Do you want to learn how to barter? It’s an important skill to know how to do, especially in a crisis where resources rapidly become scarce.
This is one of those survival skills that you’re glad you took the time to learn how to do. Knowing how to barter not only helps you but also benefits those who you barter with.
The key to bartering is to create win-win scenarios. Those are the best. If you want to know how to barter and do it right, continue reading. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know.
This is the complete guide on bartering. Let’s get started.
Why Bartering Is About The Community
A Massachusetts professor on economics once said that bartering promotes and enhances human contact. Therefore, it is about the community and how people within it relate to each other.
Nowadays, cash is not just our strongest asset. Aside from our physical health, we can also bank on our possessions, talents, skills, knowledge, and other valuable things that we can exchange and benefit from through bartering.
A simple scenario of bartering is when your neighbor borrows your lawnmower in exchange for homemade meatloaf or glazed steak rolls. Another example is when your friend asks you a favor in exchange for free baseball tickets.
Unlike outright currency exchange, bartering pushes people to be more creative in their craft, more skilled in their communication and negotiation, and more in tune with others in the community.
How Bartering Started
Bartering or the barter system is a method of exchange that began way back in 6000 BC. From the tribes of Mesopotamia, it was introduced to the Phoenicians. Then it was further developed by Babylonians until it was known and practiced by Romans, Europeans, Americans, and basically the entire ancient market.
The goods that were bartered back then were food, spices, weapons, tea, human skulls, salt, furs, crafts, perfumes, silks, wheat, deer skins, and musket balls, among other valuables. Then the money was invented around 5000 BC. Instead of putting an end to bartering, it only improved the barter system by providing a more convenient medium of exchange.
However, when the Great Depression occurred in the 1930s, traditional bartering became popular again because of the shortage in money. During these rough times, people exchanged food and other essentials for services and vice versa.
In Times Of Need
True enough, bartering is already a traditional system but it can still provide a reliable means of survival and livelihood in times of dire need. After all, people still own some things that others in the community need. As long as there is this kind of supply and demand dynamics, bartering can be done to continue on with life even if another money crisis happens.
Nowadays, preparedness for emergencies, pandemics, or other undesirable situations is a must. People are bent on securing their health, food, and overall safety. If worse comes to worst, bartering is a system that will help people and society get through.
Bartering: The Good And The Bad
Everything, even bartering, has a good and bad side. The good is there to help us improve our way of living while the bad is there to provide us an opportunity for learning and growth.
Here are the five main advantages of bartering:
- If you don’t have any money left, you can still exchange goods and services through bartering.
- It provides flexibility and the value and form of goods can be negotiated.
- Bartering allows you to offer a service in exchange for an item, and vice versa.
- It is basically a win-win situation for both parties because you get something by giving something.
- It can save you a lot of money.
Indeed, no system is perfect. Here are three primary disadvantages of bartering:
1) You have to make sure that the person you are bartering with is trustworthy. If you don’t, you could receive an item or a service that is way lesser than the value that you gave in return, which is unfair.
2) When you do bartering, there are no proof, certifications, receipts, warranties, or consumer protection.
3) The risk of receiving defective or poor-quality items is high.
How To Do It Right
Bartering is, most of all, a skill. It’s something that you can learn and master through time and practice. Once you become great at this craft, you will realize that bartering has the power to help you improve your way of living. So how can you do it right?
First, you have to determine what you need and what you can give in exchange. By clearly defining these two, you will save much time and energy once you go through the process. Second, you have to select a bartering partner. It would be best to choose someone who is trustworthy and has exactly what you need.
Next, you have to initiate the exchange by popping the question or stating the proposal. This is where your communication skills should shine. And lastly, if your partner agrees, you have to go through the details of the exchange to polish and finalize the deal.
These days, it is very usual to buy and acquire possessions and then later dispose of them in the basement even if they are still completely working. Through bartering, you can give out your unused valuables in good condition to someone who needs them in exchange for something they have that you actually need. It’s truly a win-win situation.
Bartering For Survival
In the event that the economy collapses or a catastrophe occurs, an effective way to stay alive and well is through bartering. Food and essential items can be bartered with services and vice versa. Through this, individuals, households, and communities can avoid hunger and other effects of the event.
The items that can be bartered for survival are water filters or straws, silver and gold, cigarettes, alcohol, food, tea and coffee, ammunition, clothing, fuel, medicines, toilet paper, batteries, radios, flashlights, water containers, spices, sanitary products, solar equipment, pet food, perfume, duct tape, condoms, seeds, knives, and many other valuables.
3 Tips In Bartering
In 2014, Michael Wigge traveled through 14 countries just by bartering goods and services. He was interviewed by CJ Liu that gives excellent information on how to barter the right way.
Through his learning and experiences from his 200-day journey, he shared three tips in bartering that people can use every day.
1) Be prepared
Bartering, with both acquaintances and strangers, can be challenging. Therefore, being prepared in terms of presenting your goods and services, negotiating, and closing the deal is very essential. Also, it is best to be ready to get rejected and offer the exchange to someone else.
2) Barter goods as well as services
If you only barter goods and items, then a day will come that you will have to give up something that you still want or need. But, if you barter services too, you will get to retain the possessions that you still need while acquiring new things.
3) Spread the word via social media or media
The purpose of this is to spark inspiration among people. Through this, people will know and share the news that barter works and does wonders if done right.
Remember, the key to bartering is to create win-win scenarios. You get what you want and the other person gets something they want. You both benefit and you both win. That will ensure a smooth transaction. Not only that but after your first barter with someone, after it goes well, you’ll be able to come back time and time again when in need. That is the best-case scenario.
I hope this guide on bartering and how to do it the right way helped you. If you liked this guide, you can check out how the ultimate guide on survival skills where we you can learn hundreds of different skills to become more self-reliant.
Further Reading on Bartering: