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· Registered
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I'm new HERE :wave: but certainly not new to preparedness, however, I do have some querries.

Anyone have any suggestions on barterable items to lay in other than alcohol and coffee? We do have barterable skills.. highly barterable skills but we may need some labor or whatever. Any idea folks? I have already gotten the neighbors preparing in a complimentary fashion to what we have but it;s really a question of what to barter for labor or whatever and HOW MUCH is considered a decent barter pay for labor etc. Am I making any sense?

· performing monkey
4,504 Posts
maybe a few particulars on what type/severity of event you are expecting/preparing for would give us a better idea for suggestions... (ie you won't need sun tan lotion if you expect an ice age) :dunno:

· Still waiting for the zombies.
1,662 Posts
Could be almost anything that someone wants and you can't get (or easily make) anymore. Ranging from toiletries to chocolates to food and ammo. If some type of event happens with mass die off, the survivors would be able to easily stock up simply by scavenging. However, if an event happens and relatively few people die, then day to day needs items are going to dry up pretty quick.

If you have a group working with you, then each pick an area (toiletries, building supplies, luxury items (i.e. chocolate, coffee, etc.), tools, and so on) and plan on sharing with each other post SHTF. It would probably be your best bet.

· Registered
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LOL - spf 15 or better please.
There are just SO many things in the air right now that can go wrong in a NY second. Lets say... no power for an extended length of time and ... hmmmm... maybe- extreme food shortages causing chaos in the streets and wanderings into the countryside.. atleast for a short perios- oh- 6 months or so?
Id guess food in a shortage would always be extremely valuable. People still need to feed their families, after all.... but what about an extended power outage. Surely not just batteries!

· Registered
354 Posts
My thoughts and opinions on barter and trade

Never show more than necessary for a given trade. Never let on like you have more.
Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later.
Try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods. They don’t run out.
Try to barter the information in books. Don’t let the books leave your control.
Try to barter the use of tools and equipment rather than trading them away.
Try to make trades in neutral areas or at a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren’t followed back home.
Not all the items/skills listed will be of much value early into the event. It could be three to five years or more for some of the items to become valuable.
Try to have most of your equipment and several months of consumables before you stockpile trade goods, including Precious Metals.
When it comes to PMs, unless you are wealthy, start slow. A few silver dimes & quarters at a time. When you feel it is time to get gold coins, stay with the small denominations. And remember that there will be some people that won’t trust or want them.

Some of what I'm acquiring for barter (No, I don’t have all of these items. Yet.)

Scales to get agreed upon weights of items
commercial scale (±500#)
commercial scale (±100#)
commercial scale (±10#)
commercial scale (±16oz)

small containers for measured out items (spices, meds, etc.)(really small zip-locks)

1.0 oz gold coins
0.1 oz gold coins
40 count rolls pre-1965 silver quarters
50 count rolls pre-1965 silver dimes
blank barter slips (pre-printed slips to record barter transaction – who, what, when, how much, etc.)

A large library of useful books (remember, trade the information, not the book)

200ml bottles 190 proof Everclear
smokeless tobacco
2 oz boxes tobacco
booklets cigarette papers
smoking pipes
small boxes matches
butane lighter fuel
Zippo lighter fuel
lighter flints
lighter wicks
disposable lighters
straight razors w/strop, soap, & cup
shaving soap

playing cards

candle/oil lamp wick
Coleman lantern mantles
Crank flashlights

Canned green coffee beans (with a roaster and grinder to use, not trade away)
2 oz jars instant coffee
16 count boxes teabags
2 oz jars bouillon cubes
tubs add-water-only drink mix

1 pound boxes sugar
various spices
small containers of cooking oil
2 oz boxes salt
2 oz cans pepper
5 oz cans milk
4 oz cans cocoa
2 oz bars chocolate candy
8 oz bags hard candy (individually wrapped)

4 oz cans Vienna sausage/potted meat
12 oz cans roast beef
7 oz cans Spam (or 12oz)(or Treet)
6 oz cans tuna
10 oz cans soup (heavy on the meat types)

16 oz bags rice
16 oz bags beans/lentils

aspirin pain killer
acetaminophen pain killer
OTC reading glasses
OTC UVA/UVB resistant sunglasses
Cheap wide-brimmed straw hats

small boxes tampons/sanitary napkins
reusable sanitary napkins

reusable cotton diapers
diaper pins
plastic/poly/nylon/rubber diaper cover pants

clothes pins

wooden pencils/ink pens
small note books
legal pads

50 count bottles water purification tablets

6”-12” candles
boxes strike anywhere kitchen matches

rolls toilet paper
bars soap (Ivory, Lava, Fels Naptha laundry soap)
hair combs/brushes
disposable razors
boxes baking soda
shoe and boot laces

packets safety pins
packets of sewing needles
spools of thread

rat traps
fly swatters

jersey gloves
cotton/leather work gloves
insulated gloves

tubes silicone sealant
tubes Shoe Goo/Goop
tubes JB Weld
duct tape
mechanic’s wire
electrical tape
friction tape
rubber tape
sheet plastic
divided buckets with a variety of nails, screws, bolts, nuts, and washers
sealed cans of welding rods (6011 and/or 7018 1/8”)
variety of brazing rods
cans of brazing flux

regular canning lids
wide mouth canning lids
Tattler reusable canning lids
Tattler reusable canning lid rubber rings
P-38/P-51 can openers

6-hour cans ECOFuelXB
1-lb propane cylinders
10-lb bags charcoal briquettes

solar 12-volt battery chargers
solar AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt battery charger
rechargeable batteries AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt

#10 cans heirloom seeds
Coffee plant seed
Tobacco plant seed
Tea plant seed
Poppy plant seed

Biodiesel production chemicals
Soap making chemicals

500-round bricks .22 LR RF cartridges
5-round boxes .410/20 GA shells
single units M6 Scout/Savage 24F/Remington SPR-94 O/U .22 RF/.410 or 20 gauge combos

· Registered
354 Posts
Here are some examples of Tradesman’s Tools that could be stockpiled and either used and the product/service bartered, or their USE bartered out. One wouldn’t barter away the tools that bring in the food. (Again, I don’t have all the items or skills.)
±500# scale
±100# scale
±10# scale
±16oz scale

Tailor/Seamstress tools
Sewing machine
Sewing basket (needles, thimbles, thread, measuring tape, seam ripper, scissors, shears, marking chalk, straight edge, pins, neck magnifying glass, etc.)
bolts of cloth, patterns, spare needles, pins, chalk, thread, buttons, zippers, snaps, etc)
Treadle type sewing machine (Janome 712T)
weaving looms
>1,000 watt generator

Food processing tools
Grain grinders, solar dehydrators, butchering tools, manual meat slicer, manual meat grinder, sausage stuffer, stuffing tubes, jerky shooter, meat smoker, water purifier

barbers tools
scissors, combs, hair brushes, dusting brush, broom, dust pan, chair, neck apron, razor, shaving cup, shaving soap, towels

ammunition re-loader’s tools
Dillion progressive tool w/primary caliber dies
RCBS press with common caliber dies
Bullet casting equipment
black powder making tools & screens

laundry tools
Staber washing machine
laundry soap
clothes lines w/poles, stakes & clothes pins
water heater (kettle w/tripod)
water tank
12v pump & battery
drain line
James washer w/wringer
2+ washtubs
>1,000 watt generator

entertainment tools
band instruments
projection TV
TV projector
Lap-top computer
DVD disk player
VHS tape player
Karaoke machine w/cd-g’s
Lighting system
Sound system
>1,500 watt generator
Battery bank, solar panels, and inverter
protective bullet resistant face for TV’s if used
Classic books for storyteller to read

home canning equipment & supplies
firewood cutting tools
knife/edged tool sharpening tools
printer’s/newspaper publisher’s tools
butcher/meat cutter’s tools
meat processors tools (sausage, etc.)
tanner’s tools
milk processors tools (cheese, etc.)
baker’s tools & supplies
bath house/shower room tools
candle maker’s tools & supplies
gardener’s tools
mechanic’s tools
machinist’s tools - Smithy Granite 1340 Industrial Max metalworking all-in-one machine
woodworker’s tools – Smithy Supershop 220 woodworking all-in-one machine
blacksmith’s tools - Oxygen accumulator, acetylene generator
plumber’s tools
lumber making tools - portable sawmill
electrician’s tools
carpenter’s tools
roofer’s tools
stonemason’s tools
primitive building tools
cobbler/shoe maker’s tools
soap maker’s tools
brewer/wine maker’s tools
distillery tools
miller’s tools
spinner & weaver’s tools (looms)
teaching tools and supplies K-12
smelter/foundry/metal worker’s tools
sheep sheering tools
papermaking tools
rope, cordage, and net making tools
millwright’s tools
farm tools (prepare, sow, cultivate, harvest)
biodiesel equipment & supplies
wood gas generator equipment & supplies
charcoal making tools
black powder making tools
reference/do-it-yourself library (books/magazines/CD-ROMs/DVDs)(never let the media out of your control)

Here are the skill sets I think most likely to be needed. (I only have a few of them myself)

Alternative energy specialist
Alternative HVAC specialist
Ammunition re-loader
Appliance repairman
Basket maker
Bathhouse/shower room operator
Bicycle Repairman
Biodiesel maker
Blackpowder maker
Brew master
Brick maker
Bullet caster
Butcher/meat processor
Candle maker
Cartridge maker
Charcoal burner
Cheese maker
Chimney sweep
Cobbler/shoe maker
Coffin maker
Cooper (barrel maker)
Distiller, drinking alcohol
Distiller, fuel alcohol
Dog trainer
Electronics tech
Experienced barterer/flea market operator
Farm hand
Firewood purveyor
Food canner/processor
Furniture maker
Gatherer (wild plants, useful rocks and minerals)
Glass maker
Gunpowder maker
Gunsmith/gun maker
Heavy equipment operator
Horse trainer/wrangler
Ice purveyor/harvester/maker
Knife maker
Knife sharpener
Laundress/laundry room operator
Leather worker
Lumber maker
Metal worker
Milk maid
Milk processor
Mulcher/composter/manure collector
Net maker
Optician (eyeglass maker)
Paper maker
Peace Officer
Pedi-cab driver
Pest control specialist
Pottery maker
Primitive building specialist
Quilter/Quilt maker
Radio Operator
Ranch hand
Rope/cordage maker
Sail maker
Sailor (Boatswain)
Salt maker
Salvage specialist
Security guard
Shake/shingle maker
Sheep sheerer
Shipwright/boat builder
Skill At Arms instructor
Small engine mechanic
Soap maker
Spice purveyor
Stonemason/brick layer
Sugar maker
Tire repairman
Tool & die maker
Trade maker
Truck driver
Watch/clock repairman/maker
Well driller
Wood gas equipment maker

A few skills that won’t be in high demand, but would be a good secondary skill

Candy maker
Dye maker
Ink maker
Karaoke operator
Massage therapist
Toy & game maker

Some things I probably won’t get for barter for this reason: If there is a large die off the items will be available to pick up all sorts of places. If there isn’t one, they will still be available through normal channels.

Knives, especially ‘Cheap’ knives
Tools (Yes, have a really good set for yourself, and possibly one to barter the use of, but keep the tools)
Cooking equipment
Fishing gear

· performing monkey
4,504 Posts
Culex hit the mark pretty good IMHO

food, ammo, toiletries (not necessarily TP, which is nice, but most people can wipe their Tuchases with a variety of things)

luxury items like spirits (to drink and as antiseptic/anaesthetic) cocoa powder

staple items like flour, sugar, and baking soda/powder, rice, oatmeal etc etc

medical/first aid supplies (check shelf life & storage needs)

insulin, aspirin, warfarin (or Dabigatran, just approved!), coreg, lasix, antibiotics AND a chart for what they treat & what dosage to use

blankets, the more the better


boxes, bags, baskets, and other containers (after all people need something to put their other stuff in

pots & pans... utensils and tools

blade sharpeners

fuel (better yet, a way to make fuel)

batteries, dynamo powered radio/battery charger

shoes and clothes, hell even rags (up until WW1 there were people called ragpickers that scavenged battlefields for the clothing of the dead to seel so that it could be turned into useful products)

this is no way complete or in any order of importance

· performing monkey
4,504 Posts
A hundred years ago, almost any farm neighbourhood could manage almost all of the listed tools and skills. Individuals generally were able to maintain competence in at least a dozen or so skills.
you might be pleasantly surprised to find out how many of us there still are out here... :2thumb: :beercheer:

· Registered
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmmm.. hadnt thought of medicines as a barter item! Good idea! Pots and pans! Hadnt given that a thought either. Blankets is another to consider. Thanks for the group idea... I like that and it makes perfect sense! Thanks folks!

· Retired Army
326 Posts
Great list JDY.

My Home Depot was clearancing out chimney supplies this weekend so I picked up the trappings of a chimney sweep for a song.

This month I added a spare grain miil (craigslist) and added some sharpening tools to my blacksmith/knife makers outfit.

I pick up knick knack electrical repair items at garage sales or go thru the free boxes, just so I can strip common parts and put them in my electrical repair kit. I am not an electrician, but electrical repair will be in demand and my simple mind can make simple fixes if I have the parts and the startup price is right-FREE

I also have 10x the water purification needs I require but the DW forbids me to consider bartering drinking water -she says I have to give it (water) away-anyone certified for prepper marriage counseling out there?

I also am identifying local wild plants to make teas, cures and aids.

Finally I picked up a large set of eyewear screws, nosepads, etc for a pittance. Short or long term, eyeglass repair will be in demand as much or more than optical fabricating. And it takes little skill.

I have spoken with each child who will relocate here in SHTF and I have stored items here that each has a competency for (barbering, blacksmithing, machining, optical repair, etc). If they are not totally on board with me, they at least tolerate the old man and those things that pertain to them they take more of an interest in.

I try not to pay for barter items unless I use them myself regularly, tho I will forgo lunch or soda money to pick up a few odds and ends at a garage/estate sale.

I have my dream list of PAW trades skills and watch the sales and giveaways and try to gear up without any cost to diminish my other prep plans.

In my area there are a ton of Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hobby Farmers. If I knew I had a Gunsmith in my area I would be ecstatic.

· Registered
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All wonderful ideas. Thanks so much.

My kids are coming here as well.. but they are also gathering foods so they will bring it to add to the supply. Trying to talk my paramedic daughter in law to going to nursing school (only takes 16 months combined with what she already has), my hubby is a Dr and sister in law is a dental hygenist so I have those fields ( and the barterable skills area) very well covered. We do need the hygenists tools however.

Eyewear repair kits is a brilliant idea. All of the folks I know wear glasses!

You guys and gals are a wealth of helpful information, thankyou

· Retired Army
326 Posts
Another one I forgot is rechargeable AA batteries (and limited AAA). You can recharge them up to a couple hundred times each, so they make great barter items. Most of us have some solar set up or another, so these fit right in. Double duty.

I also make sleeve adapters out of PVC pipe and springs to change AA and AAA to C and D cells. They are cheap to buy, but I like to make my own and it is sustainable.

Yes, the AA and AAA will have a little less juice than the full size, but they work just fine in everything I have in the house.

Also, back to the freebie electronics parts, all the pieces you need to make AA adapters to hook into 9v appliances.

With little training, the littlest one in the family crew can become a battery barter meister. (inspect, recharge, test and trade)

The best thing is, I don't buy batteries anymore either (except for scopes, nvg's, smoke detectors and emergency equipment).

· Registered
1,922 Posts
I have old solar path lights that hold two AA batteries and I use them all the time to recharge batteries for me. Plus some of the new ones use AAA batteries and I have a few things around the house that use them. You just have to remember to go out at dusk and pull the batteries out if you want to use them. Not sure if only one day gives them a full charge but if you are careful and remember to pull them each night, I'd bet a couple days worth of sun would give you a full charge.
The tiny little one to two dollar ones in the dollar type stores would be great for the kids as night lights, if not using them as lighting in your house in an emergency. If you wonder if it really works, I have been using them off and on for a few years now as we tend to lose power quite often. I have been trying to pick up the older ones at sales as they will charge two batteries while the newer ones do only one.
But the newer ones charge even on cloudy days, I have noticed that even with a thick layer of snow on them you can see a faint glow under the snow! Sure it is not for long but still it works. So I may just have to keep an eye open for more of the newer ones too... once the batteries croak folks sell them at yard sales for as little as a quarter to a buck. In times of scrounging and bartering some cobbled together solar panels and car batteries and an inverter might be useful.

· Registered
694 Posts
I keep several dozen gram bars of silver to barter with if I need to. They are marked .999 with 1 gram stamped on them so they can hopefully work as currency when SHTF
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