Barter–Old and New
Barter is the exchange of goods or services without using cash. This is a very old way of doing business. It is another form of currency in today’s marketplace. It can help boost revenue, preserve cash flow, redirect excess inventory, and provide access to new markets.
Bartering becomes more common when money, credit, and jobs are tight. Direct trades between people and businesses can be made privately or through organized exchanges. When you barter a service you may find yourself actually employed, but compensated by something besides cash.
Free Barter Websites
The simplest way to begin bartering is to explore some of the free barter and exchange websites. Using them will give you a feel for what people trade and how they package what they offer. Here is a list of a few of them:
- PeopleTrading Services.com
Third Party Exchanges
Barter exchanges generally charge a membership fee, monthly fess, and transaction fees. They may also offer credit to members. The currency of the exchanges is trade dollars. These are virtual dollars that are earned when you sell something. Trade dollars can be used to buy other items. Check out some of these exchanges.
- Internet Barter Exchange
- Vantage Barter
- Value Card Alliance
The International Reciprocal Trade Association (irta.com) is a non-profit organization committed to promoting just and equitable standards of practice and operation within the Modern Trade and Barter. Take a look at the IRTA site to learn more about exchanges which offer a marketplace in which companies can exchange their surplus’ for goods they can use.
Taxes and Barter
According to the IRS, a barter transaction is just like cash. There are two separate transactions, a sale and a purchase. The fair market value of barter is considered table income and must be reported on IRS Form 1099-B (Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions). Other taxes such as sales tax, income tax, state franchise tax, and self-employment tax also apply.
A Marketplace for Services For and By Seniors
For those outside the mainstream, bartering may be a path to comfortable survival. Seniors have a hard time being hired, yet they may have skills that are valuable to the right person.
Services Seniors Can Offer
- Customer Service
- Writing and editing
- Dog walking
Services For Seniors
As we age, we are not able to do some tasks as well as we used to do them. You may be able to obtain the services you need by some form of exchange. By bartering what we can do for what we can’t do, we may be able to afford to age to age in place much longer than anticipated. Look on the barter sites and see who is offering any of the following.
- Home health aide
- Meal preparation
- Pet care
- Medication Management
The jobs of the future for older people are entrepreneurial. It may be that a Senior Barter Network will spring up that enables seniors to hire seniors. Maybe you can create a Senior Barter Exchange in your community, take it national, and become rich and famous while serving the fastest growing demographic in the country.