Bartering is defined as the exchange of goods and services without using money. When the value of paper money plummets to the point of having no value, we will resort to bartering to meet our needs. Paper money creates a universal demand that making it easy to get what you want. Bartering requires you to find someone willing to trade what you have for what they have. Unlike Walmart the price and value of goods won’t be well defined or the same from person to person. To get what you want bartering requires you to find someone willing to trade the desired item for something you have. Bartering is like a dance of words and body language between two people. Your goal is to discern what the minimal acceptable trade is for the other person to do a deal with you.
Before You trade
Before approaching anyone for a trade in person, it is of great importance to know exactly what you want to come of the deal, then you can plan for the finer details of negotiations knowing exactly what you are willing to do or give up in order to make the deal.
Understand Your Trading partner
It can be good to start with small talk to get a sense of your trading partner’s values. No matter what you want to barter you must take into consideration the person and community of which the deal is being made within. If you try trading your weapons with a hardcore survivalist who has their own arsenal it is going to result in much less reward than say trading with a unprepared individual that needs to protect their property from trouble after SHTF.
Understand the Economics
It is important to do your research before making a deal, understanding the supply and demand for the particular item or service in question within the community you wish to deal. If the supply is low with high demand, then the product is exclusive and the owner will have the upper hand in the deal. Alternatively if the product is of high supply and low demand it is of low value and the buyer has the upper hand. Remember that whether your item has a high or low value it should optimally be traded for something of equal value, to satisfy both parties. Keep in mind if the power grid is down a 65in LCD TV is worthless to many who are trying to eat. General items of higher demand, higher value and smaller space are preferred over large items, or lower demand items. So the only time to trade a quality item is when you will get a lot of lower quality items that can then be traded up to higher quality items overtime.
First notice the person’s stance, are there arms folded in front, a sign of defensiveness and evaluation or do they approach with a friendly handshake and speak with animated hands. The aversion of the eyes upwards signals consideration, while the rolling of them signals frustration and disbelief. Their tone from the very beginning of the meaning can be a good indication of what they are expecting, are they serious like a business transaction is about to take place or are they relaxed and happy. Considering their physical body language can be useful in brokering a trade.
Breaking the Ice
If you have ever watched American Pickers then you have seen first hand the negotiation process. The first step is breaking the ice. Get the person trading and making deals so they are more willing to make a good deal. Start by trading small items and not going directly for what you want most. This allows you to create good will as you work out deals in their favor on the small stuff. Once you have broken the ice it will be a lot easier to get what you want at a reduced rate or get them to part with something they would otherwise keep.
Making the Right Deal
Something that many people end up doing is settling for a subpar offer that does not meet their expectations or need, this is usually done in times of desperation where a result is needed quickly. Therefore it is important to plan ahead before initiating any trade deal, giving yourself a defined time limit to make the trade. Then if one party is unwilling to meet your terms, you will know whether there is enough time or opportunity to find another person to make the deal with based on your previous work. You can always walk away from a deal and search for another if you feel it is not beneficial to you.
With bartering you can get creative in making deals, again knowing exactly what you wish to receive out of the deal is vital to making a good deal. If the item you are trading does not equal the value of what you want, you can always throw in some small items to build the value of your proposal, or offer a valued service that you can provide.
Sealing the Deal
Bartering has no limits to it, the worst possible outcome is somebody backing out of the deal. That is why to maximize your profit, it is important to work quickly and keep the trade fresh in the mind of both partners involved. Details of a trade should be defined as soon as possible, even included within the initial offer if applicable. Sometimes a simple handshake after each deal is all it takes to solidify it.
Bartering can be used for more than just trade of goods and services, it can be used to form alliances and increase your chances of survival in dangerous times. You can offer mutual protection of persons and property as well as a split in any goods that come along. The barter system is a network of individuals that you can use to build support through mutually beneficial agreements.
Bartering is also a way someone can greatly increase their wealth. An example of this is the story of “One Red Paper Clip” where an individual used craigslist and took a single red paperclip and turned it into a house. If you are creative and willing you can make it happen.
Bartering is a delicate art of trade, so keep the tips and strategies above in mind when considering any deal. Acting logically is always going to be better than making decisions based on emotion when bartering. Good luck!
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