Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bartering – Trade it on Up!

one of two floor pillows
I’ve done some bartering in my life. We all have. Trading one good or service for another. (not to be confused with haggling) I started out at a young age, as an infant in fact. I bartered good behavior and smiles for food from my mom and dad’s plates. Later that progressed to trading goods like toys or lunches. In college I bartered proofreading for having someone else walk across campus in the cold to fetch food from the cafeteria for me. (I sense a trend in my bartering priorities…)

As an adult, I’ve bartered with relatively random people (mostly via the internet) for floor pillows, makeup, haircuts, advertising space, music… I’m sure there are other things to that I just can’t think of at the moment. Earlier this week I bartered tomato starts this spring for chicken poop (for the garden) this fall. My coworker doesn't have time to do starts herself but will have plenty of chicken poop after she gets her chickens this spring, and I can easily start a dozen or so plants for her but I don't have easy access to manure for the garden. A great solution, and everyone is happy!

Things that I’m interested in selling I’ll often post on Craigslist in the barter section first, just to see if I can get something cool instead. Usually I’ll make a list of things that I’m interested in to give the viewer an idea of what to offer, but I’m always open to suggestions. That’s how I got the music! If your local Craigslist bartering listing is mostly cars like mine, sift through. You might find a few treasures like tree removal, digital camera, custom stained glass (current local listings).

Another great bartering venue specifically for books is Paperbackswap. You have to pay for shipping, but the books themselves are bartered, or swapped. They have a section for purchasing as well, but I’ve always stuck with the swapping.

I did a quick search and found websites that you can sign up for and barter your goods and services. I haven’t used them before, and I’m always cautious about that type of thing. I like Craigslist because it’s local, and Paperbackswap has a proven track record. Do you have another bartering venue that you’ve used and liked?

And, while I’m on the subject – Apron Thrift Girl is having a bartering campaign that I’m going to join:

“Our Bartering Campaign is called Trade Me Up and the goal is to trade items for the month of March and April with the goal of trading for something better than what you began with. What's valuable to me might not be valuable to you which is where trading and bartering can really come into play. What can be exchanged without any currency spent? Although because this is internet based, there might be some money spent on postage.”

You can read the full article at  Her first trading post (har, har) went up earlier this month.

Hopefully I’ll have something up for barter tomorrow and an accompanying wishlist! Want to join me?

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