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!
WHAT DO I HAVE TO TRADE QUIZ
- List my personal strengths / talents / skills. (Can I cook a special dish? Am I good at organizing?)
- Things my family / friends think I'm really good at.
- My background training / careers, or something I can get / make easily. (Good writer? Access to beauty samples?)
- What I might be able to teach / help someone with? (Tutoring in any subject? Interior decorating?)
- Cool stuff I have that I don't really need / use (*GOOD stuff, not junk - think what I received as a gift that someone might love, or unique handmade, designer, or art )
- My passions/ hobbies - what I LOVE to do.
- Things I like to collect.
- Things that need cleaning, fixing, moving, or redecorating in house or yard (Helpful to go from room to room).
- What household chores do I hate?
- 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?
SAMPLE - MY OWN HAVES / WANTS LIST
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
What I LIKE / WANT
Art, especially sculpture, glass, unusual, recycled, ethnic
Standard Scrabble boards and wood tiles
Restaurant gift certificates
Colorful funky accessories (tights/boots/ handbags etc)
Jewelry (high-quality or really funky)
Regular landscaping 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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- Tags: Barter, Community Building, Friendship, Party, Personality Quiz, Recycle, Skill, Social Activity, Swap, Talent, Trade, Upcycle