In this economy, many people are looking for new ways to save money on everyday purchases. Every paycheck needs to stretch as far as it can, and as a result, we’re seeing some old ways of getting better values in the modern age.
Bartering, trading, and haggling prices were once the main ways of obtaining the goods and services you needed, but over time it became rarer to find platforms where those forms of payment were used. If you’re looking to find better prices on just about any item, from fresh produce to furniture and clothing, you may just find the return of large-scale bartering is just what you’ve been searching for.
Experts are saying that barter is quickly coming back into fashion in response to high prices in stores, so it’s about time you benefited from its return. The genius of bartering is easily seen in One Red Paperclip, a website created by Kyle MacDonald, who started with only a paperclip and, after a series of trades, ended up with a house.
While you might not be ready for that level of bartering, here are three examples of the ways that people in your own community and across the globe are using bartering in their everyday lives.
1. Shopping locally
The farmer’s market is an excellent place to support your local economy, meet neighbors, and buy fresh produce that didn’t have to travel hundreds of miles to end up on your table. Another great benefit of buying from local farms and artisans is the ability to meet the growers face-to-face, learn about the tilling of the produce, and negotiate prices a little more than is possible at the grocery store.
2. Buying secondhand
When you go into a large chain store like Target or Walmart, you can’t expect to negotiate prices. If you were to argue with the cashier you probably wouldn’t fare very well.
But when you shop at antique stores, flea markets, and live auctions, you’re not just allowed to haggle prices; it’s expected of you. Plus, buying items second-hand is not only cheaper, but much more eco-friendly and sustainable.
3. Finding trades online
From Craigslist to Ebay, there are lots of places where you can barter and haggle the value of items online. Whatever you’re looking for — electronics, books, furniture, clothing, even luxury watches — you can find a website that has it and procure what you need for trade or a great price. You can buy it locally or have it shipped from anywhere in the world, and you can buy things new or used.