Getting Started

This FAQ covers the three main topics: Membership, Markets & Listings (as well as some miscellaneous topics). We assume you have read the about section and know the gist of the platform.

Introduction
To effectively use sb2sb.com, you need to understand business fundamentals, have math literacy and common sense, understand how supply and demand work, and have an understanding of how lead generation works and where it fits in.

If you are starting out, make sure you have researched and immersed yourself and know your business: product, price, quantity, quality, logistics, and delivery dates.

Overview

Signing up

How do I sign up?
Click on the "Signup" link on the top navbar or go to sb2sb.com/account/signup/.
Then enter your email address, username, and password twice. Check for any warnings if you are not taken to the confirmation email page.
Once you sign up successfully, you will get an email to verify your email address.

How do I become a member?
Once you have logged in, click on the membership link on the top navbar or on the "Activate" button on your user profile.

How do I find my user profile?
Click on your username in the top navigation bar, or go to www.sb2sb.com/yourusername.

How do I edit my user profile?
When you are on the user profile page, click on the "Edit Profile" link below your profile picture and username. There you will find the ability to edit Name, Surname, Contact Number, Main Business, Bio, as well as location: province, city, and town postal code. Then you can add a website url to your online presence, as well as a profile picture, logo, and banner. It is important to fill these in, as it will impact how you appear and are found on the platform.


Posting a listing

How do I post a listing?
While you are able to post a listing directly from your user profile, The best way is to post a listing via the market's "Post Listing" link; this will import all the correct tags and types to use. Go to www.sb2sb.com/markets. Click on a market name, and then click on the green "Post Listing" button.

How do I fill in the listing form?
The form has the following fields:
Market: (Make sure you are on the right market.)
Type: (buy, sell, offer service, obtain service, hire, rent out, barter, and network)
Tag: (training, equipment, materials, products, services, kits, startup, franchise, business, secondhand, refurbish, repurpose, recycle)
Not all of the above tags or types will be available in all markets.
Your Business: Optional. The closest business to yours. This is optional; some markets have none. If you create a listing via a user profile, this will have all the options that may not be applicable to the market.
The above three: types, tags, and your business are used to filter listings on the market.
Title of listing: Remember, on the main board, the listing will be appended with "I want to... and then the type: buy, sell, offer service, obtain service, hire, rent out, barter, and network." So write your title accordingly.
Listing description: Describe the listing in as much detail as possible. If you want members of the public to contact you, you can include an email address or phone number in the listing.
Listing image: Optional. An image is linked to the listing.
Website link: optional. A link to a website is perhaps where people can order or find out more information.
Hide contact form: Optional. Option to hide the contact form. There are many reasons to use this: to make sure people only reply via the link above, or to pause a listing pending payment or stock.
Once you have filled it in, Click on the "Save" button to publish it.

How do I edit or delete listings?
On your user profile page, you will see a list of listings with "Edit" and "Delete" next to them. Click the appropriate button.

Membership

How does sb2sb.com work?
Just like a bulletin board, you post leads and someone replies to them if they are interested; someone else posts leads and you reply to them if you are interested. That's it. Opportunities are not going to magically fall into your lap; you need to seek them out. Think of it as a more targeted Gumtree, minus all the annoying ads, or a B2B Craigslist.

What should I know before joining?
This is not a place where you are going to make a quick buck or where you are going to succeed with a quick buck mentality. You would have to read, think, apply your mind, and not just focus on the finish line (money). Effort needs to be put in to build a resilient and sustainable business. Read the about section, which goes into deeper detail about this, if you have not.

How much is membership?
R100 for 30 days

Can I only sign up for 30 days?
Yes, by default, membership does not automatically renew. If you cannot at least make R100 in profit or get R100 in value, then you should not renew.

Do I need a registered business to sign up?
No, most of the people who use our platform do not have formal businesses and use their personal accounts for trading. While others use it for a side business to supplement their income or to get some money while looking for a job.

How many listings am I allowed to post?
10

What if I need more listings?
You need to open another account. sb2sb.com is focused on small businesses with a niche or narrow product/service mix; most members don't sell hundreds of products. Most of our members are small businesses, and the best way to use sb2sb.com is to work niches and not go wide like the incumbent multinationals.

How many accounts are you allowed to have?
As many as you want or need. Some have an account for their "main" business as well as an account for surplus and salvage to separate the two (to prevent people from getting "used to" cheap prices) or for more random products. While some entrepreneurs have multiple "businesses" and keep them all separate.

Does each account need its own email address?
Yes, what people do if they have custom domains is set up a "catch-all" email address for the various accounts or use an email provider like Proton or Tuta that supports different email addresses on one custom domain.

How do leads / replies come in?
If you are just using a contact form, then it will come via email, but you can include a contact number or physical address if you are open all day to the public.

How do I manage leads?
Most small businesses follow up on leads as soon as they come in, whether by email, phone, or website, using pen and paper or a notetaking app on a phone. Some people use project management apps like Trello, note-taking apps, todo apps like Todoist, spread sheets, lead management software, apps like Notion or Clickup, or a full-blown CRM like NoCRM or Zoho (or more expensive ones if they have the budget), but most just follow up, and if not, then forget about it and just use memory, pen, and paper.

Why do some members (hide details from public and) only do business with other members?
Lead quality. If you target the general public, it's fine to put your contact details on the listing. But if your target is other entrepreneurs, then you might get better quality leads and less admin (replying to people who are not serious or don't have money). Most make their details public, but some single entrepreneurs prefer to follow up rather than take random calls. Some members work by appointment only and find it easier to manage their time (especially if they are often on the road).

I want to become a member pending x
Rather, don't become a member if it depends on something that is not currently happening. You might be disappointed if you only sign up for one reason.


Why does sb2sb.com charge for listings?
To make money, we can either plaster the site with ads like Gumtree, take a cut of your sales like bidorbuy, or sell your data like Facebook. We choose to do neither and have a simple R100 per month membership fee to post a maximum of 10 listings at a time. No ads, we dont sell data, no time-wasting social component. Just business.

Can I accept payments on sb2sb.com?
No, but you can add a website link to where you are accepting payments.

How is the best way to reply to listings?
Do not reply with a generic response such as "im interested,"  "more info pls" or the tire-kicking "iS iT sTiLl AvAiLaBlE" disappearing act—never to be heard from again (you might not even get a reply as that is the parlance of low-effort timewasters). Make contact when you are ready to do business. Ask when, where, and how you can offer or obtain whatever is being listed.

Are overseas sellers allowed?
No foreign sellers are allowed without prior permission or as part of an organized program; no selling from overseas; the seller must be in South Africa. Sellers from Brazil, Russia, Iran, and China can contact us about future BRICS expansion.

Are members from the rest of Africa allowed?
No, we have no presence and no control over what happens in other African countries. If you are from the rest of Africa, the best bet is to get your agents inside South Africa.

Can many people share an account?
Yes, we have co-ops that share an account or a set of accounts; 10 people can share an account and each contribute R10 a month for a listing; we don't have a problem with that. However, the person who originally signed up bears full responsibility for what happens with that account.


Markets

Listings are posted in markets by members.

What are markets?
All business takes place in markets where counterparties, buyers, and sellers (or supply and demand) meet. We have various markets for various businesses and are always adding more. Once you are a member, you can suggest a market for your business. Our goal is for markets to be as narrow as possible.
Markets have the following characteristics:
About: Name, Industry, and Banner
Tags (outlying the business chain): Training (Skills), Equipment, Raw Materials, Services, Products, Secondhand, Refurbish, Repurpose, Recycle.
Type: Buy, Sell, Offer (service), Obtain (service), Hire, Rent Out, Barter (exchange), Network.
Businesses specific to the market
Both tags, types, and specific businesses can be clicked on to filter the market. Information tabs: Info (information about the market), News (industry news, trade journals, etc.), Intel (trade data, research, insights and intelligence, opportunities, and tips), Areas (business by location—coming soon) Directory (coming soon).
Markets are made up of listings...


Listings

Listings must be added to the correct category and tagged correctly. We will flag, edit, or remove non-compliant listings. Remember, we are B2B and only allow listings with a B2B angle (the minimum threshold is that they can be resold at a profit). As a business platform, we hold our listings to higher standards than classifieds or social media postings. Always double check that your listing makes sense, spell check, etc.

Listings Guide

When you post a listing, You can choose to sell to members only or the general public. This is simply done by excluding or including your contact details in the listing or on your profile.

Listings have the following characteristics:
Type (required)
Buy (product wanted)
Sell (product offered)
Offer (service offered)
Obtain (service wanted)
Hire (rental wanted)
Rent Out (rental offered)
Barter (exchange / quid pro quo)
Network
Tag (required)
Training
Equipment
Materials
Services
Products
Kits
Startup
Franchise
Business
Secondhand
Refurbish
Repurpose
Recycle
Network
Closest business (optional)

How to write a listing
When you write a listing, the listing will be appended with the type (Buy, Sell, Offer, Obtain, Hire, Rent Out, Barter, Network). On the main board, listings are also appended with "I want to"
The convention is to write your listings as follows:
I want to buy / sell {product... for x, etc.}
I want to offer / obtain {service... for x, etc.}
I want to hire / rent out {x}
I want to barter {x for x}
I want to network {with x}
In other words, if you want to:
Offer a tangible item for sale; use "Sell."
When looking for a tangible item to buy, use "Buy."
Offer a service. Use "Offer."
To obtain a service, use "Obtain."
Looking to hire something? Use "Hire."
Have something to rent out? Use "Rent Out."
Want to barter? Use "Barter."
Want to network? Use "Network."


What types of listings are allowed
"Anything legal" with a few caveats (see below)
South Africa's inequality warrants a "reuse, reduce, recycle" type of circular economy of sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling, not based on sustainability or environmentally friendliness but due to necessity. You can sell new, used, broken to fix, broken for parts, or waste to recycle anything as long as you disclose the condition and post it in the right marketplace.

What types of listings are not allowed?
While we allow anything legal to be traded on the platform, there is some stuff we don't allow: Restricted markets Some markets are private, restricted, or invite-only. This includes finance and logistics.

  • Listing any of these will result in the immediate termination of your whole account:
  • We do not allow finance or logistics listings on open markets.
  • No finance or investing; too many scams. There will be a vetted marketplace for this.
  • No logistics, courier, or shipping. This is a restricted service on our platform that we will have a dedicated marketplace for.
  • No multi-level marketing, only "pure" leads and sales. MLM schemes (you can't use sb2sb.com to sell MLM products or to recruit people).
  • The sale of email lists is also not allowed.
  • Accounts and listings are not to be used for purely SEO purposes.
  • No, crypto and blockchain are related.
  • and it goes without saying that we don't allow pyramid schemes and other scams.

Can I use sb2sb.com to raise funds for my startup?
If you've come to the point where you are looking for funding on the internet, you are probably not going to get it, and our platform won't magically help. You can use it to try to get your first clients or to sell your stuff to raise some money. Or collect junk and sell it on the junk market.

I've posted my listing to sb2sb.com. Now what?
sb2sb.com is a marketing tool and should be used as part of a strategy, not the only one. You cannot post and then twiddle your thumbs, waiting for replies. Continue on other avenues and knock on doors.

How long are listings active?
Leads and listings are active for the duration of the membership period and can be extended at any time by 30 days for R100. As long as your membership is active, your listings stay active unless you delete them.

There are no listings for my product, there are no listings from my area, or there are listings in Cape Town but I am in Limpopo, etc. (or a variation of this question).
This is why, right at the top, we speak about understanding business, trading, or leads. You cannot wait for business to fall on your lap. That is why there is a "buy lead" option.
You cannot expect all leads to be close to you. South Africa is deindustrializing, and there is semigration. You are not going to find a mainstream manufacturer, importer, or supplier close to you if you live in a small village. If that is your expectation, don't get into trading. You can post a buy lead to get a counterparty; someone close to you may respond; someone far away may be able to accommodate you; maybe they have an associate close to you, etc.


Miscellaneous

What is the best or easiest business to start for a beginner?
It's all relative, but a niche trading business (buying and selling of goods and services) that relies on a single trade flow seems to be the easiest from a practical perspective. While it's risky to buy in one place and sell in another, it's the clearest path with limited moving parts that is easy to understand: start, build, and eventually grow

How is sb2sb.com best used?
Most people on the platform use a simple business model: source, add value, ->sell. The "add value" can be a simple "transformation in space," getting the goods closer to the customer, or "transformation in form," packaging and repacking, and more labor-intensive processing. While others engage in "transformation in time," storing and agglomerating and then selling at the ample opportunity (at the right time or when they have the right amount).

Some use it to build highly optimized, low-stress niche businesses selling high volumes of single or limited products. While others have a broader product mix. Example: see single product business and single person business and combine the two for a single-person single-product business.

Do you sell x?
We are a marketplace platform that connects buyers and sellers, and unlike other counterparties, we don't sell anything. If you are looking for something that is not available, you can post a buy lead or look elsewhere.

Can you put me in touch with x?
No, we can't. If you want to purchase a product or service, you can use the appropriate market.

What does RFx mean?
RFx is used for talking about requests in general, where x can be either I (information), Q (quotation), or P (proposal).

I am looking for business advice
Nobody can give you effective business advice over email unless they have spent some time getting to know you. You can try the "Services: Mentoring, Coaching & Consulting" market.