The OpenBazaar ecosystem features hundreds of vendors from around the world who want to list their goods and services for free, set their prices, and get paid in bitcoin. Buyers can purchase items ranging from clothing, food, electronics and home decor to applied services and digital products in this marketplace and often for lower prices than those available elsewhere on the web.
In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we are featuring Honey France (Best Honey on Earth), a quaint little store selling delicious French honey from their own family-kept bees and trying to make the world a better place. They are no strangers to using Bitcoin and have a pioneering story that will make your stomach drop a little! You can find Honey France on OpenBazaar here and browse their listings on the web here.
How did you find out about OpenBazaar?
Since we work with computers and are admirers of open source initiatives, we have been following the development of OpenBazaar with interest, after reading about it on the bitcointalk forum.
What do you make/sell?
We mainly sell our honey production of the year, but shipping costs remain our main concern. Recently, we added two donation initiatives to help save the bees: a small donation, since the bitcoin simplifies micro-payments, or to adopt a queen from one of our hives for a season and to be more involved in the preservation of pollinators, who are essential to our survival. In the same principle, we will propose the adoption of a whole hive for the season: the “Bee part of the solution” project 😉 Soon, we will add honey & spice mixes for your gourmet recipes. For our honey, we had fun writing an offbeat description addressed to “geeks”, most likely the early-adopters of OpenBazaar. Have a look at the presentation page of one of our jars of honey on Duosear.ch.
Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?
We like all decentralization initiatives. This is probably a habit of those of us who live in the French countryside, since our politicians and leaders think that only Paris exists in France 😉 We also like the idea of introducing the bitcoin to others: reduction of fraud, no borders, Escrow system, micro-payments… So finally, it’s not only because there is no fee that we prefer OpenBazaar to eBay.
How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?
We started the adventure by installing OpenBazaar on our family iMac and then to avoid leaving it on permanently, we transferred our store to a RaspberryPi II. But the server was unstable and difficult to monitor, so we decided to install it on a dedicated server. This was not the initial idea, since we didn’t want subscription fees for our store. After an unsuccessful installation on an existing hosted server (mostly difficulties installing the libsodium library), we had the pleasure of using the Deploy solution from OB1 where everything was installed in 1 click. We are hoping that version 2 of OpenBazaar will be released before the end of our 2 free months with DigitalOcean
We didn’t expect a miracle when we opened our honey store. We have been faced with expensive international shipping fees for heavy jars, and current visitors are not really interested in this kind of product, since they generally prefer to buy locally. Our two other offers may be more successful: the protection & survival of bees is an international challenge. But using OpenBazaar is not limited to opening a store, we also made some purchases and enjoy this great marketplace. For a first version, all the processes were very well thought out.
How familiar are you with Bitcoin?
We were among the first to mine bitcoins, when it was only experimental (as admin of an Xserve farm). We are virtual millionaires, like many who started mining bitcoins at the beginning, never imaging how valuable it would become. We lost our key by the replacement hard drives or other breakdowns, and it was only in 2013 that we cried when we discovered the fortune and number of hives we could have had, with the several thousand bitcoins we had mined at the very beginning. That’s learning about the crypto world the hard way. 😉
What changes would you like to see to OpenBazaar to make it more useful for you?
With the arrival of Duosearch, the link between the web and OpenBazaar has become easier, but it’s not enough. In addition to a currency still too confidential, the need to install a special software to purchase on the platform doesn’t help. Fortunately, the great diversity of products available has aroused the curiosity of some adventurers.
For mainstream use, the acquisition of bitcoins by OpenBazaar shoppers needs to be facilitated, even if they only acquire them for their purchases, and without having to install a client software. It is our understanding that these 2 improvements are planned, including the evolutions related to shipping fees, which is essential, and the addition of visitor statistics, which will motivate us from time to time.
Finally, we would like to add a very specific request: to be able to present our store in different languages. Currently, the UI adapts to French, but the product descriptions remain in one language. We would like to present our products in the native language of our potential and probably our main customers, given the cost of shipping. And also in English so that the whole world can discover our products (and why not in German/Italian/Spanish, our close neighbors). But please not an automatic translator, that would be catastrophic.
As you can see, we are impatiently awaiting version 2 because it looks very promising. Good luck to the developers!
Would you like to have a store on OpenBazaar?
Becoming a vendor is easy and completely free! Check out our Vendor’s Guide to OpenBazaar
Would you like your store to be featured on our blog?
Awesome, we’d love to know your story! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org