Sunday, December 13, 2009


The barter economy is not suffering during the recession. In times of economic downturn, barter can help a family or a business stay afloat. Barter can be really helpful to small business owners. Finding ways to barter for advertising or other services can be invaluable when money is tight. A CNN story takes a look at a business bartering trade show and organization:

Ted Rahaim, owner of DBK Family Jewelers in Plainville, Conn., said that bartering has been a great way for him to get things for his small business that he wouldn't be able to afford if he had to shell out the cash -- like advertising.
He came to the show expecting to barter $30,000 to $40,000 worth of jewelry. He didn't know what he'd be trading for, but he did pick up one case of meat. In the past he's bartered for business needs, including business cards and plumbing and heating services for his stores.
"It opens up a lot of doors for me," he said.

People are also using barter to get medical or dental care for their families. A recent story in the Sky Valley Chronicle from Washington State provides an example:
A recent Washington Post article reported Craigslist had an 80 percent increase in activity in its bartering section this year. Some of these posts – as well as posts on other sites that specialize in barter - are for people seeking to trade something for health and dental care.

Ramona Heath, whose story is contained in a recent broadcast radio report, had been out of work for over a year. Her husband lost his job also in the recession. Essentially homeless after the unemployment for so long, Ramona went on the Internet and found a dentist who would fix her daughter’s long neglected teeth in exchange for her skills and labor in housekeeping.

Now her 8-year old daughter can smile without covering her mouth. In the past whenever she would smile she would cover her mouth, embarrassed about the bad shape her teeth were in.

A family in Ohio is using barter as a way to buy Christmas presents:
Gina and Richard Lavelle are determined to give their four children a Christmas this year despite losing their income and their home. To do so, Gina turned to Craigslist where her ad joined dozens of other ads from people wanting to barter services or other items for Christmas presents.

Planet Green has some suggestions on barter websites, and of course, there is always craigslist.

Most of us have things around the house that we'd like to get rid of, but we don't want to throw away. A great solution to that problem is Freecycle. Someone who wants your unwanted object will actually come and take it away! Freecycle can also help you find things you might need. Freecycle's mission statement:

Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

There are Freecycle networks in all 50 states and 85 countries - and best of all, it's free.

Cross posted at Main Street a project of Working America.

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