Don’t laugh, I’m being serious. Bartering is a great way to get things done and save money at the same time. For those of you who don’t know, bartering is when you exchange goods and services for other goods and services in lieu of money. This is a great way to get things done for free!
How do you do it?
Well really there’s no right or wrong way to barter, as long as both parties involved are happy with what they receive. You may think you don’t have any skills to barter with someone, but you might be surprised. Can you do yardwork, help someone move or clean houses? Then you probably have some resources to barter with someone.
Start with your network.
There are people throughout your work and social circles that might benefit from bartering with you. For example, you may know someone who is can do handyman work in exchange for your specialty, or your dentist may do your preventative care in exchange for housecleaning or yard work. Think of everyone you know and the types of things they may need or may be willing to barter. Reach out to your entire network to find bartering agreements you can engage in to save money and benefit yourself at the same time.
Determine a pricing structure. Be aware of what services are worth so you are fair in the trades that you attempt to initiate. Exchanging a service that would normally cost one price for a service that generally retails for twice that may not result in two happy parties. The main goal for every bartering agreement is to end up with two completely satisfied parties that feel like they benefited from the trade.
Find out what they want. If you’re not sure what to offer in trade, simply ask the other person what they would like or need. There is likely something you’ll be able to offer them!
Keep records for taxes. Keeping a paper trail is an important part of doing business, even when you’re not exchanging money for goods or services. Ensure that everything is properly documented when keeping tax records for your bartering services.
Bartering isn’t for everyone, but if you are looking for creative ways to get something done, this might be an avenue for you to try. Bartering can help you avoid the stress of an expensive purchase or fix and benefit you and the person you are trading with.