Bartering Makes Good Business Sense
Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using money.
I believe that bartering can open doors for entrepreneurs so I recently joined a local barter exchange called Bay Bucks. . There are hundreds of small local businesses that belong to Bay Bucks, and collectively, these businesses offer every possible good or service one can imagine.
About a month after listing my services on Bay Bucks as a Life Transitions Coach, another member of Bay Bucks, specializing in website development, used Bay Bucks to purchase one of my life transitions coaching packages.
In turn, I am very low tech, and my website was in need of a major overhaul, so I decided to buy services directly from her company using the Bay Bucks I had earned from her purchase. (A quick look around my website, and you will see the help I have been blessed to receive.)
Although, a complete history of the bartering system is not the intent of this article, the history of bartering dates all the way back to 6000 BC, long before money was invented.
Besides the fact that no money is involved, another advantage is to bartering is that there is flexibility. For instance, related products can be traded such as portable tablets in exchange for laptops. Or, items that are completely different can be traded such as lawn mowers for televisions. Homes can now be exchanged when people are traveling, which can save both parties money.
When bartering, you do not have to part with material items. Instead, you can offer to swap a service for an item. For instance, if your friend has a laptop that you want and their car needs work, if you are good at fixing cars, you can offer to fix their car in exchange for the laptop. The value of items being traded can be negotiated with the other party. You can buy items by exchanging an item you have but no longer want or need.
A disadvantage to bartering is that at times, it is easy to think the item you desire is worth more than it actually is, while underestimating the value of your own item.
I believe the barter system is a creative way to connect and collaborate with and other people and businesses in the local community and beyond.
Bay Bucks hosts mixers every couple months where local business owners can meet, but actual exchange of goods and services is done via the website.
On Bay Bucks, members don’t necessarily trade with one another directly like we did. They offer their goods or services, and in return, can take advantage of any other members’ goods or services.
Bay Bucks receives a small commission on trades. Every time someone buys a service on Bay Bucks, Bay Bucks receives seven percent of the value of the service in cash. Every time someone sells a service, Bay Bucks receives five percent of the value of the service in cash. These are the only costs.
Barter exchanges in the USA are considered taxable revenue. According to the IRS, “The fair market value of goods and services exchanged must be included in the income of both parties.
How do you feel about bartering? What kind of experiences have you had with it? Does your community have a local exchange like Bay Bucks?