Source: Local Futures
Bartering – the direct exchange of goods or services – is one of the oldest forms of economic transaction, and it still thrives in many parts of the world today. Barter not only provides a way for people without cash to exchange what they have for what they need, it also strengthens social ties in the process.
- One-on-one bartering is difficult: you need to find someone who has exactly what you need, and who needs exactly what you have. Increase the odds by adding “willing to barter” whenever you post something for sale.
- Set up a barter market in your community.
- If you have a business, consider ways that you could incorporate payments by barter.
- For an understanding of the laws around bartering in the US, check out Money Soup: A Legal Guide to Bartering, Giving, and Getting Stuff without Dollars, put together by the Sustainable Economies Law Center.
- The report Barter markets: sustaining people and nature in the Andes by Neus Marti and Michel Pimbert explores how barter markets in Peru contribute to food sovereignty, agricultural biodiversity, and community resilience.
- Alam Sehat Lestari in Kalimantan, Indonesia runs a medical clinic that accepts payments in seedlings, handicrafts, manure, and more. In addition, the clinic offers discounts up to 70% for patients from villages that have collectively reduced illegal logging.
- The patients at Panamédica Cooperativa de Salud in Mexico City, Mexico can choose to pay for medical services with a “solidarity fee,” where 50% of the payment is done in-kind through community service.
- The Fitzroy Urban Harvest in Melbourne, Victoria is a monthly event where residents both barter and give away homegrown and homemade food.