Sunday, January 2, 2011

Secrets Inside Bartering

Have you ever thought to ask your plumber if you could trade something for services. Or asked your mechanic if there was something he was looking for that you both could trade to get your car fixed. In today's economy the most beneficial action to save money and build relationships is the age old art of bartering. It is called an art because it takes a bit of skill to trade effectively and you also need to have a strong enough network of people you can trade with. In this blog you will go over some useful tips that will help you develop the skills of bartering.

Barter is defined by as; to trade by exchange of commodities rather than by the use of money. During times of struggle, like most are experiencing today, this is the most effective way to save money and not sacrifice a lot in the process. But, did you also know it is a highly effective promotions and advertising tool. Not to mention the perfect way to build strong relationships in your community. Let me give you an example. 
Susie is a massage therapist who needs to get her floors redone and she has decided on wood but does not have the skills to lay the floor herself nor does she have enough money to cover the cost of installation. 
Carl is a carpenter who works long hours and has been developing a bad back. He has been to see a chiropractor and was told he should get a regular massage treatment and the cost of a weekly massage is not in his budget at the moment.

As you can see these two people should meet and discuss how they can help each other. Once Susie starts working on Carl's back, he will tell everyone how good he feels. Susie will have her floor done and tell everyone who comes to her home how it was installed. The two of them will start a buzz about bartering and not even realize it. The biggest question people ask is how can Susie and Carl find each other in the first place to make this wonderful transaction occur. The easiest way to make a match up like this is to advertise on Craig's list or Facebook that you have a service for trade. Other ways to find people to barter with are at business socials or the old fashion way... the classified section. Of course when you barter you need to match the value of the services with what you are trading. Be sure to not under sell yourself and get what you really need out of the deal.

Now that the concept of bartering is understood, here are a few hints as to how you can find enough people to trade with where you can really see a difference in the money you are saving and the promotion you are getting:

  1. Become and member of a barter brokering group. These groups have brokers not unlike on Wall Street that help you connect with whoever you need to trade with. You simply tell the Barter Broker what you need and what you have to trade and they locate the person right for you to trade with. It's that simple. The service usually costs under $5 a month and you pay a very small fee per trade.
  2. List 5 things you are really good at and rate them from best to least favorite to do. Then start with the top skill and market it as a service to your family and friends in trade. This also ties into creating your own position.
  3. Offer trade for services with landscapers, accountants, plumbers, mechanics and ask them to spread the word. Even if they don't accept the deal, the fact that you asked will create a buzz that you have a service to offer and these professionals see a lot of people who they can tell.
Finally, a lot of people that are not fans of trade have not really looked at the things they need done other than paying bills. So, you really need to be sure you create a good network of people you can negotiate your skills with rather than wasting your time calling random businesses. This is why the barter service is important, just in case you cannot make time to meet people. The more businesses that trade with each other the better chance of helping to keep more businesses open during hard economic times. Your business's cash flow will open up and you will be able to budget much more effectively by bartering just a few services and getting your name out in the public in a new light. For more tips on bartering and how barter brokers work, visit

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