The Art Of Bartering

You rarely hear of this old traditional way of ‘business’ anymore. Mostly you hear about cost and income. Bartering has been around longer than any other form of exchange for goods. You have something I need/want, I have something you need/want. We trade in an honest transaction of similar value.

I got a serious case of the giggles the other night as husband and I were watching old Andy Griffith Mayberry RFD reruns as I was drafting this blog, and it was one of my favorite episodes. I’m sure you remember the one. The Mayor is eyeing Andy’s fishing pole because it “always catches fish” and the mayor can’t catch a fish to save his life until he uses Andy’s fishing pole. Later on in the show, Andy trades his fishing pole for a gift for Aunt Bee, but when the Mayor needs Andy to vouch for him, Andy gets his fishing pole back as trade for vouching for the Mayor. I know, I know, in a way its more of a “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine”, but it still made me laugh because of the timing.

Anyway, back to bartering. Bartering can help your budget tremendously when done correctly. Can I sell these goods I’m trading for more money? Probably, but, what is the gain. For example, you have a farmer friend who has no market for beef organ meat and you have a surplus of relishes and pickled items. They like pickles and pickled okra, you like beef liver. A trade of a few pints of pickles and you have dinner. Also, giving time, to be “paid” in goods is more than acceptable but never thought of anymore either.

Clean stalls for a day, get sent home with ground lamb or beef soup bones. I’d say that’s a win, win for both. The sad thing is that in this money driven world, many people don’t look at the good in bartering. It doesn’t need to just be for food either, it can be a fair trade for say, materials for a hobby, or other such goods. Many times, I’ll trade jams for a basket of canning jars, or eggs for a tote of fabric scraps.

It also helps with reusing items. Someone may be cleaning out a garage and find all types of things you may need. The old adage of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is more than true. Even more so in today’s world if you think about it, due to the throw away society we have been surrounded with.

A fun day can be gathering your friends for a “swap meet day”. We’ve done this before with clothes. Maternity clothes, business clothes, kids clothes, etc. Trading and reusing, re homing etc. I love getting second hand clothes that I can make into other clothes, such as jeans into jean skirts or overalls into adorable jumpers. I love to sew, I see treasures in all kinds of means of fabric.

The next time you want or need an item, think about an honest trade, barter or swap. It’s also a great way to get to know your neighbor, people, local farmers.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice.