on installation of OpenBazaar manually, then you can check out some instructions before you start.
Step 2: Running OpenBazaar
OpenBazaar provides you with a short onboard process to setup and personalize your node if you happen to run it for the very first time. Your OpenBazaar node is quite similar to a profile or an account on a traditional website but with a major difference, which is “you own it!”.
With the other websites, you create your user account on a server that is owned by someone else entirely, say, Ebay or Amazon. This can be related to renting an apartment in a building that someone else owns. When you are “leasing a space” on a regular website, they control the way you access it. They would give you “keys” that you would require to access your account (login ID and password). They also possess the right to revoke them anytime.
The situation is a bit different with OpenBazaar. What happens is you have your own server, your node that participates in the marketplace network and all the data you have created resides on your own computer. This can be stated like having your own independent house that bears a private entrance only you can find. Thus, no login ID and password is required.
As your node and profile is stored in your own computer completely, someone would need to access your system in order to make changes to your profile or take it down. This is more secure than how the other websites work, although it requires a little bit of knowledge to manage. Take for example, if you want to access your profile from any other computer, you have to move all of your files to the other computer from where you want to access. In order to “Close” your account, you have to delete your files from your computer by following certain instructions.
Follow the below steps to get started:
⦁ At first, you will be asked to set up your integrated cryptocurrency wallet. Choose one from the list. If you want to shop with more of the available cryptocurrencies, you have to add additional wallets after this setup which is explained later in this guide.
⦁ Next, you will be asked several questions like your name, your profile / store description, country and tour preferred cryptocurrency.
⦁ Now on your profile, you have the opportunity to upload an avatar. All you have to do is Select Avatar to choose an image file from your computer. It is recommended that you select a file that is uncomplicated and perfectly scale into the circle frame provided in the application. The image should be 280px by 280px or larger for the best visual appearance.
⦁ Next comes a disclaimer on using the OpenBazaar software that you must read before proceeding.
⦁ Last but not the least, a screen will be displayed asking you to opt for the optional analytics collection. It is totally up to you to decide whether or not to go for it. However, you can change your preference anytime from the Settings.
At this point, you will now see your own OpenBazaar Store Page. Each user has their own profile and store on the OpenBazaar network by default. Although, if you are just joining as a buyer, you do not need to click on Home.
Step 3: Browse & Buy
In order to browse items, just click on the OpenBazaar tent icon located at the right of the address bar at the top of the client window to Discover. The “Discover” bar is at the top that shows the integrated search engines you can use to browse items.
Below that is your search bar where you can search for the keywords and terms you may want to see, such as say, T-shirt or books. This search pulls from the Keyword tags that the sellers add to their listings. Thus, it is mandatory for the sellers to add relevant tags. Just below the search bar, is the suggestions which will help you in browsing.
Below the search bar to the left, you will find the various criteria that you may utilise to help search and sort listings to your preferences. The Accepted Currency will match the selected currency of your wallet by default on setup. So, it is easier to see items to pay for. You can change this setting to browse the other items available but you would not be able to pay for them unless and until you set up an additional wallet that supports the cryptocurrency.
Step 4: Making A Purchase
When you stick to something that you would like to purchase, click on Buy Now. The order process can go up to 5 steps that begins soon after you click “Buy Now”. This initiates the purchase channel that you can choose to provide funds by sending your cryptocurrency. If you simply click on the Buy and transfer no coins, the order automatically gets cancelled. The next phases of purchase include order getting Accepted -> Fulfilled -> Completed.
Types of Payments in OpenBazaar
Basically, there are three types of payments in OpenBazaar:
⦁ Direct Payments: Coins get sent directly from the buyer to the seller.
⦁ Moderated Payments: The coins are sent to 2-3 multisig accounts that work just like escrow. A third-party Moderator (another regular user in OpenBazaar) is added to this kind of transaction to sort out disputes.
⦁ Offline Payments: This occurs when a seller is offline. The coins are sent to a 1-of-2 multisig address that they can accept when they come back online.
You can also go for an external cryptocurrency wallet in order to pay for the listings or use the integrated wallet by sending in the funds to it at first. Click on Receive Money and either send currencies from a wallet using the QR code or copy-paste the text address below into your desktop wallet.
Setting Up The Additional Coin Type Wallets
Do you want to buy something with a cryptocurrency wallet that is different from what your node has? You can add additional wallets by creating additional nodes that you can easily toggle in your computer. All you need to do is hover over your avatar in the top right corner and then on your store name. Click on the option “New Server”. This would take you to a module where you would be able to select the new type of node that you would like to set up. After the setup, you can quickly toggle between your nodes by doing the same thing again.