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:
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.
Each user has their own page on the OpenBazaar network. You can choose a specific theme to make your store unique.
You also have the opportunity to upload an avatar for your store. Click on “Select Avatar” to choose a file from your computer.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Let’s get some listings published and start selling.
Step #4 – Publish your first listing
On your store page, click “Create Listing.”
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+).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!