How to Use Bartering to Save Money

barteringHundreds of years ago, societies didn’t pay for goods with coins and paper, instead people negotiated with one another and paid for goods and services with other goods and services. Bartering was a daily necessity if you hoped to acquire the things you needed. Somewhere along the way our culture traded this practice in exchange for a system where we think of everything in terms of its monetary value; where we have to pay for everything with the cash you possess. However, with a little creativity you can still barter in our world today. Here’s four ways you can barter to save money:

Think About Your Skills & What You Have

The first step to successfully bartering is to be aware of what you bring to the table. Take the time to assess the skills you possess that you might be able to trade. Consider using your cooking, computer, lawn care, or handy man skills in exchange for a service someone else could offer. You can also use some of the stuff you have at home to barter. For example, if you have bike you no longer need, see if you can make a trade with someone who has something of equal value.

Think About What You Want & Your Audience

Before you ask someone to negotiate with you, it’s a good idea to consider your audience. Think carefully about what you’re asking for in exchange for what you’re giving. You might not be able to exchange a home-cooked meal for a haircut, but you could offer your computer and social media skills to a salon in exchange for a monthly cut.

Barter Locally and Face to Face

Unfortunately, you may find that you’re unable to negotiate with larger business and chains, as they often have regulations and rules that they’re unable to bend.  However, local business usually make their own rules and can sometimes be tighter on cash, which means they’ll be more open to bartering goods and services. Furthermore, make a point to actually visit the business and make you’re pitch; in most cases you’ll have more success face to face than you would via the phone or internet.

Utilize the Internet

It can be hard to know where to look for people who are willing to trade, and sometimes there just isn’t anyone to barter with. Thankfully, we have the wonderful world of the Internet. While you should exercise the same amount of caution you would any other time you use a site for buying and selling, sites like Craigslist and U-Exchange allow you to find people near you to barter with. Using the Internet is a quick way to find just what you need.

While you may have times when you’re tight for cash, you’ll always have your skills, abilities and good old-fashioned hard work that can sometimes be just as good as cash. With a little creativity and effort you can use bartering to obtain the goods and services you need all while saving money.

Have you ever practiced bartering? Do you have any tips to successfully barter for goods and services?

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