Do You Barter?

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Homestead Gal, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Homestead Gal

    Homestead Gal Proverbs31Woman

    My grandparents would tell me stories of how people would barter for goods and services during the Great Depression.

    Does anyone here barter? If you do, what skills/items do you have to barter with?
  2. Homer_Simpson

    Homer_Simpson Well-Known Member


    I think it's a good skill to have, first step is making sure you have the items to barter with, I don't have much that I'm willing to part with even when I have two or three of an item, my grandparents and parents went through the Great Depression. When my grandparents passed it took weeks to go through there things, they had a 4 car garage filled with "supplies" just in case.

    I think it's time to start thinking about this skill as I feel that the time is just around the corner when we will have to use it

  3. RedRocker

    RedRocker Active Member

    I'm a machinist fabricator and have bartered for decades. Got my first Stihl chain saw by trading machine work to a dealer.
  4. Homestead Gal

    Homestead Gal Proverbs31Woman

    Butt Wiper, 5 bucks a roll! Buy it now, or do with out!

    Bartering has always been a part of my family history. We were actually encouraged to look for ways to barter for goods or services. If/when our financial system craps out, everyone of us will have to become creative to get by.

    I visited Hawaii back in the early 80's. One of the local drivers was telling me a story about some kind of dock strike they had. The stores were running out of items because no one was unloading the ships.

    Since nearly everything they use is brought in by plane or ship, this became a huge problem quickly. People who were savvy, were selling all kinds of things for outrageous prices.

    For example, one guy was selling toilet paper for 5 bucks a roll! Mind you, this was before the double and triple roll sizes. Hotels and restaurants were placing employees by the bathroom doors to prevent people from stealing rolls of toilet paper! Our driver went on to say he actually rationed out 4 squares to his family each time they went to the bathroom! He wasn't about to pay that price and immediately took on the "roll of toilet paper dispenser" in the family. He went on to tell me how people were trading food for shampoo and deodorant, people food for pet food, they were even trading food and small appliances for cigarettes and booze!

    You have to wonder what people will pay for something they don't think about until AFTER they can't get it.
    Who actually thinks about NOT having toilet paper?

    My dogs would get scraps or hunt for themselves. My female Cairn is the Terminator when it comes to killing moles. She eats them and I let her. Saves on dog treats...;)

    I'd be willing to bet (or barter) we can come with a whole lot of household items people would buy/ barter for if we put our heads together on it.;)
  5. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    Absolutely. I barter food at the local farmers market. I will bring in my stock of pecans, figs, sweet potatoes, and key limes. Then find other farmers who want those items and trade.
  6. Magus

    Magus Scavenger deluxe

    I used to stockpile things just for tradeing,
    pocket knives and whet stones,cheap tool kits and beer.
    [It went great when the factory shut down after the bars closed!]
    Silver coins are also good for trade goods as well as cheap jewelry.

    However my stash never was tested by "hard times"except the blizzard of 93' when I found a pint of boose is a much needed commodity,that and ciggarettes,with the stores shut down you could just about get double price!
  7. Homestead Gal

    Homestead Gal Proverbs31Woman

    I'm gonna add toilet paper in with my barter cache. Most folks don't know what to do without it. Besides it don't eat...will keep indefinitely, or at least until WE need to use it.:rolleyes:

    Tobacco and liquor (vodka) are also on the list. They actually have some medicinal value so I might as well throw that in the mix.
  8. bonanacrom

    bonanacrom Active Member

    bartering your skills will be something that's in demand if society ever fails as most people don't know how to do anything that isn't plugged in. I had a piece of farmland I wanted to hunt years ago but the farmers (three brothers) didn't allow anyone to hunt there. After talking to them and thanking them for there time I was about to leave when one of the brothers asked about the animal removal sign on my truck door. After finding out that I removed ground hogs they told me that if I removed the ground hogs from there dairy farm and it was something that they where able to notice (decline in population) that I could hunt there properties come fall. That summer I shot over 100 ground hogs on there three joining properties.
  9. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Barter is an excellent way to acquire services or goods without 'Big Brother' taking a cut he's not entitled too.

    We trade for things like honey, pork, stuff we don't 'Grow' at home.
    We also trade my mechanical services
    (I'm a pretty good mechanic and gunsmith with proper tools)
    For hunting/fishing rights and some carpentry services that I can't do or don't do well.

    We trade beef for pork from the pig producers,
    We trade beef or nuts or sometimes mushrooms for honey.
    (I'm allergic to bee stings, so hives on our little stretch of property is dangerous for me)

    I traded a tractor engine rebuild and upgrade for the local metal roofing guy to put a roof on my river house and garage,
    I work on some of the farm machinery at a dairy farm for fresh milk and male calves.
    (One complete tractor tune up is worth a years supply of fresh milk, and a hay bailer repair is worth two male calves...)

    My septic system install was worth a complete engine & transmission rebuild on a '70 SS Chevelle the back hoe/septic installer guy was restoring...
    Cost me about $1,000 worth of engine/transmission parts and my time,
    (and the $3,000 worth of septic tank, pipes, gravel, ect.) where the cheapest estimate for the septic install was about $12,000, so I think it was worth every minute I put into that engine/transmission...
    (his head work alone would have run over $3,500 if I were billing shop rates!)

    Gunsmith work gets me permission to hunt/fish on land that would normally be closed to me, or would cost me hundreds of dollars to lease.
    Makes for good will around the neighborhood when you give the locals a break like that, and get "Grandpa's" rifle or shot gun working again as a family heirloom...

    Pecans, Walnuts, Hickory nuts, Acorns, Mushrooms, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Garden Produce, even wild things like Sassafras roots, Ginseng or Herbs have value,
    The trick is finding the right market!

    Farmers markets, swap meets, flea markets, ect. are all good,
    If you really want to sell the 'Off The Wall' stuff,
    Drag it up to a Collage town!
    I had a girlfriend a few years back that made money hand over fist selling cattails, fox tails, dried weeds, thistles, ect. to the 'Highly Educated' and 'Upscale' people in the local collage town!

    Nail that stuff to an old half rotten barn board, or bunch them up like dried flowers to go over a mantel or doorway, and she could make $5,000 or $6,000 with a single pick up truck load in one day!
    She just went around to the 'Home decor' stores and peddled them right off the back of the pickup!

    We sell/trade Jams, Jellies, Canned fruit, ect. at the local farmers market when the supplies allow for extra production.

    Unless your seasonal produce comes in early, or very late, the raw produce price drops quite a bit when everything you have is 'In Season'...

    But make Jams, Jellies, or dry that fruit and store it a while, and it becomes a 'Novelty' again and the price goes back up...

    Check out the 'Sustainable Living' forums for ideas on how to connect with people that want to trade goods/services and I'm sure you will find something you can do/trade for something you want/want done!
  10. MR.GREEN

    MR.GREEN Guest


    I barter and think it is a good way to get what you need. Take an item or service you have to offer and trade it in exchange for an item or service you need. I mostly use my knowledge of growing things and the things i grow to barter with, such as vegtables and herbs etc.
  11. kettleMan

    kettleMan Guest

    I barter with my neighbors. They have different crops than I do, for a reason. I have 3 neighbors around here and we all grow different things and trade some of what we have grown for some of what they have grown! It works out really great!
  12. styx

    styx Member

    So what skills do you think are in highest demand for bartering? Obviously any skill that produces something, i.e. farming, that can be bartered is good, but what about just straight service?
    A short list:

    Mechanics/Machine repair

    any ideas?
  13. Samoan

    Samoan Guest

    Bartering is a great thing! I barter items with my brother all the time. Actually, he won't give me anything without making me give something up as well!