Honor Based Commerce

It has been a re-occurring theme that has popped up here and there. Here’s a rant on honor based commerce.

The Bagel Stand
As you walk through the door to walk, a bagel stand is sitting idly by itself. No person around or in sight. The aroma of bagels saturates the area permeating soft chewy goodness to your senses. The only sheet to communicate to you is a small kiosk that asks for whatever you can give in return for a bagel with a variety of cream cheeses. Normally, people would go to a stand, pick what they want and pay someone to do those things for them. Instead of doing the simple easy task of cutting bread and spreading cream cheese, people can do it themselves, get it at work, and pay what they feel that it is worth. Yes, it works on an honor based system, but you would be surprised. People tend to be more honest than we believe.

The Bagel Man
Paul F. quit his job, got the approval of his family and set on a venture to sell bagels through an honor based commerce system. He setup bagel stands under the simple agreement of bringing fresh bagels each morning with a cash box and would later return midday to pick up the extra bagels with the money. It turned into an interesting project that measured the honesty of his customers. The least honest payers leaned towards administration who would leave nothing behind but an empty bagel basket, no cash. Read more about it here.

Last Thoughts
Communities require similar needs as a whole. The transactions and means to make those trades possible with our fellow neighbors is open to many possibilities relying on the simple idea of trust. Other examples are barter, donation based services, and time banks. That’s all for now. For now, I’m going to try the honor system out and see how it works.

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