Daily Prompt: Barter System

I have great fun with my minimal bartering attempts. I offer goods as well as services. I have been extremely successful in teaching Microsoft Office applications in 1:1 sessions as well as teaching basic sewing, quilting, knitting and crochet. The goods I have successfully exchanged are handmade items from the previous list as well as honey from my backyard bee hives and products made from beeswax. We also make homemade jams and jellies. I stopped buying expensive gifts when my Christmas list topped 40 and started giving homemade gifts and the recipients often asked for more, opening the door to bartering. The key to success is to offer a quality product or service. I have bartered for oil changes, car washes, housekeeping help, yard work and electrical work. This year I added hens to my little plot of urban land (yes it is zoned for my 1 acre parcel). I hope to add eggs to my list of barter items. I say think outside the box and be creative about how you can exchange something for equal value.

I needed a two motion detecting floodlights installed. I knew who I would like to accomplish the work and also knew that he needed more beekeeping equipment. I watched the sales and purchased two supers at a drastically reduced price. I used cash from the sales of my honey to capture this bargain. I waited until one of my sources called to say they had a large swarm that needed removal. I gifted my electrician friend with the swarm (around 80K bees) and the two new supers in exchange for my two lights. He was extremely happy and so am I. No actual cash exchanged hands but I had to use a small amount of cash from my barter stash to catch the sale. I had the equipment on hand and created an urgent need for that equipment. How sweet it is!

How to Value Your Barter Items?  One hours work = one hours work, stop thinking in terms of dollars.  How would you value 80K of feral bees that someone really wanted off their front porch.  Depends, my friend had bees already so he really didn’t need the bees.  Want, but not need, he did need the equipment, especially when I gave him the bees, it took him 2 hours work to install the two lights.  The homeowner had an urgent need to have the bees removed.  He owes me!  Hmmmmm, I am of Italian desent and you might ask “Do we understand bartering on a genetic level?”  Hold a favor, don’t owe one!

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SKILL.

Market scene in the souks

There are some countries that work on a barter system. Remembering my week’s stay in Marrakesh, Morocco it was a real eye opener. You could buy everything in the souks/market in that town, but there were no prices shown. Mr. Swiss decided to buy a carpet: one of those hand woven Bedouin carpets that are used probably for a sleeping camel to lay on. The carpet looked very nice (we still have it somewhere in the cellar) and so we decided, yes that’s the thing, not heavy and rolled up it would be easy to get through customs. It was then the problems began.

“How much” we asked (Mr. Swiss asked, his French was better than mine).


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