Barter economies- using exchange rather than cash

France
January 13, 2007 12:49am CST
What do you think about the concept of barter economies, do you use barter much yourself? We do a lot of bartering, preferring it to cash based transactions a lot of the time. For example, if I have just made a big batch of jam or wine or soap, I migt offer to 'pay' in that when I collect meat from the farmer, or I might offer to sew some costume for my dance teacher instead of paying for a couple of lessons, or do some gardening for the guy who fixed my computer. Money is still useful, but barter is flexible and properly values my time and expertise I think. What do you think? Is there a place for barter in the modern economy?
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6 responses
@peavey (15856)
• United States
8 Feb 07
I don't barter as much as I'd like to because it's hard to find people to barter with and I get tired of being turned down... but to answer your question: Yes, I believe that bartering has a place in the modern economy. I think it can be an important part of anyone's life. In the US, one must claim the results of barter as income and pay taxes on it, although I doubt they'd persecute anyone for trading a jar of jam for a plate of meat.
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• France
9 Feb 07
Thats really interesting, are you meant to calculate on the cost of ingredients or the retail value of the jam for example? How do they 'value' things like one neighbour cleaning anothers gutters in exchange for an hours babysitting? I can only dee the declaring of this sort of exchange working if there was a published rate of values for different services to use as a guideline
@peavey (15856)
• United States
18 Mar 07
I really don't know how they expect you to evaluate a trade, but they do. I suspect that most people, if they report it at all, just make an estimate of what it would have cost them to pay someone for the service or goods.
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@villageanne (8579)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I think it is a great concept. When I was a child, it is the way things were done in our small cornor of the world. Today it is different. Seems, nobody wants to share their talents for talents. Everyone wants money. We are quickly becomming a money ruling nation. It is sad too because there are so very many talents going to waste like this. Just think of the money that would be saved if people did this on a regular basis. My family still does it. We help each other when one of us needs help.
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• France
15 Jan 07
I think you are rigt, it is being squeexed out in many places. However, I firmly believe that if we start doing it again even in a small way it will spread
@samsonskola (3357)
• United States
13 Jan 07
I think a lot could be gained from re-introducing the barter system in a number of ways. I myself don't always have the money to pay for something, but would gladly exchange something I have, whether it is an unused item or my time and effort. I really wish this would become more popular, like it was in the past. Unfortunately, the need for the almighty dollar keeps most people from wanting to use this system. I think it's wonderful that you can do this where you live.
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• France
13 Jan 07
Most people in Wales have very little money so its not at all uncommon. I think that even in the US you get barter schemes running though, but its easiest just to develop between friends and family, keep offering to swap skills or services rather than cold hard cash whenever possible, and it soon becomes a welcome habit
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
4 Mar 07
I would love to see more bartering going on. In my area there isn't much but I think it would be great to have it come back more into use. For some it would make things a lot easier. Ones who can do the making of items while others do the gardening etc. It would aid the economy more as well. For those who don't get a lot of cash it can make it possible to do things they weren't able to do before because they would be able to make trade on things. Like jam for eggs or what have you.
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@suscan (1959)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I have never had an opportunity,but I think it is a great concept. Both sides would benefit I do think ther is a place for it.
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@blueskies (1186)
• United States
13 Jan 07
I think bartering is a great concept. Unfortunately, our nation is so driven by dollars these days that it's difficult to find someone willing to barter. Now, if I could just come up with a useful skill that I could barter :).....