Barter(Town) Basics; Honing the skills of bartering and trading

  • Barter(Town) Basics; Honing the skills of bartering and trading

    Posted by Grumpy_G on September 6, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    With the approach of the fall 2022 Midwest Preparedness Festival, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the basics of bartering/trading. Why you may ask? Well, one of the most widely enjoyed events is the Saturday evening Bartertown. “Who runs Bartertown? Moe (Freeseading member since 2022), runs Bartertown.” Anyway, bartering and trading are skills. Like any other skills they come naturally to some, like Yoda, my wife. To others, like me, it is a strange and wondrous thing that we have a hard time wrapping our heads around. People like me need to practice the skill of bartering. So, a place like Bartertown is a great place to hone it.

    I could pontificate on the topic. Few, including me, want to hear that. We want to hear what YOU have to say on the matter. What basics, or advice would you give the community in general in order to help them become better at bartering and trading?

    The only thing I will say about bartering is that if both parties walk away feeling like they got a good deal, it was a successful trade; no matter what the perceived fiscal disparity is between the items is.

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  Grumpy_G. Reason: Formating
    Grumpy_G replied 1 year, 5 months ago 10 Members · 21 Replies
  • 21 Replies
  • Shellers2016

    Member
    September 6, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    This is not a skill I feel like I am good at. I want to be fair but despite the monetary value of something, it may have a greater (or lesser) value to someone else depending on need. For example, I greatly value education. I am willing to pay or possibly trade more if someone can teach me a skill that is valuable to me. And again, that perceived value is different for everyone. This is definitely something I want to observe and possibly participate in. I also struggle with what to bring to the bartering table. I’m just not sure what people want.

    • Grumpy_G

      Community Leader
      September 6, 2022 at 2:43 pm

      This is definitely something I want to observe and possibly participate in. I also struggle with what to bring to the bartering table. I’m just not sure what people want.

      This is a great point. What is a good way to find out what people want? Well, Craigslist has a section for people posting their wants. I don’t do FarceBook; I understand Marketplace is a good place, too. Any place else anyone can think of?

      • Shellers2016

        Member
        September 6, 2022 at 2:46 pm

        Great ideas. Thanks!

  • CarolinaCarefree

    Member
    September 6, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    Bartering has been around since the beginning of time. It’s a matter of trading this for that (whatever they are). It might be veggies for milk, a skill for food (will work for food), etc. The hard part is putting value to eat you have. Trust me, I’ve literally been around the world and the US is one of the rew places I’ve been that does not barter. In fact many areas think it is an insult if you don’t. They know their prices are high and it is your job to get the better price. That’s a kind of barter. Better still is when both have something the other needs or wants. How much corn is a repair to your outside faucet worth? Or how much is getting a new hoe if you are paying in wool? These answers depend on those involved. And the answer are variable to the situation. Do you need the new hoe or are you just wanting a new one. Needing one may raise what you are willing to give for it. (Needing verse want, now that’s a whole different subject.) It may also come down to do they need to get rid of (before it spoils) or do you think they really want to take whatever they made back home (maybe it is a large, heavy item). The price just went down. Want a better deal at a farmers market, go there early and get what you need. Then go back closer to closing time and get better deals. Most of them do not want to take their produce back home. They will be more likely to lower the price of give you a deal of some kind. Unfortunately most iive seen at our market don’t think, I could feed this to my animals, or compost it. They just think I have to throw this out. Again your mindset in bartering is everything. Don’t go in thinking I’m going to win this, it’s not going to be a game. Go in thinking how can I make this a good deal for us all. Like Grumpy said if you both can walk away happy, that’s a good barter. If you can’t then just disagree and walk away. Someone will trade with you.

    • Grumpy_G

      Community Leader
      September 6, 2022 at 3:01 pm

      . In fact many areas think it is an insult if you don’t. They know their prices are high and it is your job to get the better price.

      Oh, that drove me batty in Korea. Literally had a guy that was so in to the haggling process that he kept lowering the price, even after I had given in to his price out of frustration.

      • CarolinaCarefree

        Member
        September 6, 2022 at 4:20 pm

        Korea is one place where haggling is big. And yes it can drive you crazy if you let it. Continuing after you agreed was his way of saying you are still paying too much. Like I said sometimes it is best to walk away. I did this in Korea and then found out that if I went back and was the first customer, I would get a batter deal. So, I did just that, they thought if they did not sell to the first customer it was going to be a bad day. The US is basically the only place that you walk in and say that’s the price and I’m going to pay it. As to.what to bring. What is your skill? Do you grow things? Then bring your produce. Do you make things? Then bring your products. Do youbhave a skill (teacher, electrician, plumber) Then offer those. Someone out there needs or wants what you have to offer. Then put a price on that and set a I will settle for this if they can’t pay what you want. If an elderly couple can’t afford to pay cash to have a plumber come in to change a faucet and you could do it for a bushel of corn. Offer it up. Both then would walk away happy. A true life story, my wife’s grandfather was a carpenter and once built a porch for someone in exchange for a small building, the people did not want, that my wife used as a playhouse. Could he have just built the playhouse, yes. But he knew someone needed their porch redone but could not afford it. So, this way he help them while allowing them the blessing of “paying” for it. That’s what true barting is about. Helping others that can’t afford it but to save face from begging.

      • Barred-Rock-or-Brahma

        Member
        September 6, 2022 at 6:38 pm

        That last part…wow. I never thought of bartering as a way to allow someone to ask for help without making them humiliate themselves.

      • CarolinaCarefree

        Member
        September 6, 2022 at 6:49 pm

        It’s all a mindset. We in America have a take attitude and not a give and take. I’m guilty of this myself and was convicted when wrote this story out.. Sometimes our biggest gains are when we see others from their perspective. But that’s what this site is all about. Helping others while.helpimg ourselves.

      • Barred-Rock-or-Brahma

        Member
        September 6, 2022 at 7:08 pm

        I’d argue that many of us are charitable to a fault. So focused on giving, and so hesitant to take, that we overlook how much it might mean to someone to allow them the dignity of paying in their own way.

        I tend to refuse anything that I can’t pay for, but at the same time I generally refuse payment for anything that I give. You’re certainly right about how we can easily fail to think about the perspective of others if we’re not careful, and I guess this can be especially true when we’re sure that we’re doing a good thing.

      • Oneshot

        Member
        September 7, 2022 at 3:15 pm

        Bartering in my neck of the woods, is just being neighborly. For instance, one of my neighbors came over on his tractor and tilled a new garden space for me. He wouldn’t take any payment. Later, this summer, he was clearing a spot for his daughter and son in law. There was a big ol pine tree on my side of the property line that would prevent him from cutting a few of their trees. I can’t even see this part of the land from my house. I told him to just cut that pine and take it with him. He has a sawmill and could use the lumber. He also had given me a few hundred pounds of bad corn, for my pigs. Another neighbor has a dehydrator and vacuum sealer. I have a pressure canner. We canned tomatoes for her and she has dehydrated herbs, cantaloupe, pasta, rice and such for us. Working together to thrive! I will say, bartering is much easier in our community because 90% of our families have known one another for several generations. Bartering with strangers, is a bit more challenging.

  • GuerrillaProvisions

    Member
    September 6, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    We completely exited the banking system and barter has become the main way that we do business. With the few bills we have and the need for cash here and there accepting cash and gift cards as payment has kept the bridge open to the system.

    I keep envisioning a barter structure something like this:

    – Each member has skills or services that are available to trade

    – Each member has surplus that they can list as available for trade, whether that be something they produce or something that they just have and don’t need.

    – Each member has needs that they list

    – Each member also has something that they are willing to fence to the fiat system. That way if a deal cannot be struck, you can look at what you have and see if any of it can be fenced in the system for cash.

  • JerseyGiantChick

    Member
    September 6, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    A couple of years ago, We have traded a couple of Jersey Giant chickens for a bucket of honey. We were all pleased and happy with the trad, so guess it was a good trade.

    • Grumpy_G

      Community Leader
      September 7, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      You traded a finite object, the bucket of honey will eventually run dry, for a potentially infinite source of protein. I’d say you did well.👍

      • JerseyGiantChick

        Member
        September 7, 2022 at 1:54 pm

        Have Jersey Giant, Barbezieux & Poule de Bresse chicken and a new imker with his bees is coming. So we can give honey again to Kindergarten and school.

  • CarolinaCarefree

    Member
    September 6, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    Ok so, we have been discussing this topic, let’s see if it will work. I know of someone (I’m not giving names) that has lost a home in a fire. The place she current lives in (n the NC mountains) is not a save place. Does someone have or know of a place she could rent and restart her gardening. She does have somethings to offer but that would be between you and her. Just trying to see if there is anywhere out there that could help her. Details would be via personal messages between you and her. She is on this page and group. So she will see your answers.

    • Toni

      Member
      September 6, 2022 at 10:58 pm

      So sad to read of this! Not sure what part of NC she is in, but we used to have a home in Asheville and still have some friends from that area that might have or know of something available.

      Best wishes for her and bless your heart for reaching out to help her!!

      • CarolinaCarefree

        Member
        September 6, 2022 at 11:38 pm

        She is in the Franklin area. That’s south of Asheville. But if some of your friends could help it would be great. She is looking to rent a place that could have a garden but since she is elderly she can not afford a lot for rent. Especially now that she is recovering from the tragedy.

  • MulberryGardens-Christina

    Member
    September 6, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    As far as trading locally, my husband and one of our neighbors take turns helping each other with two man projects.

    We’ve also traded kittens for raw milk, plant starts for raw milk, we traded a 5 gallon bucket of cucumbers for 2 gallons of blueberries, traded help for picking the last of the blueberries at a friend’s house free. I took a friend’s gourd harvest to the farmers market in exchange for keeping some for ourselves. We also give people a free plant start if they bring us 10 containers to reuse. My kids are always trading things we bring to market with things other vendors bring… they trade our produce, plant starts, and cut flowers for soap, honey, jam, or sweets. This past weekend I traded $30 worth of fall plant starts for peaches and pears.

    We also started a local group for building up our trade/ bartering locally. For now, once a month we’ll gather and people can bring produce, meat, soaps, etc to buy/sell/trade. We’ll also take turns teaching a skill or having a class at these gatherings.

    • Grumpy_G

      Community Leader
      September 7, 2022 at 1:25 pm

      We also started a local group for building up our trade/ bartering locally. For now, once a month we’ll gather and people can bring produce, meat, soaps, etc to buy/sell/trade. We’ll also take turns teaching a skill or having a class at these gatherings.

      I love it, we are trying to start something like that in our area. Our circle is up for it. Others are just waking up to the need for something like that.

  • Galley-Cat

    Member
    September 7, 2022 at 5:08 pm
    • Grumpy_G

      Community Leader
      September 7, 2022 at 5:22 pm

      Absolutely!

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