LIVINGSTON, NJ — With Livingston resident Vivek Bedi’s brand new mobile application mySwapp, users can exchange new or old belongings with others in the community. MySwapp, which was founded to change the way people consume products by resurrecting the “barter system,” launched an updated version May 7 that is ready to be used.
Last year, the toy and book industries made $22 billion and $27 billion respectively, which the mySwapp team said is wasteful for families who buy these items, use them a few times or read them once and then let them take up room at home. mySwapp’s goal is for people to stop wasting and start swapping. According to Bedi, mySwapp brings back the old school philosophy of “swapping” through the generation’s digital lifestyle by allowing users to see something they want on the mobile app and offer something in return.
“It’s bringing back that whole barter system we used when we were younger — you know how you would trade your sandwich for another sandwich as a Kindergartener?” Bedi said. “As consumers, we did a lot of research and there’s a lot of waste that’s happening and we wanted to say, ‘You know what let’s swap things.’”
Bedi realized the need for this application when he realized how much money, time and plastic his family was wasting with all the toys the children bought and never used again. He said that with today’s ability to be "connected" with anyone, anywhere, anytime, thanks to smartphones and other devices, there should be a way to swap these lightly-used items with others who want them in exchange for something else.
According to Bedi, the mySwapp exchange is simple: users see something they want and offer something that they'd like to exchange for it. Once both users accept, mySwapp lists the nearest locations, they pick one, pick a date and the meeting to swap these items is set up.
The application is free to download from the App Store, free to post an item and free to swap. According to Bedi, the target markets are college students, who he said would majorly benefit from the swap setup, and local parents. Bedi, the father of a three-year-old and a six-year-old, found this system beneficial for both his kids, who quickly grew out of action figure phases, and his wife, who reads books once and leaves them on a shelf.
“Our whole goal is to change the way people think,” Bedi said. “Our end goal is just to see how far this can go, changing the way that we consume and bringing back that barter system that we grew up on with a digital twist.”
So far, one of the mySwapp team’s biggest successes has been their recent invitation to New York Tech Day, an annual event at Pier 90 where they were able to present the app for further publicity in the area.
Bedi, a Rutgers University graduate, was working professionally with technology products for more than 15 years when he became passionate about changing the way consumers waste the products they buy. The mySwapp application married his passion with his technological skills to help people to stop wasting and start swapping.