Monday, June 13, 2005

Barter skill for skill

In India, during the old days there was a system that governed the market known as the Barter System. The principle was simple. Goods and commodities were exchanged and nobody paid anything for anything. For example, if you grew cabbages then you would exchange those with someone who grew potatoes. Or if you were a blacksmith, then you would make tools and exchange with a farmer or a horse rider and you would get something in return that you needed.

Why can't we do something similar to that system right now? For example, if I am a computer professional, why can't I offer computer services (such as support, hardware and software installation, virus checking etc) to someone who is good at, say, building a deck. Another example is me offering tutoring services to children of someone who is great with fixing cars. Would this work? If yes, then why hasn't someone already done so? If no, then why not?


Get creative bloggers!!!

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I am going to be a psychologist and unfortunately it is unethical for me to barter my services for anything other then money,,,come to think of it, how can a depressed client, who is hardly able to get out of bed, make my deck......

1:18 PM  
Blogger Sheeshers said...

It doesn't necessarily have to do with profession. If you're an awesome cook, why wouldn't you offer to cater a birthday party in exchange for someone fixing a car. Food at a good birthday party can easily cost upwards of $200 if you buy everything from outside. Now, if you were to bake and broil and stir-fry away ... could you not use that in exchange for getting your car fixed (you buy parts).

1:22 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I've done a lot of bartering, myself. I've traded piano lessons for various other services that I wouldn't have afforded otherwise, for example, and I find it to be very rewarding. We used to be that way at the start of this nation, but we've become very capitalistic, unfortunately. I would love to see it go back to the way it was, and I, for one, will continue to barter with others when the occasion permits. Very good discussion issue!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I have actually done this. When my last child was born we had a midwife instead of going to the hospital. It was wonderful. But in the end, money was very tight for us and we were struggling to fulfill the payments to this wonderful woman. We felt very bad because we were so grateful for all she had done for us.

Then it came to light that her daughter was getting married. I had done a stint doing wedding videography and couldn't make a business of it, even though people really liked my product. But I still had all my gear. She found out and we bartered away the rest of my bill. I did her daughter's wedding and we called it even.

We've also done babysitting co-ops with people. This is where we would watch a person’s kids, not for money but for time credit with the other person. One hour with us equals one hour with you at a later date. My brother does this two with another couple in their town.

A lot of this relies on the honor system and convenience.

But at the same time, I'd still rather go into town for a Friday night out with my debit card rather than a load of cabbage. ;-)

Then it came to light that her daughter was getting married. I had done a stint doing wedding videography and couldn't make a business of it, even though people really liked my product. But she found out and we bartered away the rest of my bill. I did her daughter's wedding and we called it even.

We've also done babysitting co-ops with people. This is where we would watch a persons kids, not for money but for time credit with the other person. One hour with us equals one hour with you at a later date. My brother does this two with another couple in their town.

A lot of this relies on the honor system and convenience.

But at the same time, I'd still rather go into town for a Friday night out with my debit card rather than a load of cabbage. ;-)

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of business people who do this. There are even websites for organizations that facilitate this stuff.

It used to be that you could avoid paying the taxes on the money saved by bartering, but of course now the government expects you to pay taxes for the value of the services (though many just don't report it). I know some folks that barter and just don't report the work, and it works out pretty well for them.

OTOH, I hate the support/install/etc. side of the job, and development is pretty time consuming, so I'm not as interested in barter as most geeks.

- Puppetainer

9:45 AM  
Blogger book_worm said...

I have been playing "SIMS makin magic" and have been bartering services for magical ingredients to make spells and charms. :-)

8:24 AM  
Blogger nevins manafe said...

go and check my site,
its about bartering..

nice post! :)

5:13 AM  

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