Buying and selling online is all about trust – trusting that the other person would keep their end of the deal. Just ask Stefan Saakyan, who had found a special piece of jewelry that he wanted to buy for his wife on Craigslist. At the time, he was on vacation in Miami, while the seller was back home in New York. Saakyan called the seller and asked that he keep the item for him, but the seller refused since he had no guarantee that Saakyan would buy it. The following day, someone else had bought the item. Upset, Saakyan figured that if only there was a quick way for him to send the seller a promissory note, he could have gotten the item. A light bulb went off in his head, and the idea for an agreement service was born.
Saakyan subsequently launched ByPact, a website that allows anyone to create a pact with others and make it easy for either party to keep their side of the bargain. Users can start a pact for almost anything with one person or a group of people. The pact is sent to the recipients, and once everyone signs electronically, it becomes active. ByPact will then send automatic reminders and deadline notifications so you don’t have to. ByPact isn’t just for Craigslist purchases or business deals, though. It’s also a great tool for personal agreements, such as arranging a group activity with friends or lending money to relatives. Additionally, ByPact can be used by charities to raise money online and for agreements between kids and their parents.
Saakyan hopes to see ByPact grow into something ubiquitous that is used to make all kinds of agreements and decisions on the fly. “If Donald Trump had gotten Bill Maher to sign our pact, he might be getting a $5 million charity check right now,” he says.