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Is Bartering Back...Has It Ever Left
What is Bartering
With the economy being what it is today, there's an old concept that has made a resurgence. It's called bartering. Is bartering really back? Did it ever leave? First let's define bartering; it is the exchange of goods or services without the exchange of money. I can imagine some young people today would call that stealing. Well, no it's not. You see, today with the advent of the credit card, getting what you want without ever paying for it, is almost unheard of, except to steal it, although some never pay for it even when they charge it, but that's a horse of a different color.
From the research, It's hard to tell when bartering began. Some say it began somewhere around 2000 B.C., in China. Others say it has been around since the beginning of time, I'm inclined to believe the latter. Maybe it wasn't called bartering, but the concept was there. However, somewhere along the line it took a backseat, with the advent of money, then along came credit, it was pushed even further back, then came the credit card, oh, who needs to barter. Well, nowadays money is in short supply, credit is hard to come by, and don't even mention credit cards, they've become the bane of most of our existence. But with bartering we have a chance to redeem ourselves.
Would Bartering Work
With the economy being what it is today, bartering has made a resurgence. Just take a look around the Internet, you'll see bartering sites popping up all over the place. Even with that, I don't think it it gets enough attention. I think it should begin within the family, extend to the neighborhood and so on. Of course if bartering were to come back full force, it would totally wreck the economy, so I'm not advocating all out bartering. However, I'm sure you would agree most of us have too much of a lot of things. For instance I have entirely too many clothes. When I had my home I had too many Televisions, actually I had too much of a lot of things, I found this out when I moved.
What if I had the foresight to barter away some of those things, I would have been better off. Well, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. So, I'm learning, because of my present circumstances.
The way bartering works is, say you need a babysitter, but no money to pay for one, well your potential baby sitter could need to do some shopping, but she doesn't have transportation, but you do. Wouldn't you agree that could be a mutual exchange. In this instance bartering works.
Let's examine this bartering thing a little closer. Look around your home, what do you see that you don't really need, or could do without. Before we go any further, this is for those of us who, don't mind used items. I'm sure there are some who wouldn't be caught dead using something that someone else has used, at least "not yet," (I'm just saying). Back down to earth. So, you've found that, or those items, you can do without, now what do you do. As I said before, begin within the family, and work your way out from there, friends, neighbors, workmates, and so on.
Let's start with that old car, that may only need a little tender loving care, but you don't want to give it, and would like to move it off your property. Say, could you use another TV? I think that would be a suitable exchange. Make a few calls, personally I'd buy you a TV for that car. But remember this is bartering, "exchange goods, or services without the exchange of money." Still some would not feel money is exchanged even if they had to buy a Television. So go for it.
Here's another idea; you need your home cleaned, you don't have time, or just don't like housekeeping. Again make a few calls, see what a friends, or family member would exchange for a day of housecleaning. You just might find someone like me, who loves to clean, and would take anything useful for a day to indulge themselves, and maybe has been itching to get at your house anyway.
Do you need a night out on the town? Why not form a consortium, (a consortium is an association of two or more individuals with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal), of sorts, with the express purpose of giving each family a night on the town, or some other mutually agreed upon activity. Why not make a schedule, to avoid confusion.
Do you want a new wardrobe, but "your money is funny and your change is strange?" Why not do what a group of ladies in my area did, they put together a little clothing exchange. They made a party of it. Everyone who wanted to participate brought their really "nice" clothes they no longer wanted together, and simply exchanged for someone else discarded "nice" clothes. This is not the opportunity to get rid of those worn out, or outdated items, that neither you nor anyone else wants. Again this would not work for everyone. For each person there would obviously have to be someone of like size. For instance if you're a size 2 and there's no other size 2 in your area, then this would be a waste of time for you, or any size larger or smaller for that matter. Why not look into this great idea of bartering.
Where To Barter
We've already mentioned bartering within our familiar surroundings, family, friends neighbors, workmates, etc. There are more organized forms, and places of bartering. Here are a few:
- Craigslist, has a section for bartering, however upon closer examination, there are also items listed for money, but since you are bartering, you can skip those.
- The Internet it literally littered with ads for bartering, however during my Internet search, what I found were sites that lead to other sites, some of which were membership based. Since online bartering is in its infancy, the field might not be ripe for harvesting. However, you can do your own careful search.
- Bartering locally might be a better way to go. Most cities have now created bartering centers. I would assume calling your local Chamber of Commerce, would be your first stop. Then there's the Internet for your local area, for instance I looked up Bartering in Atlanta, Ga, and here's what I found, among others, u-exchange, barter Atlanta. Then I tried bartering in Washing, D.C., and I found this, u-exchange Washington D.C. It appears there's a common thread here, this bears looking into. So do your own research.
I'm sure there are other avenues to be explored, where upon you might find good bartering places. If so please share them with us here by way of your comments.
The New Age Of Bartering
Being that bartering has made somewhat of a comeback, there is also a new, and up to date, concept of the idea. This is where a bartering fee is involved, however, the fee seems to be small enough to entertain the idea still. Take a look at the video, and you'll see what I mean.
Whether you like the old idea of bartering, or the new, it is, nevertheless, an idea whose time has come. So, let's all jump on the bandwagon, and see where it takes us.