Monday, October 3, 2011


 I have been interesting in trying out bartering for quite some time. I have done it a little in the past- I have had two different music teachers who were willing to teach me for some things that I could barter to them but I thought it would be fun to try it more. I had tried to figure out an easy way that it could be organized online but hadn't really figured anything out so I had not done anything about it.

 Then at our weekly baseball game towards the end of August or early September, one of the other ladies was telling us about this facebook bartering site that was for our area. I went home and checked it out and was quite excited about the possibilities!

I quickly joined the group which them allowed me to be able to post pictures (of things I might have available for bartering) and make comments so that I could barter with the others on the site. It has been quite fun but also rather addicting so it could be an incredible time waster. I am trying to be careful to not waste time on there but it isn't always easy.

  It can be easy to loose track of what deals you are working on so I decided to keep a notebook where I write down everything that I list for barter on the site and then when a barter is agreed on then I write down what I am getting, who I am trading with, when and where we are meeting and then often what they will be driving or how I will identify them. After the barter is complete I then check it off.

  Just for interests' sake I thought I would share with you the barters that I have done in this first month of using the site:

~My very first barter that was accomplished is also one of my favorite ones so far. I was looking for apples and I had extra cucumbers and zucchini. On the site I found somebody that was just the opposite. We have really enjoyed these yummy apples.

~I bartered Ladies Ice skates (one too small for Mara that we had 2 set in that size) for shoes (her next size up- for later) for Megan and some peanut butter.
 ~I bartered 3 crossword/ word search puzzle books (which we had been given but don't use) for cross stitch kits which will be a present for Mara (and maybe Jonathan as he has been wanting to try cross stitch too).
~I bartered 2 games for little kids for some more cross stitch bookmarks kits. Mara has been having fun making them and then using the finished product as a gift.

 ~I bartered the UN-Game for this crock pot.
~I bartered some homemade cookies for this MN Twins shirt which Jonathan is quite happy with.

 ~I bartered some kids puzzles for 3 cans of corn.

 ~I bartered one can of corn, a couple cans of spaghetti sauce and a few cans of green beans for 5 pairs of pants for Jonathan.
 ~I bartered some vintage sewing patterns for some homemade Blackberry Jelly (this was with someone I knew but still we figured it our via the bartering site).
~ I also gave some patterns to a couple of others and in return I am supposed to be getting some farm fresh eggs tomorrow and then sometime a crocheted doily.

~I bartered the clothes below and got some jars of peanut butter.

 ~I bartered the brown suit (in the picture below) and the the books, puzzle books and another book for black dress boots for Mara.
I bartered the extra shirts in this photo for a jar of peanut butter.

 ~I bartered this play dough set for 2 boxes of Kleenex. This was timely as we all had colds, were almost out of Kleenex and nearly all our hankies were in the laundry.

~I bartered a bicycle tire inner tube (which had been given to us and didn't fit any of our bikes) for 10 8x10 picture frames with glass.

~I bartered a fall wreath that I had made a couple of years ago (and so I am ready to make something different for myself) and a pair of knitting needles that I had extra for the blue sweater above. I was rather happy with that deal (and the other person seemed to be too) as I was looking for more sweaters.
 ~I bartered the Preschool songs CD for the frame below.

~I bartered some jars of homemade salsa and a jar of honey for a gift certificate for our local downhill skiing place. I will use that as a gift for Ken at Christmas as he really enjoys going skiing.

All in all I am enjoying this new hobby. I find it more fun and less work than holding a garage sale and it still helps me to get unused stuff our of my house. I am trying to be careful that I don't just bring a bunch more junk in but so far I have for the most part gotten either consumable goods or clothes that we will use or things we can use as gifts.

 Meeting to do the exchange does take some time but two times I have been involved in large group barter meets and so I get 4 or 5 exchanges done at the same time and place and it doesn't take long at all. And always when I do a barter I combine that trip to town with other errands anyway. I have also had someone come to my house which was very nice.

  Since I love figuring out ways to use less money (and be able to save it for things I find more important) this has been an enjoyable way to do that.

 Have any of you been involved with a bartering group before? What were your experiences? Do you have any great tips?

I am linking this up for frugal Friday over at Life as MOM.


PrepMom said...

I am jealous! What a fabulous thing to have in your area... Barter is definitely the way to go!

Martha said...

AT first this sounded like a way to use up time more than really saving money. but I think it would be kind of fun especially if you could meet at a place you would need to go past or stop at anyway.

Treasures Evermore said...

Wow that is a lot of stuff...I use to work for a bartering company years was very interesting to say the least.

Jill said...

I think this is a cool idea for "stuff". I am a part of Freecycle which is similar - you post items you don't want and can ask for items you need. However there's no even exchange - you may give, but not necessarily get. Still, a good way to get rid of what you don't want and/or save $ on things you do.

I wonder though, how well barter works with services. For example, would a $60/hour plumber do just as good a job for you in service trade as he would for cash? Or would he cut corners, if "all" you're giving him is babysittying, say. And with services, where's your legal recourse if that plumber you bartered with totally screws up your household plumbing. Hmm...

Either way, thought provoking post - especially in the crummy economy we're in. Bartering is not a bad idea!

barter411 said...
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barter411 said...
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barter411 said...

Greetings virtuous women. I enjoyed this post and it is quite amazing, especially the cans of corn! I hope to launch a truly unique barter website in the next 30 days or so. I hope you don't mind my spamming you this way. They say that barter is really taking off, especially due to the economy. What I especially like is how it nurtures people's self-respect and encourages them to find ways to be productive rather than rewarding them for idleness. Everyone has a talents they can contribute to society. You would not attend a pot-luck supper without bringing a dish to pass, right? Exactly. So barter is awesome.

I know a lot of people who have needs but they would proudly refuse any "charity". That's one beautiful thing about barter because folks who maybe don't have enough cash right now still have families to support. Barter is a different way to stay afloat.

I hope you will consider using the site. It's geared for growing local barter communities. If you PM me, I'll send you a link to preview, and I can notify you when it goes live. Blessings, Fred51

Daniel said...

Bartering is really great! I've been doing it online for sometime now cause I ran out of options in my neighborhood. I think it saved me a lot of money and I got rid of unneeded old stuff. You won't believe how happy people were with what I considered useless.

Abbi said...

Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and ideas!

I have also been a part of freecycle here but it doesn't have nearly the numbers of active people here that the bartering site does. So though it does work farily well to get rid of stuff- I kind of like the exchanging factor of bartering better. There is more of a community feeling in the bartering group too.

As far as services- I would hope that they would still do a good job even if it is just bartered but I am sure you would have to be careful. It doesn't seem to be done much up here- at least yet but I do have a service barter potential set up right now. I don't have any worries about this one however as the person that is planning on doing work on our house is someone who we have had work for us (and been happy with the results) before and we are going to try bartering his services for me teaching music lessons to his daughters.

Nola said...

WOW I can't believe all the things you've been able to get this way! Quite amazing. We don't have anything like that here but it intrigues me. It would be very useful for many things. However I can see how it could be a potentially addictive thing too! However it looks like you've been able to get truly useful things and that is so great.


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