Monday, October 27, 2008
Returning to Bartering in this Failing Economy
A NEW LEARNING
I mentioned earlier a recent arrangement whereby I painted an acrylic fine art painting for a local golf course in exchange for a year’s golf membership. Further consultation has concluded an agreement that with the submission of another painting next year I will now have four years of golf. It’s a par 3 course. I can never take out the big sticks on this course so it occurred to me today that I should try bartering with one of the area golf and country clubs. Why not?
Christine and I are not using plastic any longer. Before I retired we made the decision that when we would live on pensions alone, we would have to curtail credit purchases. What an adjustment for me. I have been so accustomed to frequent meals out and purchases everywhere with no concern about paying the Visa bill at month end.
Now it appears reasonable that if there is merchandise or service that I want or need and I can find a supplier who similarly wants a service which I can provide that we might make a transaction. The present economic times make the merits of this approach more convincing.
Now I find out that my idea isn’t novel at all. In fact the resurgence of bartering has been in evidence for some time. Bartering, or the exchange of goods and services without money, has become a more common solution as family budgets tighten. In July, consumers listed nearly 142,000 ads on the barter section of Craigslist, a 96% increase from the year before, according to site statistics. What is noteworthy is that there is a shift in the things being traded, that is, from recycling unwanted things to things that are needed. For that matter, nations are creating
bilateral exchanges of grains and other goods. My reading of related materials informs me that when sales are down, small companies will benefit if they trade services and good with other companies. Almost any product or service that can be purchased or sold can also be used for negotiation, home renos, house painting, accounting, lawn service, car repairs, pet grooming, hair cutting are all useful considerations. One just has to make certain that the transaction is equally satisfactory for both parties. It's the barter or trade exchange business. The internet has spurred the growth of barter.
Check out SwapThing.com and TradeAFavor.com, and JoeBarter.com as well as your nearest city on Craigslist.org. For books, CDs and DVDs, try swap sites like PaperBackSwap.com and Peerflix.com. Another popular trade: swapping your home for someone else's as vacation lodging. There's no cash transaction. You stay in their home, they stay in yours. See KnowYourTrade.com which lists and rates home exchange sites.