We all know what bartering is right? Or trading? It means trading something you no longer want/need/use and trading it with someone else to get something you do need/want/use. No cash changing hands. It’s been the basis of living for hundreds of years, but fell out of society’s eye sometime in the last few decades as people started thinking that “used” stuff was bad or whatever. I, personally, have never felt that way. I’m thankful every day for the lessons my parents imparted to me regarding finances-one of which is that getting something 2nd hand wasn’t bad. They taught me that not only were you spending less money than buying it new, but helping the environment in lots of ways (less resources consumed for making the new widget, old widget not sitting in a landfill, etc.). Now, my parents weren’t very “green” or overly environmentally conscious, it came more from the direction of it just makes sense!
For a really great in depth article on the technicalities of bartering, read this one, it’s fab. In this day and age, you aren’t limited to your local community. I’ve done some fun trades with other artisans product for product. I bartered for my logo design (which I completely adore!), and she also did various other things like my business cards and the graphic for my woven clothing tags. There’s a website called Swap Mamas that helps coordinate bartering, I think childrens items and coupons are the most active categories there, but I’ve traded for things like file folders (which I use to organize my sewing patterns, and I was out!) and canning jars.
For me, I never know how to approach someone about bartering. How are you supposed to know if they’re open to the idea? I’m always afraid of offending, so it’s very rare for me to ask! Some places, like the folks over at Weksny Acres, have a page up on their site with what they are currently bartering for (which they refer to as “Farm-cycling”-how awesome is that?). This is the place that is breeding some chicks for us right now, by the way! OK, but if someone doesn’t have it out there like that, then what? Any suggestions? Should I just chill about it and not be afraid to ask?
Another thing that’s hard is that alot of the things I’m wanting/needing are really limited to my local area. We’re slowly working on getting to know more people in our community, and I’m hoping once we are “out there” more the bartering will flow more freely.
So what’s on my list you ask? Well, it’s kind of long!!!
- Hormone/antibiotic free beef
- Knitting lessons (although this may lead to a yarn stash that rivals the fabric stash which may lead to my husband leaving me lol!)
- Fencing for the pasture
- Lumber-so many projects for this one!
- An assistant to help me with writing listings and such
- Photography lessons
- Accounting services (would have to be an ongoing thing of course)
- Graphic design services (I want to build a whole website for Froggy Girl Designs!!!)
- Pyrex pieces from this vintage collection
- Good quality jelly roll pans
- Anything from my amazon wishlist (and no, it doesn’t have to be new..just usable!)
- Wool dryer balls
- Homesteading magazines (stuff like Mother Earth News, Homesteading Today, etc.)
- Dansko clogs/shoes in a womens US size 6
- Red worms for vermiculture
- Livestock for our homestead (chickens, goats, sheep, maybe even a cow?)
And my dream big/trade up list:
- New pole barn (ours is ridiculous, I should do a post about it sometime so ya’ll can laugh)
- Truckload of organic compost
- Electrical work
See, everything from little stuff to big..now, to make it happen! I want to know your thoughts about bartering! Do you do it? How do you go about making those connections? Interested in a trade with me?