psy·chot·ic leop·ard sīˈkädik/ˈlepərd/ noun · anything that is funky, interesting, beautiful, niche, useful, and grabs one's attention

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BENEFITS OF BARTER: Take the Quiz! What Do I Have To Trade? What do I Want?

Posted by Lisa Johnson on

Barter, the exchange of goods or services for other goods or services without using money, is a wonderful way to save money, make friends, and get great stuff!  It helps develop key survival skills in any economy, and fosters an environment of collaboration and sharing.

For some reason, however, many people initially become uncomfortable with the notion of trade.  When speaking to friends about my idea of hosting a swap, often they will say, "But I don't have anything to trade!" or "I'm not sure what exactly I need."  Fear no more, and take my handy dandy "What do I have to trade" quiz for ideas; everyone has something to offer, and I bet you'll discover more than you ever imagined! 


  1. List my personal strengths / talents / skills.  (Can I cook a special dish?  Am I good at organizing?)
  2. Things my family / friends think I'm really good at. 
  3. My background training / careers, or something I can get / make easily. (Good writer?  Access to beauty samples?)
  4. What I might be able to teach / help someone with? (Tutoring in any subject?  Interior decorating?)
  5. Cool stuff I have that I don't really need / use (*GOOD stuff, not junk - think what I received aa gift that someone might love, or unique handmade, designer, or art )
  6. My passions/ hobbies - what I LOVE to do.
  7. Things I like to collect.
  8. Things that need cleaning, fixing, moving, or redecorating in house or yard (Helpful to go from room to room).
  9. What household chores do I hate?
  10. What do I want to learn, but can't justify spending money on?

NOW, let's start narrowing things down!  

  • Take another piece of paper and fold it in half.
  • Make two columns.  Label one:  HAVES / LIKES.  Label the second:  WANTS.
  • Include anything you can think of from questions 1-5 in your HAVE / LIKES list.  This could be tangible items, as well as your skills.  This is your "currency."
  • In your WANTS section, focus on questions 6-9.  If you could have another person perform a task for you to save you time (or do something for you which you don't enjoy (like cleaning my car), what could that person do to make your life easier?  
  •  What do you want to own (think STUFF)?  What is something you've always wanted to learn to do, but hesitate to pay for?



What I HAVE to trade

Vintage bamboo flyfishing poles

TONS of jewelry, including sterling silver and costume

Loads of designer handbags / belts / accessories / boots

Handmade horseshoe crab necklaces / wall hangings and custom made jewelry

Custom made boot decor / embellishment 

Ginormous Persian rug

Tutoring in writing / language (former HS English teacher / professional writer / masters in ESL education)

Custom mosaic design

Daughter who babysits and cooks

Son who tutors in math and is award-winning debater


Art, especially sculpture, glass, unusual, recycled, ethnic

Musical instruments

Standard Scrabble boards and wood tiles

Restaurant gift certificates

Colorful funky accessories (tights/boots/ handbags etc)

Jewelry (high-quality or really funky)



Succulent plants

Regular landscaping services

Housekeeping services

Homemade healthy meals

Steampunk style stuff


To learn welding, stained glass making, leather tooling, and lampwork

Anything weird, unusual, or high-quality


Keep in mind that this list should / will often change, as you begin trading.  You'll discover more and more things to add, taking off others as your wishes come true :) and become more creative as you go!

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