The other day, using modern alchemy, I turned diapers into Maple Syrup + Blackberries. It’s All About The Barter Baby!
I have recently found a love for bartering. We are going through a major purge at home, something I will discuss in a later post – how to do it, why to do it, etc. But suffice to say that right now we are getting rid of things that no longer serve us as a family.
In this post I will share with you how to find people to barter with and 3 tips for how to make a good trade.
I love a good purge, but what I have found that I love even more is replacing unnecessary things, with necessary ones. Like in this case, where I traded physical goods for food – something that is always needed, but won’t take up space forever.
Recently my life has become frequent trips to random parking lots in surrounding towns, meeting new people and exchanging goods for cash and sometimes exchanging goods for goods.
Our little son Rollo is growing at a much faster rate than his older sister did when she was a wee baby, so we found ourselves in excess of small diapers that he can no longer fit into. I was able to sell some for cash, but the last packages just weren’t moving, until someone on Facebook reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in bartering for maple syrup and blackberries – and was I ever!
I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when we exchanged our goods at a local fire department parking lot and she looked well pleased also getting diapers she will need when she has her baby in a few months.
We were both so happy with the trade; she said she would love to barter with me again, when I said I’d like that too, she said “great! This is our life, we love bartering”.
Here’s how you can learn to love bartering too!
Bartering 101: 3 Tips for Making a Good Trade
The key to a good trade is that both parties leave feeling they got a great deal. Here’s how to ensure that:
1) Make sure you are honest about what you are trading. If there are any defects, wonkiness or anything else worth mentioning to your potential trade buddy, definitely disclose it. Bartering is a bit like the honor system and nothing sours a trade like getting something you weren’t prepared for.
2) Agree on a value before the trade. Do your research and make sure you know what your product is worth. To be sure you are getting something of similar value in return, find out what the other person’s goods are valued at so it can be as close to an even trade as possible.
3) Meet in the middle. Find somewhere to meet that is as close to equal distance for both parties. Gas can be expensive and you don’t want to cost someone else more gas, especially in a barter situation where you are trying to keep things as even as possible.
Now some things like collectibles or appliances are of great value and you may want to sell them for cash. It is good that while you are taking stock of what you need to get rid of that you decide before hand those items you want to sell and which are better for trading.
Items that lend themselves well to trading are: things you really don’t need and want to get off your hands fast, food items or other perishables that you have in excess and need to offload quickly, older items or lots of small items that you can package together that just won’t get a lot of cash value sold individually, items that may need some repair(remember rule #1 to disclose this) or kid items that have been well loved.
Another reason I love bartering is because it is a transaction between two people, no banks involved and it is a great way to keep this ancient practice and subculture of your local economy alive.
Tips for finding Barter Partners:
There are lots of great Facebook groups that are in my local area for bartering and trading (and I am sure your area has them too) – search Facebook for the words : “Swap” or “Trade” plus your state or town or the county you live in. Once I found one, Facebook suggested other similar pages for me to join. Each one is a little different, and you’ll learn which groups are better for trading whatever items you have.
Craig’s List also has a special section for bartering and trading, so check out your local Craig’s List.
Front Porch Forum is another great website- each town has it’s own newsletter where people post about all kinds of local things, and there is a lot of selling, bartering and trading that goes on.
So don’t let stuff you aren’t using clutter up your house! See if you can trade it for things you really need and help your local bartering economy!