Aug 4, 2010
By Sue Hulen
Think back for a moment to the old movies where people would barter a dozen eggs or a fresh chicken for some firewood. Alternatively, they would even bring the doctor some fresh veggies for his medical assistance because they had no money. People were proud people and didn’t want anything for free, money was in short supply to many, and so they would barter. No handouts for them!
Bartering is something I really enjoy. Both people win and no money is usually exchanged. Bartering has gotten me through some pretty tough times, but I like the barter system whether things are tough financially or not.
Recently, I needed to have four of my paintings professionally photographed. I didn’t know any professional photographers so placed an ad. The ad stated that I would like to barter their work for one of my paintings. These photographers can be pretty pricey. Much to my surprise, I’d gotten a few offers. Some knew how to do what I needed done with the photography and some did not, but they were willing to barter.
Another example of my bartering is that when I need more than just a hair cut I barter a painting. The lady who is my stylist will barter a painting for whatever I may need done. That’s my kind of price!
I always tell people right up front that if they would rather have the money as opposed to a painting, please tell me, as it would not offend me in the least. I want the other person involved to be satisfied and feel as though he/she has benefited as much as I have from the barter.
It’s a lot of fun to barter. If you don’t barter just try it. You may be surprised just how many people are willing to trade what it is they are selling/offering for your work. You could even barter something else you have. You don’t have to barter your artwork. You could barter driving the kids to school for a week or two or babysitting. Whatever!
At a time when the economy is so bad and it won’t get much better for a long time bartering is a wonderful alternative to money. It’s a pretty handy alternative to cash or credit cards. What do you have to lose by offering to barter with someone? The worst that could happen is for them to turn down the offer. No big deal, right? Someone else may want to.
Hone those dickering skills and give the good old bartering system a go. It’s fun, challenging at times, and beneficial for sure.