Adventures in Bartering

Saving & investing, frugality & simple living. They're all part of the wealth equation.
Here's the place to discuss getting (and keeping!) your money.

Moderator: lvergon

brad
Posts: 1359
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Contact:

Adventures in Bartering

Postby brad » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:43 am

Do you barter? I don't go out of my way to look for bartering opportunities, but have done a lot of it during my life and it has always been a good experience.

These days, most of my bartering is with my neighbors: One of my neighbors is an 80-year-old widow from Italy who has a big garden in her courtyard. I shovel her steps and walkway after every snowstorm in winter, and in exchange she gives me tomatoes, peppers, beans, and other veggies from her garden all summer.

When I was in my 20s I knew a woman who owned an island in the Damariscotta River, in coastal Maine. She was a carpenter and builder. She had built five cabins on the island but needed help to finish and maintain them, so she offered to let me take my vacations there for free (including food) if I did some work on the cabins. I spent 4-5 hours each day of my vacation putting cedar shingles on her cabins, but the rest of each day was free. Since the work was so different from what I did for a living, even that felt like a vacation. I took a few vacations like that and loved it.

A friend and I used to play music for store openings and holidays (these were small boutique-like stores) in Concord Massachusetts, in exchange for gift certificates at the stores.

Another friend of mine who's a fine woodworker asked me to write and edit the text for his website and other promotional materials. In exchange he made me a beautiful solid cherry bookcase.

I've also done some bartering of objects such as clothing, but I've gotten the most enjoyment out of "service bartering."

themoneywars
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:18 pm
Contact:

Postby themoneywars » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:31 pm

In college I use to fix peoples computers and wireless networks in exchange for meals. Now every time I tinker with a PC I get a little hungry.

User avatar
jdroth
Site Admin
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:58 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby jdroth » Wed May 30, 2007 3:45 pm

*bump*

I'm just bumping this to see if anyone else has bartering stories...

User avatar
pf101
Posts: 859
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 11:23 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Postby pf101 » Wed May 30, 2007 4:13 pm

I barter my services all the time. I think it's a great way to get things done and a great way for people who don't have money to still get services that they want/need. I'll trade for lessons in something that interests me, art, books, whatever someone has to offer. JD, I don't know if you've heard about it but they're developing a local currency for our area. I have read a bit about it and it looks interesting. Just another form of barter, but a bit more organized. I can send you info if you're interested.

User avatar
Dollar Bill
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 4:17 pm
Location: Up to my eyeballs!
Contact:

Postby Dollar Bill » Thu May 31, 2007 4:14 am

We’ve perhaps lost the realization that there is real worth – material value – in something other than money. Not the best reflection on today’s society and culture. Time and talent is still important, beyond one’s regular employment.

I’m inspired by those who barter. They’re bucking the trend! I need to look for such opportunities myself.

User avatar
Rush
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:57 pm
Contact:

Postby Rush » Thu May 31, 2007 11:28 am

I despise bartering. Someone always gets the short end of the stick.

User avatar
pf101
Posts: 859
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 11:23 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Postby pf101 » Thu May 31, 2007 11:32 am

If you feel like you're getting the short end of the stick, then don't agree to the trade. I've never felt like I was getting shorted and in most cases I think both of us were more than happy with the arrangement. Bartering has it's place, but it depends on what you have to bargain with.

Wesley
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:45 pm
Contact:

never sure of the timing

Postby Wesley » Thu May 31, 2007 8:19 pm

My problem with bartering is that I never know when it's appropriate. For instance, sure, go for it when buying a car, perhaps a house...but clothing? shoes? food? To me, that seems inappropriate and could possibly lead to a highly awkward situation. I don't want to insult someone by offering them half of what they think something's worth, and I oftentimes have a tough time estimating the cost of goods and services (really anything not black and white...where quality really comes into play).

My wife's grandfather is what I coin a "wheeler-dealer". He finds bartering deals everywhere, and loves striking up a conversation that leads to a good deal. I admire that, but feel uncomfortable bickering with someone over price or services under most circumstances.

Any rules of thumb you all use? How do you approach the subject?

brad
Posts: 1359
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Contact:

Postby brad » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:00 am

Wesley, I think you might be confusing "bartering" with "bargaining." Negotiating a price isn't bartering, it's bargaining. Bartering is the trading of goods and services without exchanging money.

Wesley
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:45 pm
Contact:

Postby Wesley » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:15 pm

oops, my mistake :oops: Trading services on any sort of level is certainly not something I'm familiar with. Interesting topic though.


Return to “Personal Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]