Good News Stuff

Good News Fridays: The Merit Shop

Geek Alabama Good News Fridays

Money runs everything in our economy.  And no matter how much I wish our society would move towards a Star Trek, no money based society, we must have money to purchase things, or do we?  There is a small shop in San Francisco that is very unique!  The mobile store allows patrons to pay for items such as candy, clothes, crayons, and even iPods with talent instead of cash.  Singing a song, reciting a poem, and drawing a picture are all among the acceptable forms of currency at the store that refers to itself as “the little corner shop of anarchy.”  The shop is called The Merit Shop!

The Merit Shop is the brainchild of San Francisco-based designers Daniel Soares and Pedro Sampaio. The inspiration behind the priceless online store was sparked by the wealth gap within San Francisco.  The creators say San Francisco is divided in two parts, those with money and those without money.  The Merit Shop is based on the belief that not everybody has money, but everybody has talent.  It’s a way of rethinking how our culture uses money as a divider—classifying those who have it as worthy, while those who don’t are often viewed as inadequate or inconsequential.


In order to obtain a product on The Merit Store, interested parties can record themselves “doing something awesome” via YouTube or Instagram, and then upload the video as a link to compensate. The founders will check the content for inventiveness and then send an email confirmation.  Products are limited and first-come first-served.  The Merit Shop products are wide-ranging. The online store features gadgets, food, games, and more!

The duo paid for the project out-of-pocket, including the original video, the website and the goods they’re selling.  And so far, response has been great!  For now, they have sold out of all of their products.  But don’t worry, the duo will be back soon with new products so people can perform talents for products instead of using money.  The duo is trying this social experiment, to remind people of things that are way more important than money.  And money is not all too important in this world, people are important too.  This is why the duo founded The Merit Shop.

Learn more about The Merit Shop at:

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