The No Spend Challenge – Day 16: Try Bartering!

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

This is the Sixteenth day of The No Spend Challenge. To read all posts in order start with Day One. Read a summary of the challenge and view all 31 days in a list format here.  

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Welcome to day 16! Today our challenge is to try bartering. Barter today for something you want or need. Here’s 4 steps to bartering everyone should take.

Bartering

But first what is bartering? Simply put, bartering is exchanging goods or services for other goods or services WITHOUT using money.

Step 1: What You WANT and What You Can GIVE

The first step is rather easy. Try to figure out what you want to get and what you’re willing to give up.

A. What would you sell if you were having a yard sale or garage tomorrow?

B. What hobbies could you teach someone?

C. Could you craft something to swap?

D. What common chores do you enjoy or are you good at? 


Step 2: Identify a Trading Partner

The second step is identify a trading partner. Make a list of friends, co-workers, or family members who might have what you want and want what you have. Someone who bakes might barter website services with a more tech savvy person.

If you’re still stuck you could try out one of the 5 following ideas:

A. Garage or Yard Sales

Make the round to a few garage sales with no money but take items from your own storage. Be creative. Perhaps dress up in a costume for kicks and giggles. Check out this blog post from someone who did just that by wearing Pilgrim and Indian outfits while trying this out. This could be a great opportunity for a Saturday morning adventure for the whole family! Or perhaps grab a few girlfriends and see what treasures you can find.

B. Facebook

facebook-jpg

Facebook is pretty easy for setting up bartering agreements with friends. Simply post what you’re hoping to get in return and see who bites.

Get ideas from Facebook pages like this one: The Barter Experiment

Try something like this on Facebook:

No Spend Challenge Day 16: Today I’m trying out bartering… Here’s what I have to offer:

1. A family photo session. {Particularly helpful if you have a good camera like a Canon EOS 7D Mark II or something comparable.}
2. Your choice of baked cookies or a cake! {Remember to negotiate the specific quantity of cookies or cake type.}
3. Hand-made craft {Think of something you

could build, paint, sew, or knit.}
4. Home-made bread! {Again remember to negotiate the amount of bread.
5. A wide collection of books! {A picture of what you’re willing to part with might be helpful.}
6. Mowing services – I’ll mow your yard! {Be sure to check out the yard first. }

Here’s what I’d like in return:

1. Beer or wine
2. Cheese
3. Babysitting

Let us know how it goes! Post in the No Spend Challenge Facebook group. You might give other people ideas too!

C. Craigslist

There’s not only a free add section on craigslist.org, but did you know there’s also a pretty active bartering section?  Typically these are larger ticket items like desktop computers, laptops, cell phones, iPads, cars, boats, musical instruments, etc. You can post an ad of your own with a list of items you’re willing to accept in a trade.  Or you can respond to an existing add if you already know what you’re looking for. Here’s some examples:

Trade Motorcycle for CJ /Wrangler
Trade Motorcycle for CJ /Wrangler
DELL Venue 8 Pro -Office 2013 for iPhone 5
DELL Venue 8 Pro -Office 2013 for iPhone 5

D. Food Swaps

 

Check out websites like FoodSwapsNetwork.com to find a local swap near you. Can’t find a local food swap in your community? Start one of your own in community today!

E. Local Bartering Club

 

Some are conducted online, others are in person, but a lot of them spread by word of mouth. So check the notice boards at local schools, community centers, restaurants, churches, and community centers. Also check with your local, state, and federal laws on the tax implications of bartering.

Step 3: Pop the Question

If you’re bartering online or in a club skip to step 4.

If you have season tickets to your favorite sports team perhaps someone will trade you a new phone for say 4-5 games. You never know unless you ask.

 

Step 4: Hammer Out the Details

A. Set a time frame. Decide how long you and your bartering partner will need to fulfill the deal. Then set a deadline. If the deal is ongoing set a up a periodic review to make sure that both you and the other party are still happy.

B. Put it in writing. If the deal might last longer that one exchange send an email saying “This is what I will do and what you will do in this time period.” If you’re offering website design services you don’t want to end up with 5 hours of work exchanged for one haircut or photo session.

C. Determine the dollar value of the goods or services. Ask around and do your homework. Research the price on say craiglist.org or a local Facebook bartering group. If you’re swapping a service figure out what you would usually charge to make it a relatively even exchange. For example exchange a $40 cake for two $20 manicures. Another example would be five hours of math tutoring for 5 hours of piano lessons.

D. Taxes. As the saying goes there’s two things certain: death and taxes. Check with your state and federal laws. Sometimes the law requires you to report bartering transactions. Individuals may be exempt but businesses likely will not. In other words exchanging babysitting for baked goods probably wouldn’t be an issue. But bartering a large purchase like a car could have serious tax implications. Or if you consistently barter website design services for another businesses lawn service that could be taxable. Consult your local CPA or lawyer to understand what the laws are regarding bartering.

Bonus: Online Trade! 


Save cash or make cash with these bartering websites: 

babysitterexchange.com – Swap baby-sitting hours with members of your community.

barterplanet.com – Everything from legal services to power tools.

care.com – Nanny and senior-care services.

swapstyle.com – Mainly clothing and accessories.

swapthing.com – Mainly home furnishings and jewelry.

Swaptree.com – Everything techy from music, movies, books, and video games.

zwaggle.com  – Mainly kids’ stuff, from bibs to cribs to Barney.

 

Have you tried bartering before? What did you do? What was the result? Feel free to leave a comment!

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{Click here to go to day 17}

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

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