Editors Blog

What's It Worth to You?

April 23, 2010
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Everyone’s heard of eBay and Craigslist, but have you heard of www.baarter.com? Instead of online auctions or classified ads, this site is set up strictly for bartering. You make a post that lists what you have and then describe what you’re hoping to trade it for. While it sounds a bit like another Cragislist knock-off, my interest was piqued by this post from a guy in Nebraska:

“I will trade my 25 years experience in HVAC work, new furnace or AC installs, duct work, etc. for a late model cruiser motorcycle. 750cc – 1300cc. Must be in excellent condition. I am fully insured and provide professional workmanship.”

So, he’s willing to trade 25 years of HVAC expertise for a bike? I have to wonder exactly how that will work out. It sounds like it could be a bit messy to arrange this to both parties’ satisfaction, and I’m afraid someone’s going to get ripped off.

Say, for instance, that somebody calls Mr. Will-Work-for-Motorcycle and offers him his dream cruiser in return for working on a small home project. But what if that little project spirals out of control and ends up costing him more time and effort than the motorcycle is worth?

Have you ever bartered your skills and services for something other than money? And was it worth it?

Maybe I’m too pessimistic. Maybe bartering is the way to go in the current economy, and this guy’s going to get a great bike in exchange for a few hours of work.

Or maybe this guy is willing to barter his skills and services for a motorcycle so when his wife sees it in the driveway, he can say, “Sorry, honey, they didn’t have any money, so they offered to pay me with a bike.”

Because right now that’s the only way my husband’s going to get one.
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