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Is it Smarter to Barter?

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Contributor:
Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

Dollars and cents aren’t the only currency.  Long before there was money, there was bartering - the exchange of one service for another.  So if you have a trade or skill, why not use it to achieve your goals?

I’ve never been good at asking for favours.    If my car was playing up, I would never feel comfortable asking a mechanic friend if they would mind taking a look at it for me.   However, if there’s something I can offer them in return, then it’s a whole different story!   And it could be a quite attractive option for anyone who is wanting to save on their tax.

The key to successful bartering is to:

   1. Know the value of the service/product you are looking for.
   2. Know the value of the service/product you are offering.
   3. Offer a comparable value in return.

For instance, you could offer a basket of ironing, for a basket of fresh veges.  They service your car, you clean their house.  It all depends on what you’re best at and what they need.

If you don’t have a friend or a “friend of a friend” who has the skill you are looking for (or you’d prefer to keep your friendships and your business separate), there is a website called Trade to Save that has a formalised system you can tap into, with the opportunity to trade using products, services or accommodation.  It may just open up a whole new world of opportunity to save your cash and spend your energy and skill instead.   

Alternatively, why not check your local newspaper – if they don’t generally have a “To Swap” or “To Trade” column in their classifieds, just ask them, it’s easy enough to put one in and you can begin trading locally, you might start a whole new trend in your neighbourhood!

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