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Bartering: The New Money?

Bartering, a centuries old practice, is making a big comeback. My wife enjoys a free health club membership in exchange for providing singing lessons to the daughter of a personal trainer.  In my own case, my membership and private lessons at a local Tae Kwon Do school are at no cost in exchange for me helping the school with their Internet marketing. These are just a couple of examples of how my own family is benefiting from bartering.  What's more, in both cases, the other party approached us with the idea.


Finding Local Barter Opportunities

Craigslist has a notable barter section that is very active. I find it extremely interesting to review my local Craigslist to see what people are bartering for.  I am always surprised to see so many great examples of how barter appears to be working here in Central Florida.  There is no reason to overthink bartering.  Many of the ads simply state what the person has to trade and what they are looking to receive in exchange; nothing more complicated than that.  More barter sites.


National Barter Exchanges

National and international barter exchanges bring the concept to a much larger scale. Here is a great article on how large barter exchanges work. I also found this great directory listing hundreds of barter exchanges.   For most people, just doing a search in Google with the name of their metro area and the word 'barter' will bring up a lot of options. Check out this article with a list of 36 bartering websites.

One of my friends in the radio business has for years used radio ads in exchange for travel related expenses. He has received airfare and hotel accommodations regularly through barter.


Bartering Among Christians

I love the idea of bartering within the Christian community.  I have heard quite a few stories of bartering taking place within churches around the country. A church with 250 people or more in attendance would likely have a diverse enough base of people to make bartering work very well. Of course, even just a simple transaction such as moms trading babysitting is a real win-win for all parties involved. My wife regularly engaged in this kind of bartering when our children were young.

Major International Barter Organizations

ITEX Corporation ITEX

International Reciprocal Trade Association IRTA

International Monetary Systems IMS

Bartering In Survival Situations

I am currently reading a book titled Bartering And Negotiating in Post-Disaster Survival Situations, which I think is a great read for anyone interested in learning how bartering could be used in true survival scenarios.

Tax Implications Of Bartering

Contrary to popular belief, bartering is not tax free. Goods and services you receive when bartering are considered to be taxable income. You can, however, offset that 'income' by any expenses you incur for what you provided in the barter exchange. Large barter exchanges will issue IRS form 1099 B to participants in barter transactions.  In the case of small, informal, barter arrangements, I guess the honor system is all that is in place.  


In today's economy you will find more people than ever interested in bartering.  Bartering can also lead to more business opportunities as well.  Someone you barter with may later pay you cash for your service, they may also be a source of referrals as well.  

Helping you make the most of God’s money!

James L. Paris
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