Don’t Wait for the You-Know-What to Hit the Fan, Barter Now

I’ve made some good trades with tools I no longer need to get tools I want. We don’t have toe wait for the STHTF to barter.

I’ve posted about barter occasionally, usually as something you do after the SHTF, when printed Federal Reserve notes (dollar bills to most of us) have no value. Today, I’d like to talk about it as something you can do right now.

You know the air compressor and the 18-gauge brad nailer I use to build frames for my beehive? I did not buy those, but I traded for them. (I bought the narrow gauge stapler.) A drill press I had inherited was sitting in my storage unit, and I did not want to move it. I knew another fellow who with at Lowe’s that allows him early access to returned items and clearance goods. He was interested in the drill press, so we traded my drill press (free to me) for his air compressor and brad nailer set (low cost to him.) We both saved money and walked away happy.

Currently, I am looking to trade my high-end Festool orbital sander for a full size nail gun suitable for framing. I also have a Senco drywall screw gun I am looking to unload because my current log house uses very little dry wall. Yes, I could sell these on eBay, but that’s a hassle and generates income that must be reported. I’d rather trade if I can find someone who wants one or the other of these items and has or can get the item I want.

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How to Prosper in a Barter Economy

This article explains how to barter successfully after an economic collapse. Rather than list 10, 20 or even 200 items you should stock for bartering, it tells you what to do and how to go about it.

The Traditional Problems with Barter

Let’s say that you looked at a number of lists of potential barter goods online (all of which include coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and various drugs and medicines), and you decided to stock alcohol because it does not go bad, get stale, or have an expiration date.  Over time, you accumulate whiskey, bourbon, and vodka in sizes ranging from tiny single-serving airline bottles to fifths, liters and even some half gallons.

Then we go through some kind of economic or societal collapse and you survive.  WooHoo!  Time to start trading your alcohol for the stuff you need to survive.

That’s where the problems arise:

  1. How are you going to find people to trade with?  Do you put out a sign?  Do you hang out somewhere and say “Psst, what will you give me for this bottle of whiskey?”
  2. How many of your neighbors desperately need alcohol?  (Or coffee, or cigarettes?)  Everyone needs food, but not everyone needs alcohol.
  3. When you finally find a hardcore alcoholic who needs alcohol to survive, are they going to have anything to trade?  Do you happen live in an area of wealthy alcoholics?
  4. What could possibly go wrong with letting a bunch of addiction-driven, angry, frightened people know that you have alcohol at your home?

I’ll let your imagination percolate on that for a while.

Continue reading “How to Prosper in a Barter Economy”