Let’s Bring Back Bartering!!!

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I am very blessed: I have a wonderful family, two great bosses, kind friends, everything I need and lots of what I want. Still, I can relate to this totally hilarious poster:



I try not to spend money on things I don’t need, but I won’t be holding classes on how to be thrifty any time soon. Still, I have found over the last couple of years that I LOVE bartering! It’s always nice to receive cash for things I make, but bartering just feels like a special kind of trade: we get to appreciate each other’s skills or ability and money doesn’t have to trade hands.

I tried–and failed miserably– to get my neighborhood to barter with me. Absolutely zero takers left me frustrated. Why buy something made in China if we have the means to create something by ourselves? I’m pretty good at crafting and my kids get annoyed that I’m constantly pushing them to figure out where their own talents lie. It’s important to me that my children and I spend time creating things that are not on a phone or tablet.

Recently, I had the pleasure of knitting two scarves for a massage therapist I work with. I was so blessed to receive a deep tissue massage in return. Of course, I was immediately thinking: “Who/what is next? Anyone else need a scarf??”

In my opinion, bartering offers a myriad of fun benefits:

  • you get to exercise your talent
  • you don’t have to stress about the exact cost of something
  • depending on the craft or service, you may be gifted with a unique treasure for your home or wardrobe
  • anything can be bartered (cleaning/cooking services, crafts, repairs, etc.)
  • you can barter goods: games, movies, clothing you don’t want any more for games, movies, or clothing you do want
  • the best part: each person gets what they want!

Here’s a great link on what bartering is, how to do it safely, and some good pointers to consider.

I like this link for tips on how to actually barter and some online sites where you practice this skill.

This link provides even more sites where one may barter goods and services.

We all have something to offer other people. Maybe crafting is not your thing, but you’re good at numbers or handy with tools. You can offer to make repairs, mow lawns, file taxes…the possibilities are endless. I personally will knit and crochet like a fiend for more massages or crafts that I’m not likely to become expert at, like jewelry-making.

What are you good at? What are your strengths? What ability or talent or creation do you see in others that you wish you could do? When you figure those out, offer a trade! Let’s bring back bartering in a BIG WAY. By the way, do you need a scarf or fingerless gloves? Because there’s a polymer clay jewelry thingy that I’d really like to have….


CJ Heath

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