( IC ) lets create a marketplace to sell or switch your used keycaps


#1

Do you feel like me and wish you got in on that one drop of September last year?
Do you switch keycaps often?
Do you have a limited keycap set you are willing to trade?

Let me hear your thoughts, am i allone in this?


#2

I think a lot of people use Mech Market on reddit for this kind of thing, and I’ve had a lot of successful transactions there. How would your idea be different?


#3

Basically just more nuanced.

On mech market i usually only see full kits. But im also thinking of trading just alphas, mods etc.
Also i think on this platform it would make sense to double down on such a concept since i percieve the community of this platform as more cohesive than Reddits.
Furthermore and i know this is a somewhat irrelevant point i dont like the ethics of Reddit and do not want to support it.


#4

I personally do a lot of selling/buying at mechmarket and it works fine for me. Used to sell entire sets of keycaps, just alphas or mods, new or used, keyboards, switches, even individual keycaps. Did some sells directly without a formal post. There were not a single issue for almost a 100 transactions. Well, that was one, when seller did not send switches to me, but eventually I got my money back via PayPal.
IMO, mechmarket is working great for that kind of stuff, it has its own selling/buing etiquette, and it is usually easy to deal with people who follow that.


#5

There’s classifieds here, the entirety of MechMarket, people sell in Discords, and GH/Deskthority has plenty of trades going on. The aftermarket for keyboard stuff is pretty healthy as is, and there’s not really a need for a new completely dedicated marketplace - again, that’s MechMarket.


#6

I think this is fairly intriguing, actually; I’m sympathetic to “there are existing options,” but I think @m00nkeyboy raises a number of great points here that are being dismissed instead of really being addressed so I’d like to reframe them (apologies if I misrepresent any of them):

  1. Existing solutions are massively spread out; folks looking to sell or purchase things often have to do that in multiple places, check for updates in all of those places and keep those posts updated as things change in each one.
  2. None of the existing solutions are purpose-built for this; MechMarket uses Reddit, and has a lot of hacky workarounds for handling things (Checking users’ overall Reddit karma is a thing that sounds like an okay idea but realistically doesn’t account for a lot of things. Confirmation of trades is clunky and very manual). GH/here don’t have bots (or a system) tracking trades and helping to ensure scammers don’t take advantage of things (love our mods, but this would require a whole other level of moderation that I wouldn’t ask of them. We’re lucky to have a lower surface area for attack by being a smaller community)
  3. Reddit makes a lot of people uncomfortable (myself included) for very valid reasons. It’s tough being queer on the internet; it’s about as tough as it gets being queer on Reddit. Y’all may have different experiences and I get that, but for a lot of us Reddit just frickin sucks and I’d hope you’d trust us when we share our experience of that.
  4. None of the existing implementations have any kind of sustainable model for scaling their moderation, because there is no purpose-built system for this that can handle transactions and take even a small fee off the top to support the moderation of that system. Sustainable markets for things really can’t be built with the expectation that people will just Be Good or that volunteer moderation will be consistent, good, and scalable.

A couple of other neat problems that could be solved with a proper, purpose-built marketplace, off the top of my head:

  1. There’s no real existing manifest of keycap sets with detailed information about all the kits, keys that are included in those kits, their support for various form factors, etc. A proper marketplace could help centralize that information and model it to provide a really cool resource for the keyboard community.
  2. Filters! Right now none of these implementations support filtering beyond “you can literally search” which isn’t great, as people mistype things or just don’t know the right words for things.
  3. Giving folks a space to have an actual list of what they’ve got and share that with other people really easily.
  4. This goes with the keycap set thing (in terms of modeling information) but a marketplace could also serve as a resource for compatibility on stuff like PCBs, switches, cases, etc. I’ve seen a lot of folks wanting something like PCPartPicker but for keyboard stuff, and a marketplace that accepts community-submitted data on these things to help build out its database would be able to function this way.
  5. It can provide hard data to designers and manufacturers about the demand for stuff on the aftermarket to help inform secondary rounds of production.

All that being said, it would take a ton of effort to build something like this for a hobbyist community. I’m not saying “it’s a fantastic idea why aren’t we already doing this” (I’ve got too much experience building websites and ecommerce to hop on that train of thought) but it’s certainly an interesting idea that’s worth thinking about and possibly planning.


#7

After reading through this thread I have to say everyone does have very valid points. There are plenty of places to buy/sell/trade MKB stuff out already. The classifieds here, GH’s classifieds, r/mechmarket, & Agoramech.com. Although between all of them not a single one of them focus in on trading specifically. I think if the ideal was modified to be just a strictly trading marketplace we might be on to something. The only big issue I can see is how to set it up & moderate it in a way that will keep anybody from taking advantage of other users. I’ll be getting back to work in the next few weeks which will significantly cut into my online time, but if this ideal gains enough traction I would definitely be willing to help moderate such a marketplace on here.


#8

One thing that I do think would be very cool would be some way to catalog individual keycaps that people have through grab bags, extras, etc. and then be able to search for “that one key” you absolutely have to have to make a set work with your board. This would be sort of like BrickLink is for individual LEGO pieces. Might be too labor intensive to set up and use in reality, but it can be frustrating to try and get a specific key or keys on Mechmarket.


#9

Sounds like a good idea. I have many pounds of SP grabbag keycaps, and that already happened once when I sold “that one key” to the guy at mechmarket.


#10

I guess starting with a register is a good way to start an eventual project like this. I will set up a new email and ask the keebtalk community to send me names and pictures of the keycaps they own.