Bartering is not a term we hear often anymore. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, lot of people were cash poor. However they were not necessarily resource poor. There was no cash to spend for goods and services, however people still had resources and skills that could be traded for other goods and services. Bartering back then was a great way to save money. Despite the fact that we are currently not in an economic depression, bartering can still be done to save you a great deal of money. If you are great at a particular service that is the best place to begin. For example, if you are a barber, manicurist, repair person, great cook or an accountant people will gladly accept your service as payment for their goods or services.
Wanna talk about how to get started bartering?
1. Determine what you are good at and what materials you have. Be creative. For example, if you are an artist you may want to barter your artistic talent. There are lots of small businesses that would love to have a logo created just for them. There are not many limitations to what can be bartered. If you’re like me and happen to come across lots of great bargains take some of those items and trade them for a service. My grandmother has bartered many home cooked meals and ice cold beverages to have her dog washed and lawn mowed.
2. Build Rapport. In order to barter building rapport is important. If you seem like the Grinch that Stole Christmas, you will not make it very far bartering. Bartering is a two way street, honest communication and manners will go a very long way. No one wants to barter with someone that seems like they are trying to take advantage or is not going to follow through.
3. Asses the situation. Ask questions to see if there is a valid need you that you can fill. If you are a great singer (emphasis on great) and your manicurist mentions that they are getting married soon, perhaps you can offer to sing at their wedding or engagement party in exchange for a full mani-pedi. Find out if computer needs to be repaired, if their child needs tutoring, or if they are in need of a haircut. Again determine the need in order to see if you can fill the need.
4. Don’t be shy. Remember you are actually providing a good or service that the other person needs. This is not a charitable exchange. If you are bartering your computer repair skills, keep in mind that there is likely a reason that their computer has been sitting there in need of repair for quite some time. The repair may have not been high on the financial list of priorities. Your know-how is valuable to them!!
5. Be sure to hold up your end of the bargain, remember it is your reputation. If you do not uphold your end of the bargain it will likely make it more difficult to barter in the future.