OpenBazaar User Tutorial

This tutorial will show users how to install OpenBazaar, navigate the network, and make purchases.

If you have problems along the way, visit our help desk. If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Step #1 – Download and install OpenBazaar

Most users will want to download a package for their operating system, which makes installation as simple as downloading and opening a file. If you have some technical expertise and want to manually install OpenBazaar, read these instructions.

The packages for release can be found on our Github releases page at this link:

Download OpenBazaar

Windows users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X_Setup.exe file. After downloading and opening the file, Windows users will be guided through an installation process which should go very quickly.

OS X users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X.dmg file.

Linux users use the .deb file.

Download and open the file.

Step #2 – Run OpenBazaar for the first time

The first time you run OpenBazaar you will be guided through an onboarding process to personalize your experience. You will be asked a few questions such as your language, country, and preferred currency.

onboarding1

Each user has their own page on the OpenBazaar network. You can choose a specific theme to make your store unique.

onboarding2

You also have the opportunity to upload an avatar for your store. Click on “Select Avatar” to choose a file from your computer.

onboarding3

The last part of the onboarding process is a disclaimer about using the OpenBazaar software, which you should read before continuing.

After finishing onboarding, you’ll now see your own OpenBazaar page. Here’s what an example page looks like.

newuserpage

Notice the long string of characters below your name, and in the navigation bar at the top of the client. This is your OpenBazaar ID, which is an address that every page on the network has. You can learn more about OpenBazaar IDs here, and how to create simpler names called “handles” here.

newuserpageOBID

Step #3 – View OpenBazaar listings and stores

OpenBazaar is a network of users all over the world who host their own stores, and sell goods and services for Bitcoin.

To view a random sampling of other stores, click on the “Discover” icon (looks like an eye) on the top right of the client. This will bring you to the main Discover page where you can view listings and stores on the OpenBazaar network.

discoverlistings

By default you’ll see listings, but if you click on the “Pages” tab you’ll be shown a list of pages which you can connect to. This isn’t a complete list of all the pages on the network; at any one time your own computer only connects to a subset of the overall network.

discoverpages2

Note that, by default, users will have a NSFW filter turned on that will hide listings which have been labeled NSFW by the vendor. You can turn off this filter by going into Settings > General tab > clicking “No” on the “Display NSFW Content?” option at the bottom > Saving changes.

If you see a listing which is inappropriate or offensive, you can block that user. Blocking another user means you will not see their items or store on your discover page. You can block a user by hovering over the listing and clicking “Block.”

blockuser2

Navigation bar

You can also use the navigation bar to find other stores or listings. Every listing and store has an address on the network, and putting in that address will take you there, just like a website.

For example, take note of the navigation bar on this image. By default, all pages have an address like this, called the OpenBazaar ID. Putting this address into the navigation bar will take you to their page if it’s online.

storenavigationbar2

Since this address isn’t memorable (similar to a Bitcoin address) there is a simpler way. OpenBazaar IDs can be tied to “Handles,” which are short names that can easily be entered into the navigation bar. For example, here’s a store with the handle @drwasho. If you want to set up your own handle, read this article.

storeHandle2

Listings have addresses as well. The address first contains the OpenBazaar ID or Handle of the store, and then /item/ followed by the address of the specific item. For example, this listing has the following address:

8ed937277cad44f4bda553bb2bc6b47e4b4a246e/item/86fda502a9175b8173cd540a355a23eecf20ea62

listingaddress2

Copy these addresses in client with Ctrl+C, and paste them with Ctrl+V. You can use share these addresses on the web and other OpenBazaar users can navigate directly to the addresses by pasting them in their navigation bars.

Chat and following

OpenBazaar isn’t a giant ecommerce site; it’s a group of people who all want to engage in peer to peer trade. If you want to talk with those people, you can by using the built-in chat function. Chat is encrypted end-to-end for user’s privacy.

On any OpenBazaar page, you can message the owner of the page by clicking the “message” button.

storepagechat2

This opens the chat bar on the right of the client. You’ll see the user and their avatar at the top, your messages in the middle, and then a text field to type at the bottom. There’s also a dropdown on the right which allows you to view the users page and also block the user if they are harassing you.

storepagechatexample

If you want to remember a store you found, you can follow them, which will add them to your following list. On their page, click the follow button.

follow2

Then on your own page, you can click the following tab and see the stores you’ve followed.

following

Step #4 – Buy something

OpenBazaar is all about creating a new peer to peer network for trade, using Bitcoin. So let’s buy something! Find an item you like and click the big “BUY NOW” button.

The first time you purchase something on OpenBazaar, you’re going to be asked if you have a Bitcoin wallet or not.

buyflow1

If you don’t, you’ll get a list of wallet providers to choose from. You’ll need Bitcoin to buy anything on OpenBazaar, so if you don’t have Bitcoin yet then you should either become a vendor on OpenBazaar and sell some items to earn some Bitcoin, or buy some elsewhere.

If you have Bitcoin, then you can proceed. If the vendor has chosen moderators, you’ll be asked to select from one of two payment types:

1. Direct Payment – The buyer sends the bitcoin directly to the vendor.

2. Moderated Payment – The buyer sends the bitcoin into an escrow account and they are released when the transaction is finished.

You can read more about moderators and moderated payments here. The bottom line is this: Moderated payments give the buyer some protection against the vendor taking the money and not delivering the product. But it’s important to choose a trustworthy moderator. Forums such as OpenBazaar Moderators give people a place to discuss good or bad moderators.

If you choose moderated payments, then your bitcoins will be sent into an escrow account (using a unique feature of Bitcoin called multisignature addresses) that will only allow the funds to move if two out of three parties agree. Those parties are the buyer, vendor, and the moderator. This is more secure than a direct payment, in which the vendor receives payment as soon as they process the order.

After you choose which payment type you want, you will be asked to enter a Bitcoin address that you control. This address is only used in case there is a refund. Once you’ve entered this refund address the first time, you will not be asked again, but you can change it in settings. If you choose to create a temporary address with RushWallet, please don’t forget to save the URL so that you don’t lose it.

If you are buying a physical item, you’ll now be asked to enter a shipping address. If the vendor doesn’t ship to your country then you’ll be unable to purchase the item.

buyflowshipping

You’ll then be shown a summary screen with details of your order, and quantity, shipping information and moderator details (if it’s a moderated payment). If you are satisfied and want to place and order, click the “Pay for Order” button.

buyflowfinal2

You’ll now be shown the last step in the purchasing process, the payment screen. If you’re familiar with Bitcoin then you’ve seen these QR codes many times. If you have a mobile Bitcoin wallet, simply scan the code and pay. If you have a local wallet, you can click “Open in Local Wallet” and you can finish payment there, or click “Copy to Clipboard” to get the payment address easily.

buyflowpayment

After paying you should see the payment screen change to indicate successful payment in only a few seconds.

buyflowpaymentsuccess

If you don’t see anything change within a few minutes, then you can click the “Refresh Payment Status” button to manually check for payment again.

You’ve bought something, what now?

Step #5 – Managing orders

You can view your purchases by clicking on the menu on the top right of the client, and then on the “Purchases” section of the dropdown menu.

purchasesmenu2

This brings you to your transactions page, which shows you all of your purchases, sales (if a vendor) and cases (if a moderator). To view more details about a purchase, click on “Order Details.”

purchasesorderdetails2

In this window you’ll see several tabs. The first is a summary tab which gives you an overview of the order. The second is a funds tab which shows the details of all the Bitcoin transactions. The third is a Discussion tab which allows you to have a conversation with the vendor, as well as open a dispute with the moderator if it was a moderated transaction.

purchasemodaldiscussion

You may also have a shipping tab if you ordered a physical item. This tab will show the shipping address you provided.

This window is also where you’ll finish up your orders if you selected a moderated payment. If the vendor shipped the item or delivered the service to your satisfaction, then you should complete the order releasing the funds to the vendor. This also gives you an opportunity to leave a rating for your transaction. After the vendor confirms the order on their end, you’ll have the opportunity press the “Complete this order” on the top left of the window.

purchasereleasefunds2

You’ll then be asked for the rating, and can scroll down to enter a text review as well. Click save and your rating will be left on the product, and funds will be released.

Disputes

What if the vendor never sends the product, or they sent something broken? If you have a problem with the vendor, the first step should be to contact them and ask for them to resolve the situation or ask for a refund.

If the vendor is unresponsive or won’t cooperate, and you’ve selected a moderated transaction, you can then open a dispute and bring your case to the moderator. To do this, open the Discussion tab (we showed this above) on the order you placed.

You’ll then be able to open a dispute by making your case to the moderator in the chat area, and checking a box on the bottom right labeled “Start a Dispute” then sending the message.

disputeopen2

The moderator will then be able to see the conversation from that point out. They should work with both buyer and seller to determine who will receive the funds in the escrow. Eventually the moderator should close the transaction, which will display the message “END DISPUTE” in the chat and also give you the option to accept the payout if you were the winning party. Notice in this example the payout amounts mentioned on the top of the window. If they look right, then you can click the “Accept Dispute Payout” button.

disputeaccept2

As soon as you accept the payout the funds will be released to you. Note that the moderator will be paid a percentage of the overall transaction if they are called upon to settle a dispute.

Reminders

If you want to go beyond just buying goods and services on OpenBazaar and become a vendor, you can learn more at the Vendor’s Guide.

If you’re still using OpenBazaar in the test phase, you’ll need to use a testnet address and testnet coins instead of regular Bitcoin. There are more instructions in the tester’s guide.

If you need help, visit our help desk. If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Let’s make trade free!

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OpenBazaar Tester’s Guide

This article is to help OpenBazaar testers install the software, test it, and report any bugs or feedback to the development team. Thank you to all the testers out there helping us make OpenBazaar the best it can be!

If you’ve already been testing and have a bug report to file or feedback to deliver, you can skip right to the reporting bugs section.

Overview

To use OpenBazaar, you will need to run the OpenBazaar server and client. If you use the pre-built packages, these will be installed together. If you build OpenBazaar manually, they will be installed separately. The server is the program doing the work of communicating with other OpenBazaar nodes and managing your Bitcoin keys. The client is the visual interface you need to interact with the rest of the network. The server and client do not need to be run on the same machine; you can set up a server on a remote machine, run your client locally, and connect them together.

In the initial testing period, the OpenBazaar network will solely be running on the testnet and using testnet Bitcoins. You can receive a small amount of testnet coins from this faucet; please return them when done with testing. You can use a mobile app such as Copay or testnet3 to receive and spend the testnet coins. Listings, sales, and purchases on the testnet should be assumed to be for testing purposes only. After this period we’ll transition to testing with real Bitcoin and real listings; please read the disclaimer at the beginning of the onboarding process.

There are three user roles on the OpenBazaar network. Any user can fill any role or any combination of roles.

Buyer

A buyer will access the network solely to purchase goods or services, check on their order status, release funds to the vendor or dispute a transaction they’re involved with, and leave reviews on vendors.

Buyers don’t need to run the OpenBazaar server or client regularly. They only run them when they want to access the network.

Vendor

A vendor will access the network in order to manage their online store. This include listing their goods or services, tracking order status, marking products as shipped, engaging in communication with buyers about open orders (or prospective clients’ questions), and managing disputes with the buyer and/or the moderator.

Vendors need to run the OpenBazaar server continually in order for other users to see their listings. This can be done by running the server on local computer (anything from a typical PC to a Raspberry Pi Zero) and keeping it running 24/7, or by using a VPS such as Digital Ocean to host the server for them. Here is a guide to installing the server on a VPS.

The server is not a ‘heavy-duty’ server but a lightweight program that shouldn’t interfere with the normal operation of your computer, but if users have an unstable internet connection or aren’t willing to run their computer continually, they should consider hosted solutions.

A vendor can run the client locally and connect to a server running locally or running remotely. The client doesn’t need to run for other users to see their store, purchase items, or receive chat messages, but without the client running you will be unaware of these events occurring until you connect the client to server later.

Moderators

A moderator will access the network in order to offer dispute resolution services to vendors and buyers, engage in dispute resolution if it occurs, and join with the winning party to release funds from the multisignature account.

OpenBazaar uses a 2-of-3 multisig escrow to prevent scams on the network. Instead of a buyer sending Bitcoin directly to a vendor (which is also an option for buyers if they want to), the default transaction in OpenBazaar is to have the vendor choose a third party called a moderator. If the buyer agrees with the vendor’s choice of moderator, then they buy the item and send the Bitcoin to a multisig address with all three parties containing one signing key. If the transaction goes smoothly and the product is delivered or service rendered, then both buyer and vendor sign to release the money to the vendor (two of three signatures). If there’s a dispute, then both buyer and vendor make their case to the moderator. The moderator makes a decision and joins with the winning party to release the funds to them, or splits funds among the parties. This means the moderator plays a vital role in preventing bad actors from scamming people, and both vendors and buyers should select them with care.

Just like vendors, moderators need to have their server running in order for other users to see them. They cannot be chosen to provide dispute resolution services if their store is offline.

Installation

You can install OpenBazaar either by using a prebuilt package, or by manually installing via the command line. We want testers to use whichever they prefer, though we anticipate that most people will install OpenBazaar with a package.

If you encounter an error with a package, installer, or manual installation, skip to the reporting bugs section to learn how to file a bug report.

Packages

The packages for release can be found on our Github releases page at this link:

Download OpenBazaar

Windows users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X_Setup.exe file. After downloading and opening the file, Windows users will be guided through an installation process which should go very quickly.

OS X users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X.dmg file.

Linux users use the .deb file. Once downloaded, open your terminal, change directory to where the .deb is located, and run “sudo dpkg -i [deb package]“. Then enter “openbazaar” in terminal and it will load.

Manual installation

Manual installation uses the command line, and git. Users will need to use git in order to update their code; it will not update automatically. We recommend manual installation only for users who are familiar with using the command line.

If you have some technical expertise and want to manually install OpenBazaar, read these instructions.

Testing

Once OpenBazaar is properly installed, you can begin testing. Please ensure you are testing the latest code; if using the Windows installer or OSX package then the client should ask you to restart the client in order to use the latest code automatically. If using a manual installation on any platforms, please make sure to run ‘git pull’ on both server and client occasionally to keep updated.

Feel free to play any role on the network, or all of them at once. If you are already a vendor online, consider trying to set up a store as you would if the platform were live. If you want a more methodical approach, you can use this testing script.

You will first go through a brief on-boarding process where the client asks a few questions to create a better commerce experience. After that you can set up your own store and begin listing products, or start buying products from other stores (or both). Keep in mind that if you are still early in the testing phase that the network will still be using the Bitcoin testnet (using testnet coins which have no value), and all products and services should be considered only examples for testing. If a user tests off the testnet and uses real Bitcoin, they are recommended to engage in smaller trades to reduce risk of lost coins.

While testing you should be keeping an eye out for two things:

1. Bugs. These are problems with the software that prevent it from acting as it is supposed to. It might be a visual bug in the client which inhibits the user experience, or it might be a bug in the back end which prevents a user from participating in the network properly. Whatever the bug is, follow the instructions below about reporting bugs.

2. Suggestions for improvement. We don’t only want to know when something goes wrong. We’re building OpenBazaar to allow anyone to engage in trade for free with anyone else in the world. That’s an ambitious goal, and we don’t expect that the first version of the software will have everything users want. We want to hear from you how we can improve the platform. This includes both small and big-picture improvements. What feature is missing? Which feature isn’t necessary? We will be releasing new versions constantly after the initial release, and we want to hear from you in order to know what is most important to work on next besides bug fixes.

Reporting Bugs and Feedback

 

Bugs

You’ve found a bug and want to report it. Thanks for your help! Please follow these steps to make the process easier for you and for the developers.

1. Check to see if this bug has already been reported. You don’t want to waste your own time or the time of the developers if this bug is already a known issue. Take note of the details around the bug, and then take two steps to ensure this bug isn’t already known. First, ask users in the #testers-room channel in the OpenBazaar Slack if they’ve seen the bug. Other testers or developers will be in the room and should be able to respond if it’s a known issue. If those users are unfamiliar with the bug, or if you don’t get a response, then the next step is to check the Github issues to look for the bug. You can view issues for the Client here and issues for the Server here. Scan the titles of the last few dozen issues, and/or use the search feature to find keywords related to your issue.

If you find someone has already filed your issue, you can leave a Github comment in the thread mentioning that you have encountered the same issue. Include details of your operating system and any other details which might be helpful.

If you don’t find the issue, continue to step two.

2. Gather as much information as you can about the problem. Take note of what you were doing before you noticed the problem, during it, and after as well. Try to be specific. If it’s a visual bug in the client, take a screenshot or video if possible. If you are able to view the terminal readout, include any errors you can see along with ~20 lines before and after the error (errors will usually start with ‘Traceback’). If you don’t use the terminal, you can check for errors in the debug log (debug.log file in the /home/OpenBazaar/ folder). You can include the error messages in the bug report, or if it is a lot of text, you can upload the error text to Pastebin or other services and include a link to them in the report.

3. File the issue on Github. This requires you to create an account on Github if you don’t already have one. You can open new issues for the Client here and for the Server here.

Bug reports should include all the information mentioned in step two, as well as information about your operating system (which type and version), how you installed OpenBazaar and what version of the code you’re currently running, and how severe you consider the bug. Attach the ‘bug’ label to the issue and then decide which other labels to apply, ranging from ‘low priority’ for minor problems to ‘showstopper’ for bugs that completely block functionality. Use your judgement as to how severe the problem is; if they developers disagree they’ll simply change the label you’ve added.

If the bug is a major security flaw, please contact the developer team in Slack to ensure it is addressed properly and in a timely manner.

If you’re unable to file an issue yourself for some reason, please contact a developer in the Slack and relay your information to them directly. They will file an issue.

Feedback

You have some feedback for us on how to make OpenBazaar better. Excellent; we want to hear it. Please use the following format to make it easier to review incoming feedback.

New feature or change to existing feature: (Do you want new functionality completely or a change to something that already exists?)
Back-end or the front-end: (Is this change in how OB works at the core, or in what the end user sees, or both?)
Magnitude of change: (Trivial, Significant, or Massive. What type of effort would it take to bring about these changes?)
Description of suggestion: Describe your suggestion.

You have several options for delivering this feedback.

1. Github issues. You can open a new issue with your feedback. We recommend this option for users who have a specific and detailed feature request or enhancement, and one that doesn’t describe a massive magnitude of change. Please use the “enhancement” label.

2. Subreddit post. You can post to our subreddit with your feedback. We recommend this for feedback that doesn’t have a specific feature request in mind, or for changes describing a massive magnitude of change. Please begin the title of your post with the tag [Feedback].

3. Slack. You can give feedback in our community Slack. Use the #feedback channel. We recommend using Slack if the feedback doesn’t describe a specific feature request, and is more general feedback (‘overview’ type comments).

4. Email. If for some reason you prefer for your feedback to be private instead of public, you can email the developers at project@openbazaar.org with your thoughts.

Reminder

Please be patient during the testing phase; it’s possible that bugs may require you to delete your current installation entirely and reinstall. Also don’t forget that your page, store or listings will not transition from the testnet over to the live net.

Thanks again for your help.

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Vendor’s Guide to OpenBazaar

Note: Setting up your store on a VPS will ensure the server is up 24/7. Services such as Deploy allow you to do this easily.

This guide will show vendors how they can set up an OpenBazaar store, step by step.

If you have problems along the way, visit our help desk. If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Step #1 – Download and install OpenBazaar

Most users will want to download a package for their operating system, which makes installation as simple as downloading and opening a file. If you have some technical expertise and want to manually install OpenBazaar, read these instructions.

The packages for release can be found on our Github releases page at this link:

Download OpenBazaar

Windows users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X_Setup.exe file. After downloading and opening the file, Windows users will be guided through an installation process which should go very quickly.

OS X users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X.dmg file.

Linux users use the .deb file. Once downloaded, open your terminal, change directory to where the .deb is located, and run “sudo dpkg -i [deb package]“. Then enter “openbazaar” in terminal and it will load.

Download and open the file.

Step #2 – Run OpenBazaar for the first time

The first time you run OpenBazaar you will be guided through an onboarding process to personalize your experience. You will be asked a few questions such as your language, country, and preferred currency.

onboarding1

Each user has their own page on the OpenBazaar network. You can choose a specific theme to make your store unique.

onboarding2

You also have the opportunity to upload an avatar for your store. Click on “Select Avatar” to choose a file from your computer.

onboarding3

The last part of the onboarding process is a disclaimer about using the OpenBazaar software, which you should read before continuing.

After finishing onboarding, you’ll now see your own OpenBazaar page. Here’s what an example page looks like.

newuserpage

Notice the long string of characters below your name, and in the navigation bar at the top of the client. This is your OpenBazaar ID, which is an address that every page on the network has. You can learn more about OpenBazaar IDs here, and how to create simpler names called “handles” here.

newuserpageOBID

Step #3 – Create your store

Let’s turn your page into a store. Everyone on the network has their own page, but only people who are selling goods and services have a store. On your page, click “Become a Store.”

newuserpagebecomestore

You will now be asked to give more information about your store. You can set a new name if you like, and add a description of your store. You can also add tags that tell buyers what your store is about. You can set your store to 18+ as well if you are selling goods or services targeted to adults.

becomeastore1

The next step lets you select moderators. Selecting trustworthy moderators is very important. Moderators are the third party which is brought in if there is a dispute between yourself and one of your buyers. By choosing moderators, you give your buyers the option to use moderated payments instead of only direct payments, giving your buyers some confidence that you will deliver your goods or services. You can read more about how moderation works in OpenBazaar here.

If you don’t choose to select any moderators, then your buyers will only be able to choose direct payments.

becomestore2

After selecting moderators and clicking “Finished” you’re now a store on the OpenBazaar network!

You can change the color scheme, or add a new background image to your store, by clicking the “Customize” button.

newstorecustomize

Let’s get some listings published and start selling.

Step #4 – Publish your first listing

On your store page, click “Create Listing.”

newstorecreatelisting

You’ll now see an interface to add information about your listing. After giving your listing a title, you select its type. You can either choose a physical item, a digital item, or a service. Then add the price. The price will be set in whatever currency you selected in onboarding, if you want to change it now click “Change currency.” You also select the condition of the product, and whether or not it is intended for adults (18+).

createlisting1

If the product has a SKU you can enter it, and then enter a description of your product. In the product description field you can edit the text to change the formatting by highlighting text with your cursor, as the picture below shows.

createlistinghighlighttext2

Scrolling down the page, you then enter information related to the processing and shipping of the listing. Processing time must be entered. You then select where your listing ships to (if it is a physical item). Buyers who listed their location in a country where you do not ship will be unable to complete an order.

You have the option of choosing free shipping as well.

You then add shipping prices, both domestic and international (if you ship internationally), as well as estimates on how long shipping will take.

createlistingshipping

Also in this section are your terms and conditions, and return policy. These are optional.

If you want your listing to expire at a certain time, you can add an expiration date and it will automatically be removed from your store at that time.

Another important piece of information to add is in the “Discover” section. The tags you add here will allow buyers to use the built in search to find your products. If you add no tags to your products buyers cannot find them via search.

If you have many products, you can use the “Categorization” section to separate them into different categories.

Lastly, you can add up to ten photos to your listing by slicking on the “Select photos” button. on the top right. Photos can be any size or shape, but they will display on the main Discover page, search page, and in your store as square until a buyer clicks on them.

You can now scroll up and click “Save Changes” to publish your first listing.

Step #5 – Manage orders

When you receive an order, you should hear an audio notification, and on the top right of your client you should see a new notification as well.

notification

You can view new orders either by clicking on the item link in the notifications drop-down, or you can click on your own avatar on the top right of the page and select “Sales”.

This will bring you to the Transactions page, which shows all your sales, as well as your purchases and cases (if you are a moderator).

transactionsales

Each sale will have an overview of the current status. Pay special attention to the “Order Status” section, which will tell you where the order currently stands. There are 6 possible statuses.

1. Purchasing (Payment pending) – This status means a buyer got to the payment page, but didn’t send payment yet (or the client has a problem seeing the payment on the blockchain). It’s recommended to ignore these orders until payment comes in.

2. Ready to process (Paid in full) – This status means the buyer paid for the order and you need to process it now. Once you’ve shipped your good or delivered your service, you then confirm.

3. Confirmed/Shipped – This status means you’ve confirmed that the product is now shipped or delivered, and you’re waiting on the buyer to release funds (if it’s a moderated payment).

4. Completed (Payment released) – This status means that the funds have been released to the vendor and the order is completed.

5. Disputed – This status means that either the buyer or vendor opened a dispute with the moderator. The funds are in the escrow and won’t move until the moderator makes a decision.

6. Dispute Closed – This status means the moderator has made a decision and the dispute is closed. The funds are still in the escrow account until the winning party agrees with the moderator’s decision and releases funds.

7. Dispute Finalized – This status means the moderator’s decision has taken affect and the funds have moved from the escrow to the winning party.

Confirming orders

When viewing your sales, click “Order details.” This will open a window with more details. There are four tabs you can choose from: Summary, Shipping, Funds, and Discussion.

ordermodal2

Summary gives you an overview of the information needed to process the order.

Shipping gives you the address needed to ship your listing to the buyer.

Funds gives you the details around the Bitcoin transactions made in the order so far.

Discussion
gives you a place to chat with the buyer about that specific item, and also a place to handle disputes with the moderator if a dispute arises.

If this order has been paid, but you haven’t confirmed yet, at the top of the window is a button to “Mark as Shipped” (for physical items) or “Confirm Order” (for digital goods or services). Once clicked, you can enter the Bitcoin address where you want to receive the funds; it’s important to enter an address which you control!

ordermodal3

You can then add comments for the buyer. If shipping a physical item, you then enter the details around shipping: Which company is shipping the item, a tracking number, and the estimated delivery date. Then hit “Submit” and your order is now confirmed.

If selling a digital good, then you’ll be asked to put in a URL and a password where the buyer can download their item.

If the buyer chose a direct payment, then as soon as you confirm the order you will receive you payment at the address specified. If the buyer choose a moderated payment, the funds will arrive after the buyer receives the item and they agree to release funds, or after a dispute is opened and the moderator closes the dispute by releasing funds.

Reminders

OpenBazaar works differently from the common ecommerce websites. It uses two programs to function properly: the server and the client. The installer mentioned above install both automatically for you.

The server needs to be running continually for other users to access your store. This means that if you shut down your computer, or loss internet access, your store isn’t visible to the rest of the network. If this is problematic, you can choose to set up the server on a virtual private server (VPS), which costs about $5 a month and will keep your store running for you. Here is a comprehensive guide for setting up the OpenBazaar server on a VPS. You can also use the Deploy service, which automatically sets up a store on a VPS for you.

Also, if you are using OpenBazaar on the testnet as a tester, please remember that the store and listings you are creating now will not transfer over to the real network later. Everything made on the testnet is purely for testing only.

If you encountered problems along the way, visit our help desk. If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Let’s make trade free!

Read More

Detailed Overview of OpenBazaar Beta 0.4

Note: This blog post is outdated. Read this article for the latest code.

This is meant to be a comprehensive guide for the 0.4 beta client. If you want quick start guides, visit these links for buyer, merchant, and notary.

These guides assume that installation was successful and that the user can reach the client interface in their browser. If you can’t, please check the Github issues and our Help Desk to see if it’s a known issue; if not then open a new issue on the Github or ask a question at our Help Desk.

Table of Contents

  1. Settings
    1. Store Info
    2. Keys
    3. Communication
    4. Notary
    5. Advanced
    6. Backup
  2. Home
    1. Other Markets
    2. Search
    3. Chat Stream
    4. Purchasing a Product
  3. Contracts
    1. Add Contract
  4. Orders
    1. My Sales
    2. My Purchases
  5. Notarization
  6. Messages
  7. Terminal Commands
  8. Tips and Tricks

Overview

There are six tabs in the OpenBazaar client:

  1. Home
  2. Messages
  3. Orders
  4. Notarizations
  5. Contracts
  6. Settings

Settings

OBstore

In settings you have six sections to manage your client.

  1. Store Info
  2. Keys
  3. Communication
  4. Notary
  5. Advanced
  6. Backup

Store Info

In the Store Info section, you have the following options.

Store Details

  • Nickname. This is the name of your store that everyone will see on the network. You must enter a store name or it will display as “Default.”
  • Avatar URL. This allows you to choose a personalized image which is displayed along with your store. These images are externally hosted, so choose a link to an image of your choice. Avatars are optional.
  • Namecoin id. If you have a Namecoin id, you can choose to have it displayed in your profile.
  • Bitcoin Receiving Address. It is important you put in a Bitcoin address that you control. This is where funds will be released if the third party notary needs to manually release funds from multisig.
  • Store Description. Give a short description of your store here. Only supports text at the moment.

Reputation Pledge

This section displays the amount of your reputation pledge, and your proof-of-burn address. Reputation pledges are a way to intentionally burn a small amount of Bitcoin tied to your store ID in order to show others you are committed to maintaining your store reputation. In other words, someone who has made a sizeable reputation pledge is unlikely to be a scammer, since it wouldn’t be profitable for a scammer to consistently burn coins for new identities. You can learn more about reputation pledges here.

Note that during betas we don’t recommend large reputation pledges, since there’s a good chance your store may need to be updated and you will lose the identity associated with the pledge.

To make a pledge, simply send a small amount of Bitcoin to the address listed as “Proof-of-burn address.”

Shipping Information

This is where a buyer will input their shipping information. If you intend on using OpenBazaar as a buyer as well as a merchant, you should fill this section out as well.

Keys

Bitcoin Public Key (Uncompressed)

This is the uncompressed Bitcoin public key created for signing.

BIP32 Seed

The OpenBazaar client uses BIP32 to create HD keys for signing. This increases privacy by ensuring that the same key isn’t used for signing multisignature transactions. This seed should be kept private.

PGP Public Key

In order to encrypt communications over the network, each store creates a PGP key pair. This is the public key which other users’ clients use to encrypt messages sent to you.

Communication

  • Email. If you’d like to communicate with other users over email, set it here. Your email will be visible to anyone viewing your store.
  • Your Website. If you’d like to have your website URL displayed in your store, set it here.
  • Bitmessage. If you’d like to communicate with other users over Bitmessage, set it here.

Notary

Notaries are a vital part of OpenBazaar. They are the third key holder in the 2 of 3 multisig, meaning that if there is a dispute between buyer and merchant, only the notary has the power to work with one of the parties to release the funds. As such, it’s important that buyer and merchant trust the notary not to collude with the other party. In beta we recommend smaller transactions until reputable notaries emerge in the market. Since in the 0.4 beta buyers choose notaries, the burden is on the merchant to either accept the buyer’s choice of notary or contact the buyer and notary to tell them you don’t want to engage in trade with the other parties.

Trusted Notaries

This is a list of notaries that you’ve trusted. You can also add a notary manually by entering their GUID (the string of numbers and letters under their store name).

Notary Details

This section is for notaries to set up their services.

  1. Make me a notary. By clicking Yes in this section, you allow others to choose you as a notary. They will see this option when they click on your store front and see the “Services” tab, or by manually entering your GUID into the Trusted Notaries section. The default option is set to No; users aren’t notaries unless they choose to be.
  2. Fees. As a notary, you can charge a percentage fee for providing dispute resolution. If the buyer and seller finish their transaction without needing the notary, there is no payment. If the notary is needed to refund buyer or release payment to merchant, then they will receive the percentage from the multisig that they set in this section. A notaries’ fee is visible in the “Services” tab in their store front.
  3. Description of your services. Notaries can explain their terms and conditions in this area, as well as their credentials and any other information they wish to share.

Advanced

Obelisk Server

This allows the user to manually select an Obelisk (libbitcoin) server.

Developer Tools

These allow the user to clear their cache, clear the peers stored in the database, and to stop their own node.

Log

The log can be used for troubleshooting and bug reports.

Backups

You can create new backups with the “Create New Backup” button, and they will be displayed below the Backup Name section.

Home

The Home tab displays Other Markets, allows the user to search for products, and serves as a simple place to communicate via the Chat Stream.

Other Markets

merchantOB

You can view the other stores connected to you by clicking on them. Stores with a checkmark should be visible. Stores with an X were visible once, but are now offline. The client should automatically pull in new stores as they become available, but occasionally refreshing the page may help.

When viewing a store, there are three sections.

  1. Store. This displays the merchant’s products. Clicking on the image displays more details.
  2. Details. This displays information about the merchant, including their OB public key, PGP key, amount of their reputation pledge, and any communication information they’ve displayed.
  3. Services. This is only visible if the user offers notary services. If they do, it will display their percentage fee, a description of their services, and allow users to select them as notaries by clicking “Make Trusted Notary.”

Users can also contact the store owner by selecting the “Message me” or “Email me” buttons in blue underneath their name.

Search

When creating an item, merchants tag them with keywords. Buyers can then use the search bar to find items tagged with those keywords. Clicking on an item brings the users to the merchant’s store front.

Chat Stream

This is a simple chat that any node can use to communicate with all other nodes it is connected to. Note that this feature isn’t likely to scale well and will be removed in future releases.

Purchasing a Product

PipeExampleOB

If you click on an item in a store, a new window opens to give more product details, including the product title, price in Bitcoin, product description, cost of shipping and handling, quantity available, the item’s condition, and up to three photos. There is also a “Raw Contract” button which allows users to view the contract details directly.

orderdetailsOB

Clicking on “Order Details” on the bottom left will bring you to a screen that allows you to purchase the product. You can determine the quantity desired, and attach a comment for the merchant to see along with your order. If you haven’t entered your shipping address in Settings already, a red warning will ask you to do so before proceeding. The price for the product and shipping and handling are displayed again.

At the bottom the user needs to input a Bitcoin Address that they control. This will be used in case of a refund.

Once this section is completed, the user selects “Choose a Notary.” A list of online notaries that the user has trusted is displayed. If the user hasn’t trusted any notaries, or if none of those notaries are online, they must choose another notary in order to continue.

The user then completes the order by selecting “Submit Order.” This sends the order to the notary and merchant.

Contracts

mycontracts

The contracts tab is where a merchant manages their products. The merchant can create new contracts, edit existing contracts, or delete them.

Add Contract

Create Contract

  1. Click on the Contract tab.
  2. Click Add Contract.
  3. Input product details, including a title and description of your product, as well as the price (in Bitcoin), the cost of shipping, how many items are available, and what condition the items are in.
  4. Add up to three externally hosted images in the photos section.
  5. Make sure you click on the Keyword section next to Photos and input keywords that describe your product. This is how users find your items through the search function. If you don’t add keywords, your items cannot be found via search.
  6. Click Save. This publishes your product to the network.

Orders

The orders tab keeps track of the activity of buyers and merchants through the “My Sales” and “My Purchases” sections.

My Sales

If a merchant has a sale, the details of that sale are listed here. An order number is created, along with the time and date of the purchase and the buyer’s details.

sellerOB

A merchant should take the following steps once they’ve received an order.

  1. Click on the order to display details.
  2. If someone purchases your product, the item will display “Buyer Paid.” Please double check the linked multisig account in the order description to verify; at this point a buyer can mark an item as paid without actually paying.
  3. productOB

  4. Determine if you trust the notary involved. Since at this point the buyer chooses the notary, if the two parties are colluding, they can cheat you out of the Bitcoin. You can view the notary involved by clicking “Contract Details” in the item description. Early in the beta, we recommend test transactions or small transactions until trusted notaries become established.
  5. If you verify the buyer has sent the funds to multisig, and that you trust the notary, then ship the item to the buyer at the address they provided. This address is displayed in the “Shipping Information” tab when viewing the order.
  6. Once you’ve shipped the item, input your Bitcoin address into the Shipping & Payment section of the order view, where it asks “Where would you like payment sent to?”
  7. Once the buyer receives the item, they should release payment. If they don’t in a reasonable time, contact the buyer and request they release funds. If they are non-responsive, contact the notary involved in the transaction and request they release funds.

My Purchases

When a buyer views “My Purchases” it will display the status of their orders. If they’ve just submitted an order, the status will indicate “Need to Pay” and the buyer needs to open the order to complete payment.

needtopayOB

A QR code is displayed which, if scanned, will input the multisignature address and amount. If the user selects “Pay in your Wallet,” it will open a wallet on their device and pull in the same information. Once the payment is completed, the buyer must manually select “Mark as Paid.” This lets the merchant know to ship the item.

If the buyer marked the order as paid, but the merchant didn’t receive this message due to being offline, the buyer can re-open the order and click on “Resend Payment Notice” when the merchant is online.

Once the item has arrived or service is provided, the buyer can then release the funds from multisig by opening the order and selecting “Release Payment to Merchant.” Again, if the merchant didn’t receive this message due to being offline, the buyer can try releasing again when they are online.

Notarizations

Notaries manage their orders through the notarizations tab. This is the same as the My Purchases and My Sales tabs, except it tracks the contracts which the notary has been selected for.

Note that at this point, offering notary services means you automatically accept all transactions which choose you as a notary. In the future, notaries will be able to screen transactions, or only accept them manually.

If a buyer or seller contacts a notary asking for funds to be released, it’s the notary’s responsibility to do their best to determine which party should receive funds. Once they’ve made their decision and contacted the parties, they can release funds by opening up the order in the notarizations tab.

OBnotary

In the 0.4 client, the notary has two options. “Refund the Buyer” releases all the funds from multisig to the buyer, minus the percentage fee which is paid to the notary for dispute resolution. “Release money to the Merchant” does the same for the merchant. The notary must click “Send Resolution” for the transaction to process.

Messages

OBmessage

The messages tab is a place to communicate with other OpenBazaar users who are online. You can send simple messages (text only at this point) by clicking the “Send a Message” button and selecting another user from the dropdown list. Messages you’ve received can be read by clicking on them, and replied to by hitting the blue “Reply” button on the right.

Terminal Commands

For Linux and OSX users, you need to use the terminal to configure, start, and stop OpenBazaar. Here are some common commands to use.

  1. ./configure.sh This installs OpenBazaar once the code has been downloaded. After major releases, you may need to run configure again.
  2. ./openbazaar help This gives you a list of arguments you can use when launching OpenBazaar.
  3. ./openbazaar start This launches OpenBazaar.
  4. ./openbazaar stop This shuts down OpenBazaar.
  5. git pull If git is correctly installed, this will update the software if there are new changes.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Try refreshing the page occasionally if things aren’t working correctly.
  2. Wait a minute or two when first connecting to find peers. It shouldn’t take any longer than this.
  3. If you have connectivity problems, try using killall python -9 in terminal, then launch OpenBazaar again.
  4. If you receive a “Address already in use” error when starting OpenBazaar, this means the program was already running. Stop it first, then launch again.
  5. If your client crashes or has an obvious error, try looking for /logs/production.log and searching for ‘Traceback’ to see what the error was. If you don’t see anyone else posting about that error on the Github issues and our Help Desk then feel free to post along with the error and some context.

Read More

Notary’s Guide to OpenBazaar Beta 0.4

Note: This blog post is outdated. Read this article for the latest code.

For the fourth beta release, we’re issuing guides for each of the three user types in OpenBazaar: buyer, merchant, and notary. The installation instructions are the same for each user.

These guides assume that installation was successful and that the user can reach the client interface in their browser. If you can’t, please check the Github issues and our Help Desk to see if it’s a known issue; if not then open a new issue on the Github or ask a question at our Help Desk.

Quick Start Guide

This guide is meant to get notaries set up and offering their services to buyers and merchants as quickly as possible. For a detailed overview of the entire client, visit here.

Step One: Personalize your Client

Settings Tab

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. Enter a new Nickname for yourself. This is how other users will see you.
  3. If you want a unique image for your avatar, put in a URL for an image in the Avatar URL field.
  4. Input a Bitcoin address that you control into the Bitcoin Receiving Address field. This is where you receive funds from multisig if your services are needed.
  5. Click Save.

Step Two: Set Communication Information

communicationOB

  1. Click on the Communication section.
  2. Enter an email address if you want to communicate with other parties via email.
  3. If you have a website that you want displayed, enter the URL in the Your Web Site field.
  4. Enter a Bitmessage address if you want to communicate with other parties via Bitmessage.
  5. Click Save.

Step Three: Create Backup

backupOB

  1. Click on the Backup section.
  2. Click Create New Backup.

Step Four: Set up your Notary Details

In Settings, select the Notary section.

  1. Make me a notary. By clicking Yes in this section, you allow others to choose you as a notary. They will see this option when they click on your store front and see the “Services” tab, or by manually entering your GUID into the Trusted Notaries section. The default option is set to No; users aren’t notaries unless they choose to be.
  2. Fees. As a notary, you can charge a percentage fee for providing dispute resolution. If the buyer and seller finish their transaction without needing the notary, there is no payment. If the notary is needed to refund buyer or release payment to merchant, then they will receive the percentage from the multisig that they set in this section. A notaries’ fee is visible in the “Services” tab in their store front.
  3. Description of your services. Notaries can explain their terms and conditions in this area, as well as their credentials and any other information they wish to share.

Step Five: Manage your Orders

Note that at this point, offering notary services means you automatically accept all transactions which choose you as a notary. In the future, notaries will be able to screen transactions, or only accept them manually.

If a buyer or seller contacts a notary asking for funds to be released, it’s the notary’s responsibility to do their best to determine which party should receive funds. Once they’ve made their decision and contacted the parties, they can release funds by opening up the order in the notarizations tab.

OBnotary

In the 0.4 client, the notary has two options. “Refund the Buyer” releases all the funds from multisig to the buyer, minus the percentage fee which is paid to the notary for dispute resolution. “Release money to the Merchant” does the same for the merchant. The notary must click “Send Resolution” for the transaction to process.

Step Six: Give Feedback

To make this network and client the best it can be, we need your feedback on how to improve. Bug reports are obviously very helpful, but feedback can be about which new features you’d like to see, or changes to the interface, or anything you like. Please submit these ideas by opening up new Github issues or by posting at out Help Desk.

Read More

Buyer’s Guide to OpenBazaar Beta 0.4

Note: This blog post is outdated. Read this article for the latest code.

For the fourth beta release, we’re issuing guides for each of the three user types in OpenBazaar: buyer, merchant, and notary. The installation instructions are the same for each user. These guides assume that installation was successful and that the user can reach the client interface in their browser. If you can’t, please check the Github issues and our Help Desk to see if it’s a known issue; if not then open a new issue on the Github or ask a question at our Help Desk.

Quick Start Guide

This guide is meant to get buyers set up and shopping for goods and services as quickly as possible. For a detailed overview of the entire client, visit here.

Step One: Personalize your Client

Settings Tab

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. Enter a new Nickname for yourself. This is how other users will see you.
  3. If you want a unique image for your avatar, put in a URL for an image in the Avatar URL field.
  4. Input a Bitcoin address that you control into the Bitcoin Receiving Address field. This is where you receive funds from multisig if the notary needs to take action manually.
  5. Click Save.

Step Two: Set Communication Information

communicationOB

  1. Click on the Communication section.
  2. Enter an email address if you want to communicate with other parties via email.
  3. If you have a website that you want displayed, enter the URL in the Your Web Site field.
  4. Enter a Bitmessage address if you want to communicate with other parties via Bitmessage.
  5. Click Save.

Step Three: Create Backup

backupOB

  1. Click on the Backup section.
  2. Click Create New Backup.

Step Four: Find & Trust a Notary

Trusting a Notary

Notaries are a vital part of OpenBazaar. They are the third key holder in the 2 of 3 multisig, meaning that if there is a dispute between buyer and merchant, only the notary has the power to work with one of the parties to release the funds. As such, it’s important that buyer and merchant trust the notary not to collude with the other party. In beta we recommend smaller transactions until reputable notaries emerge in the market.

When viewing stores on the Home tab, look for users that offer services. This is only visible if the user offers notary services. If they do, it will display their percentage fee, a description of their services, and allow users to select them as notaries by clicking “Make Trusted Notary.” You can also manually add a notary in Settings if you know their GUID (string of letters and numbers under the store name).

Step Five: Find & Purchase Goods or Services

PipeExampleOB

If you click on an item in a store in the Home tab, a new window opens to give more product details, including the product title, price in Bitcoin, product description, cost of shipping and handling, quantity available, the item’s condition, and up to three photos. There is also a “Raw Contract” button which allows users to view the contract details directly.

orderdetailsOB

Clicking on “Order Details” on the bottom left will bring you to a screen that allows you to purchase the product. You can determine the quantity desired, and attach a comment for the merchant to see along with your order. If you haven’t entered your shipping address in Settings already, a red warning will ask you to do so before proceeding. The price for the product and shipping and handling are displayed again.

At the bottom the user needs to input a Bitcoin Address that they control. This will be used in case of a refund.

Once this section is completed, the user selects “Choose a Notary.” A list of online notaries that the user has trusted is displayed. If the user hasn’t trusted any notaries, or if none of those notaries are online, they must choose another notary in order to continue.

The user then completes the order by selecting “Submit Order.” This sends the order to the notary and merchant.

Step Six: Finish the Purchase

When a buyer views “My Purchases” it will display the status of their orders. If they’ve just submitted an order, the status will indicate “Need to Pay” and the buyer needs to open the order to complete payment.

needtopayOB

A QR code is displayed which, if scanned, will input the multisignature address and amount. If the user selects “Pay in your Wallet,” it will open a wallet on their device and pull in the same information. Once the payment is completed, the buyer must manually select “Mark as Paid.” This lets the merchant know to ship the item.

If the buyer marked the order as paid, but the merchant didn’t receive this message due to being offline, the buyer can re-open the order and click on “Resend Payment Notice” when the merchant is online.

Once the item has arrived or service is provided, the buyer can then release the funds from multisig by opening the order and selecting “Release Payment to Merchant.” Again, if the merchant didn’t receive this message due to being offline, the buyer can try releasing again when they are online.

Step Seven: Give Feedback

To make this network and client the best it can be, we need your feedback on how to improve. Bug reports are obviously very helpful, but feedback can be about which new features you’d like to see, or changes to the interface, or anything you like. Please submit these ideas by opening up new Github issues or by posting at out Help Desk.

Read More

OpenBazaar Beta Tutorial

Note: This blog post is outdated. Read this article for the latest code.

Should I participate in the beta?

Thanks for wanting to be involved with the OpenBazaar beta. We need the community to tell us what works and what doesn’t, so we appreciate your help.

However, participation in the beta is not for everyone, and not without risks. The platform is far from being complete, and those looking for a fully functional ecommerce platform are better off waiting until the full release, or at least later beta versions. We will be releasing new beta versions each month. The beta is for testing, and while you can engage in real trade, the purpose will be to test the platform, not actually run a store. Consider these points when deciding whether or not to enter the beta:

  • Beta participation will require some level of technical expertise. Installation details below. You will need to install quite a few dependencies.
  • Users are not anonymous on the OpenBazaar network. Your IP is visible to other nodes and is tied to the contracts you sell, purchase, or notarize. Tor will eventually be integrated, but for now privacy-conscious users must either wait for a later release or use a VPN they trust. It is up to each user to comply with local laws and their own conscience.
  • The client and network will be undergoing constant change during beta. You do have the ability to back up your data, but major changes may force a database reset which may cause lost data or other inconveniences.
  • There will be bugs; real bitcoin could be lost. Please be aware that that funds could be lost because of a bug or user error. We discourage users from making large transactions with real coins during beta. We aren’t responsible for lost coins, and we’re going to be too busy developing to be able to assist all the individuals who have coins trapped in multisig or otherwise have problems (though we obviously would like to know about the bug).
  • OpenBazaar is run by part-time volunteers with little funding. Our team is growing, but is still a small group of passionate folks who all have full-time jobs (and most have families as well). We are dedicated to giving the community a platform that finally allows people to trade directly with each other online. This is no small task, and we ask for patience from the community while we fix the bugs and improve the platform. Constructive criticism is very welcome – indeed, it’s a primary goal of beta – but if you disagree with our approach on an issue, feel free to join the team and fix it, or fork the project entirely. Also, we will tend not to respond to basic questions that have already been discussed in our blog posts and documentation.

If you understand these points and wish to participate in the beta, then continue reading. I’ll walk you through how to install OpenBazaar, how to run and use the client, and how to report bugs or make suggestions for improvement.

How do I install OpenBazaar?

Linux and OSX

If you don’t have Git installed in Linux, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type:

sudo apt-get install git

If you don’t have Git installed for OSX, download here and install.

Now run:

git clone https://github.com/OpenBazaar/OpenBazaar.git

Once that’s complete, change directories:

cd OpenBazaar

Run the configure with this command:

./configure.sh

If the package doesn’t install correctly, please issue a bug report.

You can start and stop OpenBazaar from terminal with the following commands:

./openbazaar start

./openbazaar stop

Windows

Download the Windows binary [signature here], unzip the file and run the OpenBazaar.exe file. In case our site goes down, you can get a torrent with this magnet link.

How to run

It may take a few moments to start OpenBazaar, since on the first run it is generating keys pairs for you to use. The program will automatically open a browser with the right address to view the network.

You should see a message which gives you warnings about using OpenBazaar during beta. Read them carefully.

Now go to your settings, and fill in whatever details you like in the “Store Info” tab.

Store Info

If you want to give other users more trust that you are an honest player in the network, you can participate in a Reputation Pledge. Please note this burns the coins, so during beta we recommend just a very small amount to test with.

In settings, if you go to the “Communication” section on the left, you can put in your email address or Bitmessage address in order to communicate with others on the network.

Communications

Once you’ve finished your settings, go to the “Backup” tab and create a new backup. This will store your keys and information in case you need to import them later. Keep those keys safe as if they were bitcoin private keys.

Backup

Now you’re ready to use OpenBazaar. You can search for products or stores with the search bar up top. If you find a test product you’d like to practice on, or you want to get a real product, open up the item and click Next. If you see a warning that you don’t have notaries, then go to a store you trust (for testing you can use the seeds), click on “Services,” then “Make Trusted Notary.”

notary

Once they’re trusted, you can go back to a seller’s store and purchase their products, and select the notary you chose.

In early beta, there probably isn’t much to find on the network yet, so you should feel welcome to put out your own contracts. Open the “Contract” tab beneath the search bar. Click “Add Contract” and fill in the details. If this contract is just a test, please select note “Test” in the title and description so that others don’t think your offer is a real one.

test product

Once you find an item you want, select your notary and purchase it. Then go to your “My Purchases” drop-down menu under the Orders tab.

mypurcahses

Open up your orders, and note that you need to pay the amount listed to the address displayed. This is funding the multisig which needs two of three parties to release. You can pay with your smartphone wallet using the QR code, or hit the “Pay in your Wallet” option to open your Bitcoin wallet and fill out a payment request. Once you’ve paid, be sure to mark the “Mark as Paid” option.

itemtopayfor

The seller looks at the “My Sales” drop-down menu under the Orders the orders tab, verifies that the buyer has paid (this isn’t automatic yet, so please check the hyperlink for payment), and then ships the product if the multisig has been funded correctly. Once shipped, they mark “Request Payment” and enter their bitcoin address where they want to receive the funds.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few things that might help you when using OpenBazaar.

1. Be patient. Items such as stores, products, or contracts you’ve published may take a little while to register. Wait a few seconds longer than you think you should need to, and then refresh your page and try again. If it still doesn’t work, then report a bug. Also, finalizing a transaction may take longer than you expect as well.

2. Don’t trust “Paid” as a seller. Right now, the buyer selects “Mark as Paid” to let the seller know when to ship the item. However, they can mark as paid without having actually paid. The seller needs to check the multisig address in the order (which is already hyperlinked) to make sure they actually did pay. In the future the client should check automatically, but for now, seller beware!

3. If you experience trouble connecting to other nodes, stop your node, and port forward 12345 on your router (both TCP and UDP), then try again.

4. We’ll be making frequent changes to the code, so occasionally stop your node, run ‘git pull’ in the OpenBazaar folder to get the most recent changes, and start the node again.

Notaries and Arbitration

If you are beta testing, please familiarise yourself with the concept of notaries and arbitration on OpenBazaar here. In short, the roles for both agents are:

  • Notaries: to witness contracts between merchants and buyers using a cryptographic digital signature, and manage a bitcoin signing key for a multisignature escrow address in the event of a dispute between the merchant and buyer
  • Arbiter: to resolve a dispute between a merchant and buyer after careful examination of evidence presented by both parties

For reasons delineated in the article reference above, these roles should be handled by separate agents. However, only notaries are currently supported. The arbitration market isn’t ready yet.

If you want to become a notary to help out the network, you can do this in the settings under the notary tab, by checking the box “Make me a notary.” Please only become a notary if you are willing to:

  1. Automatically witness contracts for other parties
    • This generally means having your node online close to 24/7
  2. Create and sign multisig transactions for all parties
    • This means you must have experience with multisignature transactions and are a responsible key manager
  3. Possibly handle disputes between parties
    • If all goes well, the notary is required to do very little as the client manages contract signing and key creation in the background
    • In the event of a dispute, the notary must be able to respond to the parties rapidly (i.e. within 24 hours at a maximum)
    • As the arbitration market is not supported just yet, the notary will also need to wear the hat of an arbiter

Becoming a notary requires you to have some technical knowledge of how to sign, verify, and broadcast multisignature transactions. If you do not know how to do this confidently, please do not become a notary just yet. We expect that notaries will charge a fee for handling disputes or releasing funds from the multisignature escrow address for other reasons. Part of beta will be watching how the notaries are rewarded.

Future releases will allow the merchant and buyer to come to a consensus in the selection of a notary to minimise the risk of collusion. If you are a merchant trying to sell real goods for bitcoin, we again urge you to do so cautiously.

How do I submit a bug report?

There are multiple ways to submit bug reports, depending on what you prefer. If you’re a developer, or are otherwise knowledgeable about Github, you can open an issue there directly.

If you’re not a developer or don’t want to use Github, we also have a thread in our subreddit for bugs. Again, please follow the suggested format in the post.

We’d like bugs submitted for any problems you run into, but if you see someone else reporting the same bug, you can just make a post noting that you have the same issue (if your OS or browser are different, let us know).

Users can feel free to drop into our IRC room at #openbazaar on Freenode (if you don’t have an IRC client use this link). If it’s an installation issue we should be able to walk you through getting your node running properly.

How do I make suggestions for improvement?

We don’t only want your feedback if something is broken; the point of the beta is to hear from the community on what they want in a peer to peer online trading platform. We encourage users to give us their thoughts on how to make OpenBazaar better.

Again, you can open an issue on the Github, though we ask that it is specifically related to the code.

For Redditors, we have a thread for suggestions as well.

Begin testing

Thanks for reading, and testing. We’ll be releasing a new beta version each month until we’ve got it running smoothly, then will release a full client. We’ll be doing fixes along the way, so check back occasionally to see if that bug you submitted got fixed. Lastly, come join us on our IRC on Freenode at #openbazaar if you need help, or just want to chat.

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