Bartering is a tradition that’s been around for centuries, but in today’s dominant culture of monetary capitalism, swapping is a new and sometimes scary prospect for people. Here are a few best practices we’ve picked up along the way, and we invite you to share your tips by commenting below!
1. Go with your gut and let barters emerge organically. At first you might not think you or someone else has anything to offer. But everyone has needs to meet and things to contribute – it’s just a matter of getting to know one another.
2. Focus on meeting the needs of everyone involved in the swap. If your barter arrangement is making your life harder, maybe something’s not right.
3. Be clear and get in writing. Especially with larger swaps involving time and/or items of great monetary value, both parties should express in detail what they can give and what they are expecting in return. A great way to ensure that the barter will be successful is to write an agreement that can be signed by the swappers and even by a friend or two as witnesses. This way you will have something to refer to in the future, which is especially important if somebody does not follow through with their end of the deal.
4. Share your swapping experiences. We can all learn from each other’s successes and challenges. If you have additional ideas for bartering tips, you can comment below. And all are welcome to write about their swapping story for our blog. Contact us to contribute!
Hungry for more? Check out our Resource Directory for articles and books about sharing and bartering.