How to Barter and Why I Love It!

Recently at certain craft fairs, I have been making sure to tell some of the other crafters that I am always open for a good barter! FINALLY, one of the other crafters took me up on that offer! I was so excited to finally trade ‘this for that’ and I had the barter song stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

Every time I think of bartering, a certain Schoolhouse Rock song pops into my head and I can’t help but sing along! (For those of you who don’t know what bartering means, or you just love the song as much as I do, watch the video below!)

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Okay, now that that song is out of my system… Let’s talk about bartering!

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The whole point of bartering is to trade one thing for another. If there is something you want from me, and something I want from you, we can trade our items without having to use money!

You’ve probably bartered a lot too as a kid (especially at Halloween time)! Trading candy with siblings and friends can be a fun way to learn how to barter! The candy you don’t like, can be traded for something you do like, and you’re both happy because you end up with stuff you like! You both come out of the deal feeling happy about the trade, and that’s what makes a good barter!

Bartering between crafters is simple! I try not to focus on the prices when I barter, as prices are objective. Instead, I look at the work that people put into their stuff, and I trade it for something that is equal in ‘time and work value’. There are sometimes when I trade ‘price for price’, but I feel like people get a bad deal if I do that, because my prices can be very high at certain craft fairs.

So far this year, I have traded;

  • A crochet bag holder (me) for a handmade candle (them).
  • A crochet jellyfish (me) for a handmade stain glass cactus (them).
  • A crochet jellyfish (me) for two handmade bath bombs (them.)
  • And a crochet hat and beard (me) for 5 stain glass flying keys and a stain glass bee pendant (them).

In my eyes, the things that I had bartered for were priceless! Everything was handmade that I had bartered with/for, and all of the people I bartered with were fellow crafters that I knew.

To me, bartering is more fun than us crafters buying each other’s stuff. Bartering is also a lot more personal too, and it’s a great way to make friends! When you barter with someone, it opens your eyes to new things that you would never buy with your money. (And that’s great! Because you never spend a dime!)

Another way to barter is ‘goods for services’. This is where someone does a service for someone, and they get rewarded with an object. I’ve done this at craft fairs when the kids of other crafters offer to help me carry stuff to/from my truck. It’s normally something small I give them after they’ve already helped me, or I offer them that small item they’ve been eyeing all day in exchange for their help loading my crafts up at the end of the event.

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Farmers Market Booth in Dowagiac Michigan

At the end of the day, money is just an object that we use as a middleman for bartering.

You put your time into a job, and it produces money.
You take that money, and you buy something with it.
So if you really add it up, how many hours of work are you bartering for the objects you buy at the store?

That being said, I’ll make a barter with YOU (the reader) right now! I’ll give you a really funny joke to tell your friends (see below), and in exchange, you can pass this blog post along to another friend! (PPPSSSTTT!!! Don’t send this to the same friend you want to tell the joke to, it’ll ruin the joke!)

Don’t forget to COMMENT BELOW! What kind of barters have YOU made? Have you ever bartered before? And finally, let me know if you laughed at my joke! 😂😉

As always, smile, have an amazing day, and don’t forget to make your friends laugh today!

Q. What did the left eye say to the right eye?
A. Between you and me, something smells!

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