Bartering, time banking, traveling without money, freelancing… we see the impact every day. Yet, we are smothered with 60-second images of sex, speed, success and smiles, and in that smothering, and we’re taught that business is a web of commercial offerings for profit. Contact between consumer and the vender is a simple slight of hand to exchange products and services for cash. Interestingly, we don’t see other forms of commerce advertised.
In its oldest form, bartering took place among friends and neighbors in rural communities. Wasn’t thought of as that, of course, since it was simply an exchange of things one person didn’t need with a neighbor who wanted to do the same. Then in 1982 the I.R.S. laws required bartering exchanges to be taxed as income. Many problems ensued… the biggest one is that those bartering with each other determine the value of the goods or services, i.e. if you offer me a lawn mower in exchange for my Weber grill, what are they really worth? The $200 we initially paid for them? Maybe $50 now that they are used? The key here is that we, the barterers, set the value of our goods.
Thirty-two years later, like lily pads floating to the top of a lake, this old form of commerce is blooming in new sizes and shapes.
Bartering clubs and bartering exchanges include members who buy in and then use their shares to pay other members for services they need. Let’s say you invest $1000, and then need your plumbing fixed. Another member, a plumber, performs the service for you and the club deducts $150 from your shares and transfers them to your plumber’s shares. In like manner, you make a set of living room drapes for a member for $150. Shares are transferred from their fund into yours and you’re now back to your original $1000.
The time is 2014; time banking is a phrase covering the activities we previously knew as bartering. By joining a time banking group you await someone who has a need for your services. Let’s say a member wants to start a garden, and landscaping is your favorite thing to do. What might you need in exchange? Maybe a webpage for your landscaping business? In six hours the two of you create and plant the garden. Now, in exchange for your efforts, the owner of the new garden uses his skills for six hours to update your website. In the process you’ve made a new friend, worked together with them, and reinforced your credibility to all in your time banking group.
“The Secrets of Clayton County,” a trilogy of novels I’ve written, tells the story of one woman’s life changing experience with bartering. She does learn secrets even residents don’t know. But the biggest secret she learns is the support and sharing of talents each resident contributes, like their own square in the community quilt. (available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and e-readers everywhere)
For more on this subject, continue to visit me on Facebook @ donwooldridgeauthor, where you can learn about:
- Bartering exchanges
- Time Banking
- Freelancers Try a New Way to Monetize
- Traveling without money
- Negotiating dental copays
- …and much more
The Secrets of Clayton County: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009WVIJB0