Long before the first coin exchanged hands, people tended to barter with each other for a product or needed task. This practice of swapping one skill or object for another faded as cash became the way to garner goods and services. However, thanks to the Great Recession and the Internet, the swap has made a strong comeback. If you can pack it, ship it, or get to the destination, you can trade for work, clothing, and books. Even some local organizations within your community or government allow you to swap unused items for ones you need. Below are some modern-day swaps for your consideration.
Start local with a look at your local churches. They may offer clothing swaps or store-like locations within their buildings where anyone, regardless if they’re rich, poor, or belong to the church, can pick up clothing for the family. If these services aren’t available, you can look for a local event at clothingswap.com. You may even want to consider starting your own swap party if one doesn’t exist.
Check around your town to see what the local bookstores do when it comes to buybacks. Some establishments allow you to use the credit received on these books to pick up new ones, while others will let you use a portion of the buyback along with cash. If neither of these options looks good to you and your family, head over to the Internet for a number of sites dedicated to free book swaps. For example, the site Paperback Swap lets you list books for trade with other members, then select from several million titles when someone picks up your items. Similar sites include BookMooch and TitleTrader.
It’s not uncommon in these times for people to barter their skills. For example, a professional painter may paint the residence of a writer who agrees to produce advertising copy for them. In the past, this was normally done between neighbors. Today, you can fine many of these barters on sites like Craigslist and Freecycle. In order to minimize fraud on your end, make sure you do some research on the party you want to work with prior to sending them an acceptance.
Paint, Primer, and Other Household Products
The area I live in has an interesting program when it comes to the disposal of paint and other harsh household chemicals. Instead of dumping them in a landfill, they permit local residents to come by their office and pick up used cans of paint, primer, thinner, etc. You don’t even need to swap any of your own paint, even though it is recommended. If you’re looking to redecorate your children’s room, consider looking for one of these in your area before spending lots of money at the hardware store.
You want to travel somewhere new on your vacation, but you don’t want to pay the exorbitant hotel or resort fees. There is a solution to this problem in the form of a home exchange. By signing up to sites like HomeAway or HomeExchange, you can reside in another person’s home for your trip while they, or another family, stay in yours. Some sites do charge a membership fee, but the exchanges themselves are free.