May 26, 2024

Even without a formal financial system in place, people still trade goods and services. Preppers should stockpile any non-produced items in an emergency situation such as ammo, medicine, sugar and salt in order to use as bartering items in exchange for items they need in the near future.

Negotiating an art deal can be complex. Galleries and banks typically don’t work on barter deals, leaving artists unfamiliar with this aspect of bartering.

The Basics

Bartering refers to trading goods or services for similar items without exchanging money directly. Parties agree on an arrangement where they exchange property and services on an economic basis – for instance a carpenter agreeing to construct a fence for a farmer in exchange for harvested crops).

No matter if money is tight or you’re simply looking to diversify your business model, bartering can be a beneficial way to keep projects moving forward. But before engaging in bartering to swap soap, paper towels and other basic items it is essential that you understand its principles first.

Bartering can be a useful strategy for individuals, small businesses and even whole nations during times of economic instability. Companies and governments may opt to barter instead of paying with hard currency in order to eliminate debt or minimize exchange risk – as well as build relationships and reduce overhead costs by employing this strategy.

The Big Ask

No matter whether trading independently or via a barter exchange, it is key to leave room for negotiation. Determine an ideal price point for what you are offering before starting negotiations above it for leverage.

Bartering has existed long before currency, yet can easily adapt to modern life. Indeed, many small businesses and startups choose bartering with other entrepreneurs or local businesses instead of paying cash for services rendered.

Bartering can be invaluable in post-collapse scenarios, enabling you to acquire essential supplies that would otherwise be hard or impossible to obtain. Therefore, it is smart to stockpile items that may become necessary such as ammunition, medicine and canned food; you should also consider keeping items handy should an evacuation become necessary quickly. Additionally, stockpiling lightweight and portable supplies is wise to allow for an emergency departure plan in an instantaneous situation.


Bartering is the art of finding an equitable exchange, and to be successful you must be creative when selecting items you can trade – such as photography services for wide-format printers if you are a photographer.

Consider all tax ramifications when trading, especially if the trade involves artwork. For instance, the IRS might consider its value an income source and therefore you should consult your gallery/dealer regarding any trading plans before proceeding with them.

Apart from trading directly for items, another way is joining a barter exchange where you can earn “trade dollars” by selling goods and services that can then be exchanged against products and services of other members. A trade exchange acts as a third-party record keeper by providing its clients with monthly statements detailing all trade purchases/sales as well as your current balance in trade dollars.


As with any trade, honesty is crucial in bartering. Therefore, it is wise to only barter with trusted peers and avoid trading with strangers. Furthermore, having various items to trade could come in handy as the popularity of certain commodities can fluctuate; popular ones will quickly sell out so it is wise to stockpile enough stocks at once in case any go missing!

Bartering allows for more intentional and deliberate exchanges of goods and services. It provides an opportunity to establish the work culture that you prefer and, when executed properly, is an art in its own right. Honesty encompasses more than simply telling the truth – it encompasses virtues like integrity, fairness and respect – all qualities which benefit not only business but also soul; though this virtue might take longer to practice it pays dividends long term.

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