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What Are Your Experiences With Bartering?

  • Discussion created on April 14, 2021.
  • Have you bartered?
  • We would luv to hear from you. 
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Stop by to read the comments and/or leave a comment.

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Honored Social Butterfly

My husband and I traded a piece of his artwork for the brokers fees on a refinance of our home.  That was many years ago - we often traded with other artist for pieces of their work - 

Today, I guess you could call it bartering - I cook dinner a few evening during the month for a friend who is a general contractor and for that I get maintenance and repair items taken care of around my home - the smaller stuff.  But I am very grateful to him for this - but he thinks I can cook 😕 - I just stick with the simple stuff.



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Bronze Conversationalist

I like the idea of bartering in concept. It can work nicely in small, tight-knit communities, and between solopreneurs who already know and trust each other. I once bartered my skills at writing and circulating a health and safety newsletter for a independent day care center for a reduced fee for my child's tuition there. On the woo-woo side of life, I've traded astrology readings for lucid dreaming readings. But I've also given services to others then had them postpone their return on the deal to the point where it was no longer useful to me.


As a sole proprietor business for many years, I learned that it is NEVER advantageous to provide free service when the "barter" is supposedly free advertising in exchange. In this realm, you really do get what you pay for! 

But there are other downsides, as have already been mentioned. The barter needs to be mutually beneficial, and should be provided within a specified time period. Claiming a bartered service months or years later is a fast route to resentment and conflict. Bartering services for products is usually problematic for the product provider in terms of inventory replacement cost. There's the potential for an accounting nightmare for sole proprietor businesses.


And it's my understanding that the government considers bartering as income, expecting you to pay taxes on the value of the barter. If you usually get $100 an hour for some service and you give 4 hours of service in exchange for a service or product from someone else, you are technically liable for tax on that $400 equivalent.  


My 2 cents 😉

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Hi @DeahWA I appreciate you stopping by to join our discussion 🙂 Wow, you certainly thought this through!!! Yes, I agree 100% will all that you stated. With so many retirees struggling to get stuff fixed, it would be awesome if they could barter. Lol, with this pandemic, feels like we have returned to the Depression. Folks back then bartered 👌

Bronze Conversationalist

Hi Angela, you know I've read about community repair places where you can take in a lamp or a toaster or whatever and get help with repair in exchange for helping someone else with something. I wish I knew where those places are. It was a great idea.


Yes, the Depression, or the  60s days of hippie communes. LOL


I suspect a big corporation like SHEETZ wouldn't be set up for bartering.  I think you'd have better luck with a small, independent-run gas station.  (Of course, it never hurts to go into your local SHEETZ and ask, though the person behind the counter probably won't be able to help — you'll probably have to try to get the contact info for a store manager or a district manager.)


I tried the whole barter thing some years ago. A savvy (savvier than me, anyway) businessman needed me to simply fax his résúmé and business proposal to a long list of potential investors. (This predated most people having email as well as the existence of LinkedIn.) He trusted me to track my own hours and then give him a total when the job was done. I did so, and he generously rounded it up and gave me that amount in credits for some sort of local barter organization.


Unfortunately, while the list of participators was extensive and the list of goods and services was long, there was nothing I could use. I never collected anything for all my hours of faxing.


Lesson learned for me. I think bartering is a fine concept — but when the specifics are agreed on in advance.

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