Online Marketplace Uses Facebook to Eliminate Anonymity

Those who prefer to buy and sell online with complete anonymity will want to avoid Copious, an online marketplace where buyers and sellers are required to reveal their real identities.

Copious, which competes with eBay, Craiglist and Etsy in the saturated online marketplace arena, requires its buyers and sellers to connect their accounts to Facebook and be transparent in their onsite actions — purchases, shares and comments on for-sale items included. The site eradicates anonymity from its ecommerce experience. Here, privacy is replaced with trust and transparency, or so the startup contends. 

Ideally, buyers get a better idea of whom they’re buying from. They’ll also get more insight on what their social network friends are buying, sharing and commenting on.

Sellers, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to showcase their expertise on Copious and across the web. A seller’s Twitter account, blog or presence in product forums will factor into his “Copious signal,” a set of five bars, similar in appearance to a carrier’s network signal, included alongside his profile.

Sellers can also price their wares to reward social behaviors. A seller could, for instance, offer buyers a discounted price for sharing a listing with Facebook contacts, or a reduced charge for following the seller on Copious. Sellers, in addition to being subject to the mandatory identity clause, are charged a flat 10% transaction fee per sale.

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