Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How To Get What You Need Without Spending Anything!

No, it's not the "5 finger discount."...

It's bartering!

Back in the days before we had dollars and cents, let alone a rapper named 50 cent,  before we had Ben Franklin’s portrait on paper, bartering was the most common way of getting what you needed.

Think back to your elementary school days- what did we do when we had a snack in our lunch box that we didn’t really want?  We bartered. Nowadays this concept seems pretty foreign, but I promise you, it is innate and it works for almost anything… except perhaps utility bills. There are plenty of places you can find to barter. Try farmers markets, craft shows, local bulletin boards, and websites like

1. The key to successful bartering is that both parties must walk away feeling like they won.

2. Offer a reasonable barter…

Keep in mind that they may counter you. So don’t start with your absolute best offer. Aim a little better and wiggle back and forth until you both come to an agreement.

3. Don’t be too eager.

If you really need something, that puts the ball in their corner, meaning you could end up with the bad end of the deal. Don’t show all your cards right away. Be aloof but firm and leave your emotions at home.

4. Remember the value of your bartering relationship.

Whether the deal is better on their end or yours, or one of you concedes slightly for the sake of the bartering relationship, at the end of the deal you should both walk away satisfied with what you are receiving.

5. Finish the paperwork…

Have fun, be honest, be aware, be kind, and of course, if these items are large ticket items, make sure all the proper receipts are accounted for and the paperwork is squared away. You don’t want to take your items home and find out they were stolen goods, or worse- be scammed out of your item by someone who was playing you all along.

6. Safety First!

If you don’t know the person with which you are trading very well, make sure to take a buddy!

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