How to Use the Site
- Step 1: Register
- Step 2: Create a Post
- Step 3: Respond to a Post
- Step 4: Make the Trade
- Step 5: Mark a Post “Sold”
In order to post offers (but not to respond to them) you need to register with your email address and choose a username/password. That can be done from the homepage, using the “Join Now!” button as seen in this image.
On the registration form, simply provide your email address, choose a username and a password.
To start posting food trade offers you should select the “Post an Ad” button from the green menu bar, as seen at right.
Ads can be placed in a number of predefined categories, just pick one that makes sense for your food product.
Each category has a different form that requires certain information. For example, the Baked Goods form requires you to enter the date the product was made. All forms require you to enter your city and zip code to facilitate searching offers by location.
Upon completion and confirmation of the form your post will immediately be reflected in the category you chose and other users will be able to see it.
If you realize you made a mistake in your post and you’d like to correct it, or if your offer was taken by someone, you have full control over your posts from your “dashboard”. To get to your dashboard from anywhere, just go to the very top of the page and choose “My Dashboard” or the “Manage Ads” button in the Welcome box.
The Dashboard shows each post title, its category and how long until it expires (we provide a 30-day post life). If you want to relist your post, pause it (the ‘pause’ symbol), edit it (the pencil symbol) or delete it (mark sold), you can do all those things from this page under the “Options” column. Note from this page you’re also able to edit your own profile–things like change your password and upload your avatar photo.
If you’d like to trade something for a posted item or respond to a “free” post you need to get in touch with that trader. To do so, just go the the listing of interest and fill out the contact form to the right of the listing. This email will go straight to the poster, notifying them of your interest! With any luck they’ll get back to you and you can set up a time to make the trade.
It’s up to you where you want to make the trade and meet the person who responded to your ad. You could invite them to your residence, meet in a public park, at your workplace, at a community garden or at the Farmer’s Market. We encourage you to first meet at a mutually agreed upon location that is equidistant between your locations to reduce travel distance and the awkwardness of having someone you haven’t met before arrive on your doorstep. If the timing is right, you could wait until you can both attend a swap event, like the Somerville Trading Post, held monthly at the Somerville Growing Center. There you will meet a whole bunch of like-minded individuals, so it would be best if you brought extra to trade!
After you’ve made a successful trade (or that lettuce finally went to seed) you need to mark your post as “Sold”. This is done through your dashboard once again, and you have the option for any post to “mark sold”. Doing so will not erase your post from the site. That won’t happen until it expires, but your post will be shown as having been “sold”. You also have the option of “pausing” your ad for any length of time using the pause button in the same dashboard menu. This will suspend the ad until you, say, get back from vacation.
So, your offer didn’t sell the first time around? If it’s still good and your ad is now shown as “expired” (35 days after listing), you can relist it. Here are the steps:
- Go to that ad in your dashboard and click the “pause” button.
- When the page reloads you will notice a link next to the ad that says “Relist”. Click it.
- When the page reloads you’ll see a “play” button. Now click that.
Congratulations! You have now relisted your ad for another 35 days. Don’t forget to mark it as “sold” if it goes this time around.