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Trevor Harvey writes:

Springwise has an item this week on a new initiative (opens to Dutch web page) in the Netherlands whereby ING – one of the country’s largest banks – helps buyers makes offers for other people’s homes – even through the houses aren’t actually on the market. There have been similar schemes elsewhere.

They see it as further evidence that we’re moving towards Doc Searls‘ ‘intention economy‘, which is more interested in what buyers would like to buy rather than what producers want to sell. It’s an interesting idea, and since buyers are likely to have the money it cuts out a lot of marketing effort. But before we rush to declare a new dawn, there are some wrinkles. It seems to me that it opens up some privacy concerns – or even just straight nuisance calls; how long before there is a register akin to the Mail Preference Service for people who decline to be approached in this way? Most contract law, certainly in the UK, is based on sellers making an offer to which a buyer accedes. And the notion of the market seems deeply embedded in cultures throughout the world. There may be good social reasons why – for 10,000 years or so – the dominant sales model has been of sellers gathering their wares and buyers going to find them.

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