Monday, 13 January 2014

Bartering ..............


First a warm welcome to Doo - a new follower, you are most welcome.  I love the comment on your blog about stopping to smell the roses - how true doo - sorry !

Also I would like to thank all of you who leave comments and advice, it is very much appreciated.

Do you barter ?  in theory it is an excellent idea, but has anyone ever had any success at it ? 

LETS - the Daddy of them all, started out many years ago, actually I don't even know if it is still in existance, it had write ups in magazines and newspapers, extolling the virtue of exchanging goods and services, like for like.  I tried LETS in several locations where I have lived, and none of them worked.  I advertised what I had to offer, services, goods etc., there were plenty of 'takers' but when it came to getting something in return, the pot ran dry.  This, I think, was mainly due to the introduction of the 'M' word i.e. money - as soon as the powers that be allowed people to start charging for their services/goods, then that sounded the death knoll, and no one would do anything for nothing.

I was thinking about bartering today, and looked up 'bartering websites', and have been disappointed. Most of them are very pretty, and again in theory, seem to be a good idea, but on looking at the lists of contributors, it's very thin indeed.

Other sites charge for membership, which I object too anyway, it's a contradiction in terms inviting people to join a site where they can 'barter' for cash free items and then ask payment to join.  I have a sneaky feeling that there wouldn't much more bounty to be got from them anyway.

On top of all that, there is the security aspect of bartering isn't there ?  I mean if you want someone to come and decorate your living room and you live alone, and you don't know that person, would you feel safe ?  I wouldn't.

So my conclusion ?  bartering is great, rewarding and satisfying IF you do it between relatives, friends or at the very least friends of friends.  For example, I recently 'minded' my son's showrooms for a few days while he was out doing fittings (he has a kitchen/bathroom business), this was in return for him fixing my car and saving me a couple of hundred pounds.  Mind you, I'd have done it for nothing anyway - but that's just an example.

We all know how to save money on food by searching out the yellow stickers, we can change our energy providers, take advantage of 0% interest balance transfers, and loads more, but paying for 'services' i.e. decorating, car mechanics, household repairs and general maintence has to be paid for at the going rate.  Bartering would 'seem' to be the answer.  I suppose it depends on what you can offer in return really, I mean no one is going to come and put up your fence if it has blow down for a bag of fairy cakes are they ?  so it has to be a comparible deal.

Sadly, we live in a world where there are some people who will take advantage at any opportunity and you can end up just being used and losing time and effort.  (I've been there and done that).

Freegle and Freecycle are excellent, I have had so much from them, and have given stuff away also, but 'services' are not allowed to be advertised on them.  One or two do sometimes sneak into the listings but are always removed pretty quickly.  I think it would be a good idea if these two were to add a 'services' section to their sites, I'm sure it would be well received.

Have you/do you barter ?  I would love to hear if it works for you.  Are you using a bartering website that is reputable or do you stick to family/friends.

Please post your thoughts.

take care peeps .............


  1. I use LETS all the time for everything from surplus goods, paving flags, manure,and foodstuffs to fencing, painting sewing classes and reflexology sessions. In return I offer all sorts of things from preserves and chutneys, baking, looking after animals , ironing etc .There are 85 members in our LETS group but a core group of around 20 members who trade almost weekly, we also have monthly coffee and trading meets where people can bring things to trade.It has saved me a fortune over the past few years and I have also made some good friends through the meetings.

  2. That's excellent Dreamer - just how it should be. Whereabouts are you ?

    1. I'm near Newton Stewart in SW Scotland. This is our LETS website

    2. I'm glad to hear LETS is still going strong in some areas. I checked and my nearest is 15 miles away and out of their catchment area.

  3. I went to a yard sale and saw three lawn chairs, Adirondack chairs. I had $2 cash for one chair and $2 in the bank so I could write a check. I asked the guy if he would take a dozen eggs for the other chair. He loaded all three into my car. I commented that it was nice of him to trust me. I forgot I had written him a check. It turned out he was a cop, so he knew he could find me and get his money/

    A long time ago (1991), my friend would type my papers on her word processor and I would make a pair of pants for her. I even furnished the fabric and elastic. It worked out really well. She got lots of pants and tops, and I got papers typed for two years. Now, of course, I have a computer.

    There is one barter site that might have barters like getting dental work done for a driveway poured. I forgot the name. You get credits for the work and can even make a three way swap because the points you earn are in the barter system site, sort of like bookkeeping.

    1. You got a good deal on those chairs.
      I would love to barter but where I live most people want the money instead

  4. I love the idea of bartering but never have tried it. I really love Freecycle, but mostly for giving away items that still have a bit of life left in them. Cheers!

    1. Yes Freecycle is brilliant - I have had shelves, garden tools, a slow cooker, books and lots more.

  5. The little store in town that sells seeds and plants, and is also where you get your auto tags, lets me hang bonnet and aprons inside to sell. In return, I do a little sewing for them. Nothing big, just hemming pants, mending rips, etc. At the farmer's market, I have traded an apron or bonnet for something another vendor was selling. That's my only bartering experience. Would like to do more of that.

  6. Henny I do hope you are going ahead with your Etsy shop ? those bonnets are beautiful and I've not seen anything like them in UK.
    What are auto tags ?



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