Do You Barter?
By Mrs J/Emmett
Winston Salem, North Carolina
April 9, 2017 8:57pm CST
My husband has an ongoing deal with our neighbours. He cuts down trees for them, and in exchange he gets the wood (so far that includes a significant amount of white oak that will become our great-room floor in the next few months) and they have given us household items that they would have otherwise sold. The best items we’ve scored so far have been a piano and a full set of wooden deck furniture. Over the years my husband has traded work as well; he’s done electrical work in exchange for heating/air conditioning work and more recently he’s traded a number of poplar beams (cut from a tree we brought down for our neighbour) for use of an industrial planer to process the wood for our soon-to-be-installed flooring. He’s good at that sort of thing, and has been doing it for years. I’ve never been much of a barterer myself, but that seems to be changing. Somehow in the last few hours I’ve managed to finagle piano lessons for my daughter in exchange for sewing lessons. Sewing is easy; playing the piano, not so much. I think I’m getting the better end of this particular deal. But at least we’ll be putting that piano to use! Bartering is a great way to get value without spending money. Do you barter?
21 people like this
• Midland, Michigan
We barter a little. We do windows for several commercial customers in return for eye care for me and our family and some dentistry too. We have insurance that covers a portion of both but there's usually a larger portion that we still owe after the insurance does their part. For the eye doctor, we do the homes of both the senior and junior eye doctors in the same office and we do their office windows too. I make out a bill for them and they apply it to any past due amounts from all of us. We won't owe as much in the future because my daughter now has her own insurance through work. With our dentist we used to do his home, but a few years ago he downsized to a much smaller home although it's a good distance from town. His secretary told us we should clean his windows monthly to chip away at our bill. He doesn't mind, but his wife thinks it's silly to do it that often. Not sure what we'll do this coming year yet I also wash his mom's windows and apply that toward my bill too. Only problem I have with the barters I do is that I still owe my employees for the work and I don't make anything from those jobs, so I have to make sure that we have enough other work those weeks we do the barter work. We also clean windows for a hair salon and I used to barter that, but they decided to pay us and then me pay them since it's one person versus her and her partners. Lovely colors in that quilt you're working on there.
• United States
Yes I usually trade veggies for pecans, or I get all the pears and apples from this man and all I have to do is give him one jar each apple butter and pear preserves. Last year Tony traded getting the field plowed for patching the mans roof.
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
I miss having access to free pecans. Our neighbours in Montgomery had a couple of big pecan trees but never did anything with the pecans themselves, they were quite willing to let my kids pick them up by the bagful. In fact their own kids would help my kids pick them up.
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
You might be surprised at the skills or knowledge that you have that someone else needs. As I've discovered the past few days, sometimes it's a matter of talking to the right person at the right time and realizing that you both have a desire that the other party can provide.
• Delhi, India
Getting oak wood in lieu of cutting trees sounds a great deal. You could use oak wood for furnishing your home. I do not mind barter but it happens at a small scale. I teach neighbor's children during weekends free of cost and whenever I need his help I would call for him and he won't shy away to give me any kind of help.
Most of the time, we barter food. For example, my aunt would give glutinous rice and we give back the glutinous rice that been cook along with side dish. Then she send another side dish as thank you. We then send another to give back the plate. The same goes for other houses.