Barter Items

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Barter Items - How to Barter and Swap

barter and swap
Barter items.

Sounds like a fun way to be the ultimate cheapskate, right?

Many stay at home moms across the country are learning the art of barter and swap. You can too.

As the economy starts to go downhill and gas prices are going up, many stay at home moms are feeling the pinch. Bartering goods and services might be an option for getting things that you want and need.

Think about it. What are you going to need to buy soon, or what services will you require in the near future? This could be things like presents for your children's birthdays, or mechanical work on your vehicle.

What about products from your favorite direct sales company or help with your computer? These are all examples of barter items that could benefit you in the future.

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I have always loved to barter and swap. Bartering simply means trading one good or service for another.

For example, a babysitting exchange is bartering.

One mother watches another mother's children one day, while the second mother watches the first mother's children another day. Both parties get something and both are happy!

Here's what I've gained through bartering items: a grill, a table saw, a chainsaw, a place to live for eight months, childcare, a pool table, a getaway to a bed and breakfast, bikes, a karaoke machine, food (pork, fresh veggies, canned goods, farmers market items, fresh eggs, goat milk), a trailer, and materials to build a cordwood house. One time I almost bartered for a kettle corn business, and another time I almost bartered for a herd of alpacas.

But what barter items do you have? You might think you don't have much of value, but you probably do. Here are some great ideas for things to barter and swap:
  • Products from your Direct Sales Business
  • Old items of value you no longer need (ie, bikes, electronics, furniture)
  • Services (hair dressing, cleaning, lawn mowing)
  • Truck (if you have a big pickup with a hitch, you can help people move things)
  • Babysitting service
  • Home cooked meals
  • Fruits and Veggies from your garden
  • Stuff you got free using coupons

  • Remember, when bartering, you do not necessarily have to barter items; a service for an item works, or an exchange of services does, as well. Money should not be traded for a barter and swap. That makes it a sale, not a barter!


    I've mentioned Craigslist numerous times on various pages on this site. If you look long enough, you can find just about anything on Craigslist. Check it out every day and see what you can barter and trade.

    A word of caution: Always use your best judgment when you barter items on Craigslist. It takes all kinds to make the world, but some people are just very different in their natures. Unfortunately, that can be bad. Avoid offers for free massages, and whatever you do, don't OFFER massage as these are many times offers of a sexual nature. Many moms do use Craigslist, but many less than scrupulous people do, too. Beware of things like pirated DVDs and the like; if someone is offering the DVD to a movie that is still in the theaters for $3, there's something wrong.

    Mom Exchanges

    Many moms groups, MOPS clubs, and homeschooling co-ops throughout the country have one day a year where they barter and swap baby/kid items. Here's how it works:

    Moms clear out their children's old toys, accessories (like high chairs, etc), and clothing. They bring the items to the meeting point and lay them out. Based on who got there first, the mothers take a number.

    Once everyone has arrived, and the barter items are set up, the first few moms go through and pick out three items they want. They take those back to their seats. Then the next few moms go and pick out three items, and so on.

    Once everyone has had a turn, it starts over. After 2-3 rounds, it's a free for all, with the left over barter items donated to charity. This process can take a while, so having snacks and conversation helps! This is lots of fun, and everyone goes home with new stuff.
    barter-items-01; woman excited about getting free stuff is a great place to barter items online.

    It's similar to eBay except that you use points to barter for items rather than money.

    You can post things you no longer want and people bid on it using the points. You then use the points gained from placing something at auction to bid on other items.

    We've gotten dozens of Nintendo DS games for the kids this way, as well as shopping sprees to AVON, gift certificates worth hundreds of dollars, an IPOD Touch, and tons of other fun stuff.

    It's free to sign up, and you receive a certain amount of points to get you started. More points can be earned each time you barter items or if you refer friends and family to the site.

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    In these trying times, it's important to think outside the box when it comes to providing for your family. Saving and being frugal with money is important to the stay at home mom trying to make ends meet. Bartering goods and services may be just the right thing to help you meet your goals. What things have you bartered for? Tell us here:

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    Sneak Peak at Next Week

    Like this section on how to barter items? Next week we'll be talking about how to save money on pets.

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