It was a totally impulsive move on my part. I had visited Amateur Radio Swap and Shop sites in Canada and 99% of them were local or regional sites operated mostly by ham clubs.There were also a few major sources of used amateur gear mostly based out of the US (eHam and eBay). What I wasn't seeing were many Canadian sites serving the Canadian Amateur Radio community from coast to coast.
This is nothing against either the smaller Swap & shop sites or the American sites. It was just a matter of seeing a niche and trying to fill it.
Plus, the problems with cross border shopping are pretty obvious to everyone who does it regularly.
- Currency conversion (our Canadian dollar is not very strong at this time).
- The risk of buying or selling across borders (we loose a lot of our legal protections if something goes wrong).
- Customs and Duty fees (the mystery charge, will the CBSA randomly add $50 or more to your shipping charges).
Thus Radio Amateur Swap Canada was created.
After a week online I'm so pleased with the response. It's not perfect, there are some bugs still to work out. But traffic, memberships, and ads are growing daily.
The positive feedback has been overwhelming and the few negative emails seem to confirm that this is the Internet and there will always be that 1%.
I purchased the domain, hosting, and ssl certificate for one year, so we'll see where it goes over the next 12 months. Like anything I can spend more money for more bells and whistles, but it's a free service, how much do I really want to pay out of pocket to keep it going. Are there ways to make some money on the site? Sure, I could do a couple things, but I'm in no rush, I think the site would need to be very popular before I need to go down that road.