Imagine that the economy collapsed. You’d be able to barter for food and other supplies instead of using currency.
Or better yet, money is really tight in a lot of homes right now! Imagine being able to barter with your neighbors to trade goods and services for items that your family needs right now!
How to Barter
If you’ve never bartered, here are some steps to get you started:
Figure out what you want. In an emergency situation, assess your needs. What things do you need and what things do you want?
Figure out what you can give. Think about what things you would sell if you had a garage sale tomorrow? Is any of it valuable? What skills or hobbies do you have that you can teach someone? What chores do you enjoy doing?
Identify a trading partner. Try to find someone that you know is in need of one of the skills or goods that you have. If you can’t readily find someone, make a list of those you know that might need a skill or good that you have.
Negotiate and ask. Come with an idea of what you want. For example, “I would like to exchange my first born child for your flock of geese.” Don’t go to the trade without an idea of what you want.
Tips to bartering like a professional
We’ve collected a few tips that you can use while bartering. Let us know your bartering techniques too. What do you find helpful in a bartering situation. Comment below!
Assess a dollar value. Try and research the price of the item that you’d like to barter. That might give you a better idea of other items that you can barter for. Remember though that many times a value depends on the person’s needs, wants and preferences.
Set a time frame. Come into an agreement with your trading partner when the services will be exchanged. If there is a deadline, you need to decide that. If the good or service is on an ongoing basis, consider meeting again to re-evaluate and make sure everyone is still OK with the deal.
Taxes with bartering. Some bartering items require that you report the transaction on your tax return. Obviously, you won’t have to report things like mowing your neighbors lawn in exchange for his homemade beef jerky. However, a barter between two businesses is considered taxable income and should be reported.
Get it in writing. If at all possible, get the deal in writing so that you and your trading partner are in agreeance. This will come in handy too if someone tries to alter the agreement later down the road.
Triangular bartering. Bartering doesn’t always have to be between two individuals. If you have three people who all want each other’s goods or services, you can still strike a deal. You can mow a person’s lawn, in exchange they will give eggs to a neighbor and the neighbor will give you milk from their cow.
Be skeptical if you need to be. If someone is trying to trade an item that you’re not as familiar with, don’t feel bad asking questions. It’s not wrong to ask questions about the item or to ask more details about the person’s skill set.
Your tips and ideas
What tips do you have to become a professional barterer? Comment below and spread the wealth!