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How to Barter

How to Barter Photo


Exchanging stuff without the use of money is called bartering. Ever since you were a child, you’ve been practicing barter all along. Have you traded playing cards for comic books in the past?

Bartering is a way of acquiring stuff that suits your personal needs.  To a few expert traders though, it’s a way to make income.

Below are a few useful tips on how to barter.

1. Make a mental list of your stuff

When bartering, one has to offer another thing that’s of value. Mostly, people trade used stuff so hold on to that old guitar, it may be worth a good bicycle. Many times too, people trade services for another service.


  • A neighbor will paint your house in exchange for your plumbing services.
  • Your classmate teaches you math. In exchange you teach him to dance the gangnam style.

2. Talk to people

You may not know but your neighbor could have been eyeing your phonograph for a long time. You on the other hand are fancying his unused golf club. You’ll never know you could barter until you ask.

It would also help if you talked to friends. Ask them if they know of somebody who has that thing you want. You can contact that person and ask him if wants to trade.

3. Ads

You can reach more people by posting ads. Do you have those designated areas where you can post ads for free? Those are great places to start.

List your request on a piece of paper. Along with that, write down what you’re trading in return. Somebody in the neighborhood might have that thing you want.

Newspaper ads however can be expensive so avoid that for now.

4. Craiglist

The internet is the greatest place where you can barter. People across the country are searching Craiglist as you’re reading this.

In the Craiglist website, find the “barter” section. You can create a FREE listing there and let people know you can barter. List what you need and what you’re offering in return

  • Attach a picture of what you’re trading.
  • Take a picture of all sides/ angles. People would want to see everything
  • Be sure to describe it as truthful as possible

Did you know you can even barter your skills for a vacation? A CNN article featured Miriam Brown and her husband trading services for free accommodation at Massachusetts. They say they did not have enough cash to travel so they took a chance at bartering.

Furthermore, the news says there are over 140,000 listings in Craiglist today.

5.  Know the value of your stuff

What happens to a businessman who overcharges for his products? People refuse to transact with him. Bartering is the same way.

People who barter will expect to be receiving something that’s of equal value. Try not to offend another by offering candy bars in exchange for his car.

There is however a story in CNN about a teen who bartered his way to owning a car. At first, he bartered his phone for an iPod. With time and continuous bartering, he eventually got a Porsche!

6. Verify the other person’s info

In bartering, it’d be wise to ask names, phone numbers and addresses. You’ll want contact the other person in case what he sent isn’t what he posted. Worse, if he didn’t send anything at all.

7. List your transactions on your taxes

The IRS has this strange way of knowing who evades taxes. So when trading, especially online, list it. Some people do not do this but hey, that’s their look out.