In a time where we don’t all have as much money as we’d like to buy the services and goods we need, bartering is making a comeback. Bartering is all about exchanging what you have for what someone else has. Finding someone who wants what you can provide inn exchange for something you need, is the perfect way to keep your budget in check. So how do you barter? Here are some tips to be successful.
Determine What You Can Barter
First, determine what you can barter. Think about the extra items you have in your home that you no longer want. Common items you could barter are; sports equipment, musical instruments, unused furniture, appliances you replaced out, lawn furniture, books, movies and more! However, bartering doesn’t stop at the physical stuff. Sit down and think about what skills you can teach such as hobbies, resume building, or landscaping.
Once you’ve determined what you are bartering, put a dollar value on it. (Even if it’s approximate) This will give you an idea of items and services that you can fairly trade.Bartering is all about exchanging what you have for what someone else has. Click To Tweet
Where to Barter
There are lots of places to barter. Of course, you may know someone who has something you’d like to barter for. Never be afraid to ask someone if they are willing to accept a trade instead of payment.
Many communities have Facebook pages set up in order to sell goods. Check with the page’s administrator but this is usually a great place to start bartering.
There are lots of bartering specific websites out there. Do a quick online search to find some in your area. Craigslist also offers a listing for bartering services and goods (dependent upon your location.)
Check for a Time Bank (http://timebanks.org/) group in your area. Time Bank members specify a service they can provide. Every time they provide that service, they earn a credit. Credit can be redeemed for the services that other members provide. For example, if I provide baby sitting services to three people, I’ve earned three credits. I can then turn in those credits for three services from other members, such as accounting, hair cutting and lawn mowing.
The Nitty Gritty
It’s always a good idea to put your barter agreement in writing. This way everyone feels as if they have given and received what was agreed upon. Make sure you include a time frame for delivery of the services or goods. Again, this holds everyone involved accountable.
If you are providing services between businesses, make sure to account for this when you file taxes or ask your accountant how to handle it.
Swap Style (http://www.swapstyle.com)-A clothing swap site. You never even have to leave your home. (Well you need to visit a post office.)
Swap (https://www.swap.com). This site has everything from women’s clothing to baby gear. Buy outright or swap items.
Babysitter Exchange (https://www.babysitterexchange.com/servlet/Main.jsp). Exchange babysitting and household tasks.