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Think Outside the Barter Box!

Jan 24th 2012, 11:42, by Swapsity

By Shannon Simmons

During my year living on barter, I learned that I have many more skills to swap than just what I do for a living—it was an important lesson.

When I started bartering, I didn’t think outside the box about what I could offer people. I only offered up my financial advice for trade. This really limited what I was able to swap for.

Not everyone I wanted to trade with needed financial advice and when a potential trading partner said they didn’t need advice, I would just give up.

Now, I know better. We all have skills and items to trade far beyond our 9 – 5. In fact, we have more skills and items to trade than we do to sell! It’s amazing what we can use as currency besides our hard earned cash. I’ve bartered an extra Wii console I received on barter for a working vacuum, my partner trades use of his PlayStation for carpooling from the Go Train. In addition, I’ve learned so many new skills from bartering that I can now teach people and increase my own offerings. I can teach people how to churn butter, do interior painting and bake homemade bread. My trading repertoire is so much larger since I started bartering.

It’s a good idea to offer a variety of professional and personal skills to maximize your bartering opportunities.

First off, think of anything in your house that you would normally sell on Craigslist—you can barter that.  Also, you can barter the use of items in your house that you would never be able to sell. For example, you can barter the use your tent for a weekend to someone who needs one but doesn’t want to spend the money to buy it new. Or, you can drive your pick-up truck and help someone de-junk their house. You’d never be able to sell these online, but with barter, everyday items become forms of currency.

Also, your hobbies and skills can easily be transformed into barter bucks!  You may not sell your savvy IT repairs or your sewing skills as a business but with barter you can swap them in exchange for other items and skills you need!

Finding items and skills to trade outside of your own profession is a real asset. Keep an open mind and don’t give up too easily. You’ve got skills to get what you really need and save your cash!

TIP: Check out Swapsity’s Swap Wizard to get started.


Pat Eastley wrote on Jan 24th 2012, 16:58

I was watching cityline today (Jan 24) and I would like to know more about this. Thank you Pat Eastley

Emmanuel Lopez wrote on May 3rd 2013, 13:03

Wow! Thank you Shannon for this very inspiring article. You've provided a wealth of ideas I can explore for bartering on multiple levels!

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