Bartering Reborn



Bartering Reborn Due to Recession

In this current recession, we are seeing bartering and the barter system making a comeback. Many people are experiencing great financial difficulties and job losses. Some of these people are getting themselves further into debt to get the items they need, but modern survivalists are turning to the barter system.

Many of us have heard of the term ‘barter’, but if you’re like most people, the image that comes to mind is that of a poor farmer paying the small town doctor for his clinical services with one of the chickens from his farm.

Webster’s dictionary tells us the definition of barter is to trade by exchanging one commodity for another. Bartering systems have been around in most cultures since before money was created. For example, during the colonial era, money was scarce so the colonists used bartering as a primary means of procuring the goods or services they needed. They would trade such items as musket balls, tobacco, beaver pelts and deer skins. By the way, the later is where we derived our modern slang term ‘buck’, meaning ‘dollar’. People who had items or services to sell would exchange them with others for the things they needed.

Bartering allows you to get the items you need without having to part with actual money

It allows you to use the items you no longer need to get the items you do need. A good prepper knows this, and is another reason to store extra items…to use as barter items! Good negotiating makes the barter system work at its best. A good negotiation means both parties feel they have made a good deal and will walk away happy.

Often times ‘services’ can be a far more valuable trade commodity than a physical item

One thing to bear in mind concerning the barter system is that you don’t have to be trading items. Perhaps you are a plumber and your neighbor works as an automotive mechanic. Your truck needs a brake job and your neighbor has a dripping water leak somewhere underneath the kitchen sink. After a little chatting and negotiating, you’ve got a fair trade!

Everyone has a service they can barter, just be creative. Ladies, perhaps you are a hair stylist, massage therapist or caterer. These are all services that you can barter. Maybe you are a housewife that loves paper crafting as a hobby. You can make wedding invitations or thank you cards for your neighbor, the hair stylist, who is getting married in exchange for hair cuts, the number of which to be determined during your negotiations. Use your skills. You likely have unique skills that you don’t even realize are of value to others!

Bartering is a natural fit in local communities

Bartering also makes for good neighbors. In our neighborhood, talking with people we already knew, led us to other neighbors with talents we were looking for, but we hadn’t made their acquaintance yet. Word of mouth truly can be the best advertising. When times are difficult, your local community and neighborhood can be your best asset.

Be creative, utilize your talents and items you no longer want or need, to obtain the same from others. BARTER! It’s beneficial for everyone involved!

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  1. I think whilst goods are great trade and barter items, you can never beat trading a skill for something you need.

    If post SHTF you have a skill that nobody else has in your group/community has you are going to be a scarce resource and people will offer you food and water in exchange for your skill.

    I think what they teach in schools about getting a trade and getting qualified is good advice.


  2. If the SHTF and bartering becomes the norm, I know at least one product that will be worth more than it’s weight in gold- tampons. I know, it’s weird, but I don’t know any woman alive that wouldn’t trade pretty much anything for one of these

    1. That’s an important lesson to prepping, or what to prep for… Think about all of the consumable items that we take for granted, and stock up extra of those.

    2. ABSOLUTELY!!!! I stocked up for this exact reason, but I have several daughters and granddaughters who, I’m sure, would exhaust my supply in a SHTF scenario!

  3. I barter quite regularly to get things done on my ranch, and to get equipment and supplies. I’ve bartered for everything from baling hay to “purchasing” vehicles. It’s common in an agricultural setting – so much so, that the government wants farmers/ranchers to report bartering as income. Yes, it’s on the tax form – the value of goods and services attained via barter. Hah!

  4. Bartering is a negotiating skill that is really difficult to acquire, why? Because it is so rarely used. How do you learn how to do this? It is easy to do on the used car lot, but how to you measure apples value to oranges unless you translate their value into pounds and into dollars? There are many articles on what to acquire for barter purposes, but when it gets down to the transaction, how do you go about it?