Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barter: Trade instead of Pay

Lets be honest. Money is tight. It's not just you but your neighbor and your boss and even his boss. But we still want and need things. Stuff to get projects done or prepare for the future. Things to help us get where we are going and to become who we are to be. Some of the things we want we really can't go without. I say we bring back bartering. After all, we each have something to offer to get that something we want.

Trading is far from a new idea. From pre-currency societies to the elementary school cafeteria, we have relied on it to use what we have to get what we want. And its not only juice boxes for twinkies, but paper clips for houses! Its a super way to save cash, get to know neighbors and go green!

Bartering is saving money. By definition, it requires no money whatsoever. You are not spending needlessly to acquire items that are single use or project specific. The parties involved are the ones determining an equal exchange, eliminating the middle man (and tax). And the best part is you can exchange something you already have for something you want or need for no cash. Always think about what you don't need before you get something new!

Bartering is local. Neighbors exchanging with neighbors builds community.

Bartering is green. Recycling at its most basic. Its giving a second life to items or personal expertise.

What more motivation do you need to get rid of that pile in your basement and trade it for something you can really use! Truth is bartering is well on its way for a comeback. There are plenty of sites that facilitate swapping. Have you been to...?


BarterQuest is site where you can both list and search for bartered items. Did you know you can exchange cookies for a laptop?
Listing 10 books is all that is required to get you in at paperback swap. As your books are requested you pay to mail them out and earn credits. Then use your credits to request other listed books for free! This site is a personal favorite of mine!


Is your daughter finally over her Hannah Montana phase? Your teen not playing that video game as much as you had hoped? At you can trade books, movies, music and video games. They recently began hosting swapaholics events where women gather to trade high end clothing and accessories in giant pop-up boutiques. also encourages you to get involved and host your own local swaps. Sweet!

And if you have been living under a rock, you have not yet discovered the wonder of craigslist. Not the prettiest site but it gets the job done. I purchased my sons bike and sold my extra bamboo flooring. Love the free stuff and check it often!

Really the possibilities are endless. Trade webdesign for childcare, cooking for car maintenance, patio furniture for photography, lawn care for power tools...

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