How to barter – swapping goods and services

Make a list of what you have to offer: skills; surplus goods (garden produce, unwanted clothing, equipment); or services (housepainting, baby-sitting). Locate other barterers through ads in local newspapers, shoppers’ magazines, and company newsletters. Post notices in supermarkets, coffee shops, laundromats, and employee lunchrooms. Inquire whether nearby church and civic groups sponsor barter organizations.

To bring about a swap, know the value of the goods and services being swapped, and be prepared to bargain. Be specific as to what you are offering and when and where you’ll deliver. Require the same of the other swapper.

Be aware that barter clubs and indirect exchange organizations may involve costly fees. Members may also be subject to sales and other taxes. In fact, any barter deal can be interpreted, for tax purposes, as an ordinary purchase or sale of goods.