It’s older than money but works just as well. It’s not beads or bars of gold and it’s certainly not bitcoin. It’s an ancient practice that buys goods and services with no medium of exchange. It’s the fine art of bartering. We all have skills and unneeded items that others value. Have you ever thought about trading yours— or bartering— for things you need? Financial planner and teacher Rob West has some pointers for doing it right.
Bartering is a very natural way to exchange goods and services and like you pointed out at the top it predates currency. We’ve all probably been in a position to do it at one time or another — make a trade of some kind without using money. What we’re talking about today is becoming more intentional about it - bartering to make sure we get the best value for whatever it is we’re trading.
The Internet has greatly facilitated bartering. It’s now possible to make barter deals without leaving home. And there are two ways to do that. First through barter “exchanges,” where items are assigned points. You can “sell” items or services for points and then redeem them for things you want. Lots of businesses make use of these. “B to B bartering, you might call it.”
Then there are simple one-on-one barter transactions. A lot of that is done on websites like Craigslist.
Here are some pointers:
Next, Rob and Steve answer these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at Questions@MoneyWiseLive.org:
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