What is Bartering?
Bartering is very simply defined as trading goods or services without the exchange of money. Bartering has been used by humans since the beginning of time and is likely used on some level by most of us today. When I offer to mow the lawn for my husband in exchange for a back rub from him, that is bartering!
Excluding trades with my hubby, some of the items or services I've bartered for in the past are as follows -
- Evening babysitting for a haircut and color
- Garden produce in exchange for eggs
- Garden produce in exchange for plums and apples
- Babysitting in exchange for babysitting
- Homemade bread in return for eggs
- Homemade grape jam in exchange for grapes
But What Can You Offer?
Use your imagination when thinking of things or services to barter. What do you have to offer? This list might help stimulate your imagination -
- babysitting services
- wallpaper hanging services
- crafty type skills
- setting up a web page
- tax preparation
- sewing services
- floral arranging
- laundry services
- housecleaning services
- garden produce
- excess fruit from your trees
- homemade bread or noodles
- jams, jellies or other preserves
- cake decorating
- home or office organizing
- typing services
- catering services
- entertainment services (do you sing or perform in some way?)
- items no longer in use in your home
- any special skill that you might have from previous job experience OR
- consider offering your current job/business services on the side for trade
Beware Uncle Sam!
One word of caution, the I.R.S. considers bartering as income so be sure to know the guidelines. You can check them out at the following links -
Four Things You Should Know About Bartering
Recordkeeping Tips for Barter Transactionshttp://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=215975,00.html
As you can see, bartering is taxable. However, to the best of my knowledge, giving a gift to a friend on the same day that they give you a gift in return, isn't taxable. That is a fine line that can be walked carefully.
Once more word of caution, a bartering service is under much more scrutiny by the government so before you get all enthused about organizing something for all your friends, make sure you don't appear to be a bartering service or broker.
I'd love to hear about your bartering experiences!
Have a great day!