As I leafed through a World History book this week, I was surprised to learn that entire ancient civilizations in Asia and South America became flourishing centers of trade based solely on a barter economy. As the centuries progressed, it seems, nations turned to cash currency for its convenience. However, according to a recent NBC news show, once again people are revisiting the concept of barter as a way to rise above a lagging economy.
According to NBC, barter is booming. (http://www.nbc.com/news-sports/msnbc-video/2011/12/) The barter posts on sites like Craigslist are up 100% from 2012 figures, and sites that offer direct exchanges of books, gifts, and services are rising in popularity with families and college grads. In countries like Greece the people have caught on to barter and now have clever habits like bringing bags of clothing and goods into a central market once a month, and taking home an equal amount of goods they need.
The problem with one-on-one trading, however, is that it’s tough to keep the values of goods and services exchanged equal. For this reason, instead of doing one-on-one trading, many customers are finding that barter clubs are the ideal way to go.
For a small cash fee (about 6% on each trade), customers can “buy” services and take vacations that they might otherwise not consider with a cash-strapped budget. For instance, Joanne Baker is an artist who lists her oil paintings for trade in the barter club. She earns thousands of “virtual dollars” each year, which she then spends on things like an upscale hair salon, a personal trainer, a condo rental on the Gulf Coast, and a cleaning service. “I feel like I can justify some frills,” says Baker with a chuckle, “since I’m doing cashless trading. The world of barter lets me live a notch or two up from where I really am. Shh!”
At the Southern Barter Club (SBC) in Atlanta, new and prospective members are given a short training class where they learn the “tricks of the trade,” so to speak, and they open their world to networking and new clients they may never have met in their old system. This month the meeting is on July 24th at the Virtual Adrenaline Recording Studio, also a member of the SBC club. Here, the pros hope to teach the novices to implement some ancient secrets that will help them “notch up” their lifestyle through trade and flourish in a quickly changing, modern economy.
For more information on bartering, please contact SBC SBC: 678.546-0900